This paper examines macroeconomic developments and prospects in low-income developing countries (LIDCs) against the back-drop of a sharp fall in international commodity prices. The focus here—by contrast with IMF (2014a)—is on recent developments and the near-term outlook, recognizing that the new price environment is likely to remain in place for several years to come. The paper also includes a section examining the experience of LIDCs with capital inflows over the past decade.
This Selected Issues paper presents an analysis of change in Zambia’s mining fiscal regime. Foreign investment has revived Zambia’s mining sector. However, its mining sector’s direct contribution to government revenues has been low. Reflecting persistent concerns about the low contribution of the mining sector to budget revenues, the government has amended the fiscal regime many times over the last seven years. The 2015 budget introduced major changes to the mining fiscal regime. The authorities estimate that the change would boost budget revenues from the mining sector by about 1 percent of GDP, based on an assumption that the change would have no adverse impact on production.
Mr. Trevor Serge Coleridge Alleyne and Mr. Mumtaz Hussain
The reform of energy subsidies is an important but challenging issue for sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. There is a relatively large theoretical and empirical literature on this issue. While this paper relies on that literature, too, it tailors its discussion to SSA countries to respond to the following questions: Why it is important to reduce energy subsidies? What are the difficulties involved in energy subsidy reform? How best can a subsidy reform be implemented? This paper uses various sources of information on SSA countries: quantitative assessments, surveys, and individual (but standardized) case studies.
Mr. Rabah Arezki, Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, Mr. Marc G Quintyn, and Min Zhu
In the years following the global financial crisis, many low-income countries experienced rapid recovery and strong economic growth. However, many are now facing enormous difficulties because of rapidly rising food and fuel prices, with the threat of millions of people being pushed into poverty around the globe. The risk of continued food price volatility is a systemic challenge, and a failure in one country has been shown to have a profound impact on entire regions. This volume addresses the challenges of commodity price volatility for low-income countries and explores some macroeconomic policy options for responding to commodity price shocks. The book then looks at inclusive growth policies to address inequality in commodity-exporting countries, particularly natural resource rich countries. Perspectives from the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, emerging Asia, and Mexico are presented and, finally, the role of the international donor community is examined. This volume is a must read for policymakers everywhere, from those in advanced, donor countries to those in countries with the poorest and most vulnerable populations.
This paper presents the Poverty Reduction Strategy Implementation Progress Report for Côte d’Ivoire. Since the end of the crisis in April 2011, Côte d'Ivoire has gradually recovered economic activity and social cohesion, as reflected in the reopening of banks, schools and health centers, markets, and industrial enterprises. Financing of the poverty reduction strategy is provided largely through budget resources and assistance from the government's technical and financial partners (TFP). Assistance from the TFP may also take the form of project grants or program grants.
The report gives the details of the Ghanaian authorities’ request for modification of the performance criterion under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF)-supported program. The proposed loan involves borrowing at nonconcessional terms. The authorities’ request is with the intention to consider modification of the limit on external borrowing at nonconcessional terms in the context of the combined first and second reviews to accommodate new high-return projects, in line with the new IMF policy on debt limits.
Mohamed El Harrak, Mr. Antonio David, Ms. Lorraine Ocampos, and Marshall Mills
This paper addresses a number of issues regarding petroleum product pricing in Western Africaemphasizing international spillovers. We use panel unit root rests and long-run modeling based on vector error correction models to assess links and convergence in petroleum product prices across countries. Our results indicate that in general over the long-run there is convergence in prices across the countries. The estimation results for gasoline and diesel prices suggest the presence of long-run links between retail prices among the different country groupings with long-run multipliers ranging from 11 to -6.66. The speed of Adjustment to equilibrium varies significantly according to the countrygroupings considered. In contrast, the econometric results for kerosene prices not only indicate a weaker link between prices across countries, but also a much slower adjustment to equilibrium. Inlight of these important spillovers, the need to better coordinate pricing s and tax policies towards petroleum products at the regional level becomes apparent.
Ms. Olessia Korbut, Mr. Gonzalo Salinas, and Cheikh A. Gueye
Economic stagnation in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has led several economists to question the region’s ability to attain sustained economic growth, some of them arguing for the need to shift away from natural resource - based exports. Yet, we find that low growth has not been common to all SSA countries and that those that achieved political stability and significantly liberalized their economies experienced high growth in income per capita, as high as ASEAN-5 countries. This group of SSA countries attained high growth while maintaining their specialization in natural resource exports. Our analysis also rejects the hypothesis of reverse causality: that good growth performance allowed countries to attain political stability or liberalize their economies.