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Mr. Boileau Loko, Nelie Nembot, and Mr. Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro
The paper reexamines the main private savings determinants in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), followed by an analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic impact on private savings in SSA and other country groupings. Using an unbalanced panel data from 1983−2021 for 31 SSA economies, the paper finds that real per capita economic growth remains a key historical determinant of private savings in the region. In contrast with other regions, private saving rates have not increased during COVID-19 in SSA. Instead, COVID-19 deaths in our estimations are significantly associated with a decline in private savings in SSA. Robustness checks and a descriptive analysis of household surveys during the pandemic corroborate those results.
Silvia Albrizio, Mr. John C Bluedorn, Mr. Christoffer Koch, Mr. Andrea Pescatori, and Martin Stuermer
We assess the supply-side effects on European Union (EU) economic activity if Russian gas imports were to suddenly cease. Unlike other studies, we account for the global scope of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. In the absence of frictions, an open-economy, multi-sector general equilibrium model suggests that the adverse economic impact on the EU shrinks five-fold if integration with the global LNG market is considered. While greater integration provides a buffer for the EU through trade, the flip side is that other LNG importers (such as Japan, South Korea, and Pakistan) see adverse effects from higher prices.
Oluremi Akin Olugbade, Gareth Anderson, Maria Atamanchuk, Iacovos Ioannou, Tannous Kass-Hanna, Wei Shi, and Joyce Wong
Oluremi Akin Olugbade, Gareth Anderson, Maria Atamanchuk, Iacovos Ioannou, Tannous Kass-Hanna, Wei Shi, and Joyce Wong
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region and those in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with swift and stringent measures to mitigate its spread and impact but continue to face an uncertain and difficult environment. Oil exporters were particularly hard hit by a “double-whammy” of the economic impact of lockdowns and the resulting sharp decline in oil demand and prices. Containing the health crisis, cushioning income losses, and expanding social spending remain immediate priorities. However, governments must also begin to lay the groundwork for recovery and rebuilding stronger, including by addressing legacies from the crisis and strengthening inclusion.

Marco A Espinosa-Vega, Ms. Kazuko Shirono, Mr. Hector Carcel Villanova, Miss Esha Chhabra, Ms. Bidisha Das, and Ms. Yingjie Fan
This departmental paper marks the 10th anniversary of the IMF Financial Access Survey (FAS). It offers a retrospective of the FAS database, along with some reflections as to its future directions. Since its 2009 launch, the FAS has provided granular data on access to and use of financial services. It is a supply-side database with annual global coverage based on data sourced directly from financial service providers—aimed at supporting policymakers to target and evaluate financial inclusion policies. Its data collection has kept pace with financial innovation, such as the rise of mobile money and growing demand for gender-disaggregated data—and the FAS must continue to evolve.