- International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
- Published Date:
- April 2015
World Economic and Financial Surveys
World Economic Outlook
Short- and Long-Term Factors
©2015 International Monetary Fund
Cover and Design: Luisa Menjivar and Jorge Salazar
Joint Bank-Fund Library
World economic outlook (International Monetary Fund)
World economic outlook : a survey by the staff of the International Monetary Fund. — Washington, DC : International Monetary Fund, 1980–
v. ; 28 cm. — (1981–1984: Occasional paper / International Monetary Fund, 0251-6365). — (1986– : World economic and financial surveys, 0256-6877)
Semiannual. Some issues also have thematic titles.
Has occasional updates, 1984–
ISSN (print) 0256-6877
ISSN (online) 1564-5215
1. Economic development — Periodicals. 2. Economic forecasting — Periodicals. 3. Economic policy — Periodicals. 4. International economic relations — Periodicals. I. International Monetary Fund. II. Series: Occasional paper (International Monetary Fund). III. Series: World economic and financial surveys.
ISBN 978-1-49837-8-000 (paper)
The World Economic Outlook (WEO) is a survey by the IMF staff published twice a year, in the spring and fall. The WEO is prepared by the IMF staff and has benefited from comments and suggestions by Executive Directors following their discussion of the report on April 3, 2015. The views expressed in this publication are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Directors or their national authorities.
Recommended citation: International Monetary Fund. 2015. World Economic Outlook: Uneven Growth—Short- and Long-Term Factors. Washington (April).
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- Assumptions and Conventions
- Further Information and Data
- Executive Summary
- Chapter 1. Recent Developments and Prospects
- Recent Developments and Prospects
- Special Feature: Commodity Market Developments and Forecasts, with a Focus on Investment in an Era of Low Oil Prices
- Scenario Box 1. The Global Impact of Lower Oil Prices
- Scenario Box 2. Global Implications of Exchange Rate Movements
- Box 1.1. The Oil Price Collapse: Demand or Supply?
- Box 1.2. Understanding the Role of Cyclical and Structural Factors in the Global Trade Slowdown
- Chapter 2. Country and Regional Perspectives
- The United States and Canada: A Solid Recovery
- Asia and Pacific: Moderating but Still Outperforming Other Regions
- Latin America and the Caribbean: Another Year of Subpar Growth
- Commonwealth of Independent States: Oil Price Slump Worsens Outlook
- The Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan: Oil, Conflicts, and Transitions
- Sub-Saharan Africa: Resilience in the Face of Headwinds
- Chapter 3. Where Are We Headed? Perspectives on Potential Output
- Potential Output: A Primer
- Looking Back: How Did Potential Growth Evolve before the Crisis?
- How Did Potential Growth Evolve during the Crisis?
- Where Are We Headed?
- Summary Findings and Policy Implications
- Annex 3.1. Data Sources and Country Groupings
- Annex 3.2. Multivariate Filter Methodology
- Annex 3.3. Estimating Trend Labor Force Participation Rates
- Annex 3.4. Potential Output in the Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis
- Annex 3.5. Human Capital Growth Projections
- Box 3.1. Steady As She Goes: Estimating Sustainable Output
- Box 3.2. U.S. Total Factor Productivity Spillovers
- Box 3.3. Total Factor Productivity Growth in Advanced Economies: A Look into Sectoral Patterns
- Box 3.4. The Effects of Financial Crises on Labor Productivity: The Role of Sectoral Reallocation
- Box 3.5. The Effects of Structural Reforms on Total Factor Productivity
- Chapter 4. Private Investment: What’s the Holdup?
- Is There a Global Slump in Private Investment?
- Is the Slump in Private Investment Due to Housing or Is It Broader?
- How Much of the Slump in Business Investment Reflects Weak Economic Activity?
- Which Firms Have Cut Back More on Investment? The Roles of Financial Constraints and Policy Uncertainty
- Have Firms’ Investment Decisions Become Disconnected from Profitability and Financial Market Valuations?
