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International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

Global current account balances—the overall size of current account deficits and surpluses—continued to widen in 2021 to 3.5 percent of world GDP, and are expected to widen again this year. The IMF’s multilateral approach suggests that global excess balances narrowed to 0.9 percent of world GDP in 2021 compared with 1.2 percent of world GDP in 2020. The pandemic has continued to affect economies’ current account balances unevenly through the travel and transportation sectors as well as a shift from services to goods consumption. Commodity prices recovered from the COVID-19 shock and started rising in 2021 with opposite effects on the external position of exporters and importers, a trend that the war in Ukraine is exacerbating in 2022. The medium-term outlook for global current account balances is a gradual narrowing as the impact of the pandemic fades away, commodity prices normalize, and fiscal consolidation in current account deficit economies progresses. However, this outlook is highly uncertain and subject to several risks. Policies to promote external rebalancing differ with positions and needs of individual economies.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa surprised on the upside in the second half of 2021, prompting a significant upward revision in last year’s estimated growth. This year, however, that progress has been jeopardized. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered a global economic shock that is hitting the region at a time when countries’ policy space to respond to it is minimal to nonexistent. Most notably, surging oil and food prices are straining the external and fiscal balances of commodity-importing countries and have increased food security concerns in many countries. Moreover, the shock threatens to compound some of the region’s most pressing policy challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic’s social and economic legacy, climate change, heightened security risks in the Sahel, and the ongoing tightening of monetary policy in the United States.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa surprised on the upside in the second half of 2021, prompting a significant upward revision in last year’s estimated growth. This year, however, that progress has been jeopardized. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered a global economic shock that is hitting the region at a time when countries’ policy space to respond to it is minimal to nonexistent. Most notably, surging oil and food prices are straining the external and fiscal balances of commodity-importing countries and have increased food security concerns in many countries. Moreover, the shock threatens to compound some of the region’s most pressing policy challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic’s social and economic legacy, climate change, heightened security risks in the Sahel, and the ongoing tightening of monetary policy in the United States.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa surprised on the upside in the second half of 2021, prompting a significant upward revision in last year’s estimated growth. This year, however, that progress has been jeopardized. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered a global economic shock that is hitting the region at a time when countries’ policy space to respond to it is minimal to nonexistent. Most notably, surging oil and food prices are straining the external and fiscal balances of commodity-importing countries and have increased food security concerns in many countries. Moreover, the shock threatens to compound some of the region’s most pressing policy challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic’s social and economic legacy, climate change, heightened security risks in the Sahel, and the ongoing tightening of monetary policy in the United States.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa surprised on the upside in the second half of 2021, prompting a significant upward revision in last year’s estimated growth. This year, however, that progress has been jeopardized. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered a global economic shock that is hitting the region at a time when countries’ policy space to respond to it is minimal to nonexistent. Most notably, surging oil and food prices are straining the external and fiscal balances of commodity-importing countries and have increased food security concerns in many countries. Moreover, the shock threatens to compound some of the region’s most pressing policy challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic’s social and economic legacy, climate change, heightened security risks in the Sahel, and the ongoing tightening of monetary policy in the United States.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

The war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia are exacerbating the divergence in recovery prospects for the Middle East and Central Asia (ME&CA). Despite better-than-expected upside momentum in 2021, the economic environment in 2022 is defined by extraordinary headwinds and uncertainties, particularly for commodity importers, with higher and more volatile commodity prices, rising inflationary pressures, faster-than-expected monetary policy normalization in advanced economies, and a lingering pandemic. Prospects for oil exporters in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have improved, while countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) region face a particularly challenging outlook given their linkages to Russia and Ukraine. Downside risks dominate the outlook and include a prolonged war and further sanctions on Russia, tighter-than-expected global financial conditions, possible deanchoring of inflation expectations, a sharper slowdown in China, and new pandemic outbreaks. Policymaking has become increasingly complex, with dwindling macro policy space to deal with these extraordinary shocks, amid high debt and inflation. Given divergent outlooks, policies will need to be calibrated carefully to country circumstances to manage uncertainties, maintain macroeconomic stability, and support the recovery while protecting the most vulnerable and ensuring food and energy security. Structural reforms have become even more urgent to prevent scarring from the pandemic and the war, and ensure a private sector-led and inclusive recovery, including by embracing digitalization and investing in a greener future.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

