Regional Economic Reports

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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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Asia and Pacific region
Date: October 2014
Despite a weaker-than-expected first half of the year, the outlook for the Asia and Pacific region remains solid. The ongoing global recovery, while tepid, should support Asia’s exports. Meanwhile, favorable financial and labor market conditions, as well as broadly accommodative policies, will continue to underpin domestic demand. GDP is forecast to grow by 5.5 percent for the third consecutive year in 2014, rising slightly to 5.6 percent in 2015. Financial dislocations associated with higher global interest rates, and protracted weak growth in advanced and emerging market economies are the main downside risks to the outlook. A sharper-than-anticipated downturn in China’s real estate sector and less-effective-than-envisaged Abenomics in Japan would also adversely affect regional growth prospects. Geopolitical tensions could also disrupt trade and financial flows, with adverse effects on growth. Policymakers in the region should capitalize on the outlook to gradually rebuild policy space and push ahead with structural reforms to deliver sustainable growth. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, fiscal consolidation should generally continue in a calibrated manner, especially where debt levels are higher, and monetary normalization should proceed particularly where inflation pressures are high or building up.

Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe: Regional Economic Issues Update
Date: October 2014
The October 2014 CESEE Regional Economic Issues (REI) assesses the macroeconomic outlook for the region in light of the latest global economic and financial developments. " CESEE" refers to the following countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

25 Years of Transition: Post-Communist Europe and the IMF
Date: October 2014
Regional Economic Issues Special Report. The past 25 years have seen a dramatic transformation in Europe's former communist countries, resulting in their reintegration into the global economy, and, in most cases, major improvements in living standards. But the task of building full market economies has been difficult and protracted. This report covers the European transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe, up to Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine among the former Soviet republics.

Middle East and Central Asia region
Date: October 2014
Economic developments in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) continue to reflect the diversity of conditions prevailing across the region. Most high-income oil exporters, primarily in the GCC, continue to record steady growth and solid economic and financial fundamentals, albeit with medium-term challenges that need to be addressed. In contrast, other countries—Iraq, Libya, Syria—are mired in conflicts with not just humanitarian but also economic consequences. And yet other countries, mostly oil importers, are making continued but uneven progress in advancing their economic agenda, often in tandem with political transitions and amidst difficult social conditions. In most of these countries, without extensive economic and structural reforms, economic prospects for the medium term remain insufficient to reduce high unemployment and improve living standards.

Sub-Saharan Africa region
Date: October 2014
The October 2014 Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa anticipates continued strong growth in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, driven by efforts to invest in infrastructure and by strong agricultural production. However, the current Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone is exacting a heavy toll, with spillovers to neighboring countries. In addition, external threats to the region's overall positive outlook include global financial conditions and a slowdown in emerging market growth. Other topics are building resilience in fragile states and addressing the infrastructure deficit.
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Western Hemisphere region: Coping with Challenging Times
Date: October 2014
Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has slowed down more than anticipated, as weak dynamics in South America have outweighed an incipient recovery in Mexico. Lower-than-expected external demand and softer terms of trade explain some of the weakness, but domestic supply-side bottlenecks and policy uncertainties have also weighed on confidence and private demand in several economies. Notwithstanding the projected pick-up in activity over the period ahead, growth is projected to be as low as 1.3 percent in 2014 and 2.2 percent in 2015. Spare capacity remains limited, however, underscoring the urgency of supply-side reforms to boost productivity and potential growth. Monetary policy and exchange rate flexibility should continue to serve as the first line of defense against adverse shocks, while a looser fiscal stance is unwarranted in most countries, especially those with weak public finances. Financial sector risks bear close monitoring, as the confluence of lower growth, rising U.S. interest rates, and geopolitical tensions could pose a considerable challenge
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Middle East and Central Asia region
Date: May 2014
Growth has been tepid across the Middle East and North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region. In 2013, declines in oil production held back growth in the oil-exporting countries. Weak private investment, amid political transitions and conflict, continued to take a toll on economic activity in the oil-importing countries. Economic growth in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) is expected to decline from 6 1/2 percent in 2013 to 6 percent in 2014, mainly because of weakening growth momentum in emerging market trading partners (particularly, China, Russia, and Turkey) and a temporary decline in oil output growth in Kazakhstan.
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Asia and Pacific Region
Date: April 2014
The five Regional Economic Outlooks published biannually by the IMF cover Asia and Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Western Hemisphere. In each volume, recent economic developments and prospects for the region are discussed as a whole, as well as for specific countries. The reports include key data for countries in the region. Each report focuses on policy developments that have affected economic performance in the region, and discusses key challenges faced by policymakers. The near-term outlook, key risks, and their related policy challenges are analyzed throughout the reports, and current issues are explored, such as when and how to withdraw public interventions in financial systems globally while maintaining a still-fragile economic recovery. These indispensable surveys are the product of comprehensive intradepartmental reviews of economic developments that draw primarily on information the IMF staff gathers through consultation with member countries.

Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe
Date: April 2014
The April 2014 CESEE Regional Economic Issues (REI) assesses the macroeconomic outlook for the region in light of the latest global economic and financial developments. " CESEE" refers to the following countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Sub-Saharan Africa region
Date: April 2014
The April 2014 Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa anticipates a pickup in economic growth in 2014 but the region continues to face risks from both external and internal factors, among them slower growth in emerging markets which could impact both export demand and commodity prices. This report analyzes the possible impact of global forces on continued growth in sub-Saharan Africa and the policy actions that are needed to address these challenges. Chapters also discuss fostering a climate of inclusive growth and improving monetary policy frameworks in the region.
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Western Hemisphere region
Date: April 2014
Growth across Latin America and the Caribbean is expected to remain subdued at 2 1/2 percent in 2014. The firming recovery in the advanced economies will support export activity, but this positive impulse is likely to be offset in many countries by the impact of lower commodity prices, tighter external financing conditions, and domestic supply bottlenecks. Renewed volatility in financial markets and a sharper-than-expected decline in commodity prices represent distinct downside risks. Faced with these challenges, policymakers should seek to preserve credible policy frameworks and ensure sufficient buffers to cope with adverse shocks. For fiscal policy, a neutral to tighter stance will be appropriate in most countries, while exchange rate flexibility and proactive supervision of the financial system should serve as the principal defenses against external volatility. To boost medium-term growth prospects, further efforts are needed to raise infrastructure investment, improve educational outcomes, and enhance the business environment.
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Middle East and Central Asia region
Date: November 2013
The near-term economic outlook for the Middle East and North Africa region has weakened. In the oil-importing countries, many of which are Arab countries in transition, regional conflict, heightened political tensions, and delays in reforms continue to weigh on growth. In this context, the immediate policy priorities are to restore confidence and create jobs, make inroads into fiscal consolidation to restore debt sustainability and rebuild buffers, and embark on structural reforms needed to support private sector-led, job-intensive growth. Most oil-exporting countries continue to enjoy steady growth in the non-oil sector, supported in part by high levels of public spending. Although headline growth has declined because of domestic oil supply disruptions and lower global demand, a recovery in oil production is expected to lift growth next year. Increased vulnerability to a sustained decline in oil prices and intergenerational equity considerations underscore the need for countries to strengthen their fiscal buffers. Key medium-term challenges remain economic diversification and faster private-sector job-creation for nationals.
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Asia and Pacific Economic Outlook: Update
Date: October 2013
Asia has not been spared by the recent re-pricing of financial assets in emerging markets, encountering a wave of capital outflows in the past few months. The overall impact has, so far, been manageable although some countries have been subject to greater stress. Tighter global liquidity--and homegrown structural impediments in some countries -- will weigh on growth, but for most economies the impact should be partly offset by a gradual pickup in exports to advanced economies and resilient domestic demand. If, however, conditions tighten further we are likely to see even greater differentiation across the region. Those with strong fundamentals and policy credibility will be able to offset imported tightening through lower policy rates and fiscal support. Others that have delayed reforms, left fiscal vulnerabilities untackled, or tolerated too-high inflation may be forced to respond with a procyclical policy tightening. Announcing credible medium-term reforms would rebuild confidence and ease policy trade-offs.

Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe: Regional Economic Issues
Date: October 2013
The October 2013 Regional Economic Issues Report (REI) discusses the implications of the recent turmoil in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESEE)'s emerging markets. What are the implications of the turmoil in emerging markets for Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESEE)? Why have some countries been more affected than others? The October 2013 CESEE Regional Economic Issues (REI) assesses the macroeconomic outlook for the region in light of the latest global economic and financial developments. The REI also focuses on prospects for longer-term potential growth, and the policies and reforms that will be needed to boost growth and bring down on a sustained basis the relatively high rates of unemployment across much of the region.

Sub-Saharan Africa region
Date: October 2013
The October 2013 Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa provides a comprehensive report on the prospects for growth in the region, as well as the major risks to the outlook. Generally, growth is expected to remain strong despite a downward revision since the May 2013 report. The report analyzes drivers of growth in nonresource-rich sub-Saharan African countries, and examines the risks to frontier market economies of volatile capital flows as they become more integrated with international capital markets.
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Regional Economic Outlook Update: Western Hemisphere
Date: October 2013
Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) remains in low gear, reflecting a less supportive external environment and, in some cases, domestic supply-side constraints. The region's output is projected to expand by 2 3/4 percent in 2013, with domestic demand remaining the main driver. The growth rate is expected to edge up to 3 percent in 2014 as external demand strengthens gradually, but will remain below the average growth rate of the last decade. In countries with low inflation and anchored inflation expectations, monetary policy should be the first line of defense if downside risks to the baseline materialize. Fiscal consolidation remains appropriate for countries with tight capacity constraints or limited fiscal space; it will also help constrain the continued widening of current account deficits. Safeguarding financial stability is a key priority in an environment of tighter global financial conditions and increased asset price volatility.
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Middle East and Central Asia region
Date: May 2013
Two years after the onset of the arab Spring, many countries in the Middle East and North Africa continue to undergo complex political, social, and economic transitions. Economic performance across the region was mixed in 2012: although most oil-exporting countries grew at healthy rates, economic growth remained sluggish in the oil importers. In 2013, these differences are expected to narrow because of a scaling-back of hydrocarbon production among oil exporters and a mild economic recovery among oil importers. For the countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia region, the near-term outlook remains broadly favorable, reflecting high oil prices for the oil and gas exporters and strong non-oil commodity prices and robust remittances in the oil and gas importers. Risks to this favorable outlook could stem from still-subdued world demand, domestic political uncertainties, and geopolitical risks in the region. Policymakers, particularly in the oil-importing countries, should take advantage of the favorable outlook to re-establish fiscal policy buffers that were eroded in the aftermath of the global crisis.
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Sub-Saharan Africa region
Date: May 2013
Growth remained strong in the region in 2012, with regional GDP rates increasing in most countries (excluding Nigeria and South Africa). Projections point to a moderate, broad-based acceleration in growth to around 5 1/2 percent in 2013-14, reflecting a gradually strengthening global economy and robust domestic demand. Investment in export-oriented sectors remains an important economic driver, and an agriculture rebound in drought-affected areas will also help growth. Uncertainties in the global economy are the main risk to the region's outlook, but plausible adverse shocks would likely not have a large effect on the region's overall performance.
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Western Hemisphere region
Date: May 2013
Growth in Latin America is set to pick up to about 3½ percent in 2013, broadly in line with potential. The region continues to benefit from favorable external financing conditions and relatively high commodity prices, but these tailwinds are unlikely to last forever. The key challenges for policymakers today are preserving macroeconomic and financial stability, and building strong foundations for sustained growth in the future. More prudent fiscal policy would help ease pressure on capacity constraints, mitigate the widening of current account deficits, and prepare the economies better to deal with adverse external shocks. Exchange rate flexibility and prudential measures should continue to be used to discourage speculative capital flows. Sustaining strong output growth will require structural reforms to raise productivity growth.
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Asia and Pacific region
Date: April 2013
Growth in the Asia-Pacific region shows signs of improving as extreme risks emanating from advanced economies have receded and domestic demand remains resilient, supported by relatively easy financial conditions and robust labor markets. A small and gradual pick-up in growth to over 5.75 percent is projected in the course of 2013. Risks to the outlook from within the region, such as rising financial imbalances and asset prices in some economies, are coming clearer into focus. Although Asia's banking and corporate sectors have solid buffers, monetary policymakers should stand ready to respond early and decisively to shifting risks, and macroprudential measures will also have a role to play. In many Asian economies, some fiscal consolidation could also rebuild the space needed to respond to future shocks and preempt potential overheating pressures from capital inflows. In particular, there is a growing need to make tax and spending policies more efficient. To sustain high growth rates and alleviate the "middle-income trap" across Emerging Asia, the policy agenda will vary by jurisdiction but will also often include strengthening infrastructure investment and reforming goods and labor markets.

Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe -- Financing Future Growth: The Evolving Role of Banking Systems in CESEE
Date: April 2013
This is the first issue of a new publication "Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe Regional Economic Issues." This new series, produced by the IMF's European Department, contains analytical, one-off pieces on issues of interest to the CESEE region. We hope this new series will enrich the economic debate within this important region, and prove useful for policy makers, academics, and the broader public alike. This issue takes up the topic of "Financing Future Growth: The Evolving Role of Banking Systems in CESEE." It discusses the important role that foreign banks, mainly from Western Europe, have played in the banking systems of CESEE, both in terms of ownership and funding, and raises the question to what extent banking in CESEE will change as a result of the global economic and financial crisis. This paper was prepared for a joint IMF/Czech National Bank Conference on the same topic, which took place on April 26th in Prague.

Middle East and Central Asia region
Date: November 2012
The outlook for the Middle East and North Africa region is mixed. Oil-importing countries are witnessing tepid growth, and the moderate recovery expected in 2013 is subject to heightened downside risks. For the Arab countries in transition, ongoing political transitions also weigh on growth. With policy buffers largely eroded, the need for action on macroeconomic stabilization and growth-oriented reforms is becoming increasingly urgent. Countries will need to put in place safety nets to protect the poor and build consensus for some difficult fiscal choices. The region's oil exporters are expected to post solid growth in 2012, in part due to Libya's better-than-expected postwar recovery. In the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, robust growth is supported by expansionary fiscal policies and accommodative monetary conditions. In the Caucasus and Central Asia, the outlook remains favorable, reflecting high oil prices that are benefiting oil and gas exporters, supportive commodity prices and remittance inflows benefiting oil and gas importers, and, for both groups, moderate direct exposure to Europe. The positive outlook provides an opportunity to strengthen policy buffers to prepare for any downside risks.
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Asia and Pacific region
Date: October 2012
Growth in the Asia-Pacific region has slowed. External headwinds played a major role, as the recovery in advanced economies suffered setbacks. Weaker momentum in China and India also weighed on regional economies. For Asia as a whole, GDP growth fell to its lowest rate since the 2008 global financial crisis during the first half of 2012. With inflationary pressures easing, macroeconomic policy stances remained generally supportive of domestic demand and in some cases were eased further in response to the slowdown. More broadly, financial conditions remain accommodative, and capital inflows have resumed. Going forward, growth is projected to pick up very gradually, and Asia should remain the global growth leader, expanding over 2 percentage points faster than the world average next year. However, considerable downside risks remain, in particular with regard to the euro area crisis. The priorities for policymakers are to support noninflationary growth, maintain financial stability, and remain responsive to weaker-than-expected outcomes. Refocusing structural and fiscal reform efforts toward sustained and more inclusive growth remains a priority.

Sub-Saharan Africa region
Date: October 2012
Economic conditions in sub-Saharan Africa have remained generally robust despite a sluggish global economy. The near-term outlook for the region remains broadly positive, and growth is projected at 5 1/4 percent a year in 2012-13. Most low-income countries are projected to continue to grow strongly, supported by domestic demand, including from investment. The outlook is less favorable for many of the middle-income countries, especially South Africa, that are more closely linked to European markets and thus experience a more noticeable drag from the external environment. The main risks to the outlook are an intensification of financial stresses in the euro zone and a sharp fiscal adjustment in the US-the so called fiscal cliff.
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Western Hemisphere region
Date: October 2012
Growth in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region has softened since our April report, reflecting the larger-than-anticipated impact of earlier policy tightening and the somewhat less favorable external environment. Global downside risks have increased, as the crisis in Europe continues to simmer, and the U.S. fiscal cliff looms. Nevertheless, with slack in many countries limited, and the twin tailwinds of external finance and commodity prices still stimulative, policies need to be carefully calibrated to keep domestic demand and credit growth in check. The key task for many countries remains to strengthen the resilience of their economies by rebuilding fiscal buffers and safeguarding financial stability. Challenges are more pressing in some countries, particularly those in the Caribbean, where the recovery has been held back by weak balance sheets and external demand.
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Sub-Saharan Africa region
Date: May 2012
Sub-Saharan Africa continues to record strong economic growth, despite the weaker global economic environment. Regional output rose by 5 percent in 2011, with growth set to increase slightly in 2012, helped by still-strong commodity prices, new resource exploitation, and the improved domestic conditions that have underpinned several years of solid trend growth in the region's low-income countries. But there is variation in performance across the region, with output in middle-income countries tracking more closely the global slowdown and with some sub-regions adversely affected, at least temporarily, by drought. Threats to the outlook include the risk of intensified financial stresses in the euro area spilling over into a further slowing of the global economy and the possibility of an oil price surge triggered by rising geopolitical tensions.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: April 2012
Barring the realization of downside risks to the global economy, growth in the Asia and the Pacific region is expected to gain momentum over the course of 2012, according to this report, and now projected at 6 percent in 2012, rising to about 6½ percent in 2013. Stronger economic and policy fundamentals have helped buffer the region's economies against the global financial crisis, by limiting adverse financial market spillovers and ameliorating the impact of deleveraging by European banks, but a sharp fall in exports to advanced economies and a reversal of foreign capital flows would have a severe impact on the region. The region's policymakers now face the difficult task of calibrating the amount of insurance needed to support stable, noninflationary growth. Some Asian and Pacific economies can afford to lengthen the pause in the normalization of their macroeconomic policies that was initiated when the global recovery stalled late in 2011; others may need a faster return to more neutral policy stances. Similarly, the pace of fiscal consolidation should be calibrated to country-specific circumstances. Additional chapters in the report discuss whether China is rebalancing and the particular challenges facing Asian low-income and small island economies.

