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World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010: Full Report

Report by DESA; UNCTAD; ECA; ECE; ECLAC; ESCAP and ESCWA, 2010

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World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) is a joint product of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the five United Nations regional commissions. It provides an overview of recent global economic performance and short-term prospects for the world economy and of some key global economic policy and development issues. One of its purposes is to serve as a point of reference for discussions on economic, social and related issues taking place in various United Nations entities during the year.




World Economic Situation
and Prospects 2010


asdf
United Nations
New York, 2010




Acknowledgements
The present report is a joint product of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/
DESA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the five United Nations
regional commissions: the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE),
the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Economic and Social Commission
for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).


For the preparation of the global outlook, inputs were received from the national centres of Project
LINK and the participants at the annual LINK meeting held in Bangkok from 26 to 28 October 2009. The
cooperation and support received through Project LINK are gratefully acknowledged.


The report was prepared by a team directed by Rob Vos, comprising staff from all collaborating
agencies, including Grigor Agabekian, Clive Altshuler, Sudip Basu, Shuvojit Banerjee, Tiziana Bonapace, Alfredo
Calcagno, Dan Deac, Rumen Dobrinsky, Adam Elhiraika, Kumi Endo, Shaun Ferguson, Heiner Flassbeck, Marco
Fugazza, Eugene Gherman, Sergei Gorbunov, Majed Hamoudeh, Pingfan Hong, Rouben Indjikian, Alberto Isgut,
Alex Izurieta, Osvaldo Kacef, Ali Kadri, Nobuko Kajiura, Matthias Kempf, Detlef Kotte, Hung-Yi Li, Muhammad
Malik, Sandra Manuelito, Nicolas Maystre, Anne Miroux, Manuel Montes, Victor Ognivtsev, Oliver Paddison,
José Palacin, Ingo Pitterle, Juraj Riecan, Frank Schroeder, Robert Shelburne, Sergio Vieira, Jürgen Weller, Amy
Wong, and Yasuhisa Yamamoto.


Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, provided comments
and guidance.


For further information, please see http://www.un.org/esa/policy or contact:


DESA:
Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Room DC2-2320
United Nations, New York, NY 10017, USA; phone: +1-212-9635958, e-mail: sha@un.org.
UNCTAD:
Mr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Palais des
Nations, Room E-9050, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland; phone: +41-22-9175806; e-mail: sgo@unctad.org.
ECA:
Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
P.O. Box 3005, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, phone: +251-11-544 3336; e-mail: ecainfo@uneca.org.
ECE:
Mr. Ján Kubiš, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Information Service,
Palais des Nations, CH-1211, Geneva 10, Switzerland; telephone: +41-22-9174444; email: info.ece@unece.org.
ECLAC:
Ms. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary, ECLAC, Av. Dag Hammarskjold 3477, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile;
phone +56-2-2102000; e-mail: secepal@cepal.org.
ESCAP:
Ms. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific,
The United Nations Building, Rajadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok 10200 Thailand; phone: +66-2-2881234,
fax +66-2-2881000, e-mail: unescap@unescap.org.
ESCWA:
Mr. Bader Al-Dafa, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, P.O. Box
11-8575, Riad el-Solh Square, Beirut, Lebanon; phone: +961-1-981301; e-mail: http://www.escwa.un.org/main/
contact.asp.
Cover photo credits:
Clockwise from top left: (1) ILO/M. Crozet; (2) ILO/J. Maillard; (3) UN Photo/WFP; (4) ILO/J. Maillard;
(5) ILO/M. Crozet.




iii


Executive Summary
The global economic outlook


The global economy is on the mend …


The world economy is on the mend. After a sharp, broad and synchronized global
downturn in late 2008 and early 2009, an increasing number of countries have registered
positive quarterly growth of gross domestic product (GDP), along with a notable recovery
in international trade and global industrial production. World equity markets have also
rebounded and risk premiums on borrowing have fallen.


… but recovery is fragile


The recovery is uneven and conditions for sustained growth remain fragile. Credit condi-
tions are still tight in major developed economies, where many major financial institu-
tions need to continue the process of deleveraging and cleansing their balance-sheets.
The rebound in domestic demand remains tentative at best in many economies and is
far from self-sustaining. Much of the rebound in the real economy is due to the strong
fiscal stimulus provided by Governments in a large number of developed and developing
countries and to the restocking of inventories by industries worldwide. Consumption and
investment demand remain weak, however, as unemployment and underemployment rates
continue to rise and output gaps remain wide in most countries.


In the outlook, global economic recovery is expected to remain sluggish, em-
ployment prospects will remain bleak and inflation will stay low.


Global growth will be below potential …


World gross product (WGP) is estimated to fall by 2.2 per cent for 2009, the first ac-
tual contraction since the Second World War. Premised on a continued supportive policy
stance worldwide, a mild growth of 2.4 per cent is forecast in the baseline scenario for
2010. According to this scenario, the level of world economic activity will be 7 per cent
below where it might have been had pre-crisis growth continued.


… with little impetus from developed economies


In developed economies, consumer and investment demand remains subdued as a result
of a continued rise in unemployment rates, efforts by households to restore their financial
balances following the wealth losses incurred during the crisis, and the reluctance of firms
to invest while capacity utilization rates are low and credit supplies remain tight. Further-
more, the impetus from the stimulus measures and the turn in the inventory cycle are ex-
pected to diminish over time. The major developed economies are not expected to provide
a strong impulse to global growth in the near term, growing at a moderate 1.3 per cent on
average in 2010 (a nonetheless visible rebound from the decline of 3.5 per cent in 2009).




iv World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


World economic growth, 2004–2010


-4


-3


-2


-1


0


1


2


3


4


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b


Percentage


Economic growth by region, 2008-2010


Percentage


2008


2009a


2010b


-8


-6


-4


-2


0


2


4


6


8


Developed
economies


Economies
in transition


Developing countries
excluding LDCs


Least developed
countries


Source: UN/DESA.


a Partly estimated.
b United Nations forecast.


Source: UN/DESA.


a Partly estimated.
b United Nations forecast.


Indicates the
confidence interval


at two standard
deviations from


historical forecast
errors.




vExecutive Summary


The recovery is uneven among developing
countries and the economies in transition


Output growth in the developing countries, in contrast, is expected to recover at a faster
pace but, at a projected 5.3 per cent in 2010, will remain well below the pre-crisis pace
of more than 7 per cent per annum. Some developing economies have rebounded sooner
than others. Fiscal stimulus and resumption of trade in manufactures pulled up economies
in Asia in particular. Economies in transition are expected to see a turnaround from the
steep decline (of 6.5 per cent) in 2009, but growth in the outlook for 2010 will be very
weak, at 1.6 per cent.


Growth in most developing countries and economies in transition remains
highly dependent upon movements in international trade, commodity prices and capital
flows. These conditions have improved as part of the global recovery, but a further rebound
will be strongly contingent upon the strength of the recovery in the developed countries.
In the outlook, conditions for international trade and finance will remain challenging.
This will affect the low-income countries in particular. While country-specific conditions
differ markedly, the global crisis has undermined investments and, hence, the growth
potential of their economies. Many of the least developed countries (LDCs) are expected
to see a much slower economic performance in the years ahead compared with the robust
growth they witnessed in the years before the crisis.


The outlook for employment,
poverty and inflation
Unemployment rates are still on the rise


The number of unemployed is rising in most economies. Among developed economies, the
number of unemployed has more than doubled in the United States of America since the
beginning of the recession in December 2007. The unemployment rates in the euro area
and Japan have also increased notably. The actual situation is even worse as it does not in-
clude unemployment data for discouraged workers who are unemployed but not currently
looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. Unemployment rates
in transition economies and developing countries have also moved higher, in particular in
the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Central and South-eastern Europe.


Developing countries are seeing increases in
vulnerable employment and working poverty


In developing countries, while most job losses are in export sectors, a greater concern lies
with the stark increase in vulnerable employment and working poverty. In East and South
Asia, vulnerable employment affects about 70 per cent of the workforce and available data
suggest that this share has increased significantly as a consequence of the crisis. Similarly,
in sub-Saharan Africa, an important share of the region’s labour force is engaged in sub-
sistence agriculture and other low-productivity economic activities without any form of
social protection. In the developing world at large, the share of working poor is estimated
to have increased to 64 per cent in 2009, up from 59 per cent in 2007.




vi World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Social gaps in employment opportunities are widening


The impact of the financial crisis on labour conditions is expected to aggravate social gaps
in employment opportunities, in particular for women, who are more often involved in
temporary employment and jobs in export-oriented manufacturing industries in devel-
oping countries. Worldwide, unemployment among youth (those 16-24 years of age) is
expected to increase from a rate of 12.2 per cent in 2008 to about 14 per cent in 2009 on
average. The rate of youth unemployment in the European Union (EU) increased by 4
percentage points in the past year, reaching 19.7 per cent, and in the United States it went
up by 5 percentage points, reaching 18 per cent in 2009. In developed and developing
countries alike, an increasing number of new college graduates continue to face enormous
difficulties in finding employment.


Labour markets will remain weak in 2010


Labour markets will remain weak in the outlook. The experience of previous recessions
shows that employment recovery typically lags output growth by a significant margin, and
this margin has been growing over time. The recovery from the present crisis has only just
begun and large output gaps remain characteristic of the situation in most major econo-
mies. This will slow new hiring until output growth has become more robust.


The employment situation in developing countries is also expected to remain
difficult in the outlook. In particular, jobs that were shed in export-oriented manufac-
turing sectors are expected to come back only very slowly. Workers who have shifted to
informal sector jobs during the crisis in developing countries are expected to remain there
for quite a long time. On top of vulnerable employment, social protection coverage is
relatively limited in most developing countries, and working poverty levels will therefore
increase. This will be difficult to reverse, as observed in previous crises.


The adverse impacts on poverty and
human development could be long-lasting


Between 47 and 84 million more people are estimated to remain poor or to have fallen
into extreme poverty in developing countries than would have been the case had the crisis
not occurred. Major setbacks in the progress towards the achievement of the other Millen-
nium Development Goals (MDGs) are also to be expected, especially for the vulnerable
populations in low-income countries. Despite the signs of economic recovery, many people
are still facing declines in household incomes, rising unemployment and pressure on social
services because of dwindling Government revenue. Where these adverse impacts cannot
be countered because of weak social safety nets and lack of fiscal space to protect social
spending and promote job creation, there are high risks of long-lasting setbacks in human
development.


Inflationary pressures are expected to remain low


The majority of countries have experienced significantly lower inflation rates (disinflation)
in 2009, while a growing number of economies, mainly developed countries and a few
emerging economies in Asia, actually experienced deflation as general price indices fell.
The continued increase in unemployment rates and large output gaps suggest inflation is
likely to remain low in the outlook despite continued expansionary monetary policies, as




viiExecutive Summary


aggregate demand should be expected to fall short of output capacity for some time to
come. With only a moderate recovery in global demand, further increases in the prices
of primary commodities are expected to be limited, while high unemployment rates and
continued efforts by the business sector to curb costs will keep wage pressures down. In-
flationary pressures as a consequence of the ballooning government deficits and the ample
liquidity injected during the crisis, if they emerge, will be more of an issue in the medium
run, after the recovery has become more solid, and should not be of immediate concern.


Trade and financing conditions
of developing countries
Trade volumes have rebounded after a free fall in early 2009


The financial crisis caused a free fall in world trade volumes from the end of 2008 up to
the second quarter of 2009, triggered especially by collapsing import demand in developed
countries. Trade flows fell at annualized rates of between 30 and 50 per cent during that
period, with Asian exporters being hit hardest. World trade rebounded somewhat there-
after, but for the year 2009 volume fell by almost 13 per cent. The severe decline in global
aggregate demand was compounded by a considerable strain in global financial markets,
resulting primarily in increased borrowing costs and a shortage of trade credits. Trade in
services exhibited the same pattern as merchandise trade, with maritime transport and
tourism being particularly hard hit.


A mild growth of 5 per cent in world trade volume is forecast for 2010 given
the moderate recovery of global output.


Commodity price trends and projections


2000=100


50


100


150


200


250


300


350


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b


Minerals, ores and metals


All food


Agricultural raw materials


Source: UN/DESA, based on
UNCTAD Commodity Price
Statistics database.
a Partly estimated.
b United Nations


projections.




viii World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Prices of commodities continue to be extremely volatile


The financial crisis also caused a collapse in the prices of oil and non-oil primary com-
modities. By early 2009, oil prices plummeted by as much as 70 per cent from their peak
levels of mid-2008 before rebounding to about $80 per barrel in November 2009 (which is
still about 45 per cent below the high). During the same period, prices of metals declined
even more sharply, to about one third of their peak levels. Prices of agricultural products,
including basic grains, also declined significantly. The downward trend came to a halt in
the first quarter of 2009 and rebounded thereafter. By mid-2009, real agricultural com-
modity prices were still high compared with the low levels sustained during much of the
1980s and 1990s. World food prices equally declined, then rebounded along with other
primary commodities. With the measurable rebound in the prices of most primary com-
modities since March 2009, the room for further increase is limited in the outlook for
2010. The slack in supply of these commodities is not expected to close in the foreseeable
future, and only a mild recovery in demand is likely. However, the close linkage between
the prices of primary commodities and the financial markets, including the exchange rates
of the United States dollar, will likely make these prices highly volatile.


Many developing countries experienced large swings in their terms of trade


Many developing countries have suffered strong swings in their terms of trade. Net export-
ers of oil and minerals, in particular, felt very strong adverse export price shocks on top of
the falloff in global demand as part of the recession, but some ground has been regained
recently. Net importers of food and energy saw their import bills fall during the crisis, but,
in general, the related terms-of-trade gain was more than offset by the steep drop in the
demand for their exports at the height of the global recession. The more recent reversal in
their terms of trade will slow their recovery. More generally, however, high terms-of-trade
volatility makes macroeconomic management more challenging and enhances economic
insecurity, all of which tends to be detrimental for long-term growth prospects.


Trade protectionism increased during the crisis


In response to the current global crisis, many Governments have been tempted by senti-
ments of protectionism. Many fiscal and financial packages contain elements—such as
direct State support to industries, bailouts, other subsidies and “buy/lend/invest/hire local”
conditions—that favour spending on domestic goods and services. Several of these support
measures may infringe upon fair trade practices, distort competitive conditions and influ-
ence decisions on the location of investment and production with implications for many
years to come. Many developing countries that lack the capacity to engage such support
measures may suffer undue losses in competitiveness as a consequence.


These protectionist measures were taken despite pledges, especially by the
Governments of the Group of Twenty (G20) nations, to resist them. Thus far, however,
these measures may be characterized as forms of “low-intensity” protectionism and remain
far from the beggar-thy-neighbour responses that partly led to the Great Depression of the
1930s. In general, Governments have avoided resorting to widespread trade restrictions in
their anti-crisis strategies.




ixExecutive Summary


New attempts are being made to revitalize the Doha Round


The attempts to re-energize the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations in mid-
2008 failed over disagreements on various issues, especially on the special safeguard mech-
anism (SSM) for agriculture in developing countries. This preceded the financial crisis
which sent global trade into a deep decline. In response to the crisis, countries have relied
much more on safeguard mechanisms. Development-related deliverables that were origi-
nally expected of the Round (such as the SSM which aims to preserve the necessary policy
space against adverse external shocks) should logically be accorded more focus in future
negotiations.


G20 leaders at the Pittsburgh summit have promised they would pursue com-
pletion of the Doha Round in 2010 as part of their intent to strengthen concerted efforts
towards a rebalancing of the global economy. But good intentions may not be enough. As
the global economy starts to recover and the risks of proliferation of bilateral agreements
re-emerge, trade negotiations in the context of the Doha Round should press ahead. How-
ever, a sustainable rebalancing of the global economy would require, inter alia, assurances
that the outcomes of the new multilateral trading regime actually will be conducive to
meeting the development objectives central to the conception of the Round. Furthermore,
a shift to place greater focus on implementation, policy review and the enhancement of
trade-related capacities would perhaps be necessary to avoid the risk of non-implementa-
tion and disputes.


Net financial resources continue to flow from poor to rich countries


Developing countries as a group are expected to have continued to provide net financial
transfers to developed countries in 2009 at a level of $568 billion. While still substantial,


Net financial transfers to developing countries and economies in transition, 1997–2009


Billions of dollars


-900


-800


-700


-600


-500


-400


-300


-200


-100


0


100


1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a


Developing economies


Economies in transition


Sources: UN/DESA, based on
IMF, World Economic Outlook
Database, October 2009; and
IMF, Balance of Payments
Statistics.
Note: Net financial transfers
are defined as net capital
inflows less net interest and
other investment income
payments abroad.
a Partly estimated.




x World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


this amount is notably lower than the all-time high of $891 billion reached in 2008. The
estimated reduction in net transfers (defined as net capital flows less investment income
payments) reflects the tentative narrowing of the global imbalances as a consequence of the
ongoing global financial and economic crisis.


Private capital flows have declined sharply


Private capital flows to developing countries declined sharply from the second half of
2008. The sharpest drop was in international bank lending, with a substantial net inflow
to emerging and developing economies turning into a net outflow in 2009. The economies
in transition experienced the most dramatic reversal, having been heavily dependent on
bank financing and feeling the consequences of worldwide deleveraging as a consequence
of the financial crisis. All other forms of private capital flows also declined, including
foreign direct investment (FDI), which fell by 30 per cent in 2009. Countries with large
current-account deficits, and therefore the most dependent on foreign capital, were hard-
est hit by the substantial tightening of credit conditions in international markets. But
even middle-income countries with current-account surplus positions were substantially
affected by the global financial crisis, since a sell-off in assets triggered a marked deprecia-
tion of exchange rates in a large number of economies.


These flows have recuperated markedly since March 2009, however, along with
the rebound in stock markets in both developed and most emerging economies. In the
outlook for 2010, FDI flows are expected to grow by about 20 per cent. Access to bank
lending, however, is expected to remain limited for most developing countries and econo-
mies in transition in 2010 as global credit supply conditions are expected to remain tight.
Given the sluggishness in the recovery of global output, there is also a fear that returning
portfolio flows could reflect a renewed appetite for riskier assets. The speculative motives
associated with this could become a source of increased volatility in exchange rates and
assets prices and, hence, of renewed macroeconomic instability.


Delivery on development aid commitments continues to fall short


Net official flows to a number of emerging and other developing countries have increased
in 2009, especially after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other multilateral
financial institutions significantly expanded their lending capacity and started to disburse
lending. Emerging Europe received the lion’s share of these additional resources in the
form of emergency financing. Meanwhile, bilateral official, non-concessional flows also
increased as central banks arranged foreign-exchange swaps to deal with the lack of in-
ternational liquidity. Yet, in the aggregate, net official flows to developing countries are
expected to remain negative in 2009 and 2010, continuing the trend of the past decade.
Much of the outflow comes from developing Asia, while Africa and Latin America and the
Caribbean are expected to be net recipients with positive inflows of about $14 billion and
$27 billion, respectively, in 2009; in both cases substantial increases from 2008 levels.


Net official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries increased
in 2008, but aid delivery still fell well short of international commitments. Net aid flows
are expected to fall in absolute terms in 2009-2010 as the global crisis has put pressure
on the aid budgets of major donors, several of which target ODA as a percentage of their
gross national income (GNI). For low-income countries with weak fiscal space, in par-
ticular, more limited access to aid would not only make it more difficult for them to meet




xiExecutive Summary


the MDGs, it could also leave them with insufficient resources to address the crisis with
counter-cyclical policies. This is recognized by the international donor community, which
has pledged at various platforms during 2009 to honour existing commitments to substan-
tially increase development assistance.


New challenges have presented themselves
after notable progress on debt relief


Since the adoption of the Monterrey Consensus in 2002, the international community
has made notable progress in reducing the external debt burden of developing countries.
The ratio of debt-service payments of the 35 post-decision-point heavily indebted poor
countries (HIPCs)—those qualified for debt relief—declined from 3.2 per cent of GDP
in 2001 to 1.1 per cent of GDP in 2008. Nevertheless, owing to the global financial crisis,
a large number of developing countries are facing renewed fiscal stress and challenges:
external financing conditions from public and private sectors tightened, revenues declined
and currencies depreciated. All these factors pose serious risks to the debt sustainability of
developing countries and their capacity to service or roll over external debt.


Uncertainties and risks
Even the mild recovery, as projected in the baseline outlook, is subject to high risks and
uncertainties, mainly on the downside.


A premature exit from the stimulus measures
could cause a double-dip recession


The first risk is associated with a premature exit from the strong stimulus measures that
helped halt the free fall of the global economy and that are supporting the incipient re-
bound. A premature withdrawal of the stimulus and financial sector support measures
could cut short the still feeble recovery. The stronger-than-expected rebound in equity
prices worldwide may belie the fact that there are still problems remaining in financial
sectors in major economies which continue to constrain credit availability and could lead
to more failures of financial institutions in the near future. Furthermore, policymakers
should be cautious in supposing that the recent rebound in trade and industry is sufficient
evidence that strong recovery is on its way. In fact, levels of trade flows and industrial pro-
duction are still well below the pre-crisis peaks and, as analysed in the present report, the
rebound is related more to a turnaround in the global inventory cycle than to a recovery of
private consumption and investment.


Understandably, there is increasing concern that the substantial widening of
fiscal deficits and mounting public debt could become a drag on future growth, and fiscal
consolidation may therefore be needed sooner rather than later. Such concerns are present
particularly in developed countries, where the average public debt-to-GDP ratio is ex-
pected to exceed 100 per cent in 2010 and to move even higher thereafter.


While such concerns are justified, a premature withdrawal of the stimulus
could prove to be counterproductive. The immediate concerns of policymakers should be
focused on addressing the continued weakness in financial sectors, stimulating demand
in order to reduce the persistent large output gaps and reversing the upward trend in




xii World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


unemployment rates. If, instead, there were an early phasing out of stimulus measures
during 2010, these weaknesses in the global economy could be exacerbated and a double-
dip recession could emerge, leading equally to a rise in public debt ratios and further
declines in GDP and tax revenue.


Renewed widening of the global imbalances
could cause a hard landing of the dollar


There is also a risk of a return to widening global imbalances. The global financial crisis
and the worldwide recession have led to a recessionary adjustment of imbalances in cur-
rent accounts across countries, with imports falling steeply in deficit countries (led by the
United States) and export earnings collapsing in most surplus countries. However, as the
financial crisis is abating and global growth tentatively recovers, the imbalances could
widen again substantially. In most surplus countries, especially in developing Asia, growth
continues to rely heavily on exports and high savings rates, leading to relatively weak do-
mestic demand and high reserve accumulation. In the major deficit countries, particularly
the United States, private savings have increased as consumers have become more cautious,
but not by a sufficient margin to cover widening fiscal deficits and prevent mounting pub-
lic indebtedness. The external deficit is therefore expected to widen again.


The level of external indebtedness of the United States has increased substan-
tially, reaching $3.8 trillion in 2009, and is expected to increase further in 2010. Strong
downward pressure on the dollar is thus anticipated to continue in the outlook. The value
of the dollar had been on a downward trend since 2002, but it rebounded in the second
half of 2008 through the end of the first quarter of 2009. This sharp appreciation of the
dollar was mainly driven by flight to safety effects as the global financial crisis heightened
risk aversion and caused a massive move of financial assets worldwide into United States
Treasury bills. Since March 2009, however, the dollar has resumed its downturn as a result
of the stabilizing conditions in global financial markets. This moderated the deleveraging
process of major financial institutions as well as the flight to safety effects. At the same
time, investors started to become increasingly concerned about the rise in the budget defi-
cit and the worsening of the net foreign investment position of the United States. If this
were to cause a gradual depreciation of the dollar, it could form part of an orderly rebal-
ancing of the global economy. In all probability, however, such an adjustment would not
be gradual and eroding confidence in the world’s major reserve currency would first lead
to substantial exchange-rate volatility which could subsequently escalate into more abrupt
declines and a hard landing of the dollar.


