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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May 2018

Regional Economic Outlook: Domestic Revenue Mobilization and Private Investment

May 8, 2018

Description:

Domestic Revenue Mobilization and Private Investment

Sub-Saharan Africa is set to enjoy a modest growth uptick, and decisive policies are needed to both reduce vulnerabilities and raise medium-term growth prospects. Average growth in the region is projected to rise from 2.8 percent in 2017 to 3.4 percent in 2018, with growth accelerating in about two-thirds of the countries in the region aided by stronger global growth, higher commodity prices, and improved capital market access. On current policies, average growth in the region is expected to plateau below 4 percent—barely 1 percent in per capita terms—over the medium term. Turning the current recovery into sustained strong growth consistent with the achievement of the SDGs would require policies to both reduce vulnerabilities and raise medium-term growth prospects. Prudent fiscal policy is needed to rein in public debt, while monetary policy must be geared toward ensuring low inflation. Countries should also strengthen revenue mobilization and continue to advance structural reforms to reduce market distortions, shaping an environment that fosters private investment.

Regional Economic Outlook Update: Middle East and Central Asia

May 2, 2018

Description:

Growth is improving in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region and was stronger than expected last year in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) region. However, the regions are not fully benefitting from the stronger global outlook.

In MENAP, the fragile recovery requires further reforms that will help diversify economies, create jobs, and secure resilience.

Meanwhile, the growth momentum in the CCA is temporary, which is why action is needed now to spur private-sector development, so that the region avoids a new reality of low growth.

MENAP Full Text

CCA Full Text

Аймақтық экономикалық болжам Жаңарту

November 2017

October 2017

Regional Economic Outlook: Fiscal Adjustment and Economic Diversification

October 30, 2017

Description:

The broad-based slowdown in sub-Saharan Africa is easing but the underlying situation remains difficult. Growth is expected to reach 2.6 percent in 2017, but the pickup reflects one-off factors, notably a recovery in oil production in Nigeria and the easing of drought conditions in eastern and southern Africa. While a third of the countries in the region continue to grow at 5 percent or more, 12 countries home to 40 percent of the region’s population are expected to see per capita income decline. The external environment has improved somewhat, facilitating sovereign bond issuances by the region’s frontier economies. Foreign exchange market pressures appear to have abated, but international reserves remain low in many countries. Public debt has been rising rapidly across the region, including in the fast-growing economies. In this context, implementing the planned fiscal consolidations and reforms to tackle constraints on growth are the key policy priorities.

Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, October 2017

October 17, 2017

Description: Economic prospects for the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) and Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) regions are diverging. Despite the strengthening global recovery, the outlook for MENAP countries remains relatively subdued due to the continued adjustment to low oil prices and regional conflicts. In contrast, the outlook for the CCA region is improving, supported by the more favorable global environment. In both regions, efforts to promote growth-friendly fiscal consolidation, stronger monetary policy frameworks, economic diversification and private sector development should continue. The window of opportunity arising from various integration initiatives and the favorable external environment call for increasing trade openness, while the adoption of financial technologies could increase financial inclusion and facilitate greater access to credit. Together, these actions will help MENAP and CCA countries to secure higher and more inclusive growth.

May 2017

A Broadening Recovery

May 11, 2017

Description: Growth has broadened across Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESEE). Outside the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Turkey, growth has remained strong, driven by accommodative policies. Meanwhile, Russia and the rest of the CIS are finally on the road to recovery, with firming oil prices lifting activity. Growth in Turkey has rebounded partially after dropping sharply in the wake of elevated political uncertainty.

Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa

May 9, 2017

Description: Growth momentum in sub-Saharan Africa remains fragile, marking a break from the rapid expansion witnessed since the turn of the millennium. 2016 was a difficult year for many countries, with regional growth dipping to 1.4 percent—the lowest level of growth in more than two decades. Most oil exporters were in recession, and conditions in other resource-intensive countries remained difficult. Other nonresource-intensive countries however, continued to grow robustly. A modest recovery in growth of about 2.6 percent is expected in 2017, but this falls short of past trends and is too low to put sub-Saharan Africa back on a path of rising living standards. While sub-Saharan Africa remains a region with tremendous growth potential, the deterioration in the overall outlook partly reflects insufficient policy adjustment. In that context, and to reap this potential, strong and sound domestic policy measures are needed to restart the growth engine.

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