Middle East and Central Asia region Update
Date: April 2012
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is going through a period of unprecedented change. In the 'Arab Spring' countries, political transition, pressing social demands, and an adverse external environment have combined to increase the near-term risks to macroeconomic stability. These risks were contained during 2011 but, with growth faltering, unemployment rising, and continued fiscal and external pressures, 2012 will be an equally challenging year. The Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) region recorded fairly strong economic performance in 2011, underpinned by robust commodity exports and remittance inflows. Although growth of such flows is expected to moderate in the near term—reflecting a weaker external environment—CCA economies are still expected to hold up well. This broadly positive outlook presents an opportunity for CCA policymakers to rebuild policy buffers, prepare for downside risks that might materialize, and foster an inclusive growth agenda.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere
Date: April 2012
Growth in much of Latin America remains solid, although it slowed during the second half of 2011 as result of the combined effects of policy tightening and global uncertainties. Under our baseline, we expect growth in Latin America and the Caribbean to moderate to about 3¾ percent in 2012, from about 4½ last year. For many countries, high commodity prices and easy external financing conditions will provide tailwinds. For others, weak growth in the United States and other advanced-country partners, or homegrown fiscal problems, will hold back activity. This edition of the Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere elaborates on three key themes. First, the global economic environment is somewhat better than in late 2011, but remains risky as renewed tensions from Europe and the likelihood of an oil price shock cannot be discarded. Second, external conditions will remain stimulative for much of Latin America: The double tailwinds of easy external finance and high commodity prices are likely to persist for a while, though not forever. And third, this environment creates opportunities for Latin America-opportunities to build on the resilience and flexibility that has served it so well during the global crisis of 2008-09. This edition also expands on these themes through analytical features on regional spillovers, the growth effects of global financial shocks, and housing and mortgage markets in the region.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: October 2011
In line with the weaker global outlook, growth in Asia is expected to be slightly lower in 2011-12 than forecast in April 2011, mainly as a result of weakening external demand, but the expansion should remain healthy, supported by domestic demand, which has been generally resilient. Overheating pressures remain elevated in a number of economies, with credit growth still robust and inflation momentum generally high, though inflation is expected to recede modestly after peaking in 2011. The sell-off in Asian financial markets in August and September 2011 underscores that an escalation of euro area financial turbulence and a renewed slowdown in the United States could have severe macroeconomic and financial spillovers to Asia. Against this backdrop, Asian low-income and Pacific Island economies face particular challenges in the near and medium term. In low-income countries, the fight against inflation is complicated by strong second-round effects, the need to phase out subsidies, and less well-anchored inflation expectations. Pacific Island economies need to undertake further structural reforms to lift potential growth.

Regional Economic Outlook: Europe
Date: October 2011
Following a strong showing in early 2011, the economies across Europe now face the prospect of a pronounced slowdown, as global growth has softened, risk aversion has risen, and strains in Europe’s sovereign debt and financial markets have deepened, according to the Regional Economic Outlook: Europe. Downside risks are significant, and a further deepening of the euro area crisis would affect not only advanced Europe, but also emerging Europe, given its tight economic and financial ties. The policy stance in advanced Europe will need to be adapted to reflect the weakening and tense outlook, financial systems strengthened further, and a consistent, cohesive, and cooperative approach to monetary union adopted by all euro area stakeholders. The cross-country experience in the past decade in Europe shows the difference that good policies can make in boosting growth, with some European countries having grown rapidly while others have stagnated. Escaping low-growth traps, through broad-based reforms that address macroeconomic imbalances and country-specific structural rigidities, is possible.