Policy responses and challenges
The response to the crisis has been bold and
unprecedented, but may not have been enough


Since the intensification of the financial crisis, Governments worldwide have taken bold
actions. Massive public funding has been made available to recapitalize banks, taking
partial or full Government ownership of ailing financial institutions and providing ample
guarantees on bank deposits and other financial assets. Worldwide, publicly guaranteed
funding for financial sector rescue operations is estimated to amount to about $20




xiiiExecutive Summary


trillion, or some 30 per cent of WGP. Furthermore, monetary and fiscal policy stances
have been strongly counter-cyclical in most major economies, as has been reflected in the
drastic cuts in policy interest rates and massive liquidity injections and fiscal stimulus
packages totalling about $2.6 trillion (or 4.3 per cent of WGP) to be distributed during
2008-2010.


These policies have been effective to the extent that they have helped to stabi-
lize global financial markets, support global effective demand and alleviate the economic
and social impact of the crisis. Yet, these unprecedented responses have not been sufficient
to induce a self-sustained process of recovery. As indicated, global demand recovery is
expected to remain weak in the outlook even if the present stimulus measures are kept in
place. Important financial fragilities still need to be addressed and many developing coun-
tries have not been able to implement significant counter-cyclical policies on their own.


The policy responses have been concerted to some extent


The policy responses have been concerted to some extent among major economies, in
particular at the level of the G20. At their London and Pittsburgh summits in April and
September 2009, respectively, the leaders promised to continue the stimulus and other
extraordinary measures as long as necessary. They further pledged to deliver on all aid
and other international development commitments and fight off protectionist tendencies.
World leaders have also facilitated a significant increase in resources for countries with
external financing problems. The G20 by and large lived up to its promise to provide $1.1
trillion for this purpose, including through tripling the resources available to the IMF,
facilitating additional lending by multilateral development banks and supporting trade
finance. The IMF and the World Bank have in effect significantly stepped up lending
operations.


At the Pittsburgh Summit, leaders also agreed to establish a policy coordina-
tion framework for “strong, sustainable and balanced growth” of the world economy.
As part of this framework, G20 members with significant external deficits, mainly the
United States, pledged to pursue policies to support private savings and to undertake
fiscal consolidation. Surplus countries, including China, Germany and Japan, agreed to
strengthen domestic sources of growth. These could constitute important steps towards ef-
fective policy coordination and a more balanced recovery of the global economy. However,
more concrete details with clear policy targets and time horizons have yet to be worked
out and the policy actions that have been undertaken thus far have by no means been fully
concerted.


Continued fiscal stimulus is needed in the short run


The immediate challenge for policymakers will be to determine how much longer the
fiscal stimulus should continue. Given the risk of a double-dip recession resulting from a
premature withdrawal, the stimulus should continue at least until there are clearer signals
of a more robust recovery. It may be difficult, however, to determine when and whether
the recovery has become robust. Substantial improvements in employment conditions and
a reduction of output gaps will likely be meaningful indicators for establishing the turn-
ing point. Moreover, the framework for policy coordination should ensure that the timing
for sustaining or unwinding counter-cyclical policy stances is determined not merely as a
function of country-specific conditions but also in the context of containing international
spillover effects and promoting sustainable global growth.




xiv World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Sustainable global rebalancing needs to take place


To avoid a return to the unsustainable pattern of growth that led to the global crisis and
to sidestep the risks of a double-dip recession and a hard landing of the dollar, three
forms of rebalancing of the global economy would need to take place over time. First, the
pressure on Governments to hold up global demand would need to diminish over time
through renewed impulses from private demand. Second, the composition of aggregate
demand would need to rebalance to shift greater weight to investment in support of future
productivity growth and the transformation of energy sectors and infrastructure required
to meet the challenge of climate change. Third, demand across countries will need to be
rebalanced. These three rebalancing acts will require close policy coordination as they are
strongly interdependent.


Rebalancing across countries is needed because one of the key drivers of pre-
crisis growth, consumer demand in the United States, is expected to remain sluggish in the
outlook. Moreover, from the perspective of the problem of global imbalances, it would be
undesirable to have to rely on this source of growth again for the recovery. Private invest-
ments are also expected to remain sluggish in the near future in the United States (as well
as in other major developed economies) as rates of capacity utilization are at historic lows.
If fiscal stimulus is to be phased out, net exports of the major deficit countries would need
to increase. Rising exports by these countries would need to be absorbed by major surplus
countries, starting with China and other parts of developing Asia. This could be achieved
in part through a further strengthening of domestic demand by way of fiscal stimulus,
which, along with a weaker United States dollar, would push up import demand in that
part of the world. Since not all Asian trade is with the United States, other countries
would also need to contribute to the rebalancing. Germany and Japan, other major sur-
plus economies, could seek to strengthen investment and productivity growth in domestic
production sectors, while major oil exporters could further step up domestic investment
plans to diversify their economies. Additional financial transfers to developing countries
with weak fiscal capacity would be needed to complete the rebalancing process and would
enable these countries to increase domestic investment in infrastructure, food production
and human development so as to support growth, poverty reduction and sustainable de-
velopment. They would also encourage global import demand.


Stepping up public and private investment to address climate change could
well be an integral part of the process. Large-scale investments in energy efficiency and
renewable energy generation will need to be made now in order to achieve the scale effects
needed to lower the cost of green technologies and effectively achieve low-emission growth
paths. Such investments will also be needed in developing countries, where energy de-
mand should be expected to increase starkly along with their efforts to reach higher levels
of development. By leapfrogging to green technologies, they could contribute to emission
reductions while sustaining high-growth development trajectories. Substantial invest-
ments will need to be made for climate change adaptation, especially in developing coun-
tries which are already being affected by adverse effects of global warming. As developed
countries currently possess a comparative advantage in the development of green technolo-
gies and related capital goods, the increase in world demand for these goods should thus
contribute to reducing the aggregate external deficit of these economies.




xvExecutive Summary


Strengthened policy coordination is needed


Such a sustainable rebalancing of the world economy will by no means be easy to achieve
and will require enhanced international cooperation. In particular, the need for effective
international policy coordination to manage risks of global economic instability and to
promote development has been reiterated in previous issues of the World Economic Situa-
tion and Prospects. It was also emphasized in the outcome document of the Conference on
the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development, held at United
Nations Headquarters in New York in June 2009.


A successful framework for international macroeconomic policy coordination
should consist of at least four components: developing a consensus on common goals
through international consultations with outside mediation; addressing commitment
problems by issuing multi-year schedules for policy adjustments; enhancing the context
for mediation and the perceived legitimacy of the mediator; and initiating systemic re-
forms in the field of international monetary and financial affairs.


In this context, the framework proposed by the G20 is a first step towards
international policy coordination—at least among the major developed and emerging
economies—to prevent a recurrence of the large global imbalances. The success of this
framework, however, will depend not only on how to institutionalize the mechanism
delineated above (which so far is still carried out on an ad hoc basis), but also on progress
in the broad reforms of the international financial architecture and global economic gov-
ernance.


Global governance should be strengthened on four fronts


To support the enhanced framework for policy coordination, further progress on global
economic governance reforms will need to be made on four related fronts. First, multilat-
eral surveillance by the IMF will need to be extended well beyond the traditional emphasis
on exchange rates, to address broader macrofinancial surveillance and also to monitor
the “sustainable rebalancing” process of the global economy as outlined. Second, more
pervasive progress on governance reform of the IMF will be needed to add legitimacy to
the institution’s enhanced role in this respect and also for mediating multi-annual agree-
ments. Mediation to achieve consensus on the main targets for policy coordination is
unlikely to be successful where doubts exist about the impartiality of the mediator. In this
context, the reform of the governance of and representation in the IMF has become all
the more urgent and important so that seats in the Executive Board and votes in the Fund
better represent developing country interests in the decision-making process that is under
way. Third, while the ongoing crisis has given strong impetus to macroeconomic policy
coordination, there is no guarantee that all parties will remain committed to agreed joint
responses. Having clear and verifiable targets for desired policy outcomes will help make
parties accountable, and the possible loss of reputation through non-compliance should be
an incentive to live up to policy agreements. Fourth, sustainable rebalancing of the global
economy will require close coordination with other areas of global governance, including
those related to development financing and the multilateral trading system, as well as with
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. No specific mechanism
for such coordination exists at present, and the creation of such a mechanism would need
to be considered.




xvi World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Urgent progress is also needed in reforming the global financial system


The global financial crisis has further exposed major deficiencies in the international fi-
nancial architecture, as well as failures of regulation and supervision at national levels. As
the global economy recovers, more, rather than less, urgent efforts will be needed to spear-
head reforms of international and national financial systems so as to prevent a similar cri-
sis from recurring. The effectiveness of any international policy coordination mechanism
would greatly benefit from overcoming these deficiencies, as tendencies towards excess
risk-taking in financial markets would be reined in and the inherent tendency of the cur-
rent system towards global imbalances and an unstable value of the major reserve currency
would be addressed.


The risk of exchange-rate instability and a hard landing of the dollar could be
reduced by having a global payments and reserve system which is less dependent on one
single national currency. One way in which the system could naturally evolve would be
by becoming a fully multi-currency reserve system. The present system has already more
than one reserve currency, but the other currencies remain a secondary feature in a system
where most reserve assets by far are held in dollars and where most of the world’s trade and
financial transactions are affected in the major reserve currency. The advantage of a multi-
reserve currency arrangement is that it would provide countries with the benefit of diver-
sifying their foreign-exchange reserve assets. However, it would not solve the problems of
the tendency towards the emergence of important global imbalances and the related defla-
tionary bias in the macroeconomic adjustment between deficit and surplus countries.


Such deficiencies could be more readily overcome by pursuing the transition to
a reserve system based on a true form of international liquidity, such as by expanding the
role of special drawing rights (SDRs). Doing so would, in fact, fulfil the objective included
in the IMF Articles of Agreement of “making the special drawing right the principal
reserve asset in the international monetary system” (Article VIII, Section 7, and Article
XXII). The G20 decided, in April 2009, on a general SDR allocation equivalent to $250
billion in recognition of the need to boost international liquidity using an international
reserve unit. Further advances could result from making SDR issuance automatic and
regular, and linked to the demand for foreign-exchange reserves and the growth of the
world economy. A key criterion for SDR issuance, withdrawal and allocation would be the
provision of counter-cyclical finance. Thus, both key deficiencies of the present system—
its deflationary bias and the inherent instability of the value of the reserve currency—
could be overcome. An SDR-based reserve system would also provide a basis for a better
pooling of international reserves, as international liquidity would be made available on a
counter-cyclical basis, reducing the need for individual countries to hold costly amounts
of reserves on their own.


There will be important practical hurdles to be overcome en route to such
a system, and they will need to be discussed and addressed in conjunction with other
reforms. A sustainable rebalancing of the world economy will not be possible without ad-
dressing the systemic flaws in the international financial architecture.




xvii


Contents
Executive Summary ............................................................................................................................................................. iii


Contents ................................................................................................................................................................................. xvii


Explanatory Notes ............................................................................................................................................................... xxi


I Global outlook .................................................................................................................................................. 1


Macroeconomic prospects for the world economy .................................................................................................... 1
Growth prospects ............................................................................................................................................... 2
Outlook for employment, inflation and global poverty ........................................................................... 8
International economic conditions for developing countries and the economies in transition ..................... 11
International finance ......................................................................................................................................... 12
International trade ............................................................................................................................................. 15
Policy responses ................................................................................................................................................................... 16
Financial sector rescue measures ................................................................................................................... 17
Monetary policy ................................................................................................................................................. 18
Fiscal policy .......................................................................................................................................................... 19
Have the policies worked? ............................................................................................................................... 22
Uncertainties and risks ....................................................................................................................................................... 23
Risk of an early retreat from stimulus measures ........................................................................................ 24
Risks of widening global imbalances and dollar decline ......................................................................... 26
Policy challenges.................................................................................................................................................................. 30
Sustainable global rebalancing ...................................................................................................................... 30
Strengthening policy coordination ............................................................................................................... 33
Reforming the global reserve system ........................................................................................................... 34
Appendix ................................................................................................................................................................................ 37


II International trade ........................................................................................................................................... 47


Merchandise trade in times of crisis ................................................................................................................................ 47
Regional trends .................................................................................................................................................................... 51
Trade in services ................................................................................................................................................................... 53
Trends in primary commodity prices .............................................................................................................................. 57
Non-oil primary commodities......................................................................................................................... 57
The oil market ..................................................................................................................................................... 62
Evolution of the terms of trade for developing countries ........................................................................ 65
Trade policy developments ............................................................................................................................................... 66
The Doha Round ................................................................................................................................................. 66
Low-intensity protectionism in response to the crisis .............................................................................. 69
Headroom for tariff protection in developing countries .......................................................................... 70


III Financial flows to developing countries ........................................................................................................ 73


Net resource transfers from poor to rich countries ..................................................................................................... 73
Private capital flows ............................................................................................................................................................ 76
Private capital flows to developing countries ............................................................................................. 76




xviii World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Trends in foreign direct investment ................................................................................................................................................... 80
International financial cooperation .................................................................................................................................................... 82
Official development assistance ...................................................................................................................................... 82
Innovative sources of development financing ....................................................................................................... 86
Debt relief ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 89
Reconstructing the global financial system .................................................................................................................................. 91
International cooperation on financial regulation .................................................................................................................... 92
Multilateral surveillance and policy coordination ..................................................................................................................... 95
IMF lending and resources ....................................................................................................................................................................... 97
IMF support to developing countries .......................................................................................................................... 99
The global reserve system ........................................................................................................................................................................ 100
Global governance and the Bretton Woods institutions....................................................................................................... 103


IV Regional developments and outlook ............................................................................................................ 105


Developed market economies .............................................................................................................................................................. 105
North America: growth resumes in the United States but downside risks are high ....................... 106
Developed Asia and the Pacific: high dependency on a global recovery ............................................. 109
Western Europe: emerging from recession, but the recovery will lack vigour ................................... 111
The new European Union member States: the crisis is over but the upturn is lagging ............... 115
Economies in transition ............................................................................................................................................................................. 117
South-eastern Europe: recession on the back of the slowdown in Western Europe ..................... 118
The Commonwealth of Independent States: a severe economic slump ............................................. 119
Developing economies .............................................................................................................................................................................. 124
Africa: signs of recovery, but concerns remain ....................................................................................................... 125
East Asia: leading the global recovery .......................................................................................................................... 128
South Asia: resilience to the global crisis .................................................................................................................... 132
Western Asia: improving global conditions will underpin a return to positive growth ................ 134
Latin America and the Caribbean: policy stimulus and rebounding
commodity prices improve the outlook for 2010 ................................................................................................. 138


Statistical annex
Annex tables ......................................................................................................................................................................... 143


Boxes
I. 1 Main assumptions for the baseline forecast ................................................................................................................. 3
I. 2 Prospects for the least developed countries ................................................................................................................. 7
IV. 1 Public finances in resource-dependent economies during the crisis:
the case of the Commonwealth of Independent States ............................................................................................ 122
IV. 2 Progress in monetary and financial cooperation in Asia and the Pacific ............................................................... 131
IV. 3 The early impact of the financial crisis on expatriate
workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries .................................................................................................... 135
IV. 4 Challenges for exchange-rate management in the
English-speaking Caribbean countries and Suriname................................................................................................ 140




xixContents


Figures
I. 1 World economic growth, 2004–2010 ............................................................................................................................. 5
I. 2 Bank lending to the private sector in emerging markets, December 2007–June 2009 ..................................... 13
I. 3 Daily yield spreads on emerging market bonds, January 2005–October 2009 ................................................... 13
I. 4 Index of world trade volume and industrial production, January 2007–August 2009 ...................................... 15
I. 5 Gross domestic product growth under the Global Policy Model scenario simulations, 2005–2015 .............. 25
I. 6 Current-account balances, 2004–2010 ........................................................................................................................... 27
I. 7 Net international investment position of the United States, 1976–2009 .............................................................. 28
I. 8 Exchange-rate indices for the United States, January 2002-October 2009 ........................................................... 29
II. 1a Growth of world income and of imports, 2001-2010 ................................................................................................. 48
II. 1b Growth of gross domestic product and import volume: developed economies, 2001-2010 ........................... 48
II. 1c Growth of gross domestic product and of import volume:
economies in transition and developing economies (excluding East Asia), 2001-2010 .................................... 48
II. 1d Growth of gross domestic product and import volume: East Asian developing economies, 2001-2010 ..... 48
II. 1e Growth of gross domestic product of developed economies and of exports per region, 2001-2010 ........... 48
II. 2 Service export performance, first quarter 2008–second quarter 2009 .................................................................. 54
II. 3 Trend in the non-oil primary commodity price index, all groups, January 2004–June 2009 ........................... 57
II. 4 Price indices for selected metals, United States dollars, January 2004–August 2009 ........................................ 59
II. 5 Price indices of agricultural commodities, United States dollars, January 2004–August 2009 ....................... 60
II. 6 Nominal and real Brent crude oil prices, January 2000–April 2009 ........................................................................ 64
II. 7 Net barter terms of trade, selected countries, 2000–2009 ........................................................................................ 67
III. 1 Total ODA flows from DAC countries by component, 2000–2008 ........................................................................... 83
III. 2 Net ODA of DAC members, 1990–2008, and DAC secretariat simulations to 2009 and 2010 .......................... 84
III. 3 Debt-service payments as a proportion of export revenues, 1990–2007 ............................................................. 90
IV. 1 Unemployment in the developed regions, 2006-2010 .............................................................................................. 105
IV. 2 General government financial deficit, 2005-2010 ....................................................................................................... 106
IV. 3 Net worth of assets of United States households and non-profit organizations,
fourth quarter of 2003-second quarter of 2009 ........................................................................................................... 107
IV. 4 Japan’s export volume and industrial production, January 2005-September 2009 ........................................... 110
IV. 5 Unemployment in selected Western European economies, January 2008-September 2009 .......................... 113
IV. 6 External indebtedness of the banking sector, December 2009, and
economic performance of selected new EU member States, 2009 ........................................................................ 116
IV. 7 Declines in imports and exports (freight on board) in selected countries of the Commonwealth
of Independent States, January-September 2009 relative to January-September 2008 .................................. 120
IV. 8 Growth of per capita GDP in Africa, by income group, 2006-2010 .......................................................................... 125
IV. 9 Real effective exchange rates in selected East Asian countries, 2005-2009 ......................................................... 130
IV. 10 Revenue, expenditure and primary balances of central
Governments in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1990-2009 ............................................................................... 140




xx World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Tables
I. 1 Growth of world output, 2004–2010 .............................................................................................................................. 4
I. 2 Frequency of high and low growth of per capita output, 2007–2010 ................................................................... 6
I. 3 Estimated impact of the crisis on extreme poverty, 2009 ......................................................................................... 11
I. 4 Fiscal stimulus to address the global financial and economic crisis ....................................................................... 20
II. 1 Trade shocks and changes in trade balances per country/region ........................................................................... 50
II. 2 Exports of services: share in total trade in goods and services, 2003-2008 .......................................................... 55
II. 3 Top 25 exporters of services among developing countries, 1990, 2000, 2007 and 2008 .................................. 56
III. 1 Net transfer of financial resources to developing economies and economies in transition, 1997-2009 ....... 73
III. 2 Net financial flows to developing countries and economies in transition, 1996-2010 ...................................... 74
III. 3 Credit default swap spreads and annual probabilities of default
in selected emerging market countries ......................................................................................................................... 78
III. 4 Inflows of foreign direct investment and cross-border mergers and acquisitions,
by region and major economy, 2008-2009 ................................................................................................................... 81




xxi


Explanatory Notes


The following symbols have been used in the tables throughout the report:


.. Two dots indicate that data are not available or are not separately reported.


– A dash indicates that the amount is nil or negligible.


- A hyphen (-) indicates that the item is not applicable.


- A minus sign (-) indicates deficit or decrease, except as indicated.


. A full stop (.) is used to indicate decimals.


/ A slash (/) between years indicates a crop year or financial year, for example, 2008/09.


- Use of a hyphen (-) between years, for example, 2008-2009, signifies the full period involved, including the
beginning and end years.


Reference to “dollars” ($) indicates United States dollars, unless otherwise stated.


Reference to “billions” indicates one thousand million.


Reference to “tons” indicates metric tons, unless otherwise stated.


Annual rates of growth or change, unless otherwise stated, refer to annual compound rates.


Details and percentages in tables do not necessarily add to totals, because of rounding.


Project LINK is an international collaborative research group for econometric modelling, coordinated jointly by the
Development Policy and Analysis Division of the United Nations Secretariat and the University of Toronto.




xxii World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


The following abbreviations have been used:


ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations
bps basis points
BoE Bank of England
BoJ Bank of Japan
CDS credit default swaps
CIS Commonwealth of Independent States
CPI consumer price index
DAC Development Assistance Committee


(of the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development)


DSF Debt Sustainability Framework for
Low-Income Countries


ECA United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
ECB European Central Bank
ECE United Nations Economic Commission


for Europe


ECF Extended Credit Facility
ECLAC Economic Commission for Latin America


and the Caribbean


EMBI Emerging Markets Bond Index
ESCAP Economic and Social Commission for Asia


and the Pacific


ESCWA Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
ESF Exogenous Shocks Facility
EU European Union
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the


United Nations


FCL Flexible Credit Line
FDI foreign direct investment
Fed United States Federal Reserve
FSAP Financial Sector Assessment Program


(of the International Monetary Fund)


FSB Financial Stability Board
FSF Financial Stability Forum
GCC Gulf Cooperation Council
GDP gross domestic product
GFF Global Forecasting Framework


(of the United Nations)


GHG greenhouse gas
GNI gross national income
GPM Global Policy Model (of the United Nations)
HAPA High-Access Precautionary Arrangement
HIPCs Heavily indebted poor countries
IBRD International Bank for Reconstruction


and Development


IFF international financial facility
IIF Institute of International Finance
ILO International Labour Organization


IMF International Monetary Fund
IMFC International Monetary and Financial Committee


(of the IMF)


IT information technology
LDCs least developed countries
LIBOR London Interbank Offered Rate
M&As mergers and acquisitions
mbd Millions of barrels per day
MDGs Millennium Development Goals
MDRI Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative
MFN most-favoured-nation status
MICs middle-income countries
NAB New Arrangements to Borrow
NAMA non-agricultural market access
NIEs newly industrialized economies
NGOs non-governmental organizations
NPV net present value
ODA official development assistance
OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation


and Development


OPEC Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries


pb per barrel
PPIP Public-Private Investment Program


(United States Treasury)


PPP purchasing power parity
PRGF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility
PRGT Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (fund)
SDR Special Drawing Rights
SDT special and differential treatment
SGP Stability and Growth Pact
SSM special safeguard mechanism
SWFs sovereign wealth funds
TARP Troubled Asset Relief Program
TEU twenty-foot equivalent unit
TNCs transnational corporations
UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade


and Development


UNDCF United Nations Development Cooperation Forum
UN/DESA Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the


United Nations Secretariat


UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change


UNWTO World Tourism Organization
WGP world gross product
WHO World Health Organization
WTO World Trade Organization




xxiii Explanatory Notes


The designations employed and the presentation of the material
in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion
whatsoever on the part of the United Nations Secretariat
concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or
of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or
boundaries.


The term “country” as used in the text of this report also refers, as
appropriate, to territories or areas. Not all countries are listed owing
to lack of comprehensive data.


Data presented in this publication incorporate information
available as of 30 November 2009.


For analytical purposes, the following country groupings and
subgroupings have been used:a


Developed economies (developed market economies):
Australia, Canada, European Union, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand,
Norway, Switzerland, United States of America.


European Union (EU):
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy,
Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal,
Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


EU-15:
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Germany,
Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden,
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


New EU member States:
Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia,
Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia.


Economies in transition:


South-eastern Europe:
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, the
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


Commonwealth of Independent States:
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia,b Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,
Ukraine, Uzbekistan.


