Middle East and Central Asia > Yemen, Republic of

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International Monetary Fund
countries face similar challenges to create jobs and foster more inclusive growth. The current environment of likely durable low oil prices has exacerbated these challenges. The non-oil private sector remains relatively small and, consequently, has been only a limited source of growth and employment. Because oil is an exhaustible resource, new sectors need to be developed so they can take over as the oil and gas industry dwindles. Over-reliance on oil also exacerbates macroeconomic volatility. Greater economic diversification would unlock job-creating growth, increase resilience to oil price volatility and improve prospects for future generations. Macro-economic stability and supportive regulatory and institutional frameworks are key prerequisites for economic diversification...
International Monetary Fund
The Arab Countries in Transition (ACTs) have had diverging trajectories over the past year and face an uncertain outlook.1 Improvements in the European economy, lower oil prices, and some progress on the policy front have provided tailwinds to growth, which is expected to pick up significantly in Egypt and Morocco. At the same time, unemployment remains high. Moreover, several of the ACTs have also suffered from intensifying and spreading conflicts that cause widespread human suffering and sizeable economic challenges. Libya and Yemen are directly affected, while spillovers from these conflicts and the civil wars in Iraq and Syria weigh on Jordan and Tunisia, as well as other countries in the region (e.g., Lebanon, Djibouti), Turkey and Europe. These spillovers come most prominently in the form of large refugee flows, deteriorating security, and pressures on economic infrastructures and labor markets. All these factors add urgency to the need in the Arab countries to strengthen economic resilience and address long-standing sources of inequity and exclusion. Coordinated and scaled-up support from the international community will be also critical in stabilizing conditions in the region, addressing the refugee crisis, and securing a more promising economic future for the ACTs in this challenging environment.
Shahid Yusuf
Since the onset of the Arab Spring, economic uncertainty in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen (Arab Countries in Transition, ACTs) has slowed already sluggish growth; worsened unemployment, particularly of youth; undermined business confidence, affected tourist arrivals, and depressed domestic and foreign direct investment. Furthermore, political and social tensions have constrained reform efforts. Assessing policy options as presented in the voluminous literature on the Arab Spring and based on cross-country experience, this paper concludes that sustainable and inclusive growth calls for a two pronged approach: short term measures that revive growth momentum and partially allay popular concerns; complemented with efforts to adjust the public’s expectations and prepare the ground for structural reforms that will deliver the desired longer tem performance.
International Monetary Fund
In spite of deepening and spreading conflicts in the region, as well as, in many cases, a challenging internal socio-political environment, the Arab Countries in Transition (Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen) have broadly maintained macroeconomic stability. At the same time, however, their economies are not delivering the growth rates needed for a meaningful reduction in unemployment, in particular for the youth and women. Notwithstanding diversity of conditions, countries should quickly advance structural reforms to foster higher and more inclusive growth, and continue to strengthen fiscal and external buffers to maintain stability amid heightened uncertainty. Coordinated support from the international community will be crucial in the form of financing, improved trade access, and capacity building assistance.
Mr. Simon T Gray, Mr. Philippe D Karam, and Rima Turk-Ariss
We investigate whether low loan-to-deposit (LTD) ratios and high levels of reserve balances at the central bank (or holdings of government securities) are a reflection of policy-driven factors compared to commonly cited reasons of reluctance to lend or sometimes weak investment demand in uncertain environments. We examine changes to central bank (CB) balance sheet structures as well as commercial banks’ flow of funds over the period 2007–2012. First, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) CBs play an active role in view of their size that is very large with respect to their economies compared to CBs in advanced economies. Second, under exchange rate targeting, most MENA CB balance sheets are asset-driven, holding foreign exchange (FX) reserves to support the exchange rate policy and resulting in lower loan-to-deposit (LTD) ratios in the case of unsterilized increases in FX. Third, CB policy decisions seem to be accompanied by an increase in commercial bank reserve money balances, with ensuing reduction in the LTD. Finally, if governments meet their financing needs from the banking system—whether from commercial banks or by monetary financing—commercial bank balance sheets will tend to expand, resulting in lower LTD ratios. Our analysis suggests that government and CB actions may also drive the demand for and supply of credit, which are traditionally attributed to the behavior of banks and non-financial corporates and households only. The findings offer a different interpretation of changes in CB and banks’ balance sheets, with direct implications for LTD, calling to exercise caution in recommending policy action which aim at propping up LTD to ‘appropriate’ levels in an effort to reinvigorate credit following a downturn.
Mr. Harald Finger and Ms. Daniela Gressani
The changing political landscape in the Arab world has created opportunities for economic transformation by tackling long-standing economic issues. Nevertheless, three years after the onset of political transition, implementing necessary economic policies has proven to be challenging. This paper lays out key elements of economic policy reform for Arab countries in transition.
Mr. Harald Finger and Ms. Daniela Gressani
Les mutations du paysage politique dans le monde arabe ouvrent des perspectives pour transformer l'économie en remédiant à des problèmes économiques de longue date. Néanmoins, trois ans après le début de la transition politique dans le monde arabe, force est de constater qu'il a été difficile de gérer les transitions et de mettre en œuvre les réformes économiques nécessaires. Ce document présente des éléments de réformes essentiels dans le domaine de la politique économique pour les pays arabes en transition.
Mr. Harald Finger and Ms. Daniela Gressani

The changing political landscape in the Arab world has created opportunities for economic transformation by tackling long-standing economic issues. Nevertheless, three years after the onset of political transition, implementing necessary economic policies has proven to be challenging. This paper lays out key elements of economic policy reform for Arab countries in transition.

International Monetary Fund
In an environment of heightened socio-economic tensions, regional insecurity, and strained public finances, the Arab Countries in Transition (ACTs) 1 face the difficult task of delivering on the expectations for jobs and growth. Despite patchy improvements in some countries, economic growth remains subdued, private investment is weak, and external and fiscal buffers are running low. Fostering social cohesion and avoiding a downward spiral of economic and political malaise calls for urgent implementation of economic reforms and coordinated support from the international community.