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia
Date: October 2011
The Arab Spring holds the promise of improved living standards and a more prosperous future for the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa region. At the same time, the region is witnessing uncertainty and economic pressures from domestic and external sources, which will likely be exacerbated by the recent worsening of the global economy. The main challenge in the short term will be to manage expectations while maintaining economic stability. To that end, better-targeted subsidies and transfers will help free up resources for investment in infrastructure, education, and health. Policies aimed at fostering inclusive growth will also help cement the longer-term benefits of the ongoing changes in the region. In the Caucasus and Central Asia, the economic outlook is broadly positive. Exports and remittances--key growth drivers in 2010--are continuing to grow solidly, helping the recovery gain firm momentum. At the same time, uncertainties over the robustness of the global recovery constitute a downside risk to the growth outlook. Key challenges facing the region over the medium term are to create jobs and foster high and inclusive growth.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: October 2011
This year looks set to be another encouraging one for most sub-Saharan African economies. Reflecting mainly strong demand but also elevated commodity prices, the region's economy is set to expand by more than 5¼ percent in 2011. For 2012, the IMF staff's baseline projection is for growth to be higher at 5¾ percent, owing to one-off boosts to production in a number of countries. There are, however, specters at the feast: the increase in global food and fuel prices, amplified by drought affecting parts of the region, has hit the budgets of the poor and sparked rising inflation, and hesitations in the global recovery threaten to weaken export and growth prospects. The projection for 2012 for the region is highly contingent on global economic growth being sustained at about 4 percent. A further slowing of growth in advanced economies, curtailing global demand, would generate significant headwinds for the region's ongoing expansion, with more globally integrated countries likely to be most affected. Policies in the coming months need to tread a fine line between addressing the challenges that strong growth and recent exogenous shocks have engendered and warding off the adverse effects of another global downturn. In some slower-growing, mostly middle-income countries without binding financial constraints, policies should clearly remain supportive of output growth, even more so if global growth sputters. Provided the global economy experiences the currently predicted slow and steady growth, most of the region's low-income countries should focus squarely on medium-term considerations in setting fiscal policy while tightening monetary policy wherever nonfood inflation has climbed above single digits. In the event of a global downturn, subject to financing constraints, policies in these countries should focus on maintaining planned spending initiatives, while allowing automatic stabilizers to operate on the revenue side. For the region's oil exporters, better terms of trade provide a good opportunity to build up policy buffers against further price volatility.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere
Date: October 2011
Despite the recent deterioration in the global economic environment, projections for the region involve only a modest worsening of the outlook. The October 2011 Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere cautions, however, that there are severe downside risks. A sharp slowdown in Asia, for example in response to a recession in advanced economies, could impact commodity prices, with negative effects on Latin American commodity exporters. With global monetary policy likely to remain accommodative, capital flows could exacerbate overheating and amplify vulnerabilities in emerging markets. Countries with strong real linkages to the United States face a somewhat weaker outlook and should give priority to reducing public debt. Although much of the Caribbean is recovering from a prolonged recession, the outlook remains constrained by high public debt and weak tourism flows. This issue finds that policies can play an important role in mitigating the economic impact of terms-of-trade shocks, and underscores the need to rebuild policy buffers.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Europe
Date: May 2011
The May 2011 Regional Economic Outlook: Europe anticipates that recovery in the region will solidify, with recoveries in advanced and emerging Europe likely to be mutually reinforcing. Advanced Europe continues to absorb most of emerging Europe's exports, while the role of emerging Europe as a market for advanced Europe will expand. Chapters discuss the outlook and policy priorities for advanced and emerging Europe, and analyze the role of financial integration in the buildup and resolution of imbalances within the euro area.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: May 2011
Sub-Saharan Africa's economic recovery is well under way, although among country groups there is variation in the speed of the recovery. In most of the region's low-income countries and among the seven oil exporters growth is almost back to precrisis levels. However, in the region's middle-income countries, including South Africa, the recovery has been more gradual. This Regional Economic Outlook describes the impact of recent economic developments---sharp increases in food and fuel prices will need fiscal interventions targeting the poor, while higher oil prices will be a boon to some countries and adversely affect others. Policy adjustments are needed to move away from the supportive stance of the last few years but should be balanced against the need to alleviate the impact of rising food prices on poor households.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: April 2011
Asia and Pacific focuses on the policy challenges of managing the next phase of growth after Asia's recovery from the global crisis. The analytical chapters discuss how capital flows to the region may affect the monetary policy transmission mechanism and the role of macroprudential measures in this context, the implications of the Asian supply chain for rebalancing growth across the region, and the policy challenges for Asian low-income and Pacific Island countries. Economic recovery in Asia as a whole has been rapid (8.3 percent in 2010) and fueled by both exports and domestic demand. Looking ahead, growth is expected to continue at a more moderate but also more sustainable pace in 2011 and 2012, led by China and India. Meanwhile, new risks to the outlook have emerged. The full human cost and impact on infrastructure of the mid-March earthquake and tsunami in Japan remain to be determined. The steady response of the Japanese government and people has helped to contain the effects of the disaster on production, but a risk remains of prolonged disruptions in production that could spill over to other Asian economies in the regional supply chain. Moreover, tensions in the Middle East and North Africa and related risk of further oil price spikes could disrupt global growth and affect Asian exports. Finally, pockets of overheating have emerged in Asia, as core inflation and credit growth have accelerated in several Asian economies. The need to tighten macroeconomic policy stances has become more pressing than it was six months ago.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia
Date: April 2011
The April 2011 Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia takes stock of recent developments and discusses key policy issues facing the region. Changes taking place in the Middle East and North Africa provide an opportunity for the region to lay the foundation for a socially inclusive growth agenda. In the near term, however, social unrest and surging commodity prices will weigh on growth in a number of countries. Governments are, understandably, stepping up spending to offset the impact of surging global food and fuel prices. While most oil exporters can accommodate this additional expenditure-given their projected increase in oil revenues-for many oil-importers, it is straining fiscal balances. Going forward, priorities include job creation to address chronic unemployment and, over the medium-term, more cost-effective social safety nets to replace subsidies. In the Caucasus and Central Asia, strong growth continues on the back of higher oil and gas exports and government spending. To sustain this recovery, policymakers need to address rising inflation, respond to social pressures arising from high food prices without threatening fiscal stability, and restore the health of banking systems. Looking ahead, these countries will need to diversify their sources of growth beyond mining, oil, and gas to help step up job creation and reduce poverty.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere
Date: April 2011
The theme of this issue of the Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere, "Watching out for Overheating," reflects risks for much of the region from rising inflation, strong domestic demand resulting in widening current account deficits, and strong credit and asset price growth. A dual outlook for the global economy, in which growth in emerging economies continues to outstrip growth in advanced economies, has implications for policy challenges facing emerging market economies in the region. And in the Caribbean, where public debt is high, fiscal policy will need to be consolidating, to ensure macro stability and set the stage for future growth. For all countries, rising global commodity prices, especially that of food, threaten social safety networks for the most vulnerable populations.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: October 2010
Asia has entered the second year of the global economic expansion still firmly in the lead of the recovery. Growth in the first half of 2010 proceeded well above trend in almost all regional economies, as global manufacturing continued to rebound and fueled exports and investment in the region. Private consumption also remained strong, as labor conditions continued to improve and confidence remained high despite greater market volatility as a result of global financial turbulence.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Europe
Date: October 2010
The recovery in Europe continues, supported by strong policy action to contain sovereign debt problems in the euro area. In advanced Europe, lingering uncertainties and market pressures make for moderate and unequal growth, creating challenges for macroeconomic and financial sector policies. The REO also sheds light on the governance issues revealed by the crisis, arguing that better policy frameworks, in particular at the euro area level, promise a stronger Europe. For the first time, the REO devotes a separate chapter to the outlook for emerging Europe, where, after a deep recession, an export-led recovery is under way. However, the rebound is uneven across the region, and policymakers face the difficult challenge of dealing with the legacies of the crisis, while not hurting the recovery. Beyond the short term, the REO argues that the region will need to find new growth engines, as the capital inflows-driven and credit-fueled domestic demand boom needs to give way to more balanced growth. Indeed, the REO emphasizes that active fiscal policy and coordinated prudential measures are key to avoiding a repeat of the boom-bust cycle the region has just endured.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia
Date: October 2010
The October 2010 Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia reports on the regional implications of the global economic recovery and presents key policy challenges and recommendations. With the rebound in crude oil prices and production, the oil-exporting countries of the Middle East and North Africa will see visible improvements in their fiscal and external balances in 2010-11. Going forward, further efforts at financial sector development and economic diversification top the agenda. The region's oil-importing countries, which include Afghanistan and Pakistan, have weathered the global recession well. Pakistan, however, suffered from devastating floods in July/August, which will hold back growth this year. The overriding longer-term challenges for these countries are to raise growth and provide jobs for expanding populations. In the Caucasus and Central Asia, recovery has gained momentum in virtually all countries, aided by the lagged effect of fiscal stimulus and a favorable external environment. Exports are picking up, and remittances are rebounding, though at a slowing pace. Despite the broadly positive outlook, however, risks are largely on the downside. A priority is to resolve banking sector problems and, in some countries, to reduce external debt and current account deficits.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: October 2010
The October 2010 Regional Economic Outlook features: (i) an overview of economic developments and prospects in sub-Saharan Africa; (ii) an analytical assessment of how monetary policy changes are transmitted through the region's economies; and (iii) a study of why growth rates in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) have lagged behind other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The overview highlights the broad-based economic recovery that is now under way in sub-Saharan Africa and projects growth of 5 percent in 2010 and 5 1/2 percent in 2011. It explores the resilience of most economies in the region to the global financial crises of 2007-09 and explains why sound economic policy implementation and a growing orientation of trade toward Emerging Asia are expected to continue to underpin growth. The second chapter provides evidence suggesting that monetary policy may have more power to influence monetary conditions than previously assumed. Main messages from the WAEMU study are the importance of strong policy environments and political stability for achieving sustained growth; and of robust fiscal frameworks for directing resources towards priority spending needs.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere
Date: October 2010
"Heating Up in the South, Cooler in the North" broadly describes the economic scene for the Western Hemisphere. The report emphasizes how a mixed environment--with slow recovery in the United States and other advanced economies, but strength in Asia--differently shapes the outlooks for the diverse economies of Latin America and the Caribbean. This issue also focuses on financial issues in Latin America, with a chapter on the challenges of allowing credit to expand safely, without creating excessive risks, and a chapter that looks at macroprudential financial policies--topics especially important in today's context of low global interest rates and capital flows to emerging economies. The final chapter turns to Caribbean economies, exploring the drivers, and obstacles, that affect their growth.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Europe
Date: May 2010
A weak and uneven recovery is underway in Europe. Macroeconomic policies still support the upswing and extraordinary measures are underway to address the sovereign crisis. Now policymakers face the difficult balancing act between continuing their support for the economy and establishing a credible path to policy normalization. Priorities are large medium-term fiscal consolidations and, in the financial area, a shift from systemic support to interventions in individual financial institutions. Structural weaknesses also need to be addressed, including the revamping of financial sector regulation and supervision, improvements in the functioning of products and labor markets, and filling gaps in the euro area's fiscal governance. For emerging Europe, policies that facilitate a reorientation of the sources of growth toward the export sector and attract healthy capital inflows are key conditions to restart income convergence.