Net fuel exporters:
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan,
Uzbekistan.


Net fuel importers:
All other CIS countries.


Developing economies:
Africa, Asia and the Pacific (excluding Australia, Japan, New Zealand
and the member States of CIS in Asia), Latin America and the
Caribbean.


Subgroupings of Africa:


North Africa:
Algeria, Egypt, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Morocco, Tunisia.


Sub-Saharan Africa, excluding Nigeria and South Africa (commonly
contracted to “sub-Saharan Africa”):


All other African countries except Nigeria and South Africa.


Southern Africa:
Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique,
Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


East Africa:
Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti,
Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles,
Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania.


West Africa:
Burkina Faso, Benin, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana,
Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria,
Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo.


Central Africa:
Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central
African Republic, Sao Tome and Principe.


Subgroupings of Asia and the Pacific:


Western Asia:
Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Occupied
Palestinian Territory, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab
Republic, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.


East and South Asia:
All other developing economies in Asia and the Pacific (including
China, unless stated otherwise). This group is further subdivided
into:


South Asia:
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of ), Maldives,
Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.


East Asia:
All other developing economies in Asia and the Pacific.


Subgroupings of Latin America and the Caribbean:


South America:
Argentina, Bolivia (Plurinational State of ), Brazil, Chile, Colombia,
Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic
of ).


Mexico and Central America:
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama,
Mexico.


Caribbean:
Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica,
Trinidad and Tobago.


a For definitions of country groupings and methodology, see World Economic and Social Survey 2004 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.04.II.C.1, annex,
introductory text).


b Georgia officially left the Commonwealth of Independent States on 18 August 2009. However, its performance is discussed in the context of this group of
countries for reasons of geographic proximity and similarities in economic structure.




xxiv World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


For particular analyses, developing countries have been
subdivided into the following groups:


Fuel-exporting countries:
Algeria, Bahrain, Bolivia (Plurinational State of ), Brunei Darussalam,
Cameroon, Colombia, Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Gabon, Iran (Islamic
Republic of ), Iraq, Kuwait, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mexico, Nigeria,
Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, Trinidad and
Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of ),
Viet Nam.


Fuel-importing countries:
All other developing countries.


Least developed countries:
Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso,
Burundi, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros,
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea,
Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Lao
People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi,
Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger,
Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone,
Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tuvalu, Uganda,
United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia.


Landlocked developing countries:
Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational
State of ), Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic,
Chad, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao’s People’s Democratic
Republic, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Republic of Moldova, Mongolia,
Nepal, Niger, Paraguay, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tajikistan, the former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan,
Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Small island developing States:
American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas,
Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cape Verde, Commonwealth
of Northern Marianas, Comoros, Cook Islands, Cuba, Dominica,
Dominican Republic, Fiji, French Polynesia, Grenada, Guam, Guinea-
Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands,
Mauritius, Micronesia (Federated States of ), Montserrat, Nauru,
Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea,
Puerto Rico, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Singapore,
Solomon Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the
Grenadines, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago,
Tuvalu, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vanuatu.


Heavily indebted poor countries (countries that have reached their
Completion Points or Decision Points):
Afghanistan, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon,
Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic
Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-
Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali,
Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and
Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of
Tanzania, Zambia.


The designation of country groups in the text and the tables is
intended solely for statistical or analytical convenience and does
not necessarily express a judgement about the stage reached by a
particular country or area in the development process.




1


Chapter I
Global outlook


Macroeconomic prospects for the world economy
The world economic situation has been improving since the second quarter of 2009. Glo-
bal equity markets have rebounded and risk premiums on lending have fallen. Interna-
tional trade and global industrial production have also been recovering noticeably, with
an increasing number of countries registering positive quarterly growth of gross domestic
product (GDP). The economic revival has been driven in no small part by the effects of the
massive policy stimuli injected worldwide since late 2008. It also reflects strong cyclical
inventory adjustment.


This is an important turnaround after the free fall in world trade, industrial
production, asset prices and global credit availability which threatened to push the global
economy into the abyss of a new great depression in early 2009. Yet, the recovery is un-
even and conditions for sustained growth remain fragile. Credit conditions are still tight
in major developed economies, where many major financial institutions need to continue
the process of deleveraging and cleansing their balance sheets. The rebound in domestic
demand remains tentative at best in many economies and is far from self-sustaining. High
unemployment rates and the large output gap in most countries, along with a number of
other factors, such as the possibility of a further spread of pandemic influenza A (H1N1)
that could hurt economic activity, continue to pose challenges for policymakers world-
wide. In addition, the global macroeconomic imbalances, which were part of the problem
in the first instance, could widen again to form a source of renewed financial instability.


In the outlook, global economic recovery is expected to remain sluggish, un-
employment rates will stay high and inflation will remain low. Developing countries, es-
pecially those in Asia, are expected to show the strongest recovery in 2010. Nonetheless,
growth is expected to remain well below potential and the pre-crisis levels of performance
in the developing world. As a consequence, it will take more time and greater efforts to
make up for the significant setbacks in the progress towards poverty reduction and the
fight against hunger, as well as the other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The
crisis has impacted severely on low-income countries and the most vulnerable. Even given
the signs of economic recovery, many are still facing declines in household incomes, ris-
ing unemployment, and the effects of dwindling government revenue on social services.
Where these adverse impacts cannot be countered because of weak social safety nets and
lack of fiscal space to protect social spending and promote job creation, there is a high risk
of long-lasting setbacks in human development.


While necessary, the fiscal and monetary stimulus policies undertaken to coun-
teract the crisis have at the same time become a source of concern. Some Governments
fear that the rapid build-up of public debt could affect economic growth in the longer
run and are calling for an exit of the policy stimuli. However, as global demand is still
weak, a premature withdrawal of those measures could abort the incipient recovery. Going
forward, the most pressing policy challenges over the near term include maintaining the
momentum of economic recovery through economic stimulus measures and rebalancing
global growth towards a more sustainable path so as to avoid a re-emergence of the global
imbalances, while, at the same time, facilitating high growth, especially for developing


The global economy is
recovering with the support
of massive fiscal stimuli …


… but the recovery is
uneven and conditions for
sustained growth remain
fragile


In 2010, global growth will
remain below potential and
unemployment will stay
high


The most pressing
policy challenges
include maintaining the
momentum towards
recovery and rebalancing
global growth




2 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


countries, and addressing the climate change challenge. Achieving all this may require
even farther-reaching and unprecedented internationally concerted actions than those that
have already been undertaken by the international community since October 2008.


Growth prospects


After a sharp and synchronized global downturn—indeed the only contraction since the
Second World War—the world economy is improving. An increasing number of economies
showed positive growth in the second quarter of 2009, and momentum towards recovery
continued to build in the third quarter. Nonetheless, because of the steep downturn at the
beginning of the year, world gross product (WGP) is estimated to fall by 2.2 per cent for
2009. Premised on the assumption of a continued supportive policy stance worldwide (box
I.1), a mild growth of 2.4 per cent is forecast in the baseline scenario for 2010 (table I.1 and
figure I.1). According to this scenario, the level of world economic activity will be 7 per
cent below where it might have been had pre-crisis growth continued.


In most countries, the economic rebound has been built around three factors
in particular. The first of these consists of the massive, and to some extent concerted,
policy actions taken by the major economies, which effectively arrested a further erosion
of confidence worldwide (for further discussion, see the section on policy responses below).
The second relates to a change in the global inventory cycle. The early stages of the reces-
sion were characterized by panic-driven shedding of inventories accompanied by cutbacks
in industrial production. Following some stabilization of financial markets and improve-
ment in consumer and business confidence, companies started to resume production and
restock inventories. This explains much of the rebound in global trade and industrial pro-
duction. The third factor relates to the international repercussion effects of the first two.


Consistent with this pattern, the strongest declines in export volumes and in-
dustrial production indices were seen among major manufacturing exporters, especially
those in Asia. Following the turn in the inventory cycle, Japan and developing Asia are
also leading the rebound in trade and production. The recovery in industrial production,
in turn, has allowed for renewed growth in the demand for primary commodities and a
rebound in world commodity prices. However, the pace of recovery is still rather uneven
across countries. Furthermore, in so far as it is not also based on a resumption of growth
in private investment and consumption, recovery may not be lasting.


In developed economies, consumer and investment demand remain subdued
as a result of the continued rise in unemployment rates, the wealth losses incurred dur-
ing the crisis and the desire of households and firms to rebuild balance sheets. Domestic
demand is further constrained by continued tightness in credit supplies, despite more
stable conditions in financial markets. Another important factor is that the impetus from
the stimulus measures and the turn in the inventory cycle are expected to diminish over
time. The economy of the United States of America is expected to grow by 2.1 per cent
in 2010, following an estimated downturn of 2.5 per cent in 2009. Recovery in both the
European Union (EU) and Japan is projected to be much weaker, reaching GDP growth
of no more than 0.5 and 0.9 per cent, respectively, in 2010. At this pace of recovery, the
major developed economies are not expected to provide a strong impetus to global growth
in the near term.


Output growth in the developing countries, in contrast, is expected to recover
at a faster pace and to reach 5.3 per cent in 2010, up from 1.9 per cent in 2009, but will
remain well below the pre-crisis pace of more than 7 per cent per annum. Some developing


Mild growth is forecast
for 2010


The rebound was built
around three factors


Japan and developing Asia
are leading the rebound


Consumer and investment
demand in developed


economies remain subdued


A stronger recovery is
expected in the developing


countries




3Global outlook


Main assumptions for the baseline forecast


The forecast presented in the text is based on the United Nations Global Forecasting Framework
(GFF) in conjunction with Project LINK, a network of institutions and researchers supported by the
Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations. It is informed by provisional indi-
vidual country forecasts submitted by country experts, which are adjusted based on harmonized
global assumptions and the imposition of global consistency rules (especially those of trade flows,
by both volume and value) provided by the GFF. The main global assumptions are discussed below.
The baseline forecast does not include any specific assumption about the international coordination
of macroeconomic policies. It is also assumed that except for these assumptions there are no other
exogenous shocks to the global economy. For alternative scenarios to the baseline, see the sections
in the main text on risks and uncertainties and on policy challenges.


Monetary policy


Given the complex structure of the monetary policy measures adopted by major economies during
the global recession, the assumptions regarding policy interest rates are indicative only of the nature
of the policy stance in the outlook. The United States Federal Reserve (Fed) is assumed to hold its
main policy interest rate, the federal funds rate, at its current range of 0.0-0.25 per cent until the end
of the third quarter of 2010, after which it embarks upon a slow process of policy normalization,
with an increase of 50 basis points during the last quarter. The European Central Bank (ECB) is also
assumed to hold its main policy rate, the interest rate on its main refinancing operations, at the cur-
rent level of 1.00 per cent through the third quarter of 2010, and then raise it by 50 basis points in the
fourth quarter. The Bank of Japan (BoJ) is assumed to hold its policy rate, the target Uncollateralized
Overnight Call Rate, at its current 0.10 per cent until the end of 2010.


During the forecast period, the central banks in the major economies will continue to
rely on adjusting the unconventional measures that are already in place to manage liquidity in their
economies, and it is assumed they will initiate a gradual withdrawal of some of these measures in the
second half of 2010 (see chapter IV for details at the country level).


Fiscal policy


Fiscal assumptions are made at the country level by the LINK country experts, but they typically
reflect currently announced packages and are assumed to be fully implemented. In the current situ-
ation, automatic stabilizers are assumed to operate unconstrained, except in those countries experi-
encing severe financial distress (see chapter IV for details at the country level).


Exchange-rate movements


The United States dollar appreciated against the euro to about $1.25 in the first quarter of 2009, but
has since depreciated significantly, averaging $1.43 per euro in the third quarter and hovering around
$1.48 or higher since late September. The dollar also saw a rebound against the Japanese yen in the
first quarter of 2009, but has similarly lost ground since. It averaged ¥94 per dollar in the third quarter
and was close to ¥91 in September 2009. In the outlook, it is assumed that the dollar, while experienc-
ing significant volatility, will stay in a trading range centred at $1.44 against the euro and close to ¥90
per dollar through 2010.


Oil and other commodity prices


Brent oil prices are expected to average about $61 per barrel in 2009 and to rise on average to $72 for
the year 2010, for reasons explained in chapter II. For non-oil commodity prices, detailed assumptions
at the individual commodity level are made for a large group of commodities, based on individual
market conditions and reflecting other global assumptions. The weighted dollar price index of these
non-oil commodities is estimated to have fallen by 18.4 per cent in 2009 and is assumed to increase
by a further 4.6 per cent in 2010.


Box I.1




4 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


economies have rebounded earlier than other countries. Fiscal stimulus and resumption of
trade in manufactures lifted economies in Asia, in particular. Economies in transition are
expected to see a significant turnaround from the decline of their combined GDP by 6.5
per cent in 2009. Growth in 2010 is projected to be positive but, at 1.6 per cent, signals a
very weak recovery at best.


Table I.1
Growth of world output, 2004–2010


Annual percentage change


Change from United
Nations forecast of


June 2009c


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b 2009 2010


World outputd 4.0 3.5 4.0 3.9 1.9 -2.2 2.4 0.4 0.8


of which:


Developed economies 3.0 2.5 2.8 2.6 0.5 -3.5 1.3 0.4 0.7
Euro zone 2.2 1.7 3.0 2.7 0.7 -4.1 0.4 -0.4 0.5
Japan 2.7 1.9 2.0 2.3 -0.7 -5.6 0.9 1.5 -0.6
United Kingdom 3.0 2.2 2.9 2.6 0.6 -4.5 0.6 -0.8 0.8
United States 3.6 3.1 2.7 2.1 0.4 -2.5 2.1 1.0 1.1


Economies in transition 7.7 6.5 8.0 8.4 5.5 -6.5 1.6 -0.6 0.2
Russian Federation 7.2 6.4 7.7 8.1 5.6 -7.0 1.5 -0.2 0.0


Developing economies 7.3 6.7 7.3 7.6 5.4 1.9 5.3 0.5 1.0
Africa 6.5 5.9 5.9 6.0 4.9 1.6 4.3 0.7 0.3


Nigeria 10.6 5.4 6.2 7.0 6.0 1.9 5.0 2.4 0.3
South Africa 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.1 3.1 -2.2 3.1 -0.4 0.0


East and South Asia 7.8 7.7 8.6 9.3 6.3 4.3 6.4 1.1 0.8
China 10.1 10.4 11.6 13.0 9.0 8.1 8.8 0.5 0.6
India 8.3 9.3 9.7 9.1 7.3 5.9 6.5 0.9 0.2


Western Asia 8.7 6.9 6.1 5.0 4.6 -1.0 3.6 -0.3 0.7
Israel 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.4 4.1 0.1 2.0 1.0 1.2
Turkey 9.4 8.4 6.9 4.5 1.1 -4.9 2.2 -0.4 1.0


Latin America and the Caribbean 5.8 4.6 5.5 5.6 4.1 -2.1 3.4 -0.2 1.7
Brazil 5.7 3.2 4.0 5.7 5.2 0.0 4.5 0.6 2.0
Mexico 4.0 3.2 4.8 3.2 1.3 -7.1 3.0 -2.3 1.8


of which:


Least developed countries 8.2 7.8 7.9 8.5 7.2 3.3 5.3 0.6 0.7


Memorandum items:


World trade 11.0 7.8 9.3 6.7 2.9 -12.5 5.4 -1.4 1.8
World output growth with
PPP-based weights 4.9 4.4 5.0 5.0 3.0 -1.0 3.2 0.0 0.5


Source: UN/DESA.


a Partly estimated.
b Forecasts, based in part on Project LINK.
c See World Economic Situation and Prospects: Update as of mid-2009, available at http://www.un.org/esa/policy/wess/wesp2009files/wesp09update.


pdf.
d Calculated as a weighted average of individual country growth rates of gross domestic product (GDP), where weights are based on GDP in 2005


prices and exchange rates.




5Global outlook


Output growth in most developing countries and economies in transition re-
mains strongly dependent upon movements in international trade, commodity prices and
capital flows. Conditions in this regard have improved as part of the global recovery, but a
further rebound will be strongly dependent upon the strength of the recovery in the devel-
oped countries. In the outlook, conditions for international trade and finance will remain
challenging. This will affect the low-income countries in particular: while country-specific
conditions differ markedly, the global crisis has undermined investments and, hence, the
growth potential of their economies. Many of the least developed countries (LDCs) are
expected to see a much slower economic performance in the years ahead compared with
the robust growth they witnessed in the years before the crisis (box I.2).


Despite some rebound in the second half of 2009, most countries incurred
welfare losses measured for the year as a whole. Of 160 countries for which data are avail-
able, 107 countries registered a decline in per capita income during 2009. These include
most developed and about 60 developing countries (table I.2). In 2010, the number of
developing countries with negative per capita income growth is expected to drop to 10,
but at the same time only 21 developing countries are expected to achieve growth rates of
3 per cent or more (which is sometimes deemed to be the minimum rate needed to ensure
substantial poverty reduction). In 2007, there were 68 developing countries with welfare
increases above that threshold. In sub-Saharan Africa, this number has dropped from 23
in 2007 to 5 in 2009, and in 2010 no more than 7 countries in the region are expected to
see per capita growth of more than 3 per cent.


Conditions for international
trade and finance will
remain challenging


-4


-3


-2


-1


0


1


2


3


4


5


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b


Figure I.1
World economic growth, 2004–2010


Percentage


Source: UN/DESA.


a Partly estimated.
b United Nations forecast.


Indicates the
confidence interval
at two standard
deviations from
historical forecast
errors.




6 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table I.2
Frequency of high and low growth of per capita output, 2007–2010


Number of
countries


monitored


Decline in GDP per capita
Growth of GDP per capita


exceeding 3 per cent


2007 2008 2009a 2010b 2007 2008 2009a 2010b


Number of countries


World 160 11 30 107 25 106 75 14 24


of which:


Developed economies 35 0 15 34 15 20 6 0 0
Economies in transition 18 0 0 13 0 18 16 2 3
Developing countries 107 11 15 60 10 68 53 12 21


of which:


Africa 51 9 9 23 7 27 22 6 8
East Asia 13 1 3 8 1 12 5 3 5
South Asia 6 0 0 1 0 5 5 2 3
Western Asia 13 1 1 9 0 7 8 1 2
Latin America and the Caribbean 24 0 2 19 2 17 13 0 3


Memorandum items:


Commonwealth of Independent States 12 0 0 8 0 12 11 2 3
Least developed countries 39 6 7 17 6 20 17 4 6
Sub-Saharan Africac 44 9 9 20 7 23 18 5 7
Landlocked developing countries 25 3 2 9 0 15 15 5 6
Small island developing States 17 1 4 10 2 12 9 0 0


Shared Percentage of world population


Developed economies 15.3 0.0 10.3 14.8 2.7 2.6 1.2 0.0 0.0
Economies in transition 4.7 0.0 0.0 3.9 0.0 4.7 4.4 0.5 0.6
Developing countries 80.0 1.6 3.0 21.9 1.3 72.1 63.6 47.1 53.0


of which:


Africa 14.3 1.2 1.3 6.5 0.6 10.6 8.2 2.1 2.8
East Asia 29.9 0.0 0.4 4.0 0.0 29.9 26.2 25.1 26.2
South Asia 24.3 0.0 0.0 1.2 0.0 24.6 24.3 21.1 21.7
Western Asia 3.0 0.4 1.1 2.4 0.0 1.5 0.8 0.1 0.5
Latin America and the Caribbean 8.5 0.0 0.2 8.0 0.6 6.3 5.2 0.0 3.4


Memorandum items:


Commonwealth of Independent States 4.3 0.0 0.0 3.6 0.0 4.3 4.1 0.5 0.6
Least developed countries 11.1 0.6 0.7 3.0 0.6 8.4 7.7 3.8 4.9
Sub-Saharan Africac 8.9 1.2 1.3 3.4 0.6 6.3 5.3 1.6 2.7
Landlocked developing countries 5.1 0.6 0.3 0.9 0.0 3.4 3.7 2.1 2.4
Small island developing States 0.8 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.6 0.5 0.0 0.0


Source: UN/DESA, including population estimates and projections from World Population Prospects: The 2008 Revision.


a Partly estimated.
b Forecast, based in part on Project LINK.
c Excluding Nigeria and South Africa.
d Percentage of world population for 2005.




7Global outlook


Prospects for the least developed countriesa


Most economies in the group of the least developed countries (LDCs) experienced a marked slow-
down in 2009 as a result of the global financial and economic crisis. Weighted average growth for the
LDCs is estimated to be 3.3 per cent in 2009, following five consecutive years of growth above 7 per
cent. For the same period, 17 LDCs registered a decline in per capita gross domestic product (GDP)
and only 4 recorded a growth of 3 per cent or higher in per capita GDP, the minimum rate for achiev-
ing a meaningful reduction in poverty.


While the financial sectors in the LDCs were not directly affected by the global financial
turmoil, most economies suffered from lower export demand and reduced foreign direct investment
inflows. As illustrated in the figure below, oil- and mineral-exporting LDCs registered the sharpest
economic downturn in 2009 as they suffered a double blow from worsening terms of trade and fall-
ing trade volumes. For instance, growth in Angola and Equatorial Guinea declined from an average
of more than 16 per cent during 2004-2008 to 0.2 per cent and -3.4 per cent, respectively in 2009. In
comparison, countries specialized in agricultural exports faced a less severe slowdown, with Liberia,
Malawi and Uganda registering above-average growth.


Several LDCs in East and Southern Africa continued to be among the best performers in
2009, partly owing to successful macroeconomic reforms, improved governance and increased pub-
lic expenditures, especially on infrastructure. The good macroeconomic performance contrasts with
persistent food insecurity. Prolonged droughts have led to severe food shortages and widespread
hunger in the countries in the Horn of Africa and East Africa. By contrast, most poor-performing
countries, such as Haiti, Madagascar and Somalia, continued to experience political instability and
fragile security conditions.


Despite the worsening external economic environment in general, a continued strong
inflow of workers’ remittances helped some LDCs sustain domestic demand, for example, in Bangla-
desh (the most populous country in the group), Nepal and Rwanda. In Bangladesh, remittances offset
a significant decline in total aid disbursements, which fell by more than 40 per cent during the first
eights months of 2009 compared with the same period a year earlier. Preliminary data suggest that
official development assistance (ODA) flows to African LDCs may have increased moderately in 2009.
However, there are concerns that flows may be lower in the coming years as many donor countries
may curtail their aid budgets as a consequence of the crisis.


As food and oil prices dropped sharply in the second half of 2008, inflationary pressures
in the LDCs began to abate. Average inflation in the LDCs declined from 13.5 per cent in 2008 to
8.8 per cent in 2009, and is forecast at 8.1 per cent in 2010. Food price inflation, however, remained
elevated in many countries as lower international prices were only partially passed through to local
markets and weak harvests constrained domestic supply, particularly in East Africa. Moreover, several
Governments have phased out food subsidies that had been introduced to cushion the effects of
escalating international prices.


In the outlook for 2010, average growth in the LDCs is expected to recover, but to re-
main considerably below the levels achieved in the years prior to the crisis. Driven by a rebound in oil
and mineral exports, the group is forecast to grow by 5.3 per cent in 2010. Yet, the uncertainties re-
garding the strength of the recovery in developed and major developing economies pose significant
downside risks for the LDCs. Continued slow growth in LDCs may aggravate the already deteriorating
fiscal balances and the rising public debt. In addition, infrastructural deficiencies, low levels of hu-
man capital, political instability and domestic conflict continue to hamper economic development.
Furthermore, natural disasters, unpredictable weather conditions and the effects of climate change
continue to pose severe threats to most LDCs. Although several post-conflict African countries, such
as Angola and Liberia, have benefited from improved political stability and security in recent years,
drug trafficking in West Africa constitutes an increasing menace to governance, capacity-building
and promotion of the rule of law.


Box I.2


a While the group of least
developed countries
(LDCs) includes 49
economies, this box
covers only the 39
members for which
macroeconomic data
are available. For a more
detailed definition of
the LDCs, see http://
www.un.org/esa/policy/
devplan/profile/index.
html.