- Policy Implications
- Annex 4.1. Data Sources: Aggregate Data
- Annex 4.2. Data Sources: Basic Statistics—Firm-Level Data
- Annex 4.3. Instrumental Variables Estimation
- Annex 4.4. Local Projection Methods
- Annex 4.5. Accelerator Model Estimation Results
- Box 4.1. After the Boom: Private Investment in Emerging Market and Developing Economies
- Statistical Appendix
- What’s New
- Data and Conventions
- Classification of Countries
- General Features and Composition of Groups in the World Economic Outlook Classification
- Table A. Classification by World Economic Outlook Groups and Their Shares in Aggregate GDP, Exports of Goods and Services, and Population, 2014
- Table B. Advanced Economies by Subgroup
- Table C. European Union
- Table D. Emerging Market and Developing Economies by Region and Main Source of Export Earnings
- Table E. Emerging Market and Developing Economies by Region, Net External Position, and Status as Heavily Indebted Poor Countries and Low-Income Developing Countries
- Table F. Economies with Exceptional Reporting Periods
- Table G. Key Data Documentation
- Box A1. Economic Policy Assumptions Underlying the Projections for Selected Economies
- List of Tables
- World Economic Outlook, Selected Topics
- IMF Executive Board Discussion of the Outlook, April 2015
- Table 1.1. Overview of the World Economic Outlook Projections
- Table 2.1. Advanced Economies: Real GDP, Consumer Prices, Current Account Balance, and Unemployment
- Table 2.2. European Economies: Real GDP, Consumer Prices, Current Account Balance, and Unemployment
- Table 2.3. Asian and Pacific Economies: Real GDP, Consumer Prices, Current Account Balance, and Unemployment
- Table 2.4. Western Hemisphere Economies: Real GDP, Consumer Prices, Current Account Balance, and Unemployment
- Table 2.5. Commonwealth of Independent States Economies: Real GDP, Consumer Prices, Current Account Balance, and Unemployment
- Table 2.6. Middle East and North African Economies, Afghanistan, and Pakistan: Real GDP, Consumer Prices, Current Account Balance, and Unemployment
- Table 2.7. Sub-Saharan African Economies: Real GDP, Consumer Prices, Current Account Balance, and Unemployment
- Annex Table 3.1.1. Countries Included in the Analysis
- Annex Table 3.1.2. Data Sources
- Table 3.2.1. Properties of Adjusted Total Factor Productivity Compared with Solow Residual, Advanced Economies, 1970–2007
- Table 3.2.2. Transmission Channels
- Table 3.5.1. Impact of Product and Labor Market Frictions on Total Factor Productivity Growth
- Table 3.5.2. Impact of Information and Communications Technology, Human Capital, and Research and Development
- Table 4.1. Firm-Level Evidence: Financial Constraints Channel
- Table 4.2. Firm-Level Evidence: Policy Uncertainty Channel
- Table 4.3. Investment, Tobin’s Q, Profits, and Cash
- Annex Table 4.1.1. Data Sources
- Annex Table 4.2.1. Aggregate Firm-Level Investment versus National Investment
- Annex Table 4.3.1. Investment-Output Relationship: Instrumental Variables Estimation
- Annex Table 4.5.1. Baseline Accelerator Model
- Annex Table 4.5.2. Accelerator Model: In-Sample versus Out-of-Sample Estimates
- Annex Table 4.5.3. Selected Euro Area Economies: Baseline and Augmented Accelerator Model—Equalized Sample
- Table A1. Summary of World Output
- Table A2. Advanced Economies: Real GDP and Total Domestic Demand
- Table A3. Advanced Economies: Components of Real GDP
- Table A4. Emerging Market and Developing Economies: Real GDP
- Table A5. Summary of Inflation
- Table A6. Advanced Economies: Consumer Prices
- Table A7. Emerging Market and Developing Economies: Consumer Prices
- Table A8. Major Advanced Economies: General Government Fiscal Balances and Debt
- Table A9. Summary of World Trade Volumes and Prices
- Table A10. Summary of Current Account Balances
- Table A11. Advanced Economies: Balance on Current Account
- Table A12. Emerging Market and Developing Economies: Balance on Current Account
- Table A13. Summary of Financial Account Balances
- Table A14. Summary of Net Lending and Borrowing
- Table A15. Summary of World Medium-Term Baseline Scenario
- Online Tables
- Table B1. Advanced Economies: Unemployment, Employment, and Real GDP per Capita
- Table B2. Emerging Market and Developing Economies: Real GDP
- Table B3. Advanced Economies: Hourly Earnings, Productivity, and Unit Labor Costs in Manufacturing
- Table B4. Emerging Market and Developing Economies: Consumer Prices
