Posted on March 22, 2016 by iMFdirect
By David Lipton
Versions in عربي (Arabic), 中文 (Chinese), Français (French), 日本語 (Japanese), Русский (Russian), and Español (Spanish)
One of the first things most students of economics learn is the diamond and water paradox. How can it be that water is free even though life cannot exist without it, while diamonds are expensive although no one dies for lack of diamonds?
The answer is that water can be free if its supply is abundant relative to demand. Nevertheless, it is abundantly clear that worldwide, the demand for water outpaces supply. This imbalance is the clearest sign that water is underpriced. Yet, many governments are reluctant to price water like other goods.
Filed under: Africa, Fiscal policy, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries | Tagged: Burkina Faso, David Lipton, fiscal policy, IMF, iMFdirect, low-income countries, public investment, subsidies, water, World Water Day | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 25, 2016 by iMFdirect
By Jeff Hayden
(Versions in عربي and Español)
Say “population growth” and many people immediately think of resources under stress. The mind jumps to 19th century scholar Thomas Malthus, who saw population outstripping the food supply, or to Paul Ehrlich, whose 1968 book The Population Bomb warned of global catastrophe from overpopulation.
Filed under: Africa, China, Employment, Fiscal policy, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: demographics, El Nino, employment, Finance & Development magazine, fiscal policy, inflation, oil prices, population aging, Sub-Saharan Africa, wages, women | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 17, 2016 by iMFdirect
By Andrea F. Presbitero and Min Zhu
(Versions in 中文 (Chinese), Français, and Português)
Many low-income developing countries have joined the group of Eurobond issuers across the globe— in sub-Saharan Africa (for example, Senegal, Zambia, and Ghana), Asia (for example, Mongolia) and elsewhere, raising over US$21 billion cumulatively over the past decade. Tapping these markets provides a new source of funds, but also exposes borrowers to shifts in investor sentiment and rising global interest rates.
Filed under: Africa, Asia, Emerging Markets, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries, Public debt | Tagged: Asia, bond spreads, capital inflows, emerging markets, eurobond, exchange rates, financial markets, foreign reserves, GDP, IMF, iMFdirect, International Monetary Fund, low-income countries, public debt, public investment, Sub-Saharan Africa | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 28, 2016 by iMFdirect
By Antoinette Sayeh
(Versions in Español, Français, and Português)
The sub-Saharan Africa region is facing severe shocks associated with the steep decline in commodity prices and tightening global financial conditions. Against this background, it’s a good time to look back at the region’s recent growth experience and examine the relationship between growth rates and competitiveness. The extent to which sub-Saharan African companies are able to compete against their foreign competitors (that is, the extent to which they are competitive) could indeed play a role in sustaining growth going ahead.
Filed under: Africa, Economic outlook, growth, International Monetary Fund, trade | Tagged: Africa, commodity exports, competitiveness, development, exchange rates, growth, IMF, infrastructure, labor force, Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 21, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Wenjie Chen and Roger Nord
(Versions in عربي, 中文, Français, Português, and Español)
China’s President Xi Jinping’s recent pledge of US$60 billion in financial support over the next three years illustrates the depth of the partnership between China and Africa.
However, China’s shift from an investment-heavy, export led growth strategy to an economic model that relies more on domestic consumption has led to a dramatic decline in commodity prices. Lower commodity prices and lower volumes of trade have hit sub-Saharan Africa’s commodity exporters hard. But over the medium term, this shift may offer sub-Saharan African countries the opportunity to diversify their economies away from natural resources, and create jobs for their young populations, provided they pursue the right policies to foster competitiveness and integrate into global value chains.
Filed under: Africa, China, growth, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Transition | Tagged: China, commodities, export diversification, exports, foreign direct investment, IMF, imports, investment, Sub-Saharan Africa, trade | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 10, 2015 by iMFdirect
World leaders are meeting in Paris to forge a new climate deal. We interviewed two leading thinkers on climate, Nick Stern and Christiana Figueres.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, climate change, Emerging Markets, Europe, Finance, Fiscal policy, Globalization, Government, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Low-income countries, Reform | Tagged: Christiana Figueres, Nick Stern | Leave a comment »