The war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia are exacerbating the divergence in recovery prospects for the Middle East and Central Asia (ME&CA). Despite better-than-expected upside momentum in 2021, the economic environment in 2022 is defined by extraordinary headwinds and uncertainties, particularly for commodity importers, with higher and more volatile commodity prices, rising inflationary pressures, faster-than-expected monetary policy normalization in advanced economies, and a lingering pandemic. Prospects for oil exporters in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have improved, while countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) region face a particularly challenging outlook given their linkages to Russia and Ukraine. Downside risks dominate the outlook and include a prolonged war and further sanctions on Russia, tighter-than-expected global financial conditions, possible deanchoring of inflation expectations, a sharper slowdown in China, and new pandemic outbreaks. Policymaking has become increasingly complex, with dwindling macro policy space to deal with these extraordinary shocks, amid high debt and inflation. Given divergent outlooks, policies will need to be calibrated carefully to country circumstances to manage uncertainties, maintain macroeconomic stability, and support the recovery while protecting the most vulnerable and ensuring food and energy security. Structural reforms have become even more urgent to prevent scarring from the pandemic and the war, and ensure a private sector-led and inclusive recovery, including by embracing digitalization and investing in a greener future.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

The war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia are exacerbating the divergence in recovery prospects for the Middle East and Central Asia (ME&CA). Despite better-than-expected upside momentum in 2021, the economic environment in 2022 is defined by extraordinary headwinds and uncertainties, particularly for commodity importers, with higher and more volatile commodity prices, rising inflationary pressures, faster-than-expected monetary policy normalization in advanced economies, and a lingering pandemic. Prospects for oil exporters in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have improved, while countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) region face a particularly challenging outlook given their linkages to Russia and Ukraine. Downside risks dominate the outlook and include a prolonged war and further sanctions on Russia, tighter-than-expected global financial conditions, possible deanchoring of inflation expectations, a sharper slowdown in China, and new pandemic outbreaks. Policymaking has become increasingly complex, with dwindling macro policy space to deal with these extraordinary shocks, amid high debt and inflation. Given divergent outlooks, policies will need to be calibrated carefully to country circumstances to manage uncertainties, maintain macroeconomic stability, and support the recovery while protecting the most vulnerable and ensuring food and energy security. Structural reforms have become even more urgent to prevent scarring from the pandemic and the war, and ensure a private sector-led and inclusive recovery, including by embracing digitalization and investing in a greener future.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

The war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia are exacerbating the divergence in recovery prospects for the Middle East and Central Asia (ME&CA). Despite better-than-expected upside momentum in 2021, the economic environment in 2022 is defined by extraordinary headwinds and uncertainties, particularly for commodity importers, with higher and more volatile commodity prices, rising inflationary pressures, faster-than-expected monetary policy normalization in advanced economies, and a lingering pandemic. Prospects for oil exporters in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have improved, while countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) region face a particularly challenging outlook given their linkages to Russia and Ukraine. Downside risks dominate the outlook and include a prolonged war and further sanctions on Russia, tighter-than-expected global financial conditions, possible deanchoring of inflation expectations, a sharper slowdown in China, and new pandemic outbreaks. Policymaking has become increasingly complex, with dwindling macro policy space to deal with these extraordinary shocks, amid high debt and inflation. Given divergent outlooks, policies will need to be calibrated carefully to country circumstances to manage uncertainties, maintain macroeconomic stability, and support the recovery while protecting the most vulnerable and ensuring food and energy security. Structural reforms have become even more urgent to prevent scarring from the pandemic and the war, and ensure a private sector-led and inclusive recovery, including by embracing digitalization and investing in a greener future.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

The war in Ukraine is casting a pall on Europe and its economy. Millions of innocent civilians have been displaced and thousands wounded or killed. For Europe’s economy, it has struck at a time when private consumption and investment are still below pre-pandemic trends, and the pandemic itself continues to weigh on activity. Large increases in commodity prices and continued supply-side disruptions are now pushing inflation to higher levels, cutting into household incomes and firm profits. New risks loom from escalating fighting and disruptions to critical energy flows. The main challenges for Europe’s policymakers are clear: caring for the refugees; helping vulnerable households and firms cope with higher spending on energy; beefing up energy security; and, together with social partners, ensuring that wage and price expectations remain well anchored.