- Table B5. Summary of Fiscal and Financial Indicators
- Table B6. Advanced Economies: General and Central Government Net Lending/Borrowing and Excluding Social Security Schemes
- Table B7. Advanced Economies: General Government Structural Balances
- Table B8. Emerging Market and Developing Economies: General Government Net Lending/Borrowing and Overall Fiscal Balance
- Table B9. Emerging Market and Developing Economies: General Government Net Lending/Borrowing
- Table B10. Advanced Economies: Exchange Rates
- Table B11. Emerging Market and Developing Economies: Broad Money Aggregates
- Table B12. Advanced Economies: Export Volumes, Import Volumes, and Terms of Trade in Goods and Services
- Table B13. Emerging Market and Developing Economies by Region: Total Trade in Goods
- Table B14. Emerging Market and Developing Economies by Source of Export Earnings: Total Trade in Goods
- Table B15. Summary of Current Account Transactions
- Table B16. Summary of External Debt and Debt Service
- Table B17. Emerging Market and Developing Economies by Region: External Debt by Maturity
- Table B18. Emerging Market and Developing Economies by Analytical Criteria: External Debt by Maturity
- Table B19. Emerging Market and Developing Economies: Ratio of External Debt to GDP
- Table B20. Emerging Market and Developing Economies: Debt-Service Ratios
- Table B21. Emerging Market and Developing Economies, Medium-Term Baseline Scenario: Selected Economic Indicators
- Figure 1.1. Global Activity Indicators
- Figure 1.2. Global Inflation
- Figure 1.3. Advanced Economies: Monetary Conditions
- Figure 1.4. Commodity and Oil Markets
- Figure 1.5. Financial Market Conditions in Advanced Economies
- Figure 1.6. Financial Market Conditions and Capital Flows in Emerging Market Economies
- Figure 1.7. Fiscal Policies
- Figure 1.8. Monetary Policies and Credit in Emerging Market Economies
- Figure 1.9. GDP Growth Forecasts
- Figure 1.10. External Sector
- Figure 1.11. Exchange Rates and Reserves
- Figure 1.12. Risks to the Global Outlook
- Figure 1.13. Recession and Deflation Risks
- Figure 1.14. Capacity, Unemployment, and Output Trends
- Figure 1.SF.1. Commodity Price Indices
- Figure 1.SF.2. Oil Supply Growth
- Figure 1.SF.3. Brent Futures Curves
- Figure 1.SF.4. Brent Price Prospects, March 17, 2015
- Figure 1.SF.5. United States: Weekly Rig Count
- Figure 1.SF.6. Global Oil Investment and Oil Price
- Figure 1.SF.7. Response of Oil Investment to Oil Prices
- Figure 1.SF.8. Response of Oil Production to Oil Investment
- Figure 1.SF.9. OPEC and Non-OPEC Oil Production and Investment
- Figure 1.SF.10. Conventional and Unconventional Oil Production and Investment
- Figure 1.SF.11. Evolution of Break-Even Prices
- Figure 1.SF.12. Oil Production and Operating Costs by Country
- Scenario Figure 1. Potential Impact of the Decline in Oil Prices since August 2014
- Scenario Figure 2. Impact of Exchange Rate Shifts since August 2014
- Figure 1.1.1. Drivers of Oil Prices: Daily Two-Variable Model, July 2014–January 2015
- Figure 1.1.2. Drivers of Oil Prices: Daily Two-Variable Model, 1986 and 2008
- Figure 1.1.3. Drivers of Oil Prices: Quarterly Four-Variable Model
- Figure 1.2.1. Growth in Real GDP and Volume of Imports
- Figure 1.2.2. Cumulative Import Volumes: Data, Model, and Linear Trend
- Figure 1.2.3. Long-Term Elasticity
- Figure 1.2.4. Long-Term Elasticities
- Figure 2.1. 2015 GDP Growth Forecasts and the Effects of an Oil Price Shock
- Figure 2.2. United States and Canada: A Solid Recovery
- Figure 2.3. Advanced Europe: Spillovers from a Stagnant Euro Area
- Figure 2.4. Emerging and Developing Europe: Slower Growth amid Weak External Demand
- Figure 2.5. Asia and Pacific: Moderating but Still Outperforming
- Figure 2.6. Latin America and the Caribbean: Persistent Weakness
- Figure 2.7. Commonwealth of Independent States: Coping with Geopolitical Risks and Lower Oil Prices
- Figure 2.8. Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan: Oil, Conflicts, and Transitions
- Figure 2.9. Sub-Saharan Africa: Resilience in the Face of Headwinds
- Figure 3.1. Output Compared to Precrisis Expectations
- Figure 3.2. WEO Medium-Term Growth Projections
- Figure 3.3. Precrisis Potential Output Growth Evolution
- Figure 3.4. Variation in Potential Output Growth across Countries
- Figure 3.5. Determinants of Potential Output Growth in Advanced Economies
- Figure 3.6. Determinants of Potential Output Growth in Emerging Market Economies