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia
Date: May 2010
The May 2010 Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia reports on the implications for the region of global economic developments and presents key policy challenges and recommendations. A resumption of capital inflows and the rebound in crude oil prices have aided the recovery in the oil-exporting countries of the Middle East and North Africa. The group of oil-importing countries is expected to show marginal increase in growth in response to a pickup in trade, investment, and bank credit. A key challenge for these countries is to enhance competitiveness to raise growth rates and generate employment. In the Caucasus and Central Asia, exports have begun to pick up, the decline in remittances appears to be slowing or reversing, and capital inflows have turned positive. For 2010, a recovery across the region is projected as the global economy, and in particular Russia, picks up speed. Overall, prospects for the region are improving and the regional impact of the Dubai crisis and events in Greece has been limited so far. Nevertheless, a repricing of sovereign debt cannot be excluded, adding a degree of uncertainty to the outlook.

Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere
Date: May 2010
A multispeed global recovery is under way, with some emerging markets in the lead and the major advanced economies growing more slowly. This macroeconomic setting has brought a return to easy global financial conditions and high commodity prices--a situation likely to be sustained for some time but unlikely to be permanent. Against that external backdrop, the recovery in the Latin America and Caribbean region overall is advancing faster than anticipated, but moving at different speeds across countries. The report discusses the varying policy challenges that different countries face as the global recovery proceeds. Chapter 1 analyzes the global setting and the outlook for the United States and Canada in particular, while Chapter 2 focuses on the outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean. Chapter 3 looks in depth at the challenges arising from the return of easy external financial conditions. Together with high commodity prices, such conditions represent favorable "tailwinds" for many countries of the region, but also carry risks for policymakers to address.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: April 2010
One year after the deepest recession in recent history, Asia is leading the global recovery. The Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific discusses the near-term outlook for the region, as well as the medium-term policy challenges that countries face. As in many emerging and developing markets, Asia rebounded swiftly during 2009 and in the first quarter of 2010, and in the near term the region is expected to continue leading the global recovery. In the medium term, the global crisis has highlighted the importance for Asia of ensuring that private domestic demand becomes a more prominent engine of growth.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: April 2010
The economic slowdown in sub-Saharan Africa looks set to be mercifully brief. Recovery is now under way across the region. The regional's relative resilience during this global recession, compared with previous global downturns, owes much to the health of its economies and the strengthening of policy frameworks in the run-up to the crisis. Countercyclical macroeconomic policies played an important role, with nearly two-thirds of those sub-Saharan Africa countries that experienced a slowdown in 2009 increasing government spending to buttress economic activity. However, progress toward the Millennium Development Goals receded. Middle-income and oil-exporting countries were hit hardest by the collapse in world trade and commodity markets; the regional's low-income countries escaped fairly lightly. Looking ahead, fiscal policies in sub-Saharan Africa generally need to be refocused toward medium-term objectives, macroeconomic policy buffers rebuilt, and financial systems strengthened.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: October 2009
Asia has rebounded fast from the depth of the global crisis. Initially, the region was hit extremely hard, with output in most countries shrinking by much more than even those nations at the epicenter of the crisis. But starting in February 2009, Asia's economy began to revive. Exports and industrial production have increased again, financial pressures have eased, confidence has largely been restored. What explains this remarkable comeback? What challenges does the recovery pose to Asian policymakers? These are the main questions addressed in the IMF's October 2009 "Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific." The report discusses the latest developments in Asia, examines the prospects for the period ahead, and considers the policy steps needed to sustain the recovery and rebalance Asia's medium-term growth.

Regional Economic Outlook - Europe: Securing Recovery
Date: October 2009
Europe's contraction is ending, but the recovery is fragile. Policymakers should look beyond the crisis to secure a durable upswing and address the threats to potential growth from the crisis and the continent's well-known structural rigidities. The report's analytical work stresses the uncertainty surrounding potential growth estimates, and the more volatile environment faced by emerging economies in a tightly integrated region. In the near term, this calls for measures to restore the financial sector to health and for continued macroeconomic support, while preparing for the exit from extraordinary interventions in a coordinated and transparent fashion. Higher longer-term growth through structural change will support the recovery, smooth the exit, and help emerging markets to adjust to lower capital inflows in the crisis' aftermath. Published biannually in May and October.

