News, views, and analysis from the IMF
Phone stall in Kinshasa, Dem Rep Congo: some 85 percent of region’s people are outside formal financial system (photo: Benedicte Kurzen/MCT/Newscom)
March 30, 2015
Improving access to financial services can make a difference in Africa’s economic performance, Central African policymakers hear at a conference on financial inclusion in the region held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.
In the News
February 26, 2015
Today’s job market demands more specialized skills, with migration and technology helping—not hurting—chances of high-quality employment, according to the March 2015 issue of Finance & Development (F&D) magazine.
February 05, 2015
The IMF will provide grants totaling $100 million to be used as debt relief to the three countries worst hit by the Ebola epidemic. Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone will use the funds to cover the cost of servicing their debt.
January 26, 2015
From the start of 2015, the IMF has made its online economic data available to everyone free of charge. Users have access to a wealth of macroeconomic data covering all economic sectors of a large part of the IMF’s member countries.
IMF Survey Interview
December 22, 2014
While banks in the GCC countries are generally well capitalized, it is difficult for them to have a truly diversified credit portfolio given the structure of their economies, which exposes them to risks that require a greater amount of scrutiny, a new IMF study finds.
December 09, 2014
The decline in economic growth in the euro area due to the financial crisis accounts for half the increase in youth unemployment in the region, according to IMF staff research released today.
November 17, 2014
Improving the efficiency of public infrastructure investment across many oil exporters in the Middle East and North Africa and the Caucasus and Central Asia is now more important than ever, a new IMF study says.
What the Numbers Show
Did You Know?
The world’s population is projected to rise from 7 billion this year to over 9 billion in 2050. But low fertility combined with the fact that people are living longer means that 1.25 billion elderly (ages 60+) and 1 billion working-age adults will be added to the global population by 2050, while the number of people younger than 25 will hold steady at 3 billion.
Countries & Regions
March 24, 2015
The IMF Executive Board approves a loan and grant package for Sierra Leone to help the West African country counter an economic slump, engendered by the Ebola outbreak and a sharp drop in iron ore prices, that is stretching the country’s social protection system.
March 23, 2015
Amid concerns over a “new mediocre” in the global economy, trade should be seen as an integral part of the plan for increasing global growth over the medium term, the IMF says in its regular five-year review of trade, that also discusses key issues for the IMF’s work agenda.
March 19, 2015
Several features of countries’ banking systems can amplify effects of banking sector vulnerabilities on governments, and ultimately the fiscal costs of banking crises. When large banking expansions unravel in systemic banking crises, public finances tend to take a significant hit.
February 04, 2015
Rapid expansion of cross-border banking in Africa in recent years poses oversight challenges that, if unaddressed, may increase systemic risks, IMF staff say. A recent report adds that pan-African banks are now more important than the continent’s long-established European and American banks.