- Figure 3.7. Components of Potential Output Growth during the Global Financial Crisis in Advanced Economies
- Figure 3.8. Components of Potential Output Growth during the Global Financial Crisis in Emerging Market Economies
- Figure 3.9. Effect of Demographics on Employment Growth
- Figure 3.10. Investment-to-Capital Ratio
- Figure 3.11. Future Evolution of Potential Output Growth and Its Components
- Annex Figure 3.2.1. Potential Output Growth
- Annex Figure 3.3.1. Population Share Distributions by Age
- Annex Figure 3.4.1. Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis in Advanced Economies
- Annex Figure 3.4.2. Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis in Emerging Market Economies
- Annex Figure 3.5.1. Human Capital Growth Projections
- Figure 3.1.1. Output Gap in Selected Euro Area Economies: Multivariate Filter Augmented with Financial Variables versus That with Inflation Only
- Figure 3.1.2. Credit and Output Gaps Implied by the Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model
- Figure 3.2.1. U.S. Total Factor Productivity Spillovers to Other Advanced Economies
- Figure 3.3.1. Employment and Value Added, 1980–2007
- Figure 3.3.2. Selected Country Groups: Total Factor Productivity Growth in Goods and Services Sectors
- Figure 3.3.3. Information and Communications Technology Productivity Growth and Spillovers
- Figure 3.4.1. Response of Labor Productivity to Crises
- Figure 3.5.1. Short- and Medium-Term Impact of Structural Reforms on Total Factor Productivity Growth
- Figure 4.1. Real Private Investment
- Figure 4.2. Real Private Investment, 2008–14
- Figure 4.3. Categories of Real Fixed Investment
- Figure 4.4. Decomposition of the Investment Slump, 2008–14
- Figure 4.5. Shares and Relative Prices of Investment Categories
- Figure 4.6. Real Business Investment and Output Relative to Forecasts: Historical Recessions versus Global Financial Crisis
- Figure 4.7. Real Business Investment: Actual and Predicted Based on Economic Activity
- Figure 4.8. Accelerator Model: Real Business Investment
- Figure 4.9. Real Business Investment: Accelerator Model Residuals and Investment Losses Relative to Precrisis Forecasts, 2008–14
- Figure 4.10. Selected Euro Area Economies: Accelerator Model—Role of Financial Constraints and Policy Uncertainty
- Figure 4.11. Firm Survey Responses: Factors Limiting Production
- Figure 4.12. Firm Investment since the Crisis, by Firm Type
- Figure 4.13. Tobin’s Q and Real Business-Investment-to-Capital Ratios
- Figure 4.14. Investment: Actual and Predicted Based on Tobin’s Q
- Annex Figure 4.3.1. Actual versus Predicted Real Business Investment—Robustness
- Annex Figure 4.5.1. Accelerator Model: In Sample versus Out of Sample
- Annex Figure 4.5.2. Accelerator Model: Controlling for the User Cost of Capital
- Figure 4.1.1. Real Private Fixed Investment
- Figure 4.1.2. Private Investment and Output Forecast Errors: Historical versus Post-2011 Slowdown
- Figure 4.1.3. Contributors to the Private Investment Slowdown since 2011
Assumptions and Conventions
A number of assumptions have been adopted for the projections presented in the World Economic Outlook (WEO). It has been assumed that real effective exchange rates remained constant at their average levels during February 6–March 6, 2015, except for those for the currencies participating in the European exchange rate mechanism II (ERM II), which are assumed to have remained constant in nominal terms relative to the euro; that established policies of national authorities will be maintained (for specific assumptions about fiscal and monetary policies for selected economies, see Box A1 in the Statistical Appendix); that the average price of oil will be $58.14 a barrel in 2015 and $65.65 a barrel in 2016 and will remain unchanged in real terms over the medium term; that the six-month London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) on U.S. dollar deposits will average 0.7 percent in 2015 and 1.9 percent in 2016; that the three-month euro deposit rate will average 0.0 percent in 2015 and 2016; and that the six-month Japanese yen deposit rate will yield on average 0.1 percent in 2015 and 0.2 percent in 2016. These are, of course, working hypotheses rather than forecasts, and the uncertainties surrounding them add to the margin of error that would in any event be involved in the projections. The estimates and projections are based on statistical information available through April 3, 2015.
