IMF Analyses

Public Information Notices (PINs) form part of the IMF’s efforts to promote transparency of the IMF’s views and analysis of economic developments and policies.

With the consent of the country (or countries) concerned, PINs are issued after Executive Board discussions of Article IV consultations with member countries, of its surveillance of developments at the regional level, of post-program monitoring, and of ex post assessments of member countries with longer-term program engagements. PINs are also issued after Executive Board discussions of general policy matters, unless otherwise decided by the Executive Board in a particular case.

According to the Regional Economic Outlook for the Middle East and Central Asia, released October 26 in Dubai, the CCA is set to grow 5.6% in 2011 and 6.2% in 2012. For the region’s oil- and gas-exporting countries, the expansion is driven by high oil and gas prices, while the oil- and gas-importing countries are benefiting from the continued recovery in Russia, a key trading partner.

However, external risks to the outlook in the CCA region have increased and derive from a heightened perception of fragility in the global recovery, the report noted.

“For the CCA, a sharp decline in global growth could mean a fall in commodity prices, a decline in export demand, and a decrease in remittances and capital flows to the region,” David Owen, Deputy Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department told a press conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

“If these external risks do not materialize, however, we foresee good prospects for the region, with fairly solid growth,” he added.

The growth outlook for region’s oil and gas-importing countries – Armenia, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan – is favourable. Activity has picked up strongly in 2011, reflecting a recovery from last year’s fall in agricultural production in Armenia and a rebound from the Kyrgyz Republic’s contraction resulting from civil unrest. Continued global recovery, including in Russia, is also benefiting the region by boosting both trade and remittances. The IMF forecasts growth at an average of 5.3% in 2012 for the oil and gas importers.

The oil and gas exporters – Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – are growing fast. This growth, coupled with an accommodative policy stance, poses a risk of overheating. Although international food and fuel prices are moderating, core inflation is projected to rise in 2012 in all of the CCA oil and gas exporters.