Front Matter

Front Matter

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
January 1999
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©1998 International Monetary Fund

World economic outlook (International Monetary Fund)

World economic outlook: a survey by the staff of the International Monetary Fund.—1980-—Washington, D.C.: The Fund, 1980-

v.; 28 cm.—(1981–84: Occasional paper/International Monetary Fund ISSN 0251-6365)


Has occasional updates, 1984-

ISSN 0258-7440 = World economic and financial surveys

ISSN 0256-6877 = World economic outlook (Washington)

1. Economic history—1971- —Periodicals. I. International

Monetary Fund. II. Series: Occasional paper (International Monetary Fund)

HC10.W7979 84-640155



Library of Congress 8507

Published biannually.

ISBN 9781557757937

The cover, charts, and interior of this publication were designed and produced by the IMF Graphics Section

Price: US$36.00

(US$25.00 to full-time faculty members and students at universities and colleges)

Please send orders to:

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recycled paper


Assumptions and Conventions

A number of assumptions have been adopted for the projections presented in the World Economic Outlook. It has been assumed that real effective exchange rates will remain constant at their average levels during October 19–November 4, 1998 except for the bilateral rates among the European exchange rate mechanism (ERM) currencies, which are assumed to remain constant in nominal terms; that established policies of national authorities will be maintained; that the average price of oil will be $13.39 a barrel in 1998 and $14.51 a barrel in 1999, and remain unchanged in real terms over the medium term; and that the six-month London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) on U.S. dollar deposits will average 5.5 percent in 1998 and 5 percent in 1999. 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 in mid-December 1998.

The following conventions have been used throughout the World Economic Outlook:

  • … to indicate that data are not available or not applicable;

  • — to indicate that the figure is zero or negligible;

  • – between years or months (for example, 1997–98 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;

  • / between years or months (for example, 1997/98) to indicate a fiscal or financial year.

“Billion” means a thousand million; “trillion” means a thousand billion.

“Basis points” refer to hundredths of 1 percentage point (for example, 25 basis points are equivalent to ¼ of 1 percentage point).

In figures and tables, shaded areas indicate IMF staff projections.

Minor discrepancies between sums of constituent figures and totals shown are due to rounding.

As used in this report, the term “country” does 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.


Inquiries about the content of the World Economic Outlook, including questions relating to the World Economic Outlook database and requests for additional data, should be sent by mail, electronic mail, or telefax (telephone inquiries cannot be accepted) to:

World Economic Studies Division

Research Department

International Monetary Fund

700 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20431, U.S.A.

E-mail: Telefax: (202) 623-6343


This interim update of the IMF’s latest regular reports on the World Economic Outlook (published in October 1998) and International Capital Markets (September 1998) provides a preliminary assessment of the unusual turbulence in international financial markets during much of the period August-November 1998, and its implications for the global economic outlook and for policy.

The analysis and projections contained in this report are integral elements of the IMF’s surveillance of economic developments and policies in its member countries, developments in international financial markets, and 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 together with the Policy Development and Review Department and the Fiscal Affairs Department. For its evaluation of developments in financial markets, the report also draws, in part, on informal discussions with commercial and investment banks, securities firms, stock and futures exchanges, and regulatory and monetary authorities.

The analysis in this report has been coordinated in the Research Department under the general direction of Michael Mussa, Economic Counsellor and Director of Research. The project has been directed by Flemming Larsen, Deputy Director of the Research Department, together with Charles Adams, Assistant Director for Capital Market Studies, Graham Hacche, Assistant Director for the World Economic Studies Division, Donald J. Mathieson, Chief of the Emerging Market Studies Division, and Garry J. Schinasi, Chief of the Capital Markets and Financial Studies Division.

Primary contributors to this report also include John H. Green, Andrew Tweedie, Mark De Broeck, Charles Kramer, Jorge Roldos, Ranil Salgado, and Harm Zebregs. Other contributors include Peter Breuer, Burkhard Drees, Subir Lall, Douglas Laxton, Joaquim Levy, Sandy MacKenzie, Alessandro Prati, Anthony Richards, and Cathy Wright. The Fiscal Analysis Division of the Fiscal Affairs Department computed the structural budget and fiscal impulse measures. Gretchen Gallik, Mandy Hemmati, Yutong Li, Advin Pagtakhan, Subramanian Sriram, Peter Tran, and Kenneth Wood provided research assistance. Allen Cobler, Nicholas Dopuch, Isabella Dymarskaia, Yasoma Liyanarachchi, Olga Plagie, and Irim Siddiqui processed the data and managed the computer systems. Susan Duff, Caroline Bagworth, Sheila Kinsella, Rosalind Oliver, Lisa Marie Scott-Hill, Ramanjeet Singh, and Adriana Vohden were responsible for word processing. James McEuen of the External Relations Department edited the manuscript and coordinated production of the publication.

The analysis has benefited from comments and suggestions by staff from other IMF departments, as well as by Executive Directors following their discussion of the report on December 16, 1998. 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.

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