The following conventions are used throughout the WEO:
- . . . to indicate that data are not available or not applicable;
- – between years or months (for example, 2014–15 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;
- / between years or months (for example, 2014/15) to indicate a fiscal or financial year.
- “Billion” means a thousand million; “trillion” means a thousand billion.
“Basis points” refers to hundredths of 1 percentage point (for example, 25 basis points are equivalent to ¼ of 1 percentage point).
Data refer to calendar years, except in the case of a few countries that use fiscal years. Please refer to Table F in the Statistical Appendix, which lists the economies with exceptional reporting periods for national accounts and government finance data for each country.
For some countries, the figures for 2014 and earlier are based on estimates rather than actual outturns. Please refer to Table G in the Statistical Appendix, which lists the latest actual outturns for the indicators in the national accounts, prices, government finance, and balance of payments indicators for each country.
- On January 1, 2015, Lithuania became the 19th country to join the euro area. Data for Lithuania are not included in the euro area aggregates because Eurostat has not fully released the consolidated data for the group, but the data are included in the advanced economies and subgroups aggregated by the WEO.
- As in the October 2014 WEO, data for Syria are excluded from 2011 onward because of the uncertain political situation.
- As in the October 2014 WEO, the consumer price projections for Argentina are excluded because of a structural break in the data. Please refer to note 6 in Table A7 for further details.
- Because of the ongoing IMF program with Pakistan, the series from which nominal exchange rate assumptions are calculated are not made public—the nominal exchange rate is a market-sensitive issue in Pakistan.
- The series from which the nominal exchange rate assumptions are calculated are not made public for Egypt because the nominal exchange rate is a market-sensitive issue in Egypt.
- Starting with the April 2015 WEO, the classification for official external financing among emerging market and developing economies classified as net debtors has been eliminated because of a lack of available data.If no source is listed on tables and figures, data are drawn from the WEO database.When countries are not listed alphabetically, they are ordered on the basis of economic size.Minor discrepancies between sums of constituent figures and totals shown reflect rounding.
As used in this report, the terms “country” and “economy” do not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice. As used here, the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but for which statistical data are maintained on a separate and independent basis.
Composite data are provided for various groups of countries organized according to economic characteristics or region. Unless noted otherwise, country group composites represent calculations based on 90 percent or more of the weighted group data.
The boundaries, colors, denominations, and any other information shown on the maps do not imply, on the part of the International Monetary Fund, any judgment on the legal status of any territory or any endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries.
Further Information and Data
This version of the World Economic Outlook (WEO) is available in full through the IMF eLibrary (www.elibrary.imf.org) and the IMF website (www.imf.org). Accompanying the publication on the IMF website is a larger compilation of data from the WEO database than is included in the report itself, including files containing the series most frequently requested by readers. These files may be downloaded for use in a variety of software packages.
