Mr. Rudolfs Bems, Lukas Boehnert, Mr. Andrea Pescatori, and Martin Stuermer
Limiting climate change requires a 80 percent reduction in fossil fuel extraction until 2050. What are the macroeconomic consequences for fossil fuel producing countries? We identify 35 episodes of persistent, exogenous declines in extraction based on a new data-set for 13 minerals (oil, gas, coal, metals) and 122 countries since 1950. We use local projections to estimate effects on real output as well as the external and the domestic sectors. Declines in extractive activity lead to persistent negative effects on real GDP and the trade balance. The real exchange rate depreciates but not enough to offset the decline in net exports. Effects on low-income countries are significantly larger than on high-income countries. Results suggest that legacy effects of bad institutions could prevent countries from benefiting from lower resource extraction.
CEMAC is broadly benefiting from the positive terms of trade shock amidst the fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine. Post-pandemic economic recovery is taking hold, albeit slowly, supported by high oil prices and the lifting of COVID-19 containment measures. External reserves have started to build up, though still short of the desired level, owing in part to costly untargeted energy and food subsidies. Global inflation pressures have passed through to domestic prices, putting pressure on real incomes. Rebuilding buffers and sustaining a recovery that protects the most vulnerable will require stricter adherence to budget and reform plans consistent with Fund-supported programs and policy advice; this will ensure that part of the oil windfall is saved. Implementation of these policies in current favorable conditions is critical to strengthening resilience in the face of rising risks, including most notably to food security, debt vulnerabilities, and tightening of global financial conditions.
CEMAC ended 2021 in a fragile external position, with gross reserves at only 2.7 months of prospective imports and net foreign assets (NFA) at their lowest level in decades, despite the availability of Fund financing, the SDR allocation, and monetary policy tightening. The terms of trade shock this year is expected to be broadly positive for CEMAC. This more favorable outlook is, however, subject to heightened external uncertainties associated with the fallout from the war in Ukraine (notably global inflation pressure, global growth uncertainties, and high oil price volatility), faster-than-anticipated global financial tightening, possible emergence of new COVID strains and risks from cryptoassets. Current high oil prices, if sustained, will help rebuild fiscal and external buffers, provided fiscal policies remain prudent. Shielding vulnerable populations from soaring energy and food prices adds to the complexity of navigating this uncertain environment, given CEMAC’s already limited policy options.