International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & and Review Department
This paper is the sixth in a series that examines macroeconomic developments and prospects in low-income countries (LICs). LICs are defined in this report as the countries eligible to PRGT facilities (69 countries). The first section of the paper discusses recent macroeconomic developments and trends across LICs. The second section estimates LICs’ financing needs up to 2025 to resume and accelerate their income convergence with advanced economies (AEs). It does this by estimating the additional financing that would enable LICs to step up spending response to COVID, including vaccination needs, while rebuilding or keeping external buffers to enhance resilience, and then the paper considers the financing needed to allow LICs to accelerate convergence with AEs. The paper then discusses a mix of financing options, including concessional financing from the international financial institutions, grants and loans from bilateral donors, private financing and debt operations, but also domestic reforms within LICs themselves as a key component to foster growth, enhance private investment, raise public revenues, and increase efficiency of spending.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Sudan, with the support of the international community, is seeking to implement an ambitious reform program to address major macroeconomic imbalances and support sustainable, inclusive growth. A new transitional government was established in the wake of the 2019 revolution with the mandate to carry out sweeping reforms to reverse decades of economic and social decline. The government is pursuing a transformational reform agenda focused on: (i) achieving internal peace based on inclusion, regional equity, and justice; (ii) stabilizing the economy and correcting the large macroeconomic imbalances; and (iii) providing a foundation for future rapid growth, development, and poverty reduction. The government has achieved important milestones, most prominently a peace agreement with almost all internal armed opposition groups in October 2020 to end 17 years of conflict. It has also agreed to ambitious reforms and policy adjustments in the context of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Monitored Program (SMP) that meets the Upper Credit Tranche (UCT) conditionality standard and an International Development Association (IDA) Development Policy Financing (DPF) operation. Furthermore, on December 14, 2020, Sudan was officially removed from the United States State Sponsors of Terrorism List (SSTL), ending almost three decades of international isolation. While positive changes are underway, political contestation over power sharing arrangements remains acute. It is critical for Sudan to take advantage of a still favourable political economy to tackle its macroeconomic imbalances and put itself on a sustainable development trajectory.
International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept. and International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper provides background for an initial discussion under the Fifteenth General Review of Quotas (15th Review) in line with the work plan agreed by the Executive Board. It discusses issues related to further reforms of the quota formula and realigning quota shares, based on updated quota data through 2015. A companion paper, to be discussed separately, will address issues related to the size of the Fund and mix of quota and borrowed resources. Both these papers seek to facilitate initial discussions on some of the key issues for the 15th Review. No proposals are made at this stage, recognizing that further deliberations will be needed before the issues under discussion can begin to be narrowed down.
International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper provides background for a further round of discussions on the Fifteenth General Review of Quotas (hereafter 15th Review). The paper builds on work presented in previous staff papers and Directors’ views expressed in three meetings of the Committee of the Whole in September 2017 and February 2018. No proposals are presented at this stage, pending further Board guidance on possible approaches to narrowing the current differences of views.
Covid-19 has exacerbated economic and social vulnerabilities across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). There is a risk that growth could be lower for longer, with a setback to development. Post-pandemic reforms thus become even more important, especially with constrained scope for fiscal and monetary stimuli. Reforms could boost per capita growth by an additional 0.3-1.3 percentage points, relative to the 1.9 percent average since 2010. Such growth would reduce per capita income doubling time from 37 years to about 22 years. Low-income countries stand to gain the most from reforms. The largest gains come from governance, products markets, and factor accumulation. Importantly, these reforms can be implemented in the post-pandemic environment characterized by weaker social and distributional outcomes.
Some central banks have maintained overvalued official exchange rates, while unable to ensure that supply of foreign exchange meets legitimate demand for current account transactions at that price. A parallel exchange rate market develops, in such circumstances; and when the spread between the official and parallel rates is both substantial and sustained, price levels in the economy typically reflect the parallel market exchange rate. “Recognizing reality” by allowing economic agents to use a market clearing rate benefits economic activity without necessarily leading to more inflation. But a unified, market-clearing exchange rate will not stabilize without a supportive fiscal and monetary context. A number of country case studies are included; my thanks to Jie Ren for pulling together all the data for the country case studies, and the production of the charts.
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) Statistics Department (STA) provided technical assistance (TA) on financial soundness indicators (FSI) to the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) during June 15-July 10, 2020. The TA mission took place in response to a request from the authorities, with the support of the IMF’s African Department (AFR). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, the mission was conducted remotely via video conferences. The mission worked with the staff of the NBE on the development of FSIs that are in line with the IMF’s 2019 FSI Guide.1 The main objectives of the mission were to: (i) review the source data, institutional coverage, and accounting and regulatory frameworks supporting the compilation of FSIs; (ii) provide guidance for mapping source data for the banking sector to the FSI reporting templates FS2 and FSD as well as preparing the metadata; and (iii) agree with the authorities on the timeline to begin regular reporting of the FSIs for deposit-takers to STA. The mission also provided technical assistance to the NBE on the compilation of net open positions in foreign currencies.
After five years of civil conflict, the warring parties came to a peace agreement in September 2018. Until the COVID-19 crisis broke out, improved political stability and an uptick in international oil prices led to significant progress, with a rebound in economic growth, a decline in inflation, and a stabilization of the exchange rate. The COVID-19 pandemic is severely disrupting South Sudan’s economy, leading to a sharp decline in projected growth (-3.6 percent in FY20/21, about 10 percentage points below the pre-pandemic baseline) and a contraction of oil export proceeds—the main source of exports and fiscal revenue—which has given rise to urgent balance of payments needs and opened a large fiscal financing gap.