Covid-19 has exacerbated economic and social vulnerabilities across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). There is a risk that growth could be lower for longer, with a setback to development. Post-pandemic reforms thus become even more important, especially with constrained scope for fiscal and monetary stimuli. Reforms could boost per capita growth by an additional 0.3-1.3 percentage points, relative to the 1.9 percent average since 2010. Such growth would reduce per capita income doubling time from 37 years to about 22 years. Low-income countries stand to gain the most from reforms. The largest gains come from governance, products markets, and factor accumulation. Importantly, these reforms can be implemented in the post-pandemic environment characterized by weaker social and distributional outcomes.
The COVID-19 crisis induced an unprecedented launch of unconventional monetary policy through asset purchase programs (APPs) by emerging market and developing economies. This paper presents a new dataset of APP announcements and implementation from March until August 2020 for 27 emerging markets and 8 small advanced economies. APPs’ effects on bond yields, exchange rates, equities, and debt spreads are estimated using different methodologies. The results confirm that APPs were successful in significantly reducing bond yields in EMDEs, and these effects were stronger than those of policy rate cuts, suggesting that such UMP could be important tools for EMDEs during financial market stress.
Mr. Ali M. Mansoor, Salifou Issoufou, and Mr. Daouda Sembene
Economic transformation and diversification require solutions that take account of the political economy of reform. This book explores the process of economic transformation, using Senegal as an example. Sound macroeconomic and fiscal policies are prerequisites for achieving this kind of transformation, but these policies need to include the appropriate industrial policies and good economic governance, which provide incentives to help small- and medium-sized enterprises emerge from the informal sector and for foreign direct investment to use the country as a platform for globally competitive production. In many low-income countries extensive rent seeking and patronage have generated stability at the expense of inclusive growth and held back development. Although policymakers know what is needed to address these problems and achieve economic transformation and diversification, how to do it remains a challenge. This book shows how the political economy of reform may be navigated to achieve transformation. For example, the use of special economic zones may solve the problem if good global governance is emphasized, along with linking the zones to the global economy.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation discusses that Mauritius is pursuing an ambitious strategy to foster inclusive growth and reach the high-income country milestone. Several structural challenges, notably, a shortage of suitably skilled workers, an aging population, and declining productivity and cost competitiveness confront Mauritius in meeting these goals. The discussions focused on preserving fiscal sustainability, regaining external competitiveness, and maintaining financial integrity and stability. Several steps have been undertaken to boost skill development, improve the business climate, and build innovation capacity. On the expenditure side, economic activity is expected to be spurred in the near term by public spending on infrastructure projects and sustained in the medium term as those projects and productivity-enhancing reforms improve private-sector competitiveness. It is recommended to pursue fiscal consolidation from the forthcoming budget FY2019/20 to build fiscal credibility and set public debt firmly on a declining path into the medium term.