8 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Outlook for employment, inflation and global poverty


The continued weakness of the world economy is manifest in the continued increase in
unemployment. Through the end of 2009, the recovery will have been “jobless”. Unem-
ployment rates are expected to continue to rise well into 2010.


The number of unemployed has more than doubled in the United States since
the beginning of the recession in December 2007. Those out of work totalled 15.7 mil-
lion in October 2009, bringing the unemployment rate to 10.2 per cent, the highest in
26 years. The unemployment rates in the euro area are also estimated to have increased
by more than 2 percentage points in 2009, with the largest increase in Ireland and Spain,
by 12.5 and 9.5 percentage points, respectively. These figures would be even higher if they
were to include discouraged workers, who are unemployed but not currently looking for
work because they believe no jobs are available for them.


Unemployment rates in transition economies and developing countries have
also moved higher, in particular in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and
Central and South-eastern Europe, where the number of unemployed increased by as
much as 35 per cent in 2009.


In developing countries, while most job losses are in the export sectors, the
greater concern lies in the stark increase in vulnerable employment and working poverty.
In East and South Asia, vulnerable employment1 affects about 70 per cent of the workforce
and the scarce timely data suggest that this share has increased significantly. According


1 Vulnerable employment as defined by the International Labour Office refers to own-account
workers and contributing family workers who, in developing countries, are less likely to have
formal work arrangements.


Unemployment rates are
continuing to rise


Developing countries
are seeing increases in


vulnerable employment
and working poverty


Box I.2 (cont’d)


0


2


4


6


8


10


12


LDCs
Oil and mineral


exporters
Service


exporters


Manufacturing
and diversied


exporters
Agricultural
exporters


2004-2008


2009


2010


Growth in least developed countries (LDCs) according to their export specializationa


Average annual GDP growth rate (percentage)


Source: UN/DESA.
a UNCTAD Least Developed


Countries Report, 2008
(UNCTAD, Geneva) p.


xiii. Based on 2003-2005
trade data.




9Global outlook


to the International Labour Organization (ILO), informal employment has increased sig-
nificantly in Indonesia and Thailand, for instance.2 In Indonesia, the number of casual
workers in non-agricultural sectors increased by about 7.3 per cent between February 2008
and February 2009, more than five times the rate of growth of formal sector wage earners.
In Thailand, first quarter 2009 figures indicate that wage employment was stagnant, while
the number of informal sector self-employed and family workers increased by 3.2 per cent.
This suggests a significant increase in the number of workers with poor-quality jobs.


In sub-Saharan Africa, an important share of the region’s labour force is en-
gaged in subsistence agriculture and other low-productivity economic activities. The share
of working poor (that is to say, those earning less than $1.25 per day in purchasing power
parity (PPP)) is expected to increase to about 64 per cent in 2009, up from 59 per cent in
2007. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the rate of unemployment increased on aver-
age to 8.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to 7.9 per cent in the first quarter
of 2008, implying that over one million more workers could not find a job.


The impact of the financial crisis on labour conditions is expected to aggravate
social gaps in employment opportunities, in particular for women, who are more often
involved in temporary employment and jobs in export-oriented manufacturing industries
in developing countries. Worldwide, unemployment among youth (those aged between 16
and 24 years) is expected to increase from a rate of 12.2 per cent in 2008 to about 14 per
cent in 2009 on average. The rate of youth unemployment in the EU has increased by 4
percentage points in the past year, reaching 19.7 per cent, and in the United States it went
up by 5 percentage points, reaching 18 per cent in 2009. In developed and developing
countries alike, an increasing number of new college graduates continue to face enormous
difficulties in finding a job.


Labour markets will remain weak in the outlook. The experience of previous re-
cessions shows that employment recovery typically lags output growth by a significant mar-
gin. During the last two recessions in the United States (in 1991 and 2001), for instance,
output started to recover after eight months, while it took 30 and 48 months, respectively,
before unemployment rates were back to pre-crisis levels. Recovery from the present crisis
has only just begun and large output gaps remain characteristic of the situation in most
major economies. This will slow new hiring until output growth has become more robust.
In the countries of the euro zone, the drop in average hours worked has been faster than the
increase in the number of unemployed, as—with government support—many workers have
been allowed to keep their jobs while being forced into part-time employment. Firms are
more likely to increase the working hours of current workers than to hire new ones.


Labour market conditions in developing countries are expected to remain dif-
ficult in the outlook for three main reasons. First, most of the 47 million new workers
who enter labour markets worldwide each year will be searching for jobs in developing
countries. In Asia alone, for instance, an estimated 51 million additional jobs will need to
be created to absorb that region’s growing labour force during 2010 and 2011.


Second, as in developed countries, employment creation in developing countries
is expected to lag output recovery. Following the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998, for
instance, employment growth significantly lagged output growth by three years. However,
the fiscal stimulus packages implemented by some developing countries could limit the re-
tardation effect somewhat this time around. In several Asian countries, new public spending


2 See International Labour Office, “Protecting people, promoting jobs. A survey of country
employment and social protection policy responses to the global economic crisis”, Report to the
G20 Leaders Summit, Pittsburgh, 24-25 September 2009, available at https://webdev.ilo.org/
public/libdoc/jobcrisis/download/protecting_people_promoting_jobs.pdf.


Social gaps in employment
opportunities are widening


Labour markets will remain
weak in 2010




10 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


on infrastructure is creating a substantial amount of new jobs in the construction sector.3
Nonetheless, during the present crisis, most jobs in developing Asia were shed in export-
oriented manufacturing sectors where the rehiring of workers is expected to remain slow as
long as the recovery is driven mainly by the turn in the inventory cycle.


Third, the shift to informal sector jobs during the crisis will likely be long-
lasting for many workers. This adds considerable pressure on earnings for those in vulner-
able employment and will keep the level of working poverty high, especially in rural areas
where job opportunities are already scarce. In addition, on top of vulnerable employment,
as social protection coverage is relatively limited, working poverty levels will increase. This
will be difficult to reverse, as observed in previous crises.


Worldwide, inflation rates have fallen. The majority of countries have experi-
enced significantly lower inflation rates (disinflation) in 2009, while a growing number of
economies, mainly developed countries and a few emerging economies in Asia, actually
experienced deflation as general price indices fell. The continued increase in unemploy-
ment rates and large output gaps suggest that inflation is likely to remain low in the out-
look despite continued expansionary monetary policies, as aggregate demand is expected
to fall short of output capacity for some time to come. For most economies, cost-push
pressures are likely to remain mild. With only a moderate recovery in global demand, fur-
ther increases in the prices of primary commodities are expected to be limited (see below,
and also chapter II), while high unemployment rates and continued efforts by the busi-
ness sector to curb costs will keep wage pressures down. Deflation, rather than inflation,
should be a policy priority for many countries in the near term. Inflationary pressures as
a consequence of ballooning government deficits and the ample liquidity injected during
the crisis, if they emerge, will be more of an issue in the medium run, after the recovery
has become more solid, and should not be of immediate concern.


The reduction in employment and income opportunities has led to a consider-
able slowdown in the progress towards poverty reduction and the fight against hunger.
Estimates by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (UN/
DESA) suggest that, in 2009, between 47 and 84 million more people have remained
poor or will have fallen into poverty in developing countries and economies in transition
than would have been the case had pre-crisis growth continued its course (table I.3).4
This setback was felt predominantly in East and South Asia, where between 29 and 63
million people were likely affected, of whom about two thirds were in India. By these es-
timates, the crisis has trapped about 15 million more people in extreme poverty in Africa
and almost 4 million in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the outlook for 2010, the
economic recovery is expected to encourage a resumption of the declining trend in global
poverty in the years prior to the crisis. Nonetheless, as growth in income per capita is ex-
pected to fall well short of pre-crisis levels, poverty reduction will still be significantly less
than it would have been under pre-crisis trends.


3 In Malaysia, for instance, public projects constitute the bulk of the stimulus package’s spending,
and they will include low-cost home building and upgrading of urban transportation. China is
spending over 86 per cent of its package on investments in infrastructure, low-rent houses, public
transportation, power grids and water supply. India, Indonesia and the Republic of Korea have also
allocated sizeable amounts of their packages to labour-intensive infrastructure projects.


4 It should be noted that the estimates presented here take into consideration the impact of the
downturn only on growth in income per capita compared with continued pre-crisis trends. Hence,
these should be interpreted in the first instance as a slowdown in poverty reduction owing to a
drop in the mean per capita income of developing countries. For lack of additional information,
the estimates do not take into account likely changes in income distribution.


Inflationary pressures are
expected to remain low


throughout 2010


Progress towards poverty
reduction has slowed


considerably




11Global outlook


International economic conditions for developing
countries and the economies in transition


Following a sharp deterioration in late 2008 and early 2009, the international economic
environment for developing countries and the economies in transition has been stabiliz-
ing and improving, but it remains daunting in the outlook. Certain categories of private
capital flows are returning to some emerging economies, and external financing costs are
normalizing, but the general external financing conditions for developing countries are
expected to remain tight in 2010. Both global trade flows and world market prices of pri-
mary commodities rebounded during 2009, but the contribution of international trade to
growth in developing countries is not expected to recover its full strength in the near term.
In such an inauspicious international economic environment, recovery of growth in most
developing countries and the economies in transition will have to rely more on domestic


The international
economic environment for
developing countries and
the economies in transition
has improved, but remains
daunting


Table I.3
Estimated impact of the crisis on extreme poverty, 2009a


Change in extreme poverty (living below $1.25 a day)


Number of poor
(millions)


Change in poverty incidence
(percentage)


2009 vs. 2004-7 2009 vs. 2008 2009 vs. 2004-7 2009 vs. 2008


Economies in transition 1.0 1.0 0.3 0.3


South-eastern Europe 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1
Commonwealth of Independent
States 0.9 1.0 0.3 0.4


Developing economies 83.7 46.7 1.5 0.9


Africa 15.2 13.6 1.5 1.3
North Africa 0.2 -0.3 0.1 -0.2
Sub-Saharan Africa 15.0 13.9 1.8 1.7


East and South Asia 63.1 28.5 1.7 0.8
East Asia 22.8 9.1 1.2 0.5
South Asia 40.3 19.4 2.4 1.2


Western Asia 1.9 1.3 0.9 0.6
Latin America and the Caribbean 3.6 3.3 0.6 0.6


South America 2.6 2.5 0.7 0.6
Mexico and Central America 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.5
Caribbean 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.1


Source: UN/DESA, based on per capita GDP growth estimates and forecasts of the World Economic Situation and
Prospects 2010 and recent household survey data for 69 countries drawn from the World Bank’s PovCalNet.
Note: The estimates are an update and revision of previous estimates published in the World Economic Situation and
Prospects: Update as of mid-2009, available at http://www.un.org/esa/policy/wess/wesp2009files/wesp09update.
pdf. The updated estimates show a smaller impact on poverty, caused by two main factors. First, new population
projections were used, generally showing lower population estimates and growth rates, and, second, GDP growth
figures for 2009 were revised upwards for some countries with large populations (for example, India).


a Estimates represent the shortfall in poverty reduction caused by the drop in per capita income growth in
2009 compared with the average growth in 2004-2007 and 2008, respectively. The poverty threshold is the
international poverty line of $1.25 per person per day at purchasing power parity dollars. For the calculations, it
was assumed that income distribution stays constant in all country cases.




12 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


than on external demand. Low-income developing countries will likely continue to face
constraints in accessing private capital markets to finance widening current-account defi-
cits and will be in need of greater support from official sources of international finance.


International finance


Net private capital inflows to emerging economies, which comprise some 30 large devel-
oping countries and the economies in transition, declined precipitously in late 2008 and
early 2009, but have rebounded somewhat since. After peaking at about $1.2 trillion in
2007 before the crisis, the inflows halved in 2008, plunged further in 2009 to an esti-
mated $350 billion, and are expected to recover to about $650 billion in 2010 (see chapter
III for a more detailed discussion).


The sharpest drop was in international bank lending to emerging economies,
with a total net inflow of $400 billion in 2007 turning into a net outflow of more than $80
billion in 2009. The economies in transition, especially the Russian Federation, Ukraine,
and a few other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, experienced the most dramatic
reversal in access to bank lending. Despite the recent stabilization in the banking sector
worldwide, bank credits to emerging economies are expected to remain limited in the
outlook given the general tightness in the global credit supply (figure I.2). Non-bank lend-
ing flows also declined notably during the crisis, but have rebounded since mid-2009 as
more emerging economies managed to increase their issuance of bonds. Large outflows of
net portfolio equity were registered in the second half of 2008 as international investors
reacted aggressively to the sell-off in equity markets worldwide. These flows have recuper-
ated markedly since March 2009, however, along with the rebound in stock markets in
both developed and most emerging economies. However, the returning portfolio flows
may also reflect a renewed appetite for riskier assets. The speculative motives associated
with this could become a source of increased volatility in exchange rates and assets prices
and, hence, of renewed macroeconomic instability. While foreign direct investment (FDI)
flows tend to be less volatile than other components of private capital flows, they have
also declined by more than 30 per cent in 2009. In the outlook for 2010, FDI flows are
expected to grow by about 20 per cent.5


External financing costs for emerging market economies surged in late 2008,
as measured through the Emerging Markets Bond Index (EMBI). Since March 2009,
along with the stabilization of global financial markets, the spreads have been normalizing
(figure I.3). Spreads across emerging markets have converged and have tended to move
much more in tandem since 2007 when signs of the global financial turmoil first became
apparent. This suggests significant contagion in these markets, weak capacity to discrimi-
nate risks by lenders, and consequent heavy rationing of available finance. Private sector
access to credit in emerging markets has been heavily curtailed and this trend continued
well into 2009. The exception has been China, where credit growth has boomed from the
end of 2008 as the result of strengthened domestic demand. This, however, has also fuelled
fears of a build-up of a new asset bubble in that part of the world.


Outflows of capital from emerging economies, particularly to other developing
countries, which had gathered some momentum prior to the global financial crisis, have


5 See United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, World Investment Report 2009:
Transnational Corporations, Agricultural Production and Development (United Nations publication,
Sales No. E.09.II.D.15).


Private capital inflows to
emerging economies have


started to recover


Emerging economies have
experienced a sharp drop in


bank credit


Spreads on emerging
market bonds have been
normalizing since March


2009




13Global outlook


0


10


20


30


40


50


60


D
ec


-0
7


Ja
n-


08


Fe
b-


08


M
ar


-0
8


A
pr


-0
8


M
ay


-0
8


Ju
n-


08


Ju
l-


08


Au
g-


08


Se
p-


08


O
ct


-0
8


N
ov


-0
8


D
ec


-0
8


Ja
n-


09


Fe
b-


09


M
ar


-0
9


A
pr


-0
9


M
ay


-0
9


Ju
n-


09


Asia, excluding China


Latin America
and the Caribbean


Emerging Europe


China


Figure I.2
Bank lending to the private sector in emerging markets, December 2007–June 2009


Six-month percentage change, annualized rate


Source: JPMorgan Chase.


0


2


4


6


8


10


Ja
n-


05


Ap
r-0


5


Ju
l-0


5


O
ct


-0
5


Ja
n-


06


Ap
r-0


6


Ju
l-0


6


O
ct


-0
6


Ja
n-


07


Ap
r-0


7


Ju
l-0


7


O
ct


-0
7


Ja
n-


08


A
pr


-0
8


Ju
l-0


8


O
ct


-0
8


Ja
n-


09


Ap
r-0


9


Ju
l-0


9


O
ct


-0
9


Africa


Asia
Latin America and the Caribbean


Europe


Figure I.3
Daily yield spreads on emerging market bonds, January 2005–October 2009
Percentage


Source: IMF, Global Financial
Stability Report, October 2009.




14 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


also moderated during the past two years as investors in emerging economies recoiled
along with those in developed economies. Bucking the trend, however, China’s outward
investment continued to surge, reaching an estimate of $150 billion in 2009. But exports
of capital from oil-exporting developing countries declined notably along with the collapse
in their oil revenues.


Net official flows to developing countries and the economies in transition have
increased in 2009, especially as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other mul-
tilateral financial institutions significantly expanded their financial resources and started
to disburse lending. Emerging Europe received the lion’s share of these net official flows.
Meanwhile, bilateral official, non-concessional flows also increased as central banks ar-
ranged foreign-exchange swaps to deal with the lack of international liquidity. Yet, in
the aggregate, net official flows to developing countries are expected to remain negative
in 2009 and 2010, continuing the trend of the past decade (see chapter III for details).
The return of net official flows (including official development assistance (ODA)) from
poor to rich countries was about $120 billion per year during 2006-2008. That amount
is expected to fall to about $20 billion in 2009, but could increase again to $66 billion
in 2010 (see chapter III, table III.2). Much of the outflow comes from developing Asia,
while Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to be net recipients, with
positive inflows of about $14 billion and $27 billion, respectively, in 2009—in both cases,
substantial increases from 2008 levels. Net ODA is expected to fall in absolute terms
in 2009–2010 as a consequence of the global economic crisis, as many donor countries
target their aid budgets to their level of gross national income (GNI). While ODA flows
had increased visibly in 2008, they remained well below all international commitments.
Especially for low-income countries with weak fiscal space, more limited access to aid
would not only make it more difficult to meet the MDGs, it could also leave them with
insufficient resources to address the crisis with counter-cyclical policies.


Remittance flows to developing countries have moderated. Remittances to-
talled a sizeable $338 billion in 2008, or almost three times the amount of ODA and
more than half of the estimated level of FDI flows to developing countries. For several
small economies, this source of revenue accounts for more than 20 per cent of their GDP.
Remittance flows used to be relatively stable, thereby providing a counter-cyclical im-
pulse during economic downturns. However, for some regions, these flows fell sharply as
a consequence of the global crisis, most notably in Latin American countries with large
numbers of workers abroad. Remittances to some CIS countries also declined steeply.6
This trend has not been universal, however. Remittance flows continued to increase to
countries in East and South Asia whose many migrant workers have continued to increase
to abroad, albeit at a slower pace than in previous years. The difference can be explained
by the fact that migrants from Latin America and the CIS are, respectively, mainly work-
ing in the United States and Western Europe (in particular Spain), and in the Russian
Federation, whose labour markets have been much more severely impacted by the crisis
than those of the oil-rich Gulf countries, which are major destinations for migrants from
East and South Asia.


6 In Tajikistan, for instance, remittances declined by 22 per cent in the first half of 2009, and were
one third lower in the Republic of Moldova. The impact of these declines is particularly significant
for these economies as remittances account for more than 30 per cent of GDP in the Republic of
Moldova and Tajikistan, and for more than 20 per cent in Kyrgyzstan.


Net official flows to
developing countries and


economies in transition
increased in 2009


Remittance flows to
developing countries have


moderated, with large
variations among countries




15Global outlook


110


120


130


140


150


160


170


Ja
n-


07


Ap
r-0


7


Ju
l-0


7


O
ct


-0
7


Ja
n-


08


Ap
r-0


8


Ju
l-0


8


O
ct


-0
8


Ja
n-


09


Ap
r-0


9


Ju
l-0


9


World trade volume


World industrial production


Figure I.4
Index of world trade volume and industrial production, January 2007–August 2009


2000=100


Source: UN/DESA, based on
data from CPB Netherlands
Bureau for Economic Policy
Analysis.


International trade


The financial crisis has also significantly affected world trade. Triggered by a retrench-
ment in import demand in major developed countries and more restricted access to trade
financing, trade flows fell at an annualized rate of between 30 and 50 per cent in most
economies in late 2008 and early 2009. Asian economies experienced the sharpest decline.
Trade flows have recovered since the second quarter of 2009 (figure I.4). The rebound has
been largely driven by the turn in the global inventory cycle discussed above, while import
demand from consumption and business investment has remained weak (see chapter II for
a more detailed discussion of trade patterns during the crisis).


Even given the recent rebound, trade flows for 2009 as a whole are still esti-
mated to decline by more than 12 per cent. A mild growth of 5 per cent is forecast for
the volume of world trade in 2010 along with the projected moderate recovery of global
aggregate demand.


The financial crisis has led to collapses in the prices of oil and non-oil primary
commodities. The prices of primary commodities had been on an upward trend since
2002, with a significant surge in late 2007 and early 2008, but the intensification of the
global financial crisis in mid-2008 abruptly broke this trend. By early 2009, oil prices had
plummeted by as much as 70 per cent from their peak levels of mid-2008 before rebound-
ing to about $80 per barrel in November 2009, which was still about 45 per cent below the
peak. In the same period, prices of metals declined even more sharply to about one third of
their peak levels. Prices of agricultural products, including basic grains, also declined sig-
nificantly. The downward trend came to a halt in the first quarter of 2009 and rebounded
thereafter. By mid-2009, real agricultural commodity prices were still high compared with
the low levels sustained during much of the 1980s and 1990s. World food prices equally


Recovery in global trade is
largely driven by the turn in
the inventory cycle


Prices of oil and non-oil
primary commodities have
rebounded since March
2009




16 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


declined, then rebounded along with other primary commodities. The covariant move-
ment is explained in part by the drop in crude oil prices and the related fall in the demand
for agricultural inputs for the production of biofuels. With the measurable rebound in the
prices of most primary commodities since March 2009, room for further increase is lim-
ited in the outlook for 2010, as the slack in supply of these commodities is not expected to
close in the foreseeable future and only a mild recovery in demand is likely. The only up-
ward pressure will come from the risks associated with a further weakening of the United
States dollar, in which the prices of almost all primary commodities are denominated.


As a consequence, many developing countries have suffered strong swings in
their terms of trade.7 Net exporters of oil and minerals, in particular, felt very strong ad-
verse export price shocks on top of the falloff in global demand as part of the recession,
but some ground has been regained more recently. Net importers of food and energy saw
their import bills fall during the crisis, but, in general, the related terms of trade gain was
more than offset by the steep drop in demand for their exports at the height of the global
recession. The more recent reversal in their terms of trade will slow their recovery. More
generally, however, high terms of trade volatility makes macroeconomic management
more challenging and enhances economic insecurity, all of which tends to be detrimental
to long-term growth prospects.8


Trade protectionism increased as the crisis evolved, making the international
economic environment even less favourable. A sizeable number of countries, developed and
developing alike, have raised tariffs and introduced new non-tariff measures in response to
a sharp decline in production in certain industries. The fiscal stimulus packages and the
financial measures adopted by many developed countries also contain certain protection-
ist elements through direct subsidies and support for domestic industries. A few countries
also reintroduced export subsidies for some agricultural products that had been previously
eliminated, including those for dairy products produced in the EU and the United States.9
Meanwhile, the number of cases calling for use of a trade defence mechanism, including
anti-dumping and safeguard clauses, have also been rising in 2008-2009. Although these
protection measures have so far not led to pervasive and high-intensity protectionism,
some domestic pressure remains, particularly in view of a further deterioration in the un-
employment situation in many countries.


Policy responses
Since the intensification of the financial crisis, Governments worldwide have made massive
public funding available (amounting to about $20 trillion, or some 30 per cent of WGP)
to recapitalize banks, taking partial or full government ownership of ailing financial in-
stitutions and providing ample guarantees on bank deposits and other financial assets.
Furthermore, monetary and fiscal policy stances have been strongly counter-cyclical in
most major economies. Yet, these unprecedented measures may not have been far-reaching
enough and need better coordination internationally.


7 See chapter II for a decomposition analysis of the trade shocks affecting developing countries
during the global recession.


8 See World Economic and Social Survey 2008: Overcoming Economic Insecurity (United Nations
publication, Sales No. E.08.II.C.1) for further analysis.


9 See Report on G20 Trade and Investment Measures, issued on 14 September 2009 by the World
Trade Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development, available at http://www.unctad.org/en/docs/
wto_oecd_unctad2009_en.pdf, p. 11.


