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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Ghana highlights discussions focused on strengthening institutions and policies to preserve macroeconomic stability and promote inclusive growth, building on the authorities’ “Ghana beyond Aid” strategy. The government headline deficit is projected to reach 4.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2019, driven by lower-than-expected revenues, spending on flagship programs, and unexpected security outlays due to emerging security challenges in the region. Medium-term prospects are favorable, with robust growth driven mostly by the extractive sector. Election-related spending pressures in 2020 constitute the main risk to the baseline scenario. Fiscal risks in the financial and energy sectors could also impact the government deficit. Government borrowing needs are exposed to rollover risk that should be carefully managed as financing conditions could tighten. The commitment to the new fiscal rules is expected to help maintain fiscal discipline, as reflected in the unchanged policy baseline. A more ambitious fiscal stance is called for to reduce macroeconomic risks, accelerate debt reduction, and strengthen the external balance.
Uwe Böwer
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) play an important role in Emerging Europe’s economies, notably in the energy and transport sectors. Based on a new firm-level dataset, this paper reviews the SOE landscape, assesses SOE performance across countries and vis-à-vis private firms, and evaluates recent SOE governance reform experience in 11 Emerging European countries, as well as Sweden as a benchmark. Profitability and efficiency of resource allocation of SOEs lag those of private firms in most sectors, with substantial cross-country variation. Poor SOE performance raises three main risks: large and risky contingent liabilities could stretch public finances; sizeable state ownership of banks coupled with poor governance could threaten financial stability; and negative productivity spillovers could affect the economy at large. SOE governance frameworks are partly weak and should be strengthened along three lines: fleshing out a consistent ownership policy; giving teeth to financial oversight; and making SOE boards more professional.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper examines the implications of lower crude oil prices on Malaysia’s economy. Although Malaysia’s net oil exports are now very small as a share of GDP, its gas exports are sizeable. The paper provides some background on the structure of energy production and trade in Malaysia, and presents results from empirical analysis of the oil prices on Malaysia’s growth. It is concluded that the decline in prices is likely to have a net negative impact on growth, even though the recent decline in oil prices partially reflects supply considerations.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Article IV consultation with Senegal was completed by the Executive Board on December 10, 2012. In concluding the 2012 Article IV consultation, executive directors commended Senegal’s satisfactory program implementation despite the challenging internal and external environments. They stressed that although a moderate pickup in growth is expected in the near term, the economy remains exposed to substantial risks. Directors welcomed the authorities’ continued commitment to their program to ensure macroeconomic stability, strengthen the economy’s resilience to shocks, foster higher and sustainable growth, and reduce poverty. Directors noted that, while Senegal still faces a low risk of debt distress, high fiscal deficits and rising debt ratios need to be addressed.