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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Selected Issues
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses a growth-at-risk (GaR) model which is used to compute a distribution of expected GDP growth for Benin. The model predicts growth rates of ~6.7 percent for 2019 and a range of 6.4–6.8 percent in the medium-term (depending on the specification). Risks to future growth are assessed to be tilted to the downside. 2019 GDP growth is estimated around 6.7 percent, on average, across several specifications. The model considers external factors (world trade, global financial conditions, trade policy uncertainty, and US consumer sentiment), country-specific exposures to external factors (commodity terms of trade and trade-partner growth), and domestic factors (domestic financial conditions, fiscal policy, and the exchange rate). The analysis reveals that growth projections estimated both for the median and mode are slightly higher conditioned on 2018 data, yet when expectations about 2019 are considered using World Economic Outlook projections they fall. Overall, risks seem to be tilted to the downside. Medium term growth is estimated at between 6.4 and 6.8 percent. Risks to growth remain tilted to the downside, yet less skewed than in the short term.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The region is seeing a modest growth uptick, but this is not uniform and the medium-term outlook remains subdued. Growth is projected to rise to 3.4 percent in 2018, from 2.8 percent in 2017, on the back of improved global growth, higher commodity prices, and continued strong public spending. About ¾ of the countries in the region are predicted to experience faster growth. Beyond 2018, growth is expected to plateau below 4 percent, modestly above population growth, reflecting continued sluggishness in the oil-exporting countries and sustained growth in non-resource-intensive countries. A number of countries (Burundi, DRC, South Sudan, and parts of the Sahel) remain locked in internal conflict resulting in record levels of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, with adverse spillovers to neighboring countries.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The region is seeing a modest growth uptick, but this is not uniform and the medium-term outlook remains subdued. Growth is projected to rise to 3? percent in 2018, from 2? percent in 2017, on the back of improved global growth, higher commodity prices, and continued strong public spending. About ¾ of the countries in the region are predicted to experience faster growth. Beyond 2018, growth is expected to plateau below 4 percent, modestly above population growth, reflecting continued sluggishness in the oil-exporting countries and sustained growth in non-resource-intensive countries. A number of countries (Burundi, DRC, South Sudan, and parts of the Sahel) remain locked in internal conflict resulting in record levels of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, with adverse spillovers to neighboring countries.

Daniel Gurara, Mr. Vladimir Klyuev, Miss Nkunde Mwase, Mr. Andrea F Presbitero, and Mr. Geoffrey J Bannister
This paper examines trends in infrastructure investment and its financing in low-income developing countries (LIDCs). Following an acceleration of public investment over the last 15 years, the stock of infrastructure assets increased in LIDCs, even though large gaps remain compared to emerging markets. Infrastructure in LIDCs is largely provided by the public sector; private participation is mostly channeled through Public-Private Partnerships. Grants and concessional loans are an essential source of infrastructure funding in LIDCs, while the complementary role of bank lending is still limited to a few countries. Bridging infrastructure gaps would require a broad set of actions to improve the efficiency of public spending, mobilize domestic resources and support from development partners, and crowd in the private sector.
International Monetary Fund
This paper is the third in a series assessing macroeconomic developments and prospects in low-income developing countries (LIDCs). The first of these papers (IMF, 2014a) examined trends during 2000–2014, a period of sustained strong growth across most LIDCs. The second paper (IMF, 2015a) focused on the impact of the drop in global commodity prices since mid-2014 on LIDCs—a story with losers (countries dependent on commodity exports, notably fuel) and winners (countries with a more diverse export base, where growth remained robust). The overarching theme in this paper’s assessment of the macroeconomic conjuncture among LIDCs is that of incomplete adjustment to the new world of “lower for long” commodity prices, with many commodity exporters still far from a sustainable macroeconomic trajectory (Chapter 1). The analysis of risks and vulnerabilities focuses on financial sector stresses and medium-term fiscal risks, pointing to the actions, including capacity building, needed to manage and contain these challenges over time (Chapter 2). With 2016 the first year of the march towards the 2030 development goals, the paper also looks at how infrastructure investment can be accelerated in LIDCs, given that weaknesses in public infrastructure (such as energy, transportation systems) in LIDCs are widely seen as a key constraint on medium-term growth potential (Chapter 3). With the sharp adjustment in commodity prices now into its third year, some of the key messages of the paper are familiar: a) many commodity exporters, notably fuel producers, remain under significant economic stress, with sluggish growth, large fiscal imbalances, and weakened foreign reserve positions; b) countries with a more diversified export base are generally doing well, although several have been hit by declines in remittances, conflict/natural disasters, and the contractionary impact of macroeconomic stabilization programs; c) widening fiscal imbalances, in both commodity and diversified exporters, have resulted in rising debt levels, with severe financing stress emerging in some cases; and d) financial sector stresses have emerged in many LIDCs, with expectations that these strains will increase in many commodity exporters over the next 12–18 months. Key messages on financial sector oversight, on medium-term fiscal risks, and on tackling infrastructure gaps are flagged below. Read Executive Summary in: Arabic; Chinese; French; Spanish
Matteo Ghilardi and Mr. Sergio Sola
This paper studies the fiscal implications for the Beninese economy of scaling up of public investment when the government is subject to inefficiencies on the spending and on the tax collection side. While scaling up of public investments results in higher long-run output and consumption levels, a fiscal stabilization package is required in order to preserve fiscal sustainability. A welfare analysis shows that consumers’ welfare is increased when the government smoothes the fiscal adjustment via higher borrowing. Moreover, the comparison between several stabilization packages highlights the fact that higher welfare is achieved when the government relies mostly on taxation of capital as this allows higher levels of consumption to materialize earlier. Lower fiscal costs can however be achieved if the government manages to reduce inefficiency in tax collection. Finally, we consider a change in the trade regime that causes a decline in revenues. We find that the higher fiscal burden required to preserve fiscal sustainability would completely wipe out the welfare gain of higher public investments.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

La croissance économique de l’Afrique subsaharienne devrait rester vigoureuse, grâce à l’investissement dans les infrastructures et à une abondante production agricole. En Guinée, au Libéria et en Sierra Leone, l’épidémie de fièvre Ébola a de lourdes conséquences, avec des répercussions dans les pays adjacents. Les risques externes pesant sur les perspectives globalement positives pour la région ont trait aux conditions financières mondiales et à un ralentissement de la croissance des pays émergents.