Many developing countries
have experienced large
swings in their terms of


trade


Trade protectionism has
been on the rise since the


onset of the crisis


Policy responses need
to be better coordinated


internationally




17Global outlook


Financial sector rescue measures


When the systemic risks threatening the global financial system intensified in late 2008,
Governments, mainly in developed economies, took a wide variety of financial measures
to stabilize the financial sector. The measures targeted the liquidity and solvency of spe-
cific institutions, as well as the functioning of financial markets. More than 20 countries
introduced or increased guarantees on retail and commercial deposits, thus reducing the
likelihood of bank runs. Government debt guarantees allowed eligible banks to issue new
bonds backed by explicit government support in return for an annual fee paid by the issuer.
The details of these measures varied across countries. For example, European banks faced
higher costs for debt guarantees than banks in the United States. While the United States
charged a flat rate to all borrowers regardless of rating, the cost of European guarantees
was linked to past spreads on credit default swaps (CDS), making these more expensive for
riskier borrowers. The risk on government-guaranteed bonds varies across countries, with
some regulators treating them as risk-free from a capital perspective while others assign a
20 per cent capital charge.


Governments recapitalized banks with a view to reducing their financial lever-
age and increasing their solvency. Most Governments bought hybrid securities, such as
preferred shares or mandatory convertible notes. Preferred shares were the most popular,
as these instruments limit the risk of future losses to the taxpayer while providing a more
attractive dividend stream than common shares. However, as preferred shareholders typi-
cally cannot vote at shareholder meetings, Governments have been constrained in their
ability to influence the management of financial institutions. Nonetheless, Governments
have managed to condition their capital injections. Many countries followed France’s ex-
ample and required banks receiving government support to extend new domestic loans
with an associated reporting requirement. The United States and Germany imposed limits
on the payment of common dividends, but the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland explicitly prohibited common dividends as long as the Government’s
preferred shares were still outstanding. Several rescue packages outlined general restric-
tions on executive pay, but Governments lacked the votes, the support of the banks’ boards
or the legal basis to block payouts.


A few Governments also purchased troubled assets from large financial institu-
tions or provided insurance against losses on designated portfolios. For example, the Swiss
National Bank (SNB) bought mortgage-related assets from UBS and placed them in a
special investment vehicle. The United States Treasury set up the Public-Private Invest-
ment Program (PPIP) to value the troubled assets and to remove them through an auction
mechanism. Under the PPIP, eligible private sector investors are invited to bid on troubled
real estate assets held by banks. Some Governments offered asset insurance to a handful
of banks subject to payment of an insurance premium. Governments in Iceland, Ireland,
the United Kingdom and the United States took control of a number of insolvent financial
institutions to protect depositors and prevent contagion to other financial institutions.


These rescue measures have had mixed effect. They seem to have helped to reduce
interest-rate spreads on government bonds and CDS contracts, but by increasing a bank’s
capital ratio and providing a means to refinance existing debt, government rescue packages
reduced the probability of default, thereby pushing down CDS premiums on average.


Despite positive signs, concerns remain regarding the health of the financial
sectors in major economies. The risk of new speculative bubbles remains as long as regula-
tory reforms to rein in high risk-taking and operations in markets for financial derivatives


Governments in developed
economies took a wide
range of measures to
stabilize the financial sector


Concerns remain about the
health of financial sectors
in major economies




18 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


and other speculative instruments are not put in place. At present, an important number
of banks still show signs of distress. Interest-rate spreads have remained elevated, especially
for lending to borrowers that are not considered “triple A”. Banks are also still experiencing
difficulties in raising new capital from private investors, while—as discussed above—bank
lending has remained highly restrictive during most of 2009. Moreover, government-as-
sisted sales of failed banks have led to the creation of even larger financial institutions,
possibly increasing systemic risks. Government guarantees and asset insurance have ex-
posed taxpayers to potentially large losses and have become a concern as regards continued
political support for financial rescue operations. In the United States, delinquency rates
on mortgage loans are still increasing, reaching an historic high of more than 14 per cent
in November 2009. Rising unemployment is the major factor explaining the increasing
number of foreclosures and homeowners with payment arrears. Finally, the uncoordinated
responses across countries have raised concerns about distortions to competition. In par-
ticular, national rescue packages have featured different conditions, coverage and costs,
with some banks receiving support on more attractive terms than their competitors.


Monetary policy


Monetary policy responses to the crisis have been bold and unprecedented. Central banks
have reduced their policy interest rates by a large margin, with a number of central banks
in developed economies cutting their interest rates to close to zero: for instance, the United
States Federal Reserve (Fed), the Bank of Japan (BoJ), the Bank of England, the Bank of
Canada, Sveriges Riksbank, the SNB, and many others reduced their rates to historical
lows. Only in a few cases, such as Hungary, Iceland and the Russian Federation, were
central banks compelled to raise interest rates in the early stages of the crisis, as those
countries faced sharp depreciations of their currencies. Interest rates were lowered again
after they managed to stabilize their exchange rates.


While the magnitude and pace of easing policy interest rates were impressive,
central banks of major developed countries took a further set of unconventional measures
that were even bolder. First, measures were put in place to ensure that the market interest
rates would come down along with the policy rate. To help anchor short-term market rates
to the policy target, the Bank of England and the Fed reduced the width of the effective
band on overnight rates by changing the rates applied on end-of-day standing facilities.
Some central banks expanded their capacity to reabsorb excess reserves so as to neutral-
ize the impact on overnight interest rates of the much-expanded operations. The Bank of
England and the SNB issued central bank bills; the European Central Bank (ECB) and
the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) increasingly relied on accepting interest-bearing
deposits; and the Fed took in greater amounts of deposits from the Treasury and started
to pay interest on reserves.


Second, interventions were made to alleviate strains in wholesale interbank
markets by reducing interbank market spreads. Central banks provided more term fund-
ing so as to offset some of the shortfalls in market supply, and they also ensured a smooth
distribution of reserves in the system and access to their funding. They relaxed eligible
collateral and counterparty coverage, lengthened the maturity of refinancing operations,
and established inter-central bank swap lines to alleviate mostly dollar funding pressures
in offshore markets. In addition, many central banks introduced or eased conditions for
lending out highly liquid securities, in particular government bonds, against less liquid
market securities in order to improve funding conditions in the money market.


Central banks responded
to the crisis with bold and
unprecedented measures




19Global outlook


Third, monetary authorities provided large amounts of additional liquidity to
keep financial institutions afloat and to reduce risk spreads in specific financial market
segments through the purchase of commercial paper, asset-backed securities and corporate
bonds. In addition, they made direct purchases of public sector securities to influence
benchmark yields more generally. Some central banks also intervened in the foreign-ex-
change market to contain upward pressure on their currencies so as to reduce deflationary
risks and loosen monetary conditions.


As a result of these actions, central bank balance sheets expanded substan-
tially and their composition changed significantly. The Fed focused heavily on non-bank
credit markets as well as on operations involving private sector securities, for example, the
Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF) and the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan
Facility (TALF). The Bank of England initially concentrated its Asset Purchase Facility
primarily on purchases of government bonds. The ECB emphasized banking system li-
quidity by conducting fixed-rate full-allotment refinancing operations with maturities of
up to 12 months and by purchasing covered bonds. The BoJ directed substantial efforts at
improving funding conditions for firms through various measures related to commercial
paper and corporate bonds.


In the outlook, most central banks may continue to keep their expansion-
ary policy stance for much of 2010 as part of continued macroeconomic stimulus, but
some may start to neutralize their policy rates sooner than others. For example, the RBA
raised the policy interest rate by 25 basis points in October 2009. Elsewhere, pressure on
monetary authorities to begin a gradual unwinding of the unconventional measures will
increase.


Technically speaking, it should not be difficult to unwind these unconven-
tional monetary measures. Indeed, short-term liquidity measures can unwind naturally
as market conditions improve. For example, short-term lending to financial institutions
by the Fed swelled from zero to more than $1 trillion by the end of 2008, but has since
reduced to about $200 billion as financial markets improved. Assets purchased by the
central banks can also be resold into markets, although it will take much longer to unwind
some illiquid assets on some central bank balance sheets. However, the key challenges are,
first, to find the right timing to start the unwinding without putting an early break on
the macroeconomic stimulus and, second, to adequately coordinate the withdrawal of the
monetary stimulus with fiscal policy and financial sector rescue operations.


Fiscal policy


A large number of countries have implemented fiscal policy measures to support aggregate
demand. Table I.4 summarizes most of the fiscal stimulus packages adopted by 59 econo-
mies since late 2008, totalling $2.6 trillion (or 4.7 per cent of the combined GDP of these
countries and 4.3 per cent of WGP). Across countries, the magnitude of the stimuli ranges
from less than 1 per cent to more than 10 per cent of GDP.


These packages consist of a wide range of measures, including increases in spend-
ing on public consumption and infrastructure investment and measures to boost disposable
household income, through cutting taxes and increasing benefits and subsidies, as well as
through tax cuts for businesses. The composition of the packages varies across countries and
economies. For example, tax-related measures account for more than half of the size of the
packages in many developed countries, the highest proportion being in New Zealand and


The balance sheets of
many central banks have
expanded substantially


Monetary policy is
expected to remain
expansionary in 2010


Some unconventional
policy measures are
unwinding


Many countries adopted
sizeable fiscal stimulus
measures to support
aggregate demand




20 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


the United Kingdom. In addition, while greater emphasis is placed on revenue-side meas-
ures in countries such as India, Indonesia and Thailand, in general, expenditure measures
account for a larger part of the fiscal stimulus packages in developing countries.


Although the impact of discretionary fiscal policies would typically show ef-
fect later than automatic stabilizers and monetary policy, new evidence suggests that fiscal


Table I.4
Fiscal stimulus to address the global financial and economic crisisa


Share of GDP
(percentage)


Fiscal stimulus
(billions of US


dollars)
Share of GDP
(percentage)


Fiscal stimulus
(billions of US


dollars)


Argentina 1.2 3.9 Luxembourg 3.6 2.0
Australia 4.7 47.0 Malaysia 5.5 12.1
Austria 4.5 18.8 Mexico 2.1 22.7
Bangladesh 0.6 0.5 Netherlands 1.0 8.4
Belgium 1.0 4.9 New Zealand 4.2 5.4
Brazil 0.2 3.6 Nigeria 0.7 1.6
Canada 2.8 42.2 Norway 0.6 2.9
Chile 2.4 4.0 Peru 2.6 3.3
China 13.3 585.3 Philippines 4.1 7.0
Czech Republic 1.8 3.9 Poland 2.0 10.6
Denmark 2.5 8.7 Portugal 1.2 3.0
Egypt 1.7 2.7 Russian Federation 1.2 20.0
Finland 3.5 9.5 Saudi Arabia 12.5 60.0
France 1.3 36.2 Singapore 5.8 10.6
Georgia 10.3 1.3 Slovenia 1.0 0.5
Germany 2.2 80.5 South Africa 1.5 4.2
Honduras 10.6 1.5 Spain 0.9 15.3
Hong Kong SARb 5.2 11.3 Sri Lanka 0.2 0.1
Hungary 10.9 17.0 Sweden 2.8 13.4
India 3.2 38.4 Switzerland 0.5 2.5
Indonesia 1.4 7.1 Taiwan


Province of China 3.9 15.3
Israel 1.4 2.8 Thailand 14.3 39.0
Italy 0.7 16.8 Turkey 5.2 38.0
Japan 6.0 297.5 United Kingdom 1.4 38.0
Kazakhstan 13.8 18.2 United Republic of


Tanzania 6.4 1.3
Kenya 0.9 0.3 United States 6.8 969.0
Korea, Republic of 5.6 53.4 Viet Nam 9.4 8.4
Lithuania 1.9 0.9


All 55 economies 4.7
2,633


World 4.3


Source: UN/DESA, based on information from various sources. Note that the definition and contents of the policy
measures vary from country to country and that the size of the packages may not be fully comparable across
countries.


a This list of countries and economies is not exhaustive.
b Special Administrative Region of China.




21Global outlook


policy in the form of government spending is most effective in the presence of market
rigidities and liquidity constraints, as it can raise real wages and, hence, consumption. It
is also a stylized fact that fiscal policy has the greatest effect when monetary policy is ac-
commodative, as is the case in the current crisis.


Among developing countries that managed to launch fiscal stimulus packages,
the main emphasis has been on increased expenditures, in part because of the limited
scope for introducing tax breaks given that revenue-collection is generally weaker in these
countries. The multiplier effects are likely greater for expenditure-side measures than for
revenue measures, especially in times of great uncertainty.10 New investments in infra-
structure take up a large share of the public expenditure increase. This has been the case
particularly in Argentina, China, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singa-
pore and Taiwan Province of China. For instance, about 80 per cent of the fiscal stimulus
package in China is related to infrastructure. In many countries, more than one quarter of
the stimulus supports social protection measures.11 Unlike in developed countries, where
households may be more reluctant to increase consumption spending, income transfers to
vulnerable populations in developing countries are more likely to have high expenditure
effects given a high propensity for consumption.


Relative to GDP, the size of the stimulus packages adopted by many developing
countries seems to be larger than that of developed countries. The data in table I.4 do not
take into account the effect of “automatic stabilizers”, however, which tend to be stronger
in developed countries with more extended social security and transfer systems. The size of
the packages also greatly depends on resource availability. Most developed countries were
able to finance stimulus packages by issuing government bonds, either domestically or in
global capital markets, and a number of developing countries that had accumulated large
amounts of foreign reserves prior to the crisis were also able to stipulate sizeable packages.
These include, for instance, the resource-rich economies of the CIS, the Gulf countries
and Chile, as well as countries which were able to rely on vast foreign-exchange reserves,
such as several countries in developing Asia, and the Russian Federation. However, the
fact that Russia’s reserve fund is expected to be depleted by the end of 2010 owing to the
use of funds for counter-cyclical measures points to the limitations of using reserves in
some countries. Meanwhile, a majority of low-income countries were unable to adopt any
fiscal stimuli because they had very limited resources for doing so.


These stimulus packages, combined with monetary and financial measures, are
considered to have been critical for stabilizing the global economy and leading the recovery
of individual economies, although the precise impact is difficult to establish as yet. One
difficulty lies in separating the effects of fiscal stimuli from those of other policies. Also,
many countries have implemented only a relatively small part of the packages. For instance,
the United States was estimated to have implemented only 25 per cent of the total size of
its stimulus package by the third quarter of 2009. With this in mind, the IMF estimates
that discretionary measures and automatic stabilizers in the G20 countries combined have
increased growth by about 2 percentage points and may have decreased unemployment by


10 For example, in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries,
the multipliers for expenditure are estimated to be greater than 1.0, compared with a range of
between 0.2 and 0.8 for revenue measures. See OECD, “The Effectiveness and Scope of Fiscal
Stimulus,” in OECD Interim Economic Outlook, March 2009, ch.3, available at http:// www.oecd.org/
dataoecd/3/62/42421337.pdf.


11 See Yanchun Zhang, Nina Thelen and Aparna Rao, Social Protection in Fiscal Stimulus Packages:
Some Evidence, UNDP/ODS Working Paper (New York, Office of Development Studies, United
Nations Development Programme, 2009).


Expenditure-side measures
dominate stimulus
packages in developing
countries


Automatic stabilizers are
stronger in developed
countries


Fiscal stimulus measures
were critical in stabilizing
the global economy




22 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


1 percentage point when compared with a situation without fiscal stimulus.12
The crisis and the policy responses have led to a substantial widening of fiscal


deficits in most countries, resulting in most cases from a combination of declining tax
revenue and rising spending. In low-income countries, however, declining government
revenue has been the main factor.


The general government budget deficit in the euro area is forecast to reach 6.5
per cent of GDP in 2010, compared to a pre-crisis level of 0.6 per cent in 2007, with the
deficits surging to 14.8 per cent in Ireland and 9.5 per cent in Spain. In other developed
countries, budget deficits are forecast to reach 10.3 per cent of GDP in Japan in 2010, 11.6
per cent in the United Kingdom, and more than 10 per cent in the United States. Most de-
veloping countries have experienced a deterioration in their budget balance by about 3–5
per cent of GDP, but some, such as oil-exporting countries and countries in South Asia,
have experienced much larger increases. In general, the policy space for a further increase
in fiscal stimuli in the outlook is limited in most developing countries, unless they obtain
access to more external financing.


Rapidly widening budget deficits are causing public debt ratios to soar, which
in turn have raised concerns about fiscal sustainability. As a consequence, there is mount-
ing political pressure in many countries to end the fiscal stimulus and start consolidating
government finances. Such concerns are present particularly in developed countries, where
the increase in public debt has aggravated the structural fiscal pressures from population
ageing and other longer-term fiscal problems. The average public debt-to-GDP ratio in
developed economies is expected to exceed 100 per cent in 2010 and to move even higher
thereafter. Concerns about fiscal sustainability may also have an impact on the perceived
risks of debt, which in turn would lead to a higher risk premium and thus set limits on
future financing of fiscal deficits.


The current challenge is how to balance the short-term need for continued policy
support in order to strengthen the recovery with the longer-term need to consolidate public
debt in order to maintain fiscal sustainability. A premature withdrawal of fiscal stimuli,
however, could well pull the plug on the nascent recovery, as much of the rebound has been
a direct result of the policy responses. A fall back into recession caused by early withdrawal
could well lead to another widening of budget deficits resulting from a further drop in tax
revenue and could trigger a downward spiral of pro-cyclical fiscal adjustment. Experience
from past crises shows that countries that managed to sustain fiscal stimuli until strong
growth recovery was reached did in fact “grow” out of a cyclical increase in the budget deficit
and public debt, as was the experience of the United States in the 1990s. In contrast, coun-
tries that withdrew stimulus too soon found themselves in a quandary of growth stagnation
and steadily rising public debt, as was the case in Japan in the 1990s and early 2000s.


Have the policies worked?


In summary, the policies have been successful in restoring global confidence, stabilizing
financial markets, supporting effective demand and alleviating the economic and social
impact of the financial crisis.


Policy responses have been concerted to some extent among major economies
at the level of the G20. At their London and Pittsburgh summits in April and September


12 See International Monetary Fund, “Global Economic Policies and Prospects,” note by the staff of the
International Monetary Fund at the Group of Twenty Meeting of the Ministers and Central Bank
Governors, London, 13-14 March 2009.


Fiscal deficits have widened
substantially in most


countries


Public debt ratios have
soared, raising concerns


about fiscal sustainability


A premature withdrawal of
the global fiscal stimulus
measures could trigger a


relapse into recession


International policy responses
have been largely successful,


but a concrete policy-
coordination framework


is lacking




23Global outlook


of 2009, respectively, the leaders pledged to continue the stimulus and other extraordinary
measures for as long as necessary. They also pledged to deliver on all aid and other interna-
tional development commitments and fight off protectionist tendencies. At the Pittsburgh
Summit, leaders also agreed to establish a policy coordination framework for balanced and
sustainable growth of the world economy. These are clear signals that world leaders are
committed to avoiding the beggar-thy-neighbour policies that hampered a quick recovery
from the Great Depression of the 1930s. Yet, so far, actual policy coordination has been
superficial at best and has lacked a more concrete framework with clear policy targets, suf-
ficient consensus on the size and time horizon for continued stimuli, and mechanisms to
make concerted actions binding.


Concerted efforts have led to a significant increase in resources for countries
with external financing problems. The G20 by and large lived up to its promise to provide
$1.1 trillion for this purpose, including through tripling the resources available to the
IMF to $750 billion (including a new special drawing rights (SDR) allocation of $250
billion), facilitating additional lending by multilateral development banks of at least $100
billion, and supporting trade finance to the tune of $250 billion. The IMF and the World
Bank have, in effect, significantly stepped up lending operations. By November 2009, 18
countries received emergency financing through standby programmes of the IMF, total-
ling some $53 billion, of which about $25 billion was allocated to Iceland and countries in
Eastern and Central Europe, $18 billion to economies in transition and only $10 billion
to developing countries. Mexico and Colombia made use of the new Flexible Credit Line
(FCL) for a combined amount of $39 billion. Low-income countries mainly relied on
the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and the Exogenous Shocks Facility
(ESF), but new disbursements since the onset of the crisis have been small. The Fund has
also taken steps to double its capacity for lending to low-income countries (to $17 billion),
but still lacks the resources to reach this capacity. The World Bank has stepped up lending
operations to $33 billion in 2009, up from $13.5 billion in the previous year. Nonetheless,
as discussed above, the enhanced multilateral lending capacity has not prevented a nega-
tive net flow of official financing to developing countries as a group in 2009.


All these actions may still not be enough to induce a self-sustained process of
recovery. Global demand recovery is expected to remain weak in the outlook and impor-
tant financial fragilities still need to be addressed, while, in addition, many developing
countries have not been able to implement significant counter-cyclical policies on their
own. At the same time, however necessary they may be in the crisis, these policies have
redistributed risks from the financial sector to other sectors in the broad economy and have
reallocated debts from private sector to public sector. They have also led to a substantial
expansion of the balance sheet of the central banks (mainly in developed countries) and to
considerable deterioration in government budget positions in many countries. These risks,
if not addressed through further action, may pose a serious challenge to sustained recovery
and global economic stability.


Uncertainties and risks
Even the mild recovery projected in the baseline outlook is subject to high risks and un-
certainties, mainly on the downside. Two of the main risks are closely related to how the
crisis is being managed (see above discussion) and to the systemic flaws that led to this
crisis. The first refers to the risk of a premature “exit” from both the stimulus measures


Availability of emergency
financing from multilateral
institutions has improved


Global policy responses
may be insufficient to
induce a self-sustained
process of recovery


The baseline outlook
is subject to significant
downside risks and
uncertainties




24 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


for demand recovery and the interventions to prevent further financial sector fallout. The
second relates to the risk of a renewed widening of the global macroeconomic imbalances
which were part of the problem in the first instance and which could erode confidence in
the United States dollar and become a source of renewed financial instability. A further
spread and intensification of the H1N1 influenza pandemic could also hurt economic
activity worldwide, but its implications are as yet difficult to foresee. On the upside,
there could be further moves towards strengthened international policy coordination and
deeper international financial reform, which may succeed in forging greater global finan-
cial stability with the promise of more balanced and sustainable growth in the medium
run (see the section on policy challenges below for further discussion).


Risk of an early retreat from stimulus measures


A premature withdrawal of policy support poses a significant risk, as both the financial
sector and the real economy continue on a fragile path. The stronger-than-expected re-
bound in equity prices worldwide may belie the fact that problems still remain in the
financial sectors of major economies and that these problems continue to constrain credit
availability and could lead to more failures of financial institutions in the near future. The
rebound in trade and industry during the second and third quarters of 2009 could send a
false signal that a strong recovery is on its way. In fact, levels of trade flows and industrial
production are still well below pre-crisis peaks and, as analysed above, the rebound is to a
large extent related to a turnaround in the global inventory cycle rather than to a recovery
of private consumption and investment. These factors could lead to complacency vis-à-vis
policy efforts to overcome the crisis.


At the same time, in some major economies, political support for continued
massive government stimulus appears to be weakening as public debt has risen steeply and/
or as public discontent increases over perceptions that the massive financial sector bailouts
may not have worked well enough to weed out bad banking practices. These factors under-
mine the belief that the stimulus and financial rescue measures are working and could be
a motive for an early reversal in policy stance in the major economies.


However, while mounting public debt could become a drag on growth in the
future, immediate concerns should be focused on the continued weakness in financial sec-
tors, persistent large output gaps and continued rising unemployment rates, which signal
that the recovery is far from robust. An early phasing-out of stimulus measures could there-
fore exacerbate these weaknesses in the global economy and abort the nascent recovery.


