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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October 2019

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia

October 28, 2019

Description: The impact on growth in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region from global headwinds remains muted thus far, while growth in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) region is stable. However, growth is too low to meet the needs of growing populations, while risks to the outlook have increased. They include global trade uncertainties, volatile oil prices, geopolitical tensions, and domestic vulnerabilities in some countries.

Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Outlook: Caught in Prolonged Uncertainty

October 22, 2019

Description: Headwinds from prolonged global policy uncertainty, distortionary trade measures, and growth deceleration in the economies of important trading partners are influencing economic growth in Asia and the Pacific. Although the region is still the world’s fastest growing major region, contributing more than two-thirds to global growth, near-term prospects have deteriorated noticeably since the April 2019 World Economic Outlook, with risks skewed to the downside.

Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Economic Outlook: Navigating Uncertainty

October 18, 2019


Growth in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to remain at 3.2 percent in 2019 and rise to 3.6 percent in 2020. The expected recovery, however, is at a slower pace than previously envisaged for about two-thirds of the countries in the region, partly due to a challenging external environment. Growth is projected to remain strong in non-resource-intensive countries, averaging about 6 percent. As a result, 24 countries, home to about 500 million people, will see their per capita income rise faster than the rest of the world. In contrast, growth is expected to move in slow gear in resource-intensive countries (2½ percent). Hence, 21 countries are projected to have per capita growth lower than the world average. Reducing risks and promoting sustained and inclusive growth across all countries in the region requires carefully calibrating the near-term policy mix, building resilience, and raising medium-term growth.

April 2019

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia Update

April 29, 2019

Description: Growth for countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region has weakened but remains broadly stable in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA). Volatile oil prices, restrained oil production, and tighter domestic monetary conditions in most oil exporters add to headwinds from slowing global growth. Elevated public debt in oil importers limits capacity to address critical infrastructure and social needs, restrains growth, and leaves economies vulnerable to external shocks. A more challenging external environment increases the urgency across all regions of further growth-friendly fiscal consolidation and structural reform efforts to enhance resilience and deliver higher and more inclusive private-sector-led growth.

Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Economic Outlook: Recovery Amid Elevated Uncertainty

April 12, 2019


Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Economic Outlook: Recovery Amid Elevated Uncertainty

The economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa continues. Regional growth is set to pick up from 3 percent in 2018 to 3.5 percent in 2019, before stabilizing at close to 4 percent over the medium term. These region‑wide numbers mask considerable differences in the growth performance and prospects of countries across the region. About half of the region’s countries— mostly non-resource-intensive countries—are expected to grow at 5 percent or more, which would see per capita incomes rise faster than the rest of the world on average over the medium term. For all other countries, mostly resource-intensive countries, improvements in living standards will be slower. Notwithstanding these different economic prospects and policy priorities, countries share the challenge of strengthening resilience and creating higher, more inclusive and durable growth. Addressing these challenges requires building fiscal space and enhancing resilience to shocks by stepping up actions to mobilize revenues, alongside policies to boost productivity and private investment.

November 2018

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia November 2018

November 6, 2018

Description: A modest growth recovery continues for countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan region. Higher oil prices are providing support for oil-exporting countries but are adding to pressures facing oil-importing countries. Meanwhile, growth in the Caucasus and Central Asia region exceeded expectations in 2017, but momentum is set to fade. At forecasted growth rates, it will take the region nearly two decades to reach the per capita income levels of emerging Europe. Faster-than-anticipated tightening of global financial conditions and rising trade tensions cloud the outlook for both regions. The increasingly challenging global environment underscores the need for both regions to build resilience and accelerate reforms that build dynamic private sectors and promote inclusive growth.

October 2018

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia Pacific

October 11, 2018


Asia has achieved remarkable economic success over the past five decades. Hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty, and successive waves of economies have made the transition to middle-income and even advanced-economy status. And whereas the region used to be almost entirely dependent on foreign know-how, several of its economies are now on the cutting edge of technological advance. Even more striking, all of this has happened within just a couple of generations, the product of a winning mix of integration with the global economy via trade and foreign direct investment (FDI), high savings rates, large investments in human and physical capital, and sound macroeconomic policies.

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