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 2010

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

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

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

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

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.

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