Simulations using the United Nations Global Policy Model (GPM) suggest
that an early withdrawal of the fiscal and monetary stimulus packages in the major econo-
mies could cause the world economy to dip into a double recession and sustain increases
in public indebtedness. The policy scenario rests on two key assumptions.13 The first is
that current fiscal and monetary stances in major economies will by and large continue
in 2010, but will reverse in 2011 over fears of mounting public sector debts and rising
inflationary pressures. An unwinding of expansionary policies is assumed to be rapid and
to have drastic effect in the developed countries and emerging Asia (except China and


13 There are valid reasons for thinking that the risk of an early withdrawal of policy measures could
materialize as early as 2010, particularly in Europe. However, taking into consideration the
continued high levels of unemployment expected for 2010 and continued tight credit supply
conditions in many developed economies, it seems more plausible to assume that this withdrawal
would become effective from 2011 onwards.


A premature exit from the
stimulus measures poses


a major risk for the global
recovery


Public support for massive
government interventions


is weakening in some
countries


A premature exit could lead
to a double-dip recession


and further increases in
public debt levels




25Global outlook


-4


-3


-2


-1


0


1


2


3


4


5


20
05


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15


A. Developed economies B. Economies in transition


Pe
rc


en
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ge


Pe
rc


en
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ge


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6


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D. Least developed countries


0


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C. Developing economies, excluding LDCs


Pe
rc


en
ta


ge


Pe
rc


en
ta


ge


Figure I.5
Gross domestic product growth under the Global Policy Model scenario simulations, 2005–2015a


International policy coordination


Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and ination


Early withdrawal of stimuli


Source: UN/DESA.
Note: For a technical description of the Global Policy Model, see http://www.un.org/esa/policy/publications/ungpm.html.
a Data for 2009 are preliminary gures; data for 2010-2015 are simulation results.


India), and to involve a fiscal contraction equivalent (ex ante) to the size of half of the
fiscal stimulus to be implemented during 2009-2010. Withdrawal of fiscal stimulus in
middle-income developing countries is assumed to be more moderate. In these cases, fis-
cal consolidation tapers off from 2012. China and India, in contrast, are assumed to shift
to a neutral fiscal stance to avoid actual fiscal contraction. Monetary policy is assumed to
be fully synchronized, thus leading to consistent rises in policy interest rates. The second
major assumption is that current high unemployment and household indebtedness will
remain a drag on private consumption and investment demand in the major economies
into 2011, when the policy stimuli will be withdrawn. Likewise, deleveraging of financial
institutions is assumed to continue in the initial years of the simulation period, keeping
the global credit supply tight.




26 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


The double-dip recession resulting from this scenario would be most marked
for the developed economies and the economies in transition (figure I.5a-b). The subse-
quent recovery would be sub-par and slow. The recession caused by a premature with-
drawal of stimuli would affect European countries the most, followed by Japan and the
other developed economies. This would be the result not only of relatively stronger efforts
towards fiscal consolidation but, even more importantly, of greater sluggishness of private
demand in this scenario. Developing countries would be affected even more severely by
a double-dip recession than they have already been as a consequence of the present crisis
(figure I.5c-d). The reason for this is that, under this scenario, the cushion provided by the
strong fiscal stimuli of major developing countries (especially China) would no longer be
present. This would put a further drag on global aggregate demand, as well as on demand
for commodities, and would put downward pressure on commodity prices, thereby affect-
ing many other developing countries (see appendix table A.I.1). The model simulations
suggest further that any attempts at fiscal consolidation amidst a recovery that is only nas-
cent would be self-defeating. The double-dip recession would reduce government revenues
even more, while the further fall in GDP would continue to push up debt-to-GDP ratios
and affect private sector confidence (see appendix table A.I.5).


Risks of widening global imbalances
and dollar decline


The global financial crisis and worldwide recession have led to a recessionary adjustment of
imbalances in current accounts across deficit countries with steeply falling imports (led by
the United States) and a collapse of export earnings in most surplus countries. However,
as the financial crisis abates and global growth tentatively recovers, the risk of a substan-
tial further widening of the imbalances also rises. In most surplus countries, especially
those in developing Asia, growth continues to rely heavily on exports and high savings
rates, leading to relatively weak domestic demand and high reserve accumulation. In the
major deficit countries, particularly the United States, private savings have increased as
consumers have become more cautious, but not by a sufficient margin to cover widening
fiscal deficits and prevent mounting public indebtedness. The external deficit is therefore
expected to widen again.


The large external deficit of the United States narrowed from its peak of $800
billion in 2006, or more than 6 per cent of GDP, to an estimated $450 billion in 2009,
or about 3 per cent of GDP. Among the original major surplus economies, the euro area
has already moved into a deficit which is continuing to widen, while Japan’s surplus has
dropped since mid-2008 (although it has rebounded recently). The savings surpluses of
the oil-exporting countries have also declined substantially, but the surplus in China has
remained high, at above $400 billion in 2009 (figure I.6).


The narrowing of the current-account deficit in the United States since the
eruption of the financial crisis has mainly been driven by a sharp downward adjustment
in household consumption and residential and business investment, as well as by an in-
crease in household savings. Consumption expenditure has turned from an average annual
growth of about 3 per cent in the years prior to the crisis to a decline of 0.2 and 0.7 per cent
in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Housing investment has declined by about 20 per cent
annually from 2007 to 2009, and business investment has turned from a growth of about
7 per cent prior to the crisis to no growth in 2008 and to a decline of 17 per cent in 2009.


A double-dip recession
would be most marked in
the developed economies


and the economies
in transition


The risk of a substantial
widening of the large


global imbalances is rising


The current-account
deficit of the United States


narrowed considerably
in 2009




27Global outlook


-1000


-800


-600


-400


-200


0


200


400


600


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b


Figure I.6
Current-account balances, 2004–2010
Billions of dollars


United States
Japan
European Union
China
Developing countries and economies
in transition, excluding China


Sources: Project LINK and UN/
DESA, based on IMF Balance-
of-Payments Statistics.


a Partly estimated.
b Projections by UN/DESA.


The household saving rate went up from 1.7 per cent in 2007 to about 4 per cent in 2009.
On the other hand, the government deficit has increased. With the recession reducing
government revenue and the stimulus measures increasing expenditure, the budget deficit
of the United States has surged from $160 billion in 2007, or a little more than 1 per cent
of GDP, to an estimated $1.5 trillion in 2009, or more than 10 per cent of GDP. This is
much more than the expected rise in private savings; hence, a substantial widening of the
external deficit of the United States is very likely.


The corresponding reduction in the aggregate of the current account balance
of major surplus economies has been driven by different factors. The savings surplus of
most oil-exporting countries, for example, has dwindled as a consequence of declines in
revenues of oil exports as the oil prices plunged, as well as increased government spending
in stimulus packages to boost domestic demand. The drop in the exports of manufactured
goods in Germany and Japan has been a major factor in the decline in the trading surplus of
these countries, accompanied by lower domestic savings as a consequence of a deterioration
of government savings and declines in consumption demand that have lagged behind the
slump in GDP.


In the case of China, where the current-account surplus has continued to rise
in terms of level but moderated slightly in terms of a percentage of GDP, the persistent
surplus is a reflection of two factors. In the external sector, the large proportion of China’s
“processing trade”, accounting for about 60 per cent of China’s total trade, lay at the root
of a synchronized decline in China’s exports and imports: as the orders for China’s exports
dropped, China’s orders for the imports of raw materials and intermediate goods, which
are used as inputs for manufacturing the exports, also dropped. On the domestic front,
the large stimulus package enacted as of late 2008 has indeed boosted domestic demand
to offset some of the dragging effects from the weakening external demand. However, the


Different factors led to
declining surpluses in
Germany, Japan, and oil-
exporting countries




28 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


stimuli have had more of an effect on boosting fixed investment than household consump-
tion, leaving the household consumption-to-GDP ratio at a low level, below 40 per cent.
The budget deficit has nonetheless increased by between 2 and 3 percentage points of GDP
from its original near-balanced position.


To add to the situation, the net foreign liability position of the United States
has increased substantially over the past two decades, reaching $2.1 trillion in 2007 (figure
I.7).14 The position worsened further with the global financial crisis in 2008 and surged
to $3.5 trillion by the end of 2008, or 25 per cent of GDP. The increment of about $1.4
trillion is approximately double the current-account deficit registered in 2008, implying
that half of the increase can be explained by a revaluation of assets and liabilities to the
disadvantage of United States investors and debt holders.


United States-owned assets abroad increased by $1.6 trillion to $19.9 trillion
by the end of 2008, while foreign-owned assets in the United States increased by $2.9
trillion to $23.4 trillion. On both sides of the balance sheet, the increase was mainly on
account of acquisitions of financial derivatives, while non-derivatives declined. Because
of the plunge in equity prices and the writing off of sub-prime mortgage-related debts,
the value of United States-owned overseas assets dropped by about $2 trillion, while the
value of external liabilities declined by $1.2 trillion. Both the United States and foreign
investors lost their appetite for private sector securities as a result of the increased risk aver-
sion caused by the crisis. In contrast, foreign investors substantially increased holdings of
United States Treasury bills in the approximate amount of $834 billion in 2008, reflecting
a “flight to safety” into dollar assets in the wake of the crisis.


14 Elena L. Nguyen, “The international investment position of the United States at yearend 2008”,
Survey of Current Business, vol. 89, No. 7 (July 2009), pp. 10-19, available at http://www.bea.gov/
scb/pdf/2009/07%20July/0709_iip.pdf.


The net foreign investment
position of the United


States deteriorated
significantly during the


crisis


-5 000


-4 000


-3 000


-2 000


-1 000


0


1 000


19
76


19
79


19
82


19
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19
88


19
91


19
94


19
97


20
00


20
03


20
06


20
09


a


Figure I.7
Net international investment position of the United States, 1976–2009


Billions


Sources: United States Bureau
of Economic Analysis, and


Project LINK.


a Estimation by UN/DESA.




29Global outlook


The deepening of the financial crisis in early 2009 led to a further increase in
the net external liability position of the United States to an estimated $3.8 trillion. With
the rebound in equity markets and stabilization of financial markets, the revaluation ef-
fects should have moderated, but the steep rise in the United States budget deficit and
the much weaker rise in private savings led to a renewed widening of the current-account
deficit and a further increase in the net liability position. Consequently, the net foreign
investment position of the United States has deteriorated substantially during the crisis.


The abrupt adjustment of the global imbalances and the further worsening of
the net foreign investment position of the United States are associated with the volatile and
erratic movement of the exchange rate of the United States dollar vis-à-vis other major cur-
rencies. The value of the dollar had been on a downward trend since 2002, but rebounded
in the second half of 2008 through the first quarter of 2009. This sharp appreciation of
the dollar was mainly driven by the flight-to-safety effects as the global financial crisis
heightened risk aversion in general and caused a massive move of financial assets world-
wide into United States Treasury bills. Since March 2009, however, the dollar has resumed
its downturn, as a result of the stabilizing conditions in global financial markets, which
moderated the increased demand for dollars associated with the deleveraging process of
major financial institutions and the flight to safety by investors; at the same time, investors
started to become increasingly concerned about the rise in the budget deficit and the wors-
ening of the net foreign investment position of the United States. The value of the dollar
has dropped to the lowest level in history vis-à-vis other major currencies (figure I.8).


Further rising external indebtedness of the United States following a renewed
widening of the twin deficits will keep downward pressure on the dollar, and the risk of a
hard landing of the world’s main reserve currency will remain high.


The United States dollar
has resumed its downward
trend after conditions in
global financial markets
stabilized


The risk of a hard landing
of the world’s main reserve
currency remains high


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O


ct
-0


8
Ja


n
-0


9
Ap


r-0
9


Ju
l-0


9
O


ct
-0


9


Nominal broad dollar index


Nominal major currencies index


Figure 1.8
Exchange-rate indicesa for the United States, January 2002-October 2009


Source: United States Federal
Reserve Board, rebased by
UN/DESA.
a The major currencies


index contains currencies
of most developed
countries; the broad index
incorporates currencies of
emerging economies into
the other index. A decline
in the index represents a
depreciation of the dollar.




30 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


A further simulation of such a scenario using the United Nations GPM shows
that even a relatively mild dollar crisis could cause a double-dip recession, one that would
be less severe but more lasting than in the case of an early withdrawal of policy stimuli.
The central assumption is that the stimulus packages and a strong return of consumer and
business confidence would lead to a return to the pre-crisis pattern of growth and to a
renewed widening of the global imbalances, as discussed above. This, in turn, would lead
to a projected rise in the United States current-account deficit of 6.4 per cent of GDP, up
from 4.1 per cent in 2009. Such a return to “business as usual” would support a strong
recovery of the world economy in 2010, but one that would not have a lasting effect (see
figures I.5a-d above). Investor confidence would be affected by further rising public in-
debtedness and a drastic dollar devaluation. In the United States, public debt would rise
to nearly 90 per cent of GDP in 2010, 20 points higher than a year earlier. The dollar
would devalue by 28 per cent against the euro and 25 per cent against the yen in 2010, and
would decline further in 2011. What happens next is driven largely by endogenous policy
reactions as captured in the GPM. Inflation in the United States would accelerate from
less than half of one per cent in 2009 to 4 per cent in 2010. This, in turn, would trigger a
tightening of monetary policy, with policy interest rates increasing to 2 per cent in 2010
and further to 5 per cent in 2011. Fiscal consolidation would also follow, albeit with a lag.
(see appendix tables A.I.3 and A.I.4). Yet, the continuing devaluation of the dollar would
continue to exercise further inflationary pressure, requiring stronger policy responses. The
process continues, with inflation reaching about 6.5 per cent despite the drastic policy ac-
tion and abating only partially thereafter, when the dollar is found to be less than 50 per
cent its value against the currencies of other developed economies. Though not explicitly
modelled, this could precipitate a crisis of confidence in the dollar causing global finan-
cial instability farther down the line. The lead-up to a hard landing of the dollar would
be a lasting slowdown of global economic activity. Commodity prices would nonetheless
rise because of the dollar devaluation. Developing countries, including those experiencing
terms-of-trade improvements, would be hurt by the global slowdown.


Policy challenges


Sustainable global rebalancing


Dealing with these risks will be challenging. Since growth is not expected to be strong
enough to reduce unemployment until well into 2010, private consumption demand will
remain sluggish. As financial sector fragilities still exist in major economies, the global
credit supply may remain tight in the immediate period ahead. In addition, the inventory
adjustment which supported the recovery in the second half of 2009 will be a temporary
phenomenon. This implies that continued fiscal stimulus will be necessary to keep up global
aggregate demand, and further pressure on financial institutions will be needed to cleanse
their balance sheets, resume normal lending and avoid a return to pre-crisis excess.


The immediate challenge for policymakers will be to determine how much
longer the fiscal stimulus should continue. Given the risk of a double-dip recession re-
sulting from premature withdrawal, the stimulus should continue at least until there are
clearer signals of a more robust recovery. It may be difficult, however, to establish when
and whether the recovery has become robust. Substantial improvements in employment
conditions and reduction of output gaps will likely be meaningful indicators for determin-
ing the turning point.


Continued fiscal stimulus is
needed to support global


aggregate demand




31Global outlook


To avoid a return to the unsustainable pattern of growth that led to the global
crisis in the first place, three forms of rebalancing of the global economy would need to
take place over time. First, the pressure on Governments to buoy global demand would
need to diminish gradually through renewed impulses from private demand. Second, the
composition of aggregate demand would need to be rebalanced to lend greater weight to
investment in support of future productivity growth, and especially to initiate the trans-
formative investments needed to meet the challenge of climate change. Third, demand
across countries will need to be rebalanced. This would involve a shift towards external
demand (net exports) in major deficit countries, such as the United States and a few other
developing countries, and towards domestic demand in the major surplus countries, espe-
cially those in Asia.


These three rebalancing acts will require close policy coordination as they are
strongly interdependent. Rebalancing across countries is needed because one of the key
drivers of pre-crisis growth, consumer demand in the United States, is expected to remain
sluggish in the outlook. From the perspective of global imbalances, it would also be unde-
sirable to have to rely again on this source of growth for the recovery. In any case, United
States households have already increased savings to about 3 per cent of GDP during 2009
(from almost zero savings in the years prior to the crisis). Private investments are also ex-
pected to remain sluggish in the near future in the United States (as well as in other major
developed economies) as rates of capacity utilization are at historic lows. If fiscal stimulus
is to be phased out, net exports of the major deficit countries would need to increase. Ris-
ing exports by these countries would need to be absorbed by major surplus countries, start-
ing with China and other parts of developing Asia. This could be achieved in part through
a further strengthening of domestic demand through fiscal stimulus which, along with im-
proved market access and an orderly devaluation of the United States dollar, would push
up import demand in that part of the world. The fiscal stimulus measures that are in place
are already supportive of this kind of rebalancing but are as yet not strong enough, and
the change will only come gradually. GDP of the countries of emerging Asia is roughly
half that of the United States, so they would need to lower their combined current-account
surpluses by about 6 per cent of their combined GDP to lower the United States deficit by,
say, 3 per cent of its GDP.


But not all of Asia’s trade is with the United States and other countries would
therefore need to contribute to the rebalancing. Germany and Japan, other major surplus
economies, could seek to strengthen domestic investment and productivity growth in their
production sectors, while major oil exporters could further step up domestic investment
plans to diversify their economies also. Additional financial transfers to developing
countries with weak fiscal capacity would be needed to complete the rebalancing process
and would enable these countries to increase domestic investment in infrastructure, food
production and human development so as to support growth, poverty reduction and
sustainable development. They would also encourage global import demand.


Stepping up public and private investment to address climate change could
well be an integral part of the process. The recession has led to a notable reduction in
global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide in 2008-2009 (see annex table A.22).
However, as the world economy recovers, demand for energy will also increase, as will
GHG emissions. In order to reach the required reductions in CO2 emissions in a timely
manner and avoid a destabilizing rise in global temperatures, large-scale and upfront in-
vestments will need to be made. As analysed in a recent United Nations study,15 such


15 See United Nations, World Economic and Social Survey 2009: Promoting Development, Saving the
Planet (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.09.II.C.1).


Three forms of rebalancing
of the global economy are
needed


Orderly rebalancing will
only be achieved through
close policy coordination


Public and private
investment to address
climate change can be
an integral part of the
rebalancing efforts




32 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy generation need to be made now
in order to achieve the scale effects needed to lower the cost of green technologies and ef-
fectively attain low-emission growth paths. These investments will also be required in de-
veloping countries, where energy demand would be expected to increase starkly along with
their efforts to reach higher levels of development. By leapfrogging to green technologies,
they could contribute to emission reductions while sustaining high-growth development
trajectories. Substantial investments will need to be made towards climate change adap-
tation, especially in developing countries that are already being affected by the adverse
effects of global warming. Estimates of the level of investments needed for climate change
mitigation and adaptation vary, but there seems to be a growing consensus that they would
be substantial but affordable, in the order of about 2 per cent of WGP per annum over the
coming two decades.16 New investments of this size are large enough to play a role in the
required adjustment in the global macroeconomic imbalances. Since developed countries
presently possess a comparative advantage in the development of green technologies and
related capital goods, the increase in world demand for such products should thus contrib-
ute to a reduction in the aggregate external deficit of their economies.


Such a sustainable rebalancing of the world economy will by no means be easy
to achieve and will require significantly enhanced international policy coordination. The
macroeconomic feasibility of the three types of rebalancing was assessed through addition-
al simulations using the GPM. The results, presented in figures 1.5a-d above as the “inter-
national policy coordination” scenario, suggest that a combination of manageable global
imbalances, growth convergence between developed and developing countries and greater
environmental sustainability is indeed possible. The key assumptions of this scenario are
that countries effectively coordinate policies in pursuance of these goals. These policies are
initially driven by higher public investments directed at promoting transformative invest-
ments in infrastructure and low-carbon emission energy production (including incentives
for a crowding-in of private investment in such activity); financial transfers to developing
countries to engage in investments in renewable energy; and climate change adaptation
and economic diversification. As a result, fiscal policy stances remain expansionary in de-
veloping countries, but are phased out gradually in developed countries (see appendix table
A.I.4). An additional assumption of the scenario is that developing countries are granted
full market access for all their exports (agricultural and non-agricultural). This assumption
(“trade not aid”) would limit the amount of additional financial transfers that developing
countries would need to receive in order to finance the sustainable development strategy,
and over time should enable them to finance the investments through export growth and
domestic resource mobilization (see appendix table A.I.2).


All countries and regions would reap the benefits of growth in this scenario,
not only from the increased multiplier effects of the policy impulses that are internation-
ally coordinated, but also from more stable world commodity prices, as it is assumed that
the global investment strategy would lead to a more stable energy supply and therefore
greater energy security. More stable energy prices would also spill over to other commod-
ity prices. Rebalanced global growth would narrow current-account surpluses and deficits
across countries, and public indebtedness (appendix tables A.I.2 and A.I.3) would also fall
over time with a higher growth and greater dynamism of private sector activity.


16 See, United Nations, ibid., chap. VI; World Bank, World Development Report 2009: Reshaping
Economic Geography (Washington, D. C.: The World Bank); and Nicholas Stern, A Blueprint for a
Safer Planet: How to Manage Climate Change and Create a New Era of Prosperity (London: The Bodley
Head, 2009).


Effective coordination of
macroeconomic policies
can lead to large welfare


gains


All countries and regions
would reap growth


benefits from increased
coordination




33Global outlook


Naturally, these benign outcomes may not come to pass smoothly and macr-
oeconomic trade-offs could emerge (for instance, in the form of higher inflationary pres-
sures—which could put upward pressure on interest rates) that could then offset some of
the growth gains. This will consequently require an adequate platform and framework for
global policy coordination.


Strengthening policy coordination


The framework for “strong, sustainable and balanced growth” launched by the G20 lead-
ers at the Pittsburgh Summit could prove an important step in the right direction. As part
of this framework, G20 members with significant external deficits, mainly the United
States, have pledged to pursue policies to support private savings and to undertake fis-
cal consolidation while maintaining open markets and strengthening export sectors. Sur-
plus countries, including China, Germany and Japan, have agreed to strengthen domestic
sources of growth, through such measures (which will vary according to country-specific
circumstances) as increasing investment, reducing distortions in financial markets, boost-
ing productivity in service sectors, improving social safety nets, and lifting constraints
on demand growth. Such actions would be broadly in line with the rebalancing strategy
outlined above, although the necessary investments in the greening of the global economy
would need to be brought more clearly into the equation.


G20 countries also agreed on the need for regular consultations, strength-
ened cooperation on macroeconomic policies, the exchange of experiences on structural
policies, and mutual assessment. More specifically, they will set up a set of shared policy
objectives towards which individual countries would orient their medium-term policy
frameworks. They will also develop, with the assistance of the IMF, a forward-looking
assessment of economic developments with a view to analysing patterns of demand and
supply, credit, debt and reserves growth, and assessing the implications and consistency of
fiscal and monetary policies, credit growth and asset markets, foreign-exchange develop-
ments, commodity and energy prices, and current-account imbalances. The monitoring of
policy implementation is to take place through regular reporting to G20 members and the
International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC). On that basis, policy adjust-
ments, both individual and collective, may be proposed.


The need for effective international policy coordination to manage the risks
of global economic instability and promote development has been reiterated in previous
issues of the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP). It was also emphasized in
the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and
Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development held in June 2009.17


As elaborated in detail in the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2007,18 a
successful framework for international macroeconomic policy coordination should consist
of at least four components: developing a consensus on common goals through interna-
tional consultations with outside mediation, addressing commitment problems by issuing
multi-year schedules for policy adjustments, enhancing the context for mediation and the
perceived legitimacy of the mediator, and initiating systemic reforms in the field of inter-
national monetary and financial affairs.


17 See United Nations General Assembly resolution 63/303 of 9 July 2009.


18 United Nations, World Economic Situation and Prospects 2007 (United Nations publication, Sales
No. E.07.II.C.2).


The framework launched at
the G20 Pittsburgh Summit
is a step towards more
balanced global growth


A successful framework
for international
macroeconomic policy
coordination should consist
of at least four components




34 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


In this context, the framework proposed by the G20 has taken the first
step towards international policy coordination—at least among the major developed
and emerging economies—to prevent a recurrence of the large global imbalances. The
success of this framework, however, will depend not only on how to institutionalize the
mechanism delineated above (which is so far still carried out on an ad hoc basis) but also
on progress in the broad reforms of the international financial architecture and global
economic governance.


