Chart of the Week: Sub-Saharan Africa’s Growth—A Tale of Different Experiences

2019-03-13T10:53:11-04:00December 13, 2018|

By IMFBlog

December 13, 2018

Villagers of Moruleng mining community in South Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa countries can see an increase in growth by relying less on commodities and more on non-resource intensive investments. (Photo: SIPHIWE SIBEKI/Reuters/Newscom)

The story of Africa’s growth rate over recent years is a tale with several story lines.  […]

Realizing the Potential of the G20 Compact with Africa

2019-03-13T12:18:01-04:00October 30, 2018|

By Christine Lagarde

October 30, 2018

عربي, 中文Español, Français, 日本語Português, Русский

Power Plant, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The G20 Compact with Africa was initiated under the German G20 Presidency to promote private investment in Africa, including in infrastructure. So far, eleven African countries have joined the initiative: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia (photo: Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters/Newsom)

The Compact with Africa focuses on a fundamental challenge for the continent: how to accelerate private sector investment and create jobs. To realize its full potential, all parties need to deliver. […]

Chart of the Week: Distribution of Globalization’s Gains

2019-03-14T11:37:23-04:00May 31, 2018|

By IMFBlog

May 31, 2018

A garment factory in Ethiopia, which globalization has helped to boost its growth (photo: Kay Neitfeld/Newscom).

While globalization is generally good for economic growth, the benefits are subject to diminishing marginal returns, according to a recent study of 147 countries from 1970 to 2014. The study looks at how globalization affects the distribution of incomes across and within countries.   […]

Adapting to Climate Change—Three Success Stories

2019-03-14T13:42:52-04:00March 20, 2018|

By Evgenia Pugacheva and Mico Mrkaic

March 20, 2018

When governments subsidize private investment in adaptation, the economic costs of extreme weather events can be reduced (photo: Leolintang/iStock by Getty Images).

Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing our planet. Its negative effects on health, the biosphere, and labor productivity are already being felt throughout the world. Aware of the danger, communities, households, and governments have started taking measures to reduce their exposures and vulnerability to weather shocks and climate change. Our study in the World Economic Outlook shows that public investment in adaptation can partially reduce the economic costs of severe weather events.   […]

Chart of the Week: Inequality, Your Health, and Fiscal Policy

2019-03-15T11:06:05-04:00February 5, 2018|

By Mercedes García-EscribanoBaoping Shang, and Emmanouil (Manos) Kitsios

February 5, 2018 

 Catania Sicily, Italy.  Men with a lower level of education live shorter lives, on average, than their better educated fellow citizens (photo: Jann Huizenga/Getty Images/IStock).

The gap in life expectancy between rich and poor people is a worldwide phenomenon, and has grown dramatically in recent years in some countries. 

In our Chart of the Week, we show how this longevity gap, which reflects inequality in access to health care and its impact on peoples’ overall health, varies across countries. Men with a lower level of education live shorter lives, on average, than their better educated fellow citizens: this gap ranges from four years in Italy, to 14 years in Hungary, according to the October 2017 Fiscal Monitor. […]

5 Things You Need to Know About Inequality

2019-03-15T12:00:53-04:00January 23, 2018|

By IMFBlog

January 23, 2018

Versions in عربي (Arabic),  中文  (Chinese), Español (Spanish), Français (French),  Русский (Russian)

A man with donations from a food bank in Los Angeles, California: inequality within countries is on the rise, including in advanced economies like the United States (photo: Lucy Nicholson/Newscom).

Tackling inequality is not only a moral imperative. It is critical for sustaining growth.

Global income inequality has declined in recent years, with the Gini index—a statistical measure of income distribution with a value of zero indicating perfect equality—dropping from 68 in 1988 to 62 in 2013, reflecting relatively strong growth in many emerging and developing economies, particularly in China and India. However, inequality has increased within many countries, including in many advanced economies. […]

The IMF’s Work on Inequality: Bridging Research and Reality

2019-03-26T12:04:27-04:00February 22, 2017|

By Prakash Loungani and Jonathan D. Ostry

Versions in عربي (Arabic),  中文 (Chinese), Français (French), and Español (Spanish)

Over the past three decades, income inequality has gone up in most advanced economies and in many developing ones as well. Why? Much of the research on inequality has focused on advances in technology and liberalization of trade as the main drivers. While technology and trade are global trends that are difficult to resist, IMF studies have shown that the design of government policies matters and can help limit increases in inequality. […]

The Fruits of Growth: Economic Reforms and Lower Inequality

2019-03-26T13:25:50-04:00January 26, 2017|

Lagarde.2015MDPORTRAIT4_114x128By Christine Lagarde

Versions in: عربي (Arabic), 中文 (Chinese), Français (French), 日本語 (Japanese), Português (Portuguese), Русский (Russian), and Español (Spanish)

Growth is essential for improving the lives of people in low-income countries, and it should benefit all parts of society.

Traveling through Africa in the last few days, I have been amazed by the vitality I have witnessed: business startups investing in the future, new infrastructure under construction, and a growing middle class. Many Africans are now making a better living and fewer are suffering from poverty. My current host, Uganda, for example, has more than halved its absolute poverty rate to about 35 percent from close to 90 percent in 1990.

But we have also seen a flip side. Poverty, of course, but inequality as well remain stubbornly high in most developing countries, including in Africa, and too often success is not shared by all.  […]

[…]

Africa’s Success: More Than A Resource Story

2017-04-14T02:15:20-04:00October 31, 2013|

Antoinette SayehBy Antoinette M. Sayeh

When meeting with people outside Africa, I’m often asked whether Africa’s growth takeoff since the mid-1990s has been simply a “commodity story”—a ride fueled by windfall gains from high commodity prices. But finance ministers and other policymakers in the region, and I was one of them, know that the story is richer than that.

In this spirit, in our latest Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa a team of economists from the IMF’s African Department show that Africa’s continued success is more than a commodity story.  In fact, quite a few economies in the region have become high performers without basing their success on natural resources—thanks in no small part to sound policymaking.

[…]

Africa: Second Fastest-Growing Region in the World

2017-04-15T13:35:22-04:00June 10, 2013|

Antoinette SayehBy Antoinette M. Sayeh 

Sub-Saharan Africa is the second fastest-growing region of the world today, trailing only developing Asia.  This is remarkable compared to the current complicated state of the global economy, with Europe still struggling and the United States slowly on the mend.

In 2012, Sub-Saharan Africa maintained solid growth, with output growth at 5 percent on average. The factors that have supported the region through the Great Recession—strong investment, favorable commodity prices, and generally prudent macroeconomic management—continued to be at play.

[…]

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