Regional Economic Outlook

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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April 2011

Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere - Watching Out for Overheating, May 2011 -- Table of Contents

April 1, 2011

Description: The IMF's Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere provides in-depth coverage of recent economic developments in the region, and country-specific analyses of risks from inflation, economic overheating, rising commodity prices, and rapid credit growth, as well as prospects for the private sector, trade, and public spending.

October 2010

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, October 2010 -- Resilience and Risks

October 25, 2010

Description: 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 5½ 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.

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, October 2010 -- Table of Contents

October 24, 2010

Description: 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: Europe -- Building Confidence, October 2010 -- Table of Contents

October 20, 2010

Description: 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.

May 2010

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, May 2010 -- Table of Contents

May 25, 2010

Description: 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: Europe -- Fostering Sustainability, May 2010 -- Table of Contents

May 11, 2010

Description: 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: Western Hemisphere - Title, May 2010 -- Table of Contents

May 4, 2010

Description: 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.

April 2010

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