To strengthen global governance, it would seem important to make further
progress on four related fronts. First, multilateral surveillance by the IMF will need to be
extended well beyond the traditional emphasis on exchange rates, to address broader mac-
rofinancial surveillance (see chapter III), and also to monitor the “sustainable rebalancing”
process of the global economy as outlined.


Second, more pervasive progress on governance reform of the IMF will be
needed to add legitimacy to the institution’s enhanced role in this respect and also for me-
diating multi-annual agreements. Mediation to achieve consensus on the main targets for
policy coordination is unlikely to be successful where doubts exist about the impartiality
of the mediator. In this context, the reform of the governance of and representation in the
IMF has become all the more urgent and important so that seats in the Executive Board
and votes in the Fund better represent developing country interests in the decision-making
process.


Third, while the ongoing crisis has given strong impetus to macroeconomic
policy coordination, there is no guarantee that all parties will remain committed to agreed
joint responses. Having clear and verifiable targets for desired policy outcomes will help
make parties accountable, and the possible loss of reputation through non-compliance
should be an incentive to live up to policy agreements. The agreement could become more
enforceable, however, if there were an actual cost attached to non-compliance. One pos-
sible mechanism that could be considered in this respect is for all major parties to commit
a share of their allocation of SDRs to the agreement, which they would lose in the case
of non-compliance. Such a mechanism could have the advantage of focusing agreements
on targets in terms of policy outcomes, rather than in terms of adjusting specific policy
instruments. The SDRs returned to the IMF as “penalties” for non-compliance could then,
in the absence of effective implementation of the policy coordination framework, be used
to complement compensatory financing available for developing countries that would be
affected by continued global instability.


Fourth, sustainable rebalancing of the global economy will require close co-
ordination with other areas of global governance, including those related to development
financing and the multilateral trading system, as well as with the United Nations Frame-
work Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). No specific mechanism for such co-
ordination exists at present, and the creation of such a mechanism would seem worthy of
consideration.


Reforming the global reserve system


The global financial crisis has further exposed major deficiencies in the international fi-
nancial architecture, as well as failures of regulation and supervision at national levels.
As the global economy recovers, more, rather than less, urgent efforts will be needed to
spearhead reforms of international and national financial systems so as to prevent a similar
crisis from recurring. World leaders at meetings of the G20 and at the Conference on the


To strengthen global
governance, further


progress is needed on
four fronts


Reforms of international
and national financial


systems are needed to
prevent a similar crisis


from recurring




35Global outlook


World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development have recognized
the need for farther-reaching reforms of the global financial system, as discussed in detail
in chapter III. One key area of reform to be highlighted here is that of the global reserve
system. Dealing with the deficiencies of the present system would significantly enhance
the effectiveness of any international policy coordination mechanism, since it would also
address the inherent tendency of the present system towards global imbalances and an
unstable value of the major reserve currency.


The present global reserve system, which uses the United States dollar as its
major reserve currency, suffers from a number of systemic flaws that have been well docu-
mented since its creation.19 First, it suffers from the deflationary bias characteristic of
any system in which the burden of macroeconomic adjustment falls on deficit countries.
High debt ratios or lack of external financing typically puts greater external pressure on
deficit countries to adjust than on surplus countries. As demand contraction in the deficit
country tends to take the more typical form of asymmetric adjustment, it can be called a
deflationary bias. The second flaw relates to the instabilities associated with the use of a
national currency as an international currency. For other countries to accumulate reserves,
the reserve currency country must run an external deficit. Over time, this may lead to an
undesirable level of external indebtedness of the reserve-currency country, followed by an
erosion of confidence in the value of that currency. The risk of a strongly weakening dollar
in the outlook is indeed associated with this systemic flaw of the global reserve system. The
accumulation of vast amounts of foreign-exchange reserves by developing countries was a
response to the perceived need for increased “self-protection” against pro-cyclical capital
flows in the aftermath of the Asian crisis and other crises in emerging market economies.
The response was logical in the absence of more adequate collective insurance mechanisms
to manage balance-of-payments crises. However, by contributing at the same time to the
problem of significantly widening global imbalances, related volatility and weakening of
the value of the major reserve currency, the response itself became a factor leading to the
present crisis and the instability of the system.


One way in which the system could naturally evolve would be by becoming a
fully multi-currency reserve system. The present system already has more than one reserve
currency, but the other currencies remain a secondary feature in a system where most
reserve assets by far are held in United States dollars and where most of the world’s trade
and financial transactions are effected in the major reserve currency. The advantage of a
multi-reserve currency arrangement is that it would provide countries with the benefit of
diversifying their foreign-exchange reserve assets. However, none of the other deficiencies
of the present system would be addressed.


A more viable option could be to pursue the transition to a reserve system
based on a true form of international liquidity by expanding the role of SDRs. Doing so


19 See, for example, Peter B. Clark and Jacques J. Polak, “International liquidity and the role of the SDR in
the international monetary system”, IMF Staff Papers, vol. 51, No. 1 (2004), pp. 49-71; United Nations,
World Economic and Social Survey 2005: Financing for Development (United Nations publication,
Sales No. E.05.II.C.1); Report of the Commission of Experts of the President of the United Nations
General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, pp. 92-102,
available at www.un.org/ga/president/63/interactive/financialcrisis/PreliminaryReport210509.
pdf; Barry Eichengreen, Out of the Box Thoughts about the International Financial Architecture, IMF
Working Paper WP/09/116 (Washington, D. C., May 2009); United Nations Conference on Trade
and Development, The Global Economic Crisis: Systemic Failures and Multilateral Remedies (Geneva:
UNCTAD, 2009); and José Antonio Ocampo, “Special drawing rights and the reform of the global
reserve system”, research paper for the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four, October 2009,
available at http://www.g24.org/jao0909.pdf.


The present global reserve
system is suffering from a
number of systemic flaws


A reserve system based on
SDRs would address the key
deficiencies of the current
system




36 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


would, in fact, fulfil the objective included in the IMF Articles of Agreement of “making
the special drawing right the principal reserve asset in the international monetary system”
(Article VIII, Section 7, and Article XXII). The G20 decided in April 2009 on a general
SDR allocation equivalent to $250 billion in recognition of the need to boost international
liquidity using an international reserve unit. Further steps forward could be to make SDR
issuance automatic and regular and to link it to the demand for foreign-exchange reserves
and the growth of the world economy. A key criterion for SDR issuance, withdrawal and
allocation would be to provide counter-cyclical finance. In this way, both key deficiencies
of the present system—its deflationary bias and the inherent instability of the value of the
reserve currency—could be overcome. An SDR-based reserve system would also provide
a basis for a better pooling of international reserves, as international liquidity would be
made available on a counter-cyclical basis, reducing the need for individual countries to
hold costly amounts of reserves on their own.


Important practical hurdles will need to be overcome en route to such a sys-
tem, and they will need to be discussed and addressed in conjunction with other reforms
(see chapter III). As the global economy recovers, the world community should not lose
sight of the systemic flaws which were at the root of the global economic and financial
crisis in the first place. A sustainable rebalancing of the world economy will not be possible
without addressing the systemic flaws in the international financial architecture.




37Global Outlook


Appendix
Table A.I.1
Rates of growth of major countries and world regions under three model-based policy scenario simulations,a 2009–2015


Percentage


2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015


World


Early withdrawal of stimuli -2.2 2.4 -0.8 0.8 1.5 2.0 2.4
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -2.2 4.8 3.0 1.8 2.1 2.5 2.4
International policy coordination -2.2 2.4 4.4 5.1 5.2 5.2 5.1


United States


Early withdrawal of stimuli -2.5 2.1 -0.4 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -2.5 5.4 5.5 1.1 2.4 3.9 3.7
International policy coordination -2.5 2.1 3.4 4.5 5.0 4.9 4.7


Western Europe


Early withdrawal of stimuli -4.1 0.5 -2.5 -0.6 0.4 1.0 1.5
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -4.1 2.4 0.6 1.9 1.5 0.8 0.3
International policy coordination -4.1 0.5 2.5 3.5 3.7 3.5 3.4


Japan


Early withdrawal of stimuli -5.6 0.9 -1.8 -1.5 -1.0 -0.5 -0.3
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -5.6 4.5 0.4 -0.9 -0.2 1.1 1.6
International policy coordination -5.6 0.9 3.9 3.3 2.3 2.5 2.2


Other developed economies


Early withdrawal of stimuli -1.2 2.1 -1.9 0.3 1.8 2.4 2.8
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -1.2 4.0 1.9 0.4 0.5 0.9 1.1
International policy coordination -1.2 2.1 4.2 5.0 5.4 5.2 5.0


Commonwealth of Independent States


Early withdrawal of stimuli -6.7 1.7 -3.4 1.0 2.9 3.0 3.7
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -6.7 1.8 4.0 5.5 4.1 3.6 3.5
International policy coordination -6.7 1.7 5.2 7.5 7.7 7.6 7.2


Western Asia


Early withdrawal of stimuli -1.0 3.6 -0.7 2.4 4.7 4.1 4.6
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -1.0 4.8 2.4 4.9 3.0 3.0 2.9
International policy coordination -1.0 3.6 5.7 7.2 7.4 7.4 6.6


Newly industrialized East Asia


Early withdrawal of stimuli -2.6 3.7 -0.9 0.0 2.2 3.4 4.0
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -2.6 7.0 6.0 1.8 2.2 3.0 3.4
International policy coordination -2.6 3.7 8.2 6.4 6.0 5.4 5.7


China


Early withdrawal of stimuli 8.1 8.8 4.7 5.5 5.1 5.0 4.9
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 8.1 9.4 5.1 5.4 4.7 4.7 4.2
International policy coordination 8.1 8.8 8.0 8.0 7.6 8.1 7.9


East Asia, middle-income, excluding China


Early withdrawal of stimuli -2.4 3.6 -1.8 2.0 3.9 4.6 5.2
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -2.4 4.7 2.1 1.7 2.0 2.7 3.0
International policy coordination -2.4 3.6 5.0 6.3 6.6 7.3 7.6




38 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.I.1 (cont’d)


2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015


India


Early withdrawal of stimuli 5.9 6.5 2.9 3.8 4.4 4.6 4.8
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 5.9 7.0 6.4 3.7 3.8 3.7 3.8
International policy coordination 5.9 6.5 10.2 10.4 10.8 10.6 10.5


South Asia, excluding India


Early withdrawal of stimuli 4.8 2.3 0.6 2.9 4.0 4.4 4.8
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 4.8 3.7 2.8 2.5 2.9 3.3 3.5
International policy coordination 4.8 2.3 6.8 8.0 8.7 8.7 8.7


East Asia, low-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli 3.9 4.8 0.8 4.1 4.7 5.0 5.2
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 3.9 4.8 3.9 2.1 1.9 2.1 2.0
International policy coordination 3.9 4.8 8.7 8.9 9.2 8.9 8.4


Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean


Early withdrawal of stimuli -6.4 2.9 -2.1 1.7 2.9 3.4 4.0
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -6.4 5.6 0.6 1.1 1.6 2.2 2.6
International policy coordination -6.4 2.9 4.9 7.1 7.6 7.4 7.2


South America


Early withdrawal of stimuli -0.2 3.8 -1.0 1.5 2.0 2.1 2.5
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -0.2 4.6 0.9 1.4 1.4 1.5 1.5
International policy coordination -0.2 3.2 4.8 5.5 5.9 6.1 5.8


Africa, middle-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli 1.3 3.6 1.0 4.5 5.0 5.3 5.7
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 1.3 5.3 3.5 4.4 4.0 4.0 3.9
International policy coordination 1.3 3.6 8.0 8.5 8.6 8.8 8.0


Africa, low-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli 1.9 4.6 1.8 5.1 4.8 5.2 5.6
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 1.9 7.0 2.5 4.2 3.5 3.6 3.6
International policy coordination 1.9 4.6 10.0 10.4 10.9 11.5 10.7


Memorandum items:


Oil price, world average, USD per barrel


Early withdrawal of stimuli 61.0 80.1 67.8 73.5 81.6 89.1 96.8
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 61.0 95.7 109.5 126.5 147.5 167.5 178.2
International policy coordination 61.0 80.1 82.0 82.0 83.1 92.6 97.9


Primary commodity prices, world average, USD-denominated index


Early withdrawal of stimuli 76.4 76.0 66.2 63.3 63.1 64.4 66.2
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 76.4 82.6 96.0 105.6 112.9 118.3 118.8
International policy coordination 76.4 76.0 80.0 85.7 92.2 99.4 104.4


Growth of volume of world merchandise exports


Early withdrawal of stimuli -12.6 5.5 1.4 4.5 6.6 6.8 6.9
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -12.6 4.0 7.2 8.8 9.5 9.7 9.5
International policy coordination -12.6 5.5 7.9 8.8 9.2 8.8 9.0


Source: UN/DESA Global Policy Model.


a See text for the assumptions underlying each scenario.




39Global Outlook


Table A.I.2
Current account of major countries and world regions under three model-based policy scenario simulations,a 2009-2015


Percentage of each country or region's GDP


2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015


United States


Early withdrawal of stimuli -4.1 -4.8 -4.2 -4.5 -4.9 -5.2 -5.4
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -4.1 -6.4 -5.3 -3.7 -2.2 -1.0 0.1
International policy coordination -4.1 -4.8 -4.8 -4.5 -4.2 -4.1 -3.9


Western Europe


Early withdrawal of stimuli -0.6 -0.5 0.0 -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 -0.3
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -0.6 0.2 0.1 -0.5 -1.0 -1.4 -1.7
International policy coordination -0.6 -0.5 -0.4 -0.2 0.0 0.1 0.4


Japan


Early withdrawal of stimuli 2.1 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.8 2.3 2.7
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 2.1 2.0 0.8 0.1 -0.2 -0.2 0.0
International policy coordination 2.1 1.5 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.4 1.6


Other developed economies


Early withdrawal of stimuli -2.7 -2.5 -3.7 -3.7 -3.4 -3.2 -3.0
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -2.7 -2.1 -2.7 -3.3 -3.7 -4.1 -4.4
International policy coordination -2.7 -2.5 -2.5 -2.3 -2.0 -1.7 -1.4


Commonwealth of Independent States


Early withdrawal of stimuli 3.5 6.1 4.4 5.7 6.5 6.7 6.7
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 3.5 8.5 6.9 5.7 5.4 5.4 5.0
International policy coordination 3.5 6.1 6.0 4.8 3.5 3.1 2.4


Western Asia


Early withdrawal of stimuli 1.5 5.2 3.1 4.6 5.3 5.5 5.5
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 1.5 7.5 6.1 5.0 4.9 4.8 4.2
International policy coordination 1.5 5.2 5.1 4.0 2.7 2.6 2.0


Newly industrialized East Asia


Early withdrawal of stimuli 7.1 4.8 7.2 7.9 7.9 7.3 6.4
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 7.1 5.5 4.6 4.0 3.0 1.9 1.2
International policy coordination 7.1 4.8 4.3 4.4 4.4 4.1 3.9


China


Early withdrawal of stimuli 10.8 10.7 9.4 7.9 6.6 5.5 4.6
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 10.8 9.3 8.1 7.0 6.2 5.5 4.9
International policy coordination 10.8 10.7 9.6 8.2 6.7 5.3 3.9


East Asia, middle-income, excluding China


Early withdrawal of stimuli 9.0 8.7 7.5 6.8 6.5 6.3 6.2
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 9.0 8.2 7.8 7.0 6.1 5.3 4.6
International policy coordination 9.0 8.7 7.8 6.8 5.7 4.7 3.9


India


Early withdrawal of stimuli -3.4 -4.1 -3.5 -3.9 -4.1 -4.2 -4.1
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -3.4 -5.1 -4.8 -4.6 -4.7 -4.8 -4.8
International policy coordination -3.4 -4.1 -3.8 -2.9 -1.8 -1.3 -0.7




40 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.I.2 (cont’d)


2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015


South Asia, excluding India


Early withdrawal of stimuli -2.9 -3.3 -2.8 -3.0 -3.2 -3.1 -3.1
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -2.9 -4.2 -3.4 -3.0 -3.0 -3.0 -3.0
International policy coordination -2.9 -3.3 -3.0 -2.3 -1.5 -1.2 -0.8


East Asia, low-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli -1.3 -1.7 -2.9 -2.4 -1.3 -0.2 0.8
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -1.3 -1.0 -1.3 -1.1 -0.4 0.2 0.6
International policy coordination -1.3 -1.7 -1.7 -1.3 -0.7 0.1 0.6


Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean


Early withdrawal of stimuli -2.6 -2.7 -2.4 -2.0 -1.6 -1.5 -1.4
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -2.6 -2.7 -2.3 -2.7 -3.1 -3.6 -4.0
International policy coordination -2.6 -2.7 -1.8 -1.3 -0.9 -0.9 -0.8


South America


Early withdrawal of stimuli -0.5 -0.3 -1.2 -1.0 -0.6 -0.1 0.3
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -0.5 0.2 -0.1 -0.4 -0.6 -0.6 -0.8
International policy coordination -0.5 -0.3 -0.2 0.0 0.1 0.3 0.4


Africa, middle-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli -2.8 -2.6 -3.5 -1.9 -0.3 1.1 2.1
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -2.8 -1.5 -1.7 -1.2 -0.2 0.7 1.3
International policy coordination -2.8 -2.6 -2.4 -2.2 -1.7 -0.7 0.0


Africa, low-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli -3.3 -0.5 -2.2 -1.1 0.3 1.3 2.1
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -3.3 1.4 0.5 0.2 0.6 1.1 1.2
International policy coordination -3.3 -0.5 -0.9 -1.6 -2.1 -1.9 -2.0


Source: UN/DESA Global Policy Model.


a See text for the assumptions underlying each scenario.




41Global Outlook


Table A.I.3
Changes in policy interest rates,a by country or region, under three model-based policy scenario simulations,b 2010-2015


Basis points, difference over previous year


2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015


United States


Early withdrawal of stimuli 19 193 101 -17 -64 -22
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 202 275 111 60 41 -53
International policy coordination 19 103 175 232 150 32


Western Europe


Early withdrawal of stimuli 15 214 68 -6 -11 39
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 198 -71 25 96 105 0
International policy coordination 15 123 157 230 188 70


Japan


Early withdrawal of stimuli 36 146 23 -29 -108 -49
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 219 -111 -42 -12 14 -40
International policy coordination 36 116 154 95 86 -35


Other developed economies


Early withdrawal of stimuli 20 209 39 -32 -40 32
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 110 -21 -25 -4 11 -16
International policy coordination 20 120 174 229 149 53


Commonwealth of Independent States


Early withdrawal of stimuli 139 -161 -468 63 104 124
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -378 -233 189 230 276 81
International policy coordination 139 280 -227 -14 94 -36


Western Asia


Early withdrawal of stimuli 134 281 -90 -5 54 73
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 68 204 47 57 72 -17
International policy coordination 134 72 179 199 127 52


Newly industrialized East Asia


Early withdrawal of stimuli 15 221 24 -49 -78 16
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 137 -16 11 27 19 -64
International policy coordination 15 86 172 221 114 -44


China


Early withdrawal of stimuli 284 188 -41 18 -109 -5
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 262 -100 92 73 49 29
International policy coordination 284 19 11 40 44 30


East Asia, middle-income, excluding China


Early withdrawal of stimuli -3 150 -67 -135 -109 8
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -78 -190 -120 -32 35 -3
International policy coordination -3 -76 43 166 161 7


India


Early withdrawal of stimuli 112 105 -55 -212 -238 -92
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 146 -127 -130 -118 -96 -97
International policy coordination 112 -24 71 139 97 1




42 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.I.3 (cont’d)


2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015


South Asia, excluding India


Early withdrawal of stimuli 4 94 -13 -136 -169 -27
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 14 -167 -116 -60 -27 -12
International policy coordination 4 -32 77 159 113 37


East Asia, low-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli 10 215 17 -85 -97 35
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -10 -25 -67 -71 -36 -17
International policy coordination 10 -5 147 137 109 47


Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean


Early withdrawal of stimuli 46 103 -42 -106 -92 -30
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation -86 -136 -90 -5 56 -35
International policy coordination 46 -92 94 267 247 28


South America


Early withdrawal of stimuli -42 125 -57 -85 -44 4
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 110 -42 -233 -151 -61 -76
International policy coordination -42 69 118 192 63 7


Africa, middle-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli -1 297 -33 -151 -171 -33
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 3 19 -75 -51 -28 -54
International policy coordination -1 71 141 200 99 3


Africa, low-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli 66 257 -6 -35 -37 80
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 60 -23 -75 14 66 50
International policy coordination 66 -100 207 191 29 12


Source: UN/DESA Global Policy Model.


a Regional rates are weighted by GDP.
b See text for the assumptions underlying each scenario.




43Global Outlook


Table A.I.4
Ex ante fiscal stimuli, by major country or region, under three model-based policy scenario simulations,a 2008-2015


Percentage of GDP


Estimated effective
stimuli 2008-2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015


United States


Early withdrawal of stimuli 5.4 -2.3 -1.7 -1.2 -0.9 -0.7
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 5.6 0.2 -1.7 -1.8 -1.4 -1.2
International policy coordination 5.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0


Western Europe


Early withdrawal of stimuli 2.1 -1.7 -1.3 -1.0 -0.7 -0.5
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 2.2 0.2 0.1 -0.1 -0.7 -1.1
International policy coordination 2.1 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0


Japan


Early withdrawal of stimuli 4.0 -1.6 -1.2 -0.9 -0.7 -0.5
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 4.0 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0
International policy coordination 4.0 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0


Other developed economies


Early withdrawal of stimuli 2.6 -2.1 -1.5 -1.2 -0.9 -0.6
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 2.6 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0
International policy coordination 2.6 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0


Commonwealth of Independent States


Early withdrawal of stimuli 2.5 -1.3 -1.0 -0.8 -0.6 -0.4
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 2.5 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0
International policy coordination 2.5 0.6 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.7


Western Asia


Early withdrawal of stimuli 3.6 -0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.2 -0.1
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 3.6 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0
International policy coordination 3.6 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6


Newly industrialized East Asia


Early withdrawal of stimuli 3.7 -2.1 -1.6 -1.2 -0.9 -0.7
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 3.7 0.5 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0
International policy coordination 3.7 0.5 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0


China


Early withdrawal of stimuli 9.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 9.3 0.8 0.4 0.2 0.0 0.0
International policy coordination 9.3 0.8 0.4 0.2 0.0 0.0


East Asia, middle-income, excluding China


Early withdrawal of stimuli 3.1 -1.6 -1.2 -0.9 -0.7 -0.5
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 3.1 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0
International policy coordination 3.1 1.0 1.0 1.2 1.2 1.3


India


Early withdrawal of stimuli 6.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 6.4 0.7 0.4 0.2 0.0 0.0
International policy coordination 6.4 1.0 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1




44 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.I.4 (cont’d)


Estimated effective
stimuli 2008-2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015


South Asia, excluding India


Early withdrawal of stimuli 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
International policy coordination 0.9 1.3 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.5


East Asia, low-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli 1.4 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1 0.0
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 1.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
International policy coordination 1.4 1.2 1.3 1.3 1.2 1.2


Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean


Early withdrawal of stimuli 1.3 -0.9 -0.7 -0.5 -0.4 -0.3
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 1.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
International policy coordination 1.3 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.9 0.8


South America


Early withdrawal of stimuli 0.8 -0.5 -0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.2
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 0.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
International policy coordination 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.8


Africa, middle-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
International policy coordination 0.9 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0


Africa, low-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
International policy coordination 0.9 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.4 1.5


Source: UN/DESA Global Policy Model.


a See text for the assumptions underlying each scenario.




