World Economic Outlook--October 1997
A Survey by the Staff of the International Monetary Fund


The projections and analysis contained in the World Economic Outlook are an integral element of the IMF’s ongoing surveillance of economic developments and policies in its member countries and of the global economic system. The IMF has published the World Economic Outlook annually from 1980 through 1983 and biannually since 1984.

The survey of prospects and policies is the product of a comprehensive interdepartmental review of world economic developments, which draws primarily on information the IMF staff gathers through its consultations with member countries. These consultations are carried out in particular by the IMF’s area departments together with the Policy Development and Review Department and the Fiscal Affairs Department.

The country projections are prepared by the IMF’s area departments on the basis of internationally consistent assumptions about world activity, exchange rates, and conditions in international financial and commodity markets. For approximately 50 of the largest economies—accounting for 90 percent of world output—the projections are updated for each World Economic Outlook exercise. For smaller countries, the projections are based on those prepared at the time of the IMF’s regular Article IV consultations with member countries or in connection with the use of IMF resources; for these countries, the projections used in the World Economic Outlook are incrementally adjusted to reflect changes in assumptions and global economic conditions.

The analysis in the World Economic Outlook draws extensively on the ongoing work of the IMF’s area and specialized departments, and is coordinated in the Research Department under the general direction of Michael Mussa, Economic Counsellor and Director of Research. The World Economic Outlook project is directed by Flemming Larsen, Deputy Director of the Research Department, together with Graham Hacche, Chief of the World Economic Studies Division.

Primary contributors to the current issue are Donogh McDonald, Francesco Caramazza, Staffan Gorne, Mark De Broeck, Paula De Masi, Jahangir Aziz, Kornélia Krajnyák, Ramana Ramaswamy, Phillip Swagel, Andrew Tweedie, and Cathy Wright. Other contributors include Adam Bennett, Andrew Berg, Thomas Krueger, Guy Meredith, Blair Rourke, Karen Swiderski, Christopher Towe, and Milan Zavadjil. Chapter III was written in close collaboration with the IMF’s European I Department. The authors of the annexes are indicated on the first page of each. The Fiscal Analysis Division of the Fiscal Affairs Department computed the structural budget and fiscal impulse measures. Sungcha Hong Cha, Mandy Hemmati, Michelle Marquardt, and Anthony G. Turner provided research assistance. Allen Cobler, Nicholas Dopuch, Isabella Dymarskaia, Gretchen Gallik, and Yasoma Liyanarachchi processed the data and managed the computer systems. Susan Duff, Caroline Bagworth, Margaret Dapaah, and Helen Hwang were responsible for word processing. Juanita Roushdy of the External Relations Department edited the manuscript and coordinated production of the publication.

The analysis has benefited from comments and suggestions by staff from other IMF departments, as well as by Executive Directors following their discussion of the World Economic Outlook on August 27 and 29, 1997. However, both projections and policy considerations are those of the IMF staff and should not be attributed to Executive Directors or to their national authorities.

©1997 International Monetary Fund

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