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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Prior to the onset of the pandemic, The Gambia had shown strong macroeconomic performance in the few years following the remarkable political transition in 2016-17. Economic growth accelerated, debt vulnerabilities decreased, external stability strengthened, structural and legislative reforms advanced, and key social indicators improved. However, the COVID-19 pandemic halted some of the hard-won progress, stagnating economic activity and re-igniting extreme poverty. The Gambia experienced a third wave of the pandemic in mid-2021, which has receded recently. The COVID-19 vaccination rate currently stands at about 12 percent of the adult population. Presidential and parliamentary elections are planned for December 2021 and April 2022, respectively.
Mr. Amine Mati, Ms. Monique Newiak, and James Wilson
This paper focuses on identifying potential asymmetric responses of non-commodity output growth in times of positive and negative commodity terms-of-trade shocks. Using a sample of 27 oil-exporting countries and a panel VAR method, the study finds: 1) the short-and medium-run response of real non-commodity GDP growth is larger for negative shocks than positive shocks; 2) this asymmetry is more pronounced in countries with weak pre-existing fundamentals–high levels of public debt and low levels of international reserves–which also serve to amplify the volatility of the response; 3) the output response to positive shocks is stronger following a sustained period of CTOT increases, while the impact of negative shocks on output are more damaging when they occur after a period of CTOT decline.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on C.A.R.’s economy but appears now somewhat contained. The number of positive cases and related deaths has been very limited over the last few months, even though most containment measures have been progressively loosened. Despite some progress since the February 2019 peace agreement, the security situation remains precarious. Despite some delays in voter registration, the first round of the presidential and general elections is still scheduled on December 27.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on C.A.R.’s economy but appears now somewhat contained. The number of positive cases and related deaths has been very limited over the last few months, even though most containment measures have been progressively loosened. Despite some progress since the February 2019 peace agreement, the security situation remains precarious. Despite some delays in voter registration, the first round of the presidential and general elections is still scheduled on December 27.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses Grenada’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. IMF financing support provides resources to the countries’ authorities for essential health-related expenditures and income support to ease the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 on the population. The countries’ governments have responded to the pandemic by swiftly implementing containment measures, allocating scarce budgetary resources to critical health care spending, and introducing income support to the most affected sectors and households. Protection of the financial system will help cushion the economic impact of the pandemic. Measures have also been taken by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to facilitate the provision of credit and safeguard financial stability. Going forward, and once the current crisis dissipates, the authorities intend to push ahead with a comprehensive Disaster Resilience Strategy aimed at building resilience to natural disasters. They are also committed to further strengthening financial sector oversight to safeguard macro-financial stability.
Dong Frank Wu and Mr. Friedrich Schneider
This paper is the first attempt to directly explore the long-run nonlinear relationship between the shadow economy and level of development. Using a dataset of 158 countries over the period from 1996 to 2015, our results reveal a robust U-shaped relationship between the shadow economy size and GDP per capita. Our results imply that the shadow economy tends to increase when economic development surpasses a given threshold or at least does not disappear. Our findings suggest that special attention should be given to the country’s level of development when designing policies to tackle issues related to the shadow economy.