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia
Date: October 2009
The global economic crisis has taken a toll on the Middle East and Central Asia region, but appropriate policy responses have helped mitigate the impact. Looking ahead, the region’s oil exporters are expected to benefit from rising oil prices as the world economy begins to pull out of an unparalleled post-World War II recession. Oil importers, however, are likely to continue to face continued headwinds that may delay an uptake in growth. Where feasible, countries should continue to support domestic demand to lessen the impact of the crisis on the poor while maintaining a focus on debt sustainability. For the region's low-income countries, higher donor support will be needed to maintain economic development. Across the region, governments should further strengthen financial systems and be careful not to lose momentum on structural reforms. Published biannually in May and October.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: October 2009
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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Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere
Date: October 2009
The impact of the global financial crisis and recession on the Latin America and Caribbean region was substantial, but the worst is over for most countries. The region avoided falling into a crisis of its own, performing relatively well amid strong external shocks. Many countries have now returned to growth. The region now faces the challenge of adapting to a new global environment that will not be as favorable as in the past. The latest edition of the report explores the lessons and policy agenda emerging from the recent performance of the Latin America and Caribbean region, drawing also on the broader international experience. Published biannually in May and October.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: May 2009
The May 2009 Asia and Pacific REO looks at the impact of the global financial crisis on Asia. Chapter 1 argues that a sustained recovery will need to await an improvement in the global economy, given Asian economies' specialization on advanced manufacturing and increasing financial ties with the rest of the world. Indeed, Chapter 2 shows that Asia has typically not recovered until exports have started to revive. An expansionary policy stance would provide insurance against the risks that a delayed global recovery could hurt the corporate and bank sectors, as discussed in Chapter 3. Some useful insights on how to deal with the adverse impact of the crisis may come from Japan's experience during the 1990s, discussed in Chapter 4.

Regional Economic Outlook: Europe
Date: May 2009
Europe is in a deep recession. Adverse feedback between the financial and real sectors and across borders is likely to delay the recovery and create downside risks. Unprecedented policies have been undertaken to address the crisis-but are they likely to be successful and sufficiently coordinated for a tightly integrated region? To restore trust and confidence in financial markets, additional and forceful action will be essential. Maintaining fiscal support should help soften the downturn, in particular if sustainability is supported by solid medium-term strategies and fiscal frameworks. To be effective, these policies require coordination across advanced and emerging economies. The report's analytical work underpins the link between fiscal sustainability, coordination, and effectiveness, and stresses that emerging markets have been affected differently by the crisis, with the quality of policies and external vulnerabilities being key factors.

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia
Date: May 2009
The global crisis is now affecting the countries in the Middle East and Central Asia region, and economic and financial vulnerabilities are rising. In the Middle East and North Africa, good economic fundamentals, appropriate policy responses, and sizable currency reserves are helping mitigate the impact of the shock. In the Caucasus and Central Asia, lower commodity prices and adverse economic developments in Russia have hit hard. The report notes that countries should prepare for the contingency of a prolonged global slowdown by supporting domestic demand for a longer period and strengthening financial systems further. In some countries with rising unemployment, it will be important to target government resources and policies on protecting the poor; in others, increased donor support will be necessary to maintain needed economic development.

Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere
Date: May 2009
The global crisis that began in advanced economies has sent severe shocks around the world, posing a test to the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean. The good news is that during this decade the region has made itself more resilient to external shocks, by strengthening policy frameworks and reducing vulnerabilities in its public finances and financial systems. These preparations, the report shows, mean that countries are now more able to respond to the external crisis, many for the first time, with active policies to boost output and employment and protect the most vulnerable groups. This will help contain the damage from the global crisis and speed up the region's recovery.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: April 2009
The global financial crisis has worsened significantly the economic outlook for sub-Saharan Africa. Demand for African exports and commodity export prices have fallen, and remittance flows may be weakening. Tighter global credit and investor risk aversion have led to a reversal of portfolio inflows, less favorable conditions for trade finance, and could lower foreign direct investment. As a result, growth has started to slow markedly and fiscal and balance of payments pressures are mounting. Risks remain high and the prospects for recovery remain uncertain. Financial systems in the region have so far been resilient to the global crisis, but the economic slowdown is likely to increase credit risk and nonperforming loans and weaken financial institutions' balance sheets. Sub-Saharan African countries should seek to contain the adverse impact of the crisis on economic growth and poverty, while preserving important hard-won gains of recent years, including macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: November 2008
The November 2008 Asia and Pacific REO focuses on the difficult economic environment facing policymakers in the region. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the outlook for the region. With growth slowing, and the global financial crisis increasingly affecting the region, macroeconomic and financial policies will need to be proactive. Chapter 2 looks more closely at inflation in Asia, finding that it is increasingly imported and volatile, which raises important questions about monetary policy frameworks in the future. Chapter 3 takes a longer-term look at how the expected rapid aging of the region may affect capital flows and financial markets in the years to come.

Regional Economic Outlook: Europe
Date: October 2008
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
Date: October 2008
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
Date: October 2008
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.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere
Date: October 2008
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: Middle East and Central Asia
Date: May 2008
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.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: April 2008
2008 is shaping up as a challenging year for Asia. Activity in most economies remains fairly buoyant, but growth in the United States and, to a lesser extent, Europe is slowing sharply. Given its extensive trade and financial linkages with the rest of the world, Asia is unlikely to delink. At the same time, inflation pressures are picking up across much of the region. Moreover, the still-unfolding global financial crisis adds a dimension of uncertainty to the picture, and the balance of risks remains on the downside. However, most countries in the region are well-placed to undertake counter-cyclical policies should these prove necessary.

Regional Economic Outlook: Europe
Date: April 2008
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.
Русский  

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: April 2008
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 6 1/2 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 8 1/2 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.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere
Date: April 2008
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.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Europe
Date: November 2007
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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Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere
Date: November 2007
In spite of a slower U.S. economy and recent market turbulence, growth in the Latin America and Caribbean region has continued at a robust pace. This reports explores the resilience of the LAC region to external shocks and the policy challenges involved in sustaining the region's improved fundamentals. The analysis focuses, in particular, on real and financial linkages with the United States, the strength of underlying fiscal positions, and the sustainability of the ongoing credit boom.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: October 2007
Economic developments in Asia have been positive so far in 2007. Growth has been stronger (and in many cases more balanced) than expected across much of the region, again led by China and India, and inflation pressures remain largely contained. Moreover, Asia weathered the recent financial turbulence relatively well. The outlook is favorable, with growth expected to decline only modestly in 2008 as foreign demand for Asia's exports slows. The main risk for the region is a sharper-than-expected global slowdown.