45Global Outlook


Table A.I.5
Estimated governmenta debt of major countries and world regions
under three model-based policy scenario simulations,a 2009-2015


Percentage of each country or region's GDP


2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015


United States


Early withdrawal of stimuli 71.0 80.9 89.5 95.1 98.5 99.5 99.0
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 71.0 79.0 81.1 81.1 79.3 76.0 72.0
International policy coordination 71.0 80.9 87.4 89.0 86.5 81.9 77.2


Western Europe


Early withdrawal of stimuli 70.5 80.7 91.9 100.9 107.5 110.6 111.6
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 70.5 79.2 83.3 85.5 86.5 86.9 88.2
International policy coordination 70.5 80.7 87.9 90.5 89.0 85.3 81.7


Japan


Early withdrawal of stimuli 171.8 179.6 185.8 192.4 199.5 204.7 209.7
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 171.8 172.5 159.8 155.3 156.3 158.2 160.6
International policy coordination 171.8 179.6 177.2 170.6 162.4 153.8 147.7


Other developed economies


Early withdrawal of stimuli 55.7 57.7 62.2 65.7 67.7 67.6 66.4
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 55.7 55.9 53.3 52.7 53.7 55.6 58.3
International policy coordination 55.7 57.7 58.6 57.4 54.3 50.3 46.6


Commonwealth of Independent States


Early withdrawal of stimuli 17.0 18.6 21.8 26.3 30.3 32.4 33.1
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 17.0 18.9 23.6 27.5 29.5 29.8 29.3
International policy coordination 17.0 18.6 20.8 22.7 23.7 23.4 22.6


Western Asia


Early withdrawal of stimuli 28.0 27.7 30.9 33.5 34.3 34.1 33.6
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 28.0 26.3 23.9 22.7 22.3 22.5 23.6
International policy coordination 28.0 27.7 28.4 28.4 28.3 27.8 27.9


Newly industrialized East Asia


Early withdrawal of stimuli 12.8 12.7 12.8 13.2 13.9 14.5 15.2
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 12.8 12.5 11.5 10.7 11.8 13.9 16.0
International policy coordination 12.8 12.7 12.7 12.2 11.7 11.3 11.1


China


Early withdrawal of stimuli 17.5 22.3 28.0 33.3 37.9 41.7 45.0
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 17.5 22.1 26.3 31.0 35.8 40.5 45.3
International policy coordination 17.5 22.3 27.2 31.2 33.9 35.2 35.7


East Asia, middle-income, excluding China


Early withdrawal of stimuli 34.3 37.2 42.9 48.0 51.3 52.6 52.6
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 34.3 36.1 35.6 37.2 39.9 42.9 46.3
International policy coordination 34.3 37.2 39.7 41.2 41.6 41.0 40.5


India


Early withdrawal of stimuli 54.6 56.5 62.1 68.5 74.2 78.4 81.3
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 54.6 55.7 52.0 52.1 54.4 57.9 62.1
International policy coordination 54.6 56.5 57.7 57.4 55.1 51.9 49.0




46 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.I.5 (cont’d)


2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015


South Asia, excluding India


Early withdrawal of stimuli 47.7 47.3 49.4 52.4 55.2 57.3 58.9
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 47.7 46.7 39.5 35.8 34.5 34.7 36.0
International policy coordination 47.7 47.3 46.4 45.0 42.6 39.9 37.8


East Asia, low-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli 19.5 17.1 15.4 13.9 12.1 9.9 7.5
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 19.5 16.6 12.0 9.0 7.0 5.4 4.2
International policy coordination 19.5 17.1 14.1 10.8 7.8 5.2 3.1


Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean


Early withdrawal of stimuli 26.9 29.3 33.8 37.6 40.2 41.3 41.8
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 26.9 27.9 26.3 26.2 27.1 28.5 30.6
International policy coordination 26.9 29.3 31.2 31.2 29.8 27.6 26.0


South America


Early withdrawal of stimuli 31.2 30.8 33.1 35.4 37.2 38.1 38.5
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 31.2 29.8 27.5 26.8 27.2 28.0 29.2
International policy coordination 31.2 30.8 30.9 30.6 29.7 28.4 27.3


Africa, middle-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli 24.8 22.5 22.6 23.9 24.6 24.8 24.6
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 24.8 21.6 19.0 17.6 16.7 16.0 15.6
International policy coordination 24.8 22.5 21.3 20.8 20.0 19.0 18.2


Africa, low-income


Early withdrawal of stimuli 46.8 46.8 50.2 52.1 52.2 50.6 48.0
Global imbalances, dollar devaluation and inflation 46.8 44.0 37.2 33.6 31.4 30.1 29.7
International policy coordination 46.8 46.8 45.9 43.5 41.5 38.5 36.7


Source: UN/DESA Global Policy Model.


a Refers to the stock of gross government debt, not taking into account adjustments owing to the exchange-rate and other revaluation effects.
Historical data on government accounts in the Global Policy Model are based on IMF Government Finance Statistics, supplemented by OECD
and Eurostat sources. National currency data have been converted to United States dollars. In some cases, missing data for recent years had to be
extrapolated and may not coincide with the latest releases of data from national or international sources.


b See text for the assumptions underlying each scenario.




47


Chapter II
International trade


Merchandise trade in times of crisis
In 2009, world trade volume contracted by almost 13 per cent, that is to say, more than
20 percentage points below its annualized 8.6 per cent trend growth during the period
2004-2007. Furthermore, international trade had already seen a deceleration to 3 per cent
in 2008. In the outlook, a modest recovery of world trade of 5 per cent is projected for
2010, assuming that global recovery sets in. Given this projection, the total loss of world
trade during the period 2008-2010, compared to what it would have been at trend growth
and without the crisis, will be equivalent to nearly $5 trillion, in other words, about 8 per
cent of the annual world gross product (WGP).


Global trade activity follows the evolution of world income in a pronounced
manner. A similar pattern is observed in the fluctuations of imports in the main regions
of the world with respect to each region’s growth of gross domestic product (GDP) (figure
II.1a-e). In 2008, demand growth in developed countries decelerated to 0.5 per cent, down
from an annual average of 2.7 per cent between 2004 and 2007. In 2009, developed-
country GDP contracted by 3.5 per cent. As a result of the 4 percentage point decline in
the growth rate, the volume of imports by developed countries showed a sharp reduction
of about 12 per cent in 2009. GDP growth for developing countries (excluding East Asia)
dropped by 6 percentage points (from about 5 per cent in 2008 to -1 per cent in 2009),
while import demand fell by 17 per cent in real terms. In developing East Asia, the decline
in import volume was 8 per cent, but since GDP growth dropped by only 2 percentage
points, a higher implicit income elasticity of import demand is evident, the result of a
greater weight of exports of manufactures with a high import content. More generally,
trade in manufactures showed the greatest swings during the global crisis, being charac-
terized by a higher income elasticity than trade in other commodities. Developed coun-
tries are the main importers of manufactures; hence the deep recession in these countries
spread quickly, first to countries specializing in exports of manufactures (especially in East
Asia) and subsequently to those countries providing industrial inputs and raw materials.
Yet, the decline in export volumes during 2009 was greater among those regions with
higher specialization in manufactures. Many Asian exporters, such as Indonesia, Japan,
the Philippines and Taiwan Province of China, were among the hardest hit and saw their
merchandise export revenues decline by 30 per cent or more year on year during the first
quarter of 2009. Industrial production fell in tandem with trade, causing declines in de-
mand for commodities and other industrial inputs, in turn affecting exports of developing
countries and economies in transition.


The severe fall in global aggregate demand, which shocked trade activity and
prices, was compounded by a considerable strain in global financial markets, resulting pri-
marily in increased borrowing costs and a shortage of trade credits. There is an acute lack of
data on the availability of trade financing, but some recent surveys and anecdotal evidence
suggest that many countries experienced severe curtailment of access to trade credits, es-
pecially in the initial stages of the global crisis, a factor that most likely contributed to the


World trade growth has
fallen more than 20 per
cent below its trend


Changes in world income
have led to dramatic
fluctuations in trade,
especially in manufacturing


Higher borrowing costs
severely affected trade
and production costs,
particularly in developing
countries




48 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Percentage


Figure II.1a
Growth of world income and of imports, 2001-2010


Figure II.1b
Growth of gross domestic product and import volume:
developed economies, 2001-2010


-20


-15


-10


-5


0


5


10


15


20


2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b


Percentage


-20


-15


-10


-5


0


5


10


15


20


2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b


Imports
Imports


WGP


Imports


GDP


Exports of East Asian
developing countries


GDP of developed
economies


Exports of economies in
transition and of developing
economies, except East Asia


Exports of
developed countries


Imports


GDP


Percentage


Figure II.1c
Growth of gross domestic product and of import volume:
economies in transition and developing economies
(excluding East Asia), 2001-2010


-20


-15


-10


-5


0


5


10


15


20


2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b


GDP


Percentage


Figure II.1e
Growth of gross domestic product of developed
economies and of exports per region, 2001-2010


-20


-15


-10


-5


0


5


10


15


20


2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b


Percentage


Figure II.1d
Growth of gross domestic product and import volume:
East Asian developing economies, 2001-2010


-20


-15


-10


-5


0


5


10


15


20


2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b


Source: UN/DESA and Project Link.
Note: Imports and exports are expressed in constant 2000
United States dollars.
a Partly estimated.
b Projections based on Project LINK.




49International trade


decline in world trade in late 2008 and early 2009.1 Steep increases in borrowing costs have
equally affected trade. In India, for example, the spread over the six-month London Inter-
bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) for trade credits increased from 50 to 150 basis points towards
the end of 2008. Spreads increased even more for countries like Turkey and Brazil in the
fourth quarter of 2008, severely affecting trade and production costs.


As discussed in more detail below, the decline in global import demand was
accompanied by large swings in world commodity prices. Depending on the nature of
trade dependence, some countries saw declines in export volumes compensated by im-
provements in their terms of trade, while others suffered even greater trade shocks because
of unfavourable relative price shifts. Table II.1 shows a decomposition of trade shocks by
country group.2


The demand shock, shown in the first row, reflects the fall in the volume of ex-
ports, estimated at about 3.5 per cent of WGP in 2009. No country or region was spared
the adverse demand shock. The economies in transition, the European Union (EU)-15,
Japan and countries in East and South Asia experienced demand shocks greater than 4
per cent of their GDP. The developed countries and the dynamic exporters in developing
Asia felt most of the impact through the fall in demand for their manufacturing exports,
as indicated above. Meanwhile, such falls in exports, and thus in industrial production in
developing countries, were transmitted into falls in energy imports from the economies in
transition. These are considerable when measured as a share of GDP of those economies
that rely heavily on exports of oil and natural gas. Notably, the least developed countries
(LDCs) were least affected by a decline in the demand for their exports, possibly owing to
the relatively low income elasticity of demand for primary export products.3 Nonetheless,
the contraction in demand for LDC exports averaged about 1.6 per cent of GDP in 2009
and contributed to the substantial run-up of trade deficits amounting to 10 per cent of the
combined GDP of the poorest countries.


Terms-of-trade shocks are calculated as the net effect of the annualized change
in a country’s export and import prices. Net importers of food and energy products gener-
ally witnessed positive terms-of-trade shocks in 2009. This holds true, on average, for the
developed countries and developing countries in East and South Asia, as well as for some
African countries, Mexico and most countries in Central America and the Caribbean. In
contrast, energy and other primary commodity exporters suffered severe negative price
shocks. For instance, Western Asia and the economies in transition experienced negative
terms-of-trade shocks of 8.8 per cent and 5.7 per cent of their respective GDP. Half of
these countries experienced an adverse price shock of greater than 10 per cent of GDP; in
one third of the countries concerned it was even greater than 20 per cent of GDP. Some


1 See, for example, the 2009 Trade Finance Survey conducted by the Bankers’ Association for Finance
and Trade (BAFT), in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, available at http://baft.
org/content_folders/Issues/IMFBAFTSurveyResults20090331.ppt. These and similar surveys stress
that the major trigger for the global contraction of trade was the rapidly shrinking demand for
imports worldwide.


2 The trade shock decomposition was developed as part of the World Economic Vulnerability
Monitor of UN/DESA. The trade decomposition analysis is a detailed account of volume and price
fluctuations for about 170 countries for all merchandise trade disaggregated up to the three-
digit Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) (covering about 250 products and product
groups). See http://www.un.org/esa/policy/publications/dpad_wespwevm.html for a description
of the decomposition methodology and for more detailed results.


3 A number of least developed countries (LDCs) could not be included in this study owing to a lack
of data, most notably Angola, a country representing a significant share of the combined GDP of
the LDCs.


The decline in global
import demand has caused
large swings in world
commodity prices




50 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


exporters of food and agricultural materials fared better to the extent that the decline in
agricultural commodity prices was (more than) offset by the lower prices of their energy
imports. This was the case in many of the LDCs.


Each of the country groups in table II.1 suffered adverse total trade shocks
in 2009. The total trade shock is the combined effect of the decline in export volume
and the terms-of-trade effect. Relative to their GDP, the net energy exporters among the
economies in transition and in Western Asia were the most severely hit. The cumulative
trade shock over the period 2008-2009 was also negative for all regions. The developed-
country regions had seen a negative total trade shock as early as 2008 as a consequence of
the economic slowdown that had already started in the United States, and this deepened
as the financial crisis unravelled. In contrast, all other regions still benefited from a buoy-
ant demand for their exports throughout most of 2008. This was not the case for LDCs,
however, which, on average, suffered most from the steep rise in oil and food prices in the
first half of 2008.


All regions have suffered
adverse trade shocks …


Table II.1
Trade shocks and changes in trade balances per country/region


Percentage of gross domestic product


Demand shock:
change in


export volume


Terms-of-trade
shock: net value


change
Total trade


shock
Change in


import volume
Total change in
trade balance


World 2008 0.5 0.0 0.5 0.5 0.0
2009 -3.5 0.0 -3.5 -3.5 0.0


Developed economies
2008 0.2 -0.7 -0.5 -0.3 -0.1
2009 -3.5 0.8 -2.7 -3.7 1.0


United States
2008 0.5 -1.1 -0.6 -0.5 -0.1
2009 -1.3 1.2 -0.1 -2.6 2.5


Japan
2008 0.1 -1.3 -1.2 -0.1 -1.2
2009 -4.4 1.5 -2.9 -2.1 -0.8


EU-15
2008 -0.2 -0.6 -0.8 -0.6 -0.2
2009 -4.4 0.7 -3.7 -4.3 0.6


Economies in transition
2008 2.3 4.7 7.0 2.0 5.0
2009 -5.1 -5.7 -10.8 -5.3 -5.5


Developing countries
2008 2.1 1.1 3.2 2.6 0.6
2009 -3.3 -1.1 -4.4 -2.7 -1.7


Africa
2008 2.1 2.9 5.0 4.2 0.8
2009 -2.2 -3.3 -5.5 -2.1 -3.4


East and South Asia
2008 2.9 -0.6 2.3 2.4 -0.1
2009 -4.2 0.9 -3.3 -2.2 -1.1


Western Asia
2008 3.4 7.7 11.1 4.9 6.2
2009 -3.3 -8.8 -12.2 -2.3 -9.9


Latin America and the Caribbean
2008 -0.4 1.0 0.7 1.4 -0.7
2009 -1.7 -0.6 -2.3 -4.1 1.8


Least developed countries
2008 1.4 -2.1 -0.7 3.6 -4.3
2009 -1.6 1.3 -0.2 -2.2 1.9


Source: UN/DESA, World Economic Vulnerability Monitor, based on Comtrade and UNCTAD data.




51International trade


The reaction of import volume to the total trade shocks outlined above varied
by country. In most developed countries, import volumes fell by more than the combined
loss in export volumes and terms-of-trade effect to yield an improvement in the merchan-
dise trade balance. Import adjustments in Latin America and the Caribbean were also
stronger than the adverse export shock. LDCs also saw a narrowing of merchandise trade
deficits or larger surpluses as imports contracted by more than their relatively mild adverse
trade shock, suggesting that limited access to external finance might have led to an over-
shooting of the impact of the trade shocks into the growth of domestic demand. In other
regions, import adjustment has been weaker than the trade shock, in some cases on account
of a lagging response to shocks or greater rigidity of spending patterns supported by the use
of accumulated foreign-exchange reserves (or support of domestic demand through strong
fiscal stimuli, as in the case of China and a number of other Asian countries in particular).


It is worth noting that “improvements” in the trade balances of particular
regions or countries driven by strong import adjustments are not necessarily positive devel-
opments. Even though these shifts have helped reduce the global imbalances, the adjust-
ment has been recessionary (see chapter I for further discussion). The impending recovery
in parts of the world could lead to a resumption of those imbalances and the world may
still be positioned for a continued “bumpy ride” in the period ahead.


Regional trends
The steep decrease in merchandise imports by the United States of America, which started
in August 2008, appears to have bottomed out over the second quarter of 2009. However,
the first-semester level is more than 30 per cent lower year on year. The significant fall in
oil prices accounted for about 40 per cent of the reduction in import expenditures. How-
ever, a further reason was the drop in demand from households and businesses. While
exports had been declining since mid-2008, they picked up in the third quarter of 2009.
Since the decline of imports moved significantly faster, the trade deficit was shrinking to
about $40 billion per month, down from about $75 billion in early 2008. Canada, which
was additionally hit as an exporter of energy and minerals, experienced a deterioration in
its trade balance of about 2 per cent of GDP, although it managed to preserve a small trade
surplus overall.


Japanese imports and exports picked up slightly in the second quarter of 2009,
after collapsing by about 40 per cent in late 2008 and early 2009. Reflecting the pace of
recovery among different regions of the world, exports to Asia led the rebound, followed
by exports to the United States and the EU. Real exports, however, remain 30 per cent
below last year. Japanese exports will likely continue to rise in 2010, albeit at a moderate
pace, curbed by the appreciation of the yen and domestic deflation. The rebound in im-
ports was driven by information technology (IT)-related and consumer goods, as well as
by raw materials and foodstuffs, but capital goods continued to decline.


Trade flows in Australia and New Zealand have dropped from an annual
growth of about 30-40 per cent in the first half of 2008 to a decline of about 25 per cent
in early 2009, showing a gradual turnaround in the second half of 2009. A strong Aus-
tralian dollar and a large drop in contracted prices for some categories will curb export
revenues in the outlook.


Trade collapsed in Western Europe as world demand plummeted and is only
recently showing tentative signs of stabilization. In the euro area, exports fell in real terms
by 7 per cent (quarter over quarter) in the fourth quarter of 2008 and by 9.2 per cent in the


… but in some cases there
was a greater contraction
in imports, leading to
improvements in the trade
balance


Contractionary
improvements in the trade
balance during the crisis
threaten the potential for
global recovery


United States imports
decreased, aided by low oil
import values


After collapsing by about
40 per cent in late 2008
and early 2009, Japanese
imports and exports started
to improve slightly


Export volumes in Western
Europe remain far below
the previous year even
though the pace of decline
is moderating substantially




52 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


first quarter of 2009, and patterns were similar in the rest of the region. Even though the
pace of decline moderated substantially in the second quarter, export volumes stood 17.7
per cent lower than the year before. Import volumes displayed similar behaviour, with a lag
effect; in the second quarter of 2009, they stood 14.4 per cent lower than a year earlier, but
more recent declines have been more substantial than those of exports. In United States
dollar value terms, exports over the first six months of 2009 were 32 per cent lower than a
year earlier, with energy, machinery and vehicles registering the largest declines. Imports
declined by a similar amount, energy and crude materials being the most predominant. Go-
ing forward, trade is expected to pick up gradually through the rest of 2009 and into 2010,
but not to robust levels, and in some cases will be held back by stronger exchange rates.


Merchandise export revenues of the new EU member States shrunk by 25 per
cent in 2009 owing to weaker import demand from the EU-15. This was also the case for
the Baltic States, who, in addition, saw weak demand from the Russian Federation. The
automotive and capital goods industries experienced major shocks, partially mitigated
by the car-scrapping schemes in the EU-15. Depressed domestic demand, strong import
content of exports and lower prices of energy have led to a fall of about 30 per cent in
imports. In the outlook, exports from the region may recover slowly, but will perhaps lag
behind a 3-4 per cent recovery of imports. However, in the Baltic States further economic
contraction is projected.


In South-eastern Europe, export revenues declined by about 25 per cent in 2009
as industrial sales declined, prices and demand for minerals fell and competition by some
Asian industries increased. Meanwhile, imports contracted by about 30 per cent owing
to weaker demand and slower credit growth, along with falls in the price of energy. Go-
ing forward, a slight recovery of exports may be hindered by formal or informal pegs to
an appreciating euro, undermining export competitiveness outside the euro area. Import
growth is expected to resume, but at a slow pace.


Nominal exports and imports in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
have contracted significantly in 2009, but are forecast to increase in 2010. Lower com-
modity prices and exchange-rate depreciations have contributed to a significant decline in
the region’s terms of trade. Export losses are likely to exceed $250 billion in 2009 and will
be only partially offset by lower imports. In the Russian Federation, the trade surplus will
decline by more than 46 per cent to an estimated $96 billion in 2009. It is expected to
contract by 50 per cent to $16.5 billion in Kazakhstan. Meanwhile, despite collapsing steel
and manufacturing exports and relatively higher prices for gas imports, Ukraine’s trade
deficit will likely decline by 80 per cent in 2009, to $3.4 billion, reflecting the impact that
the deep contraction of the economy is having on import demand.


Exports of East Asian economies declined precipitously between October 2008
and January 2009, but started to recover in the second quarter of 2009 as demand for
high- and medium-technology manufactured goods picked up. A likely improvement in
access to trade finance may have played its part. Yet, export revenues have remained far
below the levels reached a year ago. In most economies, except China, the decline in ex-
port earnings in 2009 will be more than offset by lower import bills. Trade balances will
therefore improve markedly in many countries, including Indonesia and the Republic of
Korea. In China, by contrast, the trade surplus declined by 20.3 per cent year on year dur-
ing the first eight months of 2009. In 2010, import bills are forecast to rise considerably
as domestic demand strengthens and energy prices move up. Thus, trade surpluses may
shrink despite higher export earnings.


Trade in the
Commonwealth of


Independent States is likely
to resume slowly in 2010


China’s trade surplus
declined by 20 per cent


year on year during the first
eight months of 2009




53International trade


Export sectors across South Asia have also been hard hit. Indian export earn-
ings fell by 26 per cent year on year during the first eight months of 2009. However,
exports started to recover in several South Asian economies during the third quarter of
2009—a trend that is likely to continue in 2010. Overall, trade and current-account bal-
ances improved everywhere in 2009 except in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where oil rev-
enues declined sharply. The decline in global energy and food prices, combined with the
slowdown in domestic demand, led to sharply lower import bills, while remittance inflows
to the region continued to increase substantially.


In Western Asia, oil exporters saw a pronounced drop in exports in 2009 owing
to lower global demand and prices. Imports have been shrinking, partially offsetting the
contractionary effect on trade balances. The expected sustained upward trend in oil prices
will again underpin solid trade surpluses in 2010. In oil importing countries, the severe
drop in global trade has hit the manufacturing sector especially hard. Meanwhile, imports
have shown even more dramatic falls, resulting in improved trade balances in 2009.


While many African oil and mineral exporters were hit severely by the sharp
drop in the value of their exports in late 2008 and early 2009, they experienced an ex-
port rebound in the second quarter of 2009. On aggregate, exports declined faster than
imports. Hence, African trade and current accounts are expected to switch into deficit in
2009 and, conceivably, 2010. However, specific situations in some countries diverge from
the regional patterns. For instance, South Africa switched from deficit to surplus between
the first and second quarter, as merchandise imports declined sharply. Food-importing
countries also experienced a reduction of their import expenditures as food prices declined
by around 20 per cent from 2008.


Export earnings in Latin America and the Caribbean have suffered a severe
downturn in 2009. The most affected are energy exporters such as Bolivia, Ecuador, Trini-
dad and Tobago and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), with losses greater than 6 per
cent of their GDP. Similar losses were experienced by Chile, and to a lesser degree Peru,