The data appearing in the World Economic Outlook are compiled by the IMF staff at the time of the WEO exercises. The historical data and projections are based on the information gathered by the IMF country desk officers in the context of their missions to IMF member countries and through their ongoing analysis of the evolving situation in each country. Historical data are updated on a continual basis as more information becomes available, and structural breaks in data are often adjusted to produce smooth series with the use of splicing and other techniques. IMF staff estimates continue to serve as proxies for historical series when complete information is unavailable. As a result, WEO data can differ from those in other sources with official data, including the IMF’s International Financial Statistics.
The WEO data and metadata provided are “as is” and “as available,” and every effort is made to ensure their timeliness, accuracy, and completeness, but it cannot be guaranteed. When errors are discovered, there is a concerted effort to correct them as appropriate and feasible. Corrections and revisions made after publication are incorporated into the electronic editions available from the IMF eLibrary (www.elibrary.imf.org) and on the IMF website (www.imf.org). All substantive changes are listed in detail in the online tables of contents.
For details on the terms and conditions for usage of the WEO database, please refer to the IMF Copyright and Usage website (www.imf.org/external/terms.htm).
Inquiries about the content of the World Economic Outlook and the WEO database should be sent by mail, fax, or online forum (telephone inquiries cannot be accepted):
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The analysis and projections contained in the World Economic Outlook are integral elements of the IMF’s surveillance of economic developments and policies in its member countries, of developments in international financial markets, and of the global economic system. The survey of prospects and policies is the product of a comprehensive interdepartmental review of world economic developments, which draws primarily on information the IMF staff gathers through its consultations with member countries. These consultations are carried out in particular by the IMF’s area departments—namely, the African Department, Asia and Pacific Department, European Department, Middle East and Central Asia Department, and Western Hemisphere Department—together with the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, the Monetary and Capital Markets Department, and the Fiscal Affairs Department.
The analysis in this report was coordinated in the Research Department under the general direction of Olivier Blanchard, Economic Counsellor and Director of Research. The project was directed by Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, Deputy Director, Research Department, and Thomas Helbling, Division Chief, Research Department.
The primary contributors to this report were Abdul Abiad, Aseel Almansour, Aqib Aslam, Samya Beidas-Strom, Patrick Blagrave, Oya Celasun, Mai Dao, Davide Furceri, Roberto Garcia-Saltos, Sinem Kilic Celik, Daniel Leigh, Seok Gil Park, Marco Terrones, Hui Tong, Juan Yépez Albornoz, and Fan Zhang.
Other contributors include Ali Alichi, Rabah Arezki, Angana Banerji, Sami Ben Naceur, Helge Berger, Emine Boz, Ernesto Crivelli, Era Dabla-Norris, Harald Finger, Roberto Guimarães-Filho, Amr Hosny, Benjamin Hunt, Minsuk Kim, Nicolas Magud, Akito Matsumoto, Andre Meier, Pritha Mitra, Mico Mrkaic, Bhaswar Mukhopadhyay, Carolina Osorio Buitron, Marco Pani, Pau Rabanal, Jesmin Rahman, Michele Ruta, Annika Schnücker, Sebastian Sosa, Ara Stepanyan, Shane Streifel, Marzie Taheri Sanjani, Natalia Tamirisa, Bruno Versailles, Kevin Wiseman, and Aleksandra Zdzienicka.
Gavin Asdorian, Joshua Bosshardt, Angela Espiritu, Rachel Fan, Mitko Grigorov, Hao Jiang, Yun Liu, Olivia Ma, Vanessa Diaz Montelongo, Rachel Szymanski, and Hong Yang provided research assistance. Mahnaz Hemmati, Toh Kuan, Emory Oakes, and Richard Watson provided technical support. Alimata Kini Kaboré and Anduriña Espinoza-Wasil were responsible for word processing. Michael Harrup from the Communications Department led the editorial team and managed the report’s production, with support from Linda Kean and Joe Procopio and editorial assistance from Cathy Gagnet, Lucy Scott Morales, Sherrie Brown, Gregg Forte, Linda Long, and EEI Communications.
The Core Data Management team from the IMF’s IT department and external consultant Pavel Pimenov provided additional technical support.
The analysis has benefited from comments and suggestions by staff members from other IMF departments, as well as by Executive Directors following their discussion of the report on April 3, 2015. However, both projections and policy considerations are those of the IMF staff and should not be attributed to Executive Directors or to their national authorities.