Posted on October 19, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Masood Ahmed
(Version in عربي)
As we launch the IMF’s Arabic blog, Economic Window, we are witnessing an historic shift in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It is clear that the popular uprisings that began 10 months ago were born of a desire for greater freedom and for a more widespread and fairer distribution of economic opportunities.
But the scale of protests in the region and the associated deplorable loss of life came as a surprise to everyone, including us at the IMF.
Like others, we had pointed to the ticking time bomb of high unemployment, but we did not anticipate the consequences of the unequal access to opportunities. We had focused our efforts on helping countries in the region build solid macroeconomic foundations, liberalize economic activity, and introduce market-based reforms that would generate higher economic growth. IMF lending, policy advice, and technical assistance have indeed contributed to improving the economic indicators of many countries in the region. However, with hindsight, it is clear that we were not paying enough attention to how the benefits of economic growth were being shared.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Emerging Markets, Employment, Financial Crisis, Fiscal Stimulus, growth, Inequality, Middle East, Public debt, عربي | Tagged: Arab Spring, IMF Arabic blog, jobs, lessons, Masood Ahmed, subsidies, unemployment | 6 Comments »
Posted on January 4, 2011 by iMFdirect
By John Lipsky
(Version in Español | 中文 | Français | 日本語 | Русский | عربي )
2011 represents a pivotal year for the global economic recovery and for international policy cooperation—as well as for the role of the Fund in addressing these two principal challenges.
With the crisis of 2008-09 receding, and following the unprecedented efforts expended in 2010 developing the outlines of a new, post-crisis world, 2011 will be the year in which post-crisis plans will be implemented, tested, and assessed. If they are deemed to be successful, it will not be an exaggeration to claim that a new model for global economic and financial governance will be under way. If unsuccessful, however, the sense of failure likely would undermine confidence while adding to the formidable list of challenges to be overcome. (more…)
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Asia, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Employment, Europe, Financial Crisis, Financial regulation, Fiscal policy, Fiscal Stimulus, G-20, Global Governance, Globalization, growth, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Low-income countries, Middle East, Public debt, recession, 中文, عربي | Tagged: 2011, capital flows, forecast, FSAP, G-20, John Lipsky, look ahead, Seoul | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 7, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Masood Ahmed
(Version in عربي )
Bank credit has been very slow to pickup in the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). How big a problem is this for their economic recovery?
Sluggish credit growth in the post-crisis period was hardly a unique development, as indicated in our latest Regional Economic Outlook. More than a dozen countries in the Middle East and Central Asia region, and countless more outside the region, shared this experience. But while there are clearer signs of recovery in some countries, credit to the private sector is still barely growing in the GCC, notwithstanding policy efforts to revive it.
It might seem easy to ring the alarm bells. After all, won’t the prospect of weak credit growth restrain economic activity in the short-term? Perhaps. But we believe the negative impact of credit growth may not be quite so severe.
Why not? In part, that answer lies in how we arrived at the current situation. (more…)
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Middle East, عربي | Tagged: Bahrain, bank credit, capital adequacy, credit growth, credit risk, credit to the private sector, global crisis, Gulf Cooperation Council, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 29, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Masood Ahmed
(Version in عربي )
With the global economy on the mend, countries in the Middle East and North Africa are witnessing a pickup in trade and economic growth. Aided by rising oil prices and production levels and supportive fiscal policies, economic growth for the region as a whole is projected to exceed 4 percent in 2010, almost double what it was in 2009.
In contrast, and unlike many emerging markets elsewhere, the region’s oil-importing countries saw only a mild slowdown in economic growth last year to 4½ percent and are likely to see growth nudge up to around 5 percent this year. However, as our October 2010 Regional Economic Outlook for the Middle East points out, that growth rate is well below the average of 6½ percent a year required to create the 18 million jobs needed over the next decade to absorb new labor-market entrants and eliminate chronically high unemployment. (more…)
Filed under: Economic outlook, International Monetary Fund, Middle East, عربي | Tagged: business environment, competitiveness, economic growth, education, employment, high productivity, infrastructure, investment, labor markets, Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, regulation, structural reform, tariffs, unemployment | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 12, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Dominique Strauss-Kahn
(Version in عربي 中文 Español Français 日本語 Русский )
This past weekend in Washington DC, as the economic leaders of 187 countries gathered for the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank, the mood was tense. The world’s finance ministers and central bank governors were concerned because the global recovery is fragile. And uneven. And it is fragile because it is so uneven.
In the emerging markets of Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, things are going pretty well. Even in Africa, many countries have returned to growth much faster than in previous recessions. In Europe, however, the recovery is sluggish. And in the United States, it remains subdued. The IMF’s latest economic outlook, released during the meetings, does not anticipate a “double dip.” But there are risks. (more…)
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Annual Meetings, G-20, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Multilateral Cooperation, عربي | Tagged: Annual Meetings, balanced and sustainable growth, cooperation, cross-border linkages, currency wars, double dip, financial sector reform, fiscal sustainability, G-20, global recovery, governance, IMF quotas, IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings, IMFC, International Monetary and Financial Committee, jobs, policy coordination, spillovers, unemployment | 10 Comments »