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World Economic and Financial Surveys

Regional Economic Outlook:
Sub-Saharan Africa

October 2009

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Sub-Saharan Africa has been hit hard by the global recession, but signs of resilience remain. While South Africa and some other middle-income countries were caught in the turbulence of international financial markets, and oil exporters saw government revenues plunge, some countries with wider commodity bases have so far escaped the worst of the crisis. Also, and reassuringly, with stronger initial fiscal and external positions than in past downturns, most countries in the region have been able to partially absorb external shocks by allowing fiscal deficits to rise and reducing interest rates. Exchange rates have generally been allowed to adjust. With many families affected by the crisis, however, progress toward the Millennium Development Goals has receded. Looking ahead, fiscal policy must balance support for the recovery with enhancing future growth prospects, debt sustainability, and poverty reduction. Published biannually in May and October.

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Main Messages
1. Sub-Saharan Africa: Weathering the Storm
  Introduction and Summary
  The Great Recession and Sub-Saharan Africa
  Cyclical Recoveries in Sub-Saharan Africa
  What Next for Policies?
2. Fiscal Policy and Economic Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Effectiveness, Challenges, and Prospects
  Introduction and Main Messages
  Fiscal Policy and Economic Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa
  Fiscal Policy as a Stabilization Tool
  Fiscal Policy and Debt Sustainability
  Fiscal Policy for Growth
Statistical Appendix
Publications of the IMF African Department, 2009
1.1. Sub-Saharan Africa: The Fiscal Policy Response to the Crisis
1.2. The Slowdown and Recovery in Africa: The Role of Spillover Effects
2.1. Debt Sustainability Analysis
2.2. Coping with Commodity Price Fluctuations in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role of Fiscal Institutions
2.3. The Impact of the Crisis on Debt Sustainability in Sub-Saharan African Countries
1.1. Sub-Saharan Africa: Selected Indicators, 2005–10
1.2. Sub-Saharan Africa: Changes in Key Indicators, Average 2004–08 and 2009 Projections
2.1. Sub-Saharan Africa: Percentage of Countries Satisfying Various Stability Criteria
2.2. Range of Fiscal Multipliers
2.3. Fiscal Procyclicality in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1980–2008: Groups and Spending Categories
2.4. Changes in Fiscal Procyclicality by Decade, 1980–2008
2.5. Risk of Debt Distress by Country Grouping
2.6. Annual Spending Needs on Infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa
1.1. Sub-Saharan Africa: Key External Developments
1.2. Sub-Saharan Africa: Oil-Exporting Countries: Revenues, Expenditures, and Fiscal Balance
1.3. Sub-Saharan Africa: Selected Foreign Inflows
1.4. Low-Income Countries and Fragile States: Revisions to Fiscal Balance Projections, 2009
1.5. Sub-Saharan Africa: Past and Current Economic Cycles
1.6. Sub-Saharan African Country Groupings: Past Economic Cycles
1.7. Sub-Saharan Africa: Past Economic Cycles and Latest Projections
1.8. Sub-Saharan Africa: Contributions to Real GDP Growth, 2000–11
1.9. Sub-Saharan Africa: Projected GDP Growth, 2008–11
1.10. Sub-Saharan Africa: Macroeconomic and Political Environment, 1970–2009
1.11. Sub-Saharan Africa: Exports by Destination
1.12. Sub-Saharan Africa: Growth Prospects, 2000–11
1.13. Sub-Saharan Africa: Policy Responses, 2009
1.14. Sub-Saharan Africa: Past Economic Cycles and Latest Projections
1.15. Sub-Saharan Africa: Output Gap and Change in Fiscal Balance Excluding Grants, 2005–07 and 2009 Projections
1.16. Sub-Saharan Africa: Bilateral Exchange Rate in Selected Countries, September 2008– August 2009
2.1. Sub-Saharan Africa: Fiscal Indicators
2.2. Sub-Saharan Africa: Public Sector Debt
2.3. Sub-Saharan Africa: Fiscal Balance Deterioration, 2009 vs. 2008
2.4. Amplitude and Correlation, Central Government Total Spending, 1980–2008
2.5. Evolution of Debt in Sub-Saharan Africa
2.6. NPV of Debt after HIPC Initiative, Additional Bilateral Debt Relief, and MDRI in 28 Sub-Saharan African HIPCs
2.7. Sub-Saharan Africa: Central Government Balance and Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Assessment Score
2.8. Sub-Saharan Africa: Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Assessment Score by Risk of Debt Distress
2.9. Sub-Saharan Africa: Capital Expenditure and Growth
2.10. Meta-Analysis of Fiscal Outcomes
2.11. Health and Education Indicators, 2001–07
2.12. Sub-Saharan Africa: Infrastructure Indicators Relative to Low- and Middle-Income Country Averages, 2001–07
2.13. Public Sector Efficiency, 1996–2002
2.14. Sub-Saharan Africa: Governance Indicators
2.15. Sub-Saharan Africa: Governance and Human Capital Outcomes