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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Zimbabwe experienced severe exogenous shocks (cyclone Idai, protracted drought, and the COVID-19 pandemic) during 2019-20, which along with policy missteps in 2019, led to a deep recession and high inflation. Real GDP contracted cumulatively by 11.7 percent during 2019-20 and inflation reached 837 percent (y/y) by July 2020. Reflecting good rainfall and relaxation of containment measures, real GDP rose by 6.3 percent in 2021. A tighter policy stance since mid-2020 (relative to 2019) has contributed to reducing inflation to 60.7 percent (y/y) at end-2021. However, high double-digit inflation and wide parallel foreign exchange (FX) market premia persist. The economic downturn and high inflation increased the financial system vulnerabilities. Extreme poverty has risen and about a third of the population is at risk of food insecurity. The international community seeks improvements in domestic political conditions and economic policies to initiate reengagement with Zimbabwe. The authorities have started token payments to external creditors in a bid to revive international reengagement.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
As a follow-up to the 2019 FSSR, a remote TA mission supported the RBZ with the implementation of Basel III liquidity standards. The mission reviewed the RBZ drafts of the LCR and NSFR frameworks, discussed identified material gaps with the BSD management and relevant supervisors, and provided many recommendations on enhancing the drafts of liquidity regulations, monitoring tools, reporting templates, and disclosure. Further actions for implementing Basel III liquidity standards were agreed with the RBZ.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses the Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) for Zimbabwe and highlights that the new government that assumed office following the July 2018 elections is committed to addressing the macroeconomic imbalances, removing structural distortions to facilitate a resumption in growth, and to re-engaging with the international community including by clearing its external arrears. The SMP will be monitored on a quarterly basis and is intended to assist the authorities in building a track record of implementation of a coherent set of economic and social policies that can facilitate a return to macroeconomic stability and assist in reengagement with the international community. With limited access to external financing and the very low level of international reserves, the authorities’ room for manoeuvre is very narrow. There are also significant implementation risks of the monetary and exchange rate reforms, as well as addressing governance and corruption weaknesses, which could adversely impact the attainment of SMP objectives.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
In response to a request from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), and with the support of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) African Department (AFR), a monetary and financial statistics (MFS) technical assistance mission visited Harare, Zimbabwe, during October 16–27, 2017. The mission’s main objective was to assist the RBZ in finalizing its work of compiling MFS of the Central Bank (CB) and Other Depository Corporations (ODCs) in accordance with the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual and Compilation Guide (MFSMCG). Compilation of these data will lead to the regular reporting of improved monetary data for publication in International Financial Statistics (IFS) and provide MFS data for use by the IMF African Department (AFR) and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in their research and publications.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The macroeconomic outlook for sub-Saharan Africa continues to strengthen. Growth is expected to increase from 2.7 percent in 2017 to 3.1 percent in 2018, reflecting domestic policy adjustments and a supportive external environment, including continued steady growth in the global economy, higher commodity prices, and accommodative external financing conditions. Inflation is abating; and fiscal imbalances are being contained in many countries. Over the medium term, and on current policies, growth is expected to accelerate to about 4 percent, too low to create the number of jobs needed to absorb anticipated new entrants into labor markets.

Mr. Francesco Grigoli and Adrian Robles
The linearity of the relationship between income inequality and economic development has been long questioned. While theory provides arguments for which the shape of relationship may be positive for low levels of inequality and negative for high ones, most of the empirical literature assumes a linear specification finding conflicting results. Employing an innovative empirical approach robust to endogeneity, we find pervasive evidence of nonlinearities. In particular, similar to the debt overhang literature, we identify an inequality overhang level in that the slope of the relationship between income inequality and economic development switches from positive to negative at a net Gini of about 27 percent. We also find that in an environment characterized by widespread financial inclusion and high income concentration, rising income inequality has a larger negative impact on economic development because banks may curtail credit to customers at the lower end of the income distribution. On the positive side, a sufficiently high female labor participation can act as a shock absorber reducing such negative impact, possibly through a more efficient allocation of resources.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole has fallen to its lowest level in 15 years, though with large variation among countries in the region. The sharp decline in commodity prices has severely strained many of the largest economies, including oil exporters Angola and Nigeria, and other commodity exporters, such as Ghana, South Africa, and Zambia. At the same time, the decline in oil prices has helped other countries continue to show robust growth, including Kenya and Senegal. A strong policy response to the terms-of-trade shocks is critical and urgent in many countries. This report also examines sub-Saharan Africa’s vulnerability to commodity price shocks, and documents the substantial progress made in financial develop, especially financial services based on mobile technologies.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Growth in sub-Saharan Africa has weakened after more than a decade of solid growth, although this overall outlook masks considerable variation across the region. Some countries have been negatively affected by falling prices of their main commodity exports. Oil-exporting countries, including Nigeria and Angola, have been hit hard by falling revenues and the resulting fiscal adjustments, while middle-income countries such as Ghana, South Africa, and Zambia are also facing unfavorable conditions. This October 2015 report discusses the fiscal and monetary policy adjustments necessary for these countries to adapt to the new environment. Chapter 2 looks at competitiveness in the region, analyzing the substantial trade integration that accompanied the recent period of high growth, and policy actions to nurture new sources of growth. Chapter 3 looks at the implications for the region of persistently high income and gender inequality and ways to reduce them.