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia
Date: October 2007
The Middle East and Central Asia is undergoing a remarkable transformation driven by rapid GDP growth and high oil and non-oil commodity prices. The report presents common economic trends and reviews prospects and policies for the coming year in light of the global economic environment. This latest REO includes boxes treating both regional topics--such as growth in the Maghreb countries; developments in the oil markets; the boom in the GCC countries, and the impact of the recent global credit squeeze on the region--and country-specific reviews, of Kazakhstan, Armenia, Egypt, Pakistan, and the UAE.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: October 2007
The region's prospects look strong. Growth in sub-Saharan Africa should reach 6 percent in 2007 and 6¾ percent in 2008. The economic expansion is strongest in oil exporters but cuts across all country groups. This would extend a period of very good performance. In recent years, sub-Saharan Africa has been experiencing its strongest growth and lowest inflation in over 30 years.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia
Date: May 2007
The report provides a broad overview of recent economic developments and prospects in countries covered by the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, and highlights the need for strengthened policies to sustain growth and reduce unemployment.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: April 2007
The recent economic and financial developments and trends in Asia and the Pacific are examined in this latest REO, including issues related to Asia's trade performance, notably in the high-tech sector, and the February-March bout of turbulence in the region's financial markets. The near-term outlook, key risks, and their related policy challenges are analyzed throughout, as well as in special chapters that look more closely at the evolving nature of capital inflows, housing market developments, and the impact of commodity price booms on lower-income economies.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: April 2007
Sub-Saharan Africa's growth performance during the past three years has been the best in more than three decades, and higher oil revenues and increased debt relief have been used to make progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Despite spending pressures, most countries have managed to preserve macroeconomic stability with policies intended to support and sustain the region's higher growth. This latest REO is complemented by analyses on the macroeconomic challenges for oil producers, changing trade patterns, including with China, and the development of government debt markets.

Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere
Date: April 2007
The past year has been one of strong economic performance for the Western Hemisphere, notwithstanding somewhat slower growth in the United States in recent quarters. Can this performance be sustained, and what challenges does the region face? Reviewing macroeconomic prospects and risks, this report pays particular attention to the influence of the external environment on Latin America, and addresses the question of whether Latin America has now succeeded in breaking with its history of periodic growth reversals.

Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere
Date: November 2006
This report provides the IMF's latest views on recent developments and prospects for the region, discusses potential risks to the forecast, and describes key policy challenges.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: September 2006
This report gives the IMF's view of the outlook for Asia, identifies the main risks to growth, and considers the key factors that will influence capital inflows. The REO also discusses short-run macroeconomic policy issues for the region, as well as longer-term challenges, including the need to raise consumption and rebalance growth, develop further regional financial and capital markets, and address growing income inequality.

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia
Date: September 2006
The report provides a broad overview of recent economic developments, and prospects and policy issues for 2006 and 2007. MCD countries are divided into three groups: oil exporters, low-income countries, and emerging markets. Countries are grouped based on the share of oil in total exports, per capita income, and access to international capital markets.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: September 2006
Prepared by the Policy Wing of the IMF African Department, and published twice a year in English and French, this report analyzes economic performance and short-term prospects of the 44 countries covered by the Department. Topics examined in recent volumes include responses to exogenous shocks, growth performance and growth-enhancing policies, the effectiveness of regional trade arrangements, macroeconomic implications of scaled-up aid, financial sector development, and fiscal decentralization. Detailed country data, grouped by oil-exporting and -importing countries and other analytical groupings as well as by subregion, are provided in a statistical appendix, and a list of relevant publications by the African Department is included.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: May 2006
This report gives the IMF's view of the outlook for Asia, identifies the main risks to growth, and considers the key factors that will influence capital inflows. The REO also hones in on the policy challenges facing the region, especially the need to spur domestic demand, so that growth becomes more balanced and sustainable and helps reduce the large global current account imbalances.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia
Date: May 2006
The report provides a broad synopsis of recent economic developments and prospects in the countries covered by the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, and highlights the need for policies to adjust further to a world of high oil prices.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: May 2006
Prepared by the Policy Wing of the IMF African Department, and published twice a year in English and French, Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa analyzes economic performance and short-term prospects of the 44 countries covered by the Department. Topics examined in recent volumes include responses to exogenous shocks, growth performance and growth-enhancing policies, the effectiveness of regional trade arrangements, macroeconomic implications of scaled-up aid, financial sector development, and fiscal decentralization. Detailed country data, grouped by oil-exporting and - importing countries and by subregion, are provided in an appendix and a statistical appendix, and a list of relevant publications by the African Department is included.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere, 2006 Midyear Update
Date: April 2006
This provides a midyear update on recent economic developments and prospects for countries in the region. The update describes policy developments that have helped underpin the region's recent favorable economic performance and also discusses the key challenges that policymakers will face in managing vulnerabilities, fostering growth and poverty reduction, while maintaining macroeconomic stability.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa Supplement
Date: October 2005
Against a background of an easing of demand for imports in advanced countries, average real GDP growth is now expected to decline slightly in 2005 from its strong performance in 2004.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: September 2005
Looking ahead, prospects are relatively bright. Regional growth is expected to amount to 6% both this year and next, propelled by vigorous exports and strong domestic demand in China and India.

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia
Date: September 2005
This Regional Economic Outlook, covering countries in the Middle East and Central Asia Department (MCD), provides a broad synopsis of recent economic developments, highlighting common macroeconomic trends and policies. In light of recent developments, the Regional Economic Outlook focuses on two topics: the economic consequences of the oil boom on the region's oil exporters, and the policy responses to upward exchange rate pressure in some MCD countries.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: May 2005
This first, annual issue of Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa analyzes economic, trade, and institutional issues in 2004, and prospects in 2005, for the 42 countries covered by the African Department (for data reasons, Eritrea and Liberia are excluded). Topics examined include responses to exogenous shocks, growth performance and growth-enhancing policies, and the effectiveness of regional trade arrangements. Detailed aggregate and country data (as of February 24, 2005) are provided in the appendix.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: October 2004
This Outlook has a special focus on regional integration initiatives in Africa. As emphasized at the recent summit of the African Union, accelerated regional integration has the potential of boosting economic growth and promoting poverty reduction.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: March 2004
The updated Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa paints a mixed picture of economic outcomes in 2003 and projections for 2004. On the bright side, a significant number of countries continued to experience relatively strong growth in 2003, and the number is expected to increase this year.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: June 2003
The analysis and projections contained in this first issue of the African Department's Regional Economic Outlook aim at supplementing the Department's bilateral surveillance of economic developments and policies in its member countries. The survey of recent economic developments and prospects is the product of a comprehensive intradepartmental review of economic developments in sub-Saharan Africa that draws primarily on information the staff gathers through consultation with member countries in the context of surveillance and lending activities.