Regional Economic Reports

These reports discuss recent economic developments and prospects for countries in various regions. They also address economic policy developments that have affected economic performance in the regions, and discuss key challenges faced by policymakers. They address regional policy developments and challenges, and provide country-specific data and analysis, including through analytical pieces on issues of interest to a particular region.

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October 2008

Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere, October 2008 -- Table of Contents

Series: Western Hemisphere Region

Date: October 22, 2008

Description: The ongoing global turmoil represents a confluence of negative shocks for Latin America and the Caribbean: a freeze in global credit markets, weaker external demand, and lower commodity prices. But the region is expected to deal with these global shocks better than in previous crises, reflecting progress made in improving macroeconomic fundamentals over the past decade. Still, there are a number of downside risks going forward. Against this uncertain background, the report discusses the implications of the global financial crisis for the regional outlook and the corresponding challenges facing policymakers.

Regional Economic Outlook: Europe -- Dealing with Shocks, October 2008 -- Table of Contents

Series: Europe

Date: October 20, 2008

Description: The financial crisis has reached extraordinary proportions in recent months. At the same time commodity prices increases have boosted headline inflation, depressing consumption. Growth is expected to stagnate in the near term in most advanced European economies as asset price booms deflate and banks curb credit to reduce leverage. Growth will slow down significantly in the emerging economies in Europe as well. Mutually reinforcing deterioration in financial and economic conditions is the main downside risk to the outlook. Stabilizing financial conditions and nurturing growth are the key policy priorities. In addition to the outlook, the report presents analytical work on the impact of high commodity prices, the turnaround in the credit and asset price cycles, and the macroeconomic effects of cross-border labor flows.

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, October 2008 -- Table of Contents

Series: Middle East and Central Asia

Date: October 20, 2008

Description: Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia underlines that the region has continued to experience strong growth in 2008, and the short-term outlook is generally favorable. However, inflation has emerged as a key issue, and while the global credit crunch has thus far had a limited impact on regional financial markets, the financial turmoil and slowdown in developed economies could lower growth in the period ahead. Policies will need to focus on tightening the fiscal and monetary stance where appropriate, with greater exchange rate flexibility, and continuing efforts to strengthen the resilience of financial sectors.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, October 2008 -- Table of Contents

Series: Sub-Saharan Africa

Date: October 10, 2008

Description: Sub-Saharan Africa's prospects have deteriorated somewhat and the risks have increased, according to the October 2008 Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa. Growth in the region is projected to dip to 6 percent in 2008 and 2009. The fall is due mainly to the global food and fuel price shock, which has weighed particularly on growth in oil-importing countries, and to the global financial market turmoil, which has slowed global growth and demand for Africa's exports. Inflation is expected to rise to 12 percent in 2008, mainly on account of the food and fuel price shock. As a result of rising prices, particularly of food, poverty may well be on the increase in 2008. In 2009, inflation should ease to 10 percent, helped by recent commodity price declines. There are significant risks to the outlook related to a potentially deeper and longer period of global financial turmoil and resulting slowdown in global activity, and substantial uncertainty concerning commodity prices.

May 2008

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, May 2008 -- Table of Contents

Series: Middle East and Central Asia

Date: May 12, 2008

Description: The Middle East and Central Asia region grew at 6.5 percent in 2007, marking its best five-year performance over the past 30 years. So far, the turmoil in international financial markets has had a limited impact on the region, and the short-term outlook remains very favorable. The report reviews recent economic developments, assesses the outlook for the coming year, and discusses key policy challenges. In addition, it takes a closer look at both regional topics--such as the rise in inflation in the GCC countries, intraregional capital flows, developments in oil markets, developments in real estate prices, and sovereign wealth funds--and country reviews for Algeria, Georgia, Iraq, and West Bank and Gaza.

April 2008

Regional Economic Outlook: Europe -- Reassessing Risks, April 2008 -- Table of Contents

Series: Europe

Date: April 18, 2008

Description: Europe is facing slower growth as a result of protracted financial turbulence and spillovers from the U.S. Meanwhile, inflation has risen sharply. Policymakers in advanced economies will have to continue to support financial markets and balance risks to real activity with the need to anchor inflation. Emerging Europe is well placed to continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace, amid concerns about overheating and external imbalances in several countries. Sound macroeconomic policies and structural reforms will be necessary to ensure a soft landing in these countries and smooth convergence throughout the region.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, April 2008 -- Table of Contents

Series: Sub-Saharan Africa

Date: April 12, 2008

Description: The region's prospects continue to be promising, but global developments pose increased risks to the outlook. Growth in sub-Saharan Africa should again average about 6½ percent in 2008 with oil exporters leading the way; meanwhile, growth in oil importers is expected to taper off, though only modestly. With food and energy prices still rising, inflation is projected to average about 8½ percent this year for countries in the region, setting aside Zimbabwe. Risks in 2008 are tilted to the downside, but the region is better placed today to withstand a worsening of the global environment.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific, April 2008

Series: Asia and Pacific Region

Date: April 11, 2008

Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere, April 2008 -- Table of Contents

Series: Western Hemisphere Region

Date: April 11, 2008

Description: The main focus of this report is the outlook for the region in the face of the downturn now projected for the U.S. economy and the continuing risks that affect the global outlook. Overall the region is better placed than in the past to navigate the current financial turbulence, given reduced vulnerabilities and stronger policy frameworks. Nonetheless, the report points to risks that the global financial stress could curtail capital flows to the region and world commodity prices could fall more than expected. There are also risks arising from rising inflation and rapid private credit growth in a number of countries. The report then explores the policy options facing governments in the region, underscoring the need to preserve the gains of recent years.

November 2007

Regional Economic Outlook: Europe, Strengthening Financial Systems, November 2007 -- Table of Contents

Series: Europe

Date: November 12, 2007

Description: Strong fundamentals should allow Europe to weather financial turbulence relatively well. Nonetheless, growth is set to ease in 2008 in nearly all countries. Policymakers will need to deal up front with the financial market turmoil, while implementing fiscal consolidation and structural reforms, including in the financial sector, to address vulnerabilities, raise medium-term growth prospects, and deliver on the promise of convergence for emerging Europe. Three analytical chapters discuss reforms to strengthen Europe's financial systems to allow advanced economies to benefit from innovation without incurring excessive risk and, in emerging economies, to manage rapid financial deepening and develop financial systems further.

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