Middle East and Central Asia > Kazakhstan, Republic of

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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

This issue discusses economic developments in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP), which continue to reflect the diversity of conditions prevailing across the region. Most high-income oil exporters, primarily in the GCC, continue to record steady growth and solid economic and financial fundamentals, albeit with medium-term challenges that need to be addressed. In contrast, other countries—Iraq, Libya, and Syria—are mired in conflicts with not only humanitarian but also economic consequences. And yet other countries, mostly oil importers, are making continued but uneven progress in advancing their economic agendas, often in tandem with political transitions and amidst difficult social conditions. In most of these countries, without extensive economic and structural reforms, economic prospects for the medium term remain insufficient to reduce high unemployment and improve living standards.

Jaime Espinosa-Bowen, Mr. Nadeem Ilahi, and Fahad Alturki
We test the extent to which growth in the 11 CIS countries (excluding Russia) was associated with developments in Russia, overall, as well as through the trade, financial and remittance channels over the last decade or so. The results point to the continued existence of economic links between the CIS countries and Russia, though these links may have altered since the 1998 crisis. Russia appears to influence regional growth mainly through the remittance channel and somewhat less so through the financial channel. There is a shrinking role of the trade (exports to Russia) channel. Russian growth shocks are associated with sizable effects on Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and, to some extent, Georgia.
Mr. Rudolfs Bems and Mr. Irineu E de Carvalho Filho
Exporters of exhaustible resources have historically exhibited higher income volatility than other economies, suggesting a heightened role for precautionary savings. This paper uses a parameterized small open economy model to quantify the role of precautionary savings in economies with exhaustible resources, when the only source of uncertainty is the price of the exhaustible resource. Results show that the precautionary motive can generate sizable external sector savings. When aggregated over the sample countries, precautionary savings in 2006 add up to 3.2 percent of GDP. The quantitative importance of the precautionary motive varies considerably across the sample countries and is driven primarily by the weight of exhaustible resource revenues in future income. The parameterized model fares well at capturing current account balances in both cross-section and time-series data.
Mrs. Hanan Morsy
The paper aims at characterizing the main determinants of the medium-term current account balance for oil-exporting countries using dynamic panel estimation techniques. Previous studies included a very limited number of oil-exporting countries in their samples, raising concerns about the applicability of the estimated coefficients for oil countries. Furthermore, current approaches are not specifically tailored to oil-producing countries because they fail to capture the effects of oil wealth and the degree of maturity in oil production. This paper explores the underlying determinants of the current account balance for a large sample of oilexporting countries, and extends the specifications commonly used in the literature to include an oil wealth variable, as well as a proxy for the degree of maturity in oil production. The paper therefore contributes to the existing literature both in terms of the sample studied as well as the variables considered. The results reveal that factors that matter in determining the equilibrium current account balance of oil-exporting counties are the fiscal balance, the oil balance, oil wealth, age dependency, and the degree of maturity in oil production.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

The Middle East and Central Asia is undergoing a remarkable transformation driven by rapid GDP growth and high oil and non-oil commodity prices. The report presents common economic trends and reviews prospects and policies for the coming year in light of the global economic environment. This latest REO includes boxes treating both regional topics--such as growth in the Maghreb countries; developments in the oil markets; the boom in the GCC countries, and the impact of the recent global credit squeeze on the region--and country-specific reviews, of Kazakhstan, Armenia, Egypt, Pakistan, and the UAE.

International Monetary Fund
This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that Kazakhstan’s economy continues to expand rapidly, with average real growth of more than 10 percent over the past three years, and an estimated 9.1 percent in the first quarter of 2004. Economic growth has been driven by increasing oil production, supported by high oil prices and rising foreign investments. Structural reforms are well advanced compared with other countries in the region, but the implementation of the reform agenda has slowed somewhat since 2000.
International Monetary Fund
This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) data module provides a review of Kazakhstan’s data dissemination practices against the IMF’s General Data Dissemination System. The quality of Kazakhstan’s macroeconomic statistics has improved significantly in the last few years. The authorities have established a good track record of implementing recommendations of past technical assistance missions in the area of statistics, and have demonstrated commitment to pursue plans and programs to further improve their statistics.
Mr. Luis Valdivieso

Abstract

This paper discusses the significant overall progress with macro stabilization of these transition countries during 1992-1997. While average inflation declined steadily since 1992, output fell significantly for many of these countries during this period, and it was not unti 1996-97 that as a group they experienced positive growth, financial policies, the current account, competitiveness, debt-and non-debt-creating capital flows, and the initial impact of the Asian crisis.