Regional Economic Reports

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 2010

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, April 2010 -- Table of Contents

Series: Sub-Saharan Africa

Date: April 23, 2010

Description: The economic slowdown in sub-Saharan Africa looks set to be mercifully brief. Recovery is now under way across the region. The region’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 region’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. Published biannually in May and October.

October 2009

Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere - Stronger Fundamentals Pay Off, May 2009 -- Table of Contents

Series: Western Hemisphere Region

Date: October 21, 2009

Description: 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 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.

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, October 2009 -- Table of Contents

Series: Middle East and Central Asia

Date: October 11, 2009

Description: 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: Europe -- Securing Recovery, October 2009 -- Table of Contents

Series: Europe

Date: October 3, 2009

Description: 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.

May 2009

Regional Economic Outlook: Europe -- Addressing the Crisis, May 2009 -- Table of Contents

Series: Europe

Date: May 12, 2009

Description: 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: Western Hemisphere - Stronger Fundamentals Pay Off, May 2009 -- Table of Contents

Series: Western Hemisphere Region

Date: May 6, 2009

Description: 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.

April 2009

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, April 2009 -- Table of Contents

Series: Sub-Saharan Africa

Date: April 24, 2009

Description: 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.

November 2008

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific, November 2008

Series: Asia and Pacific Region

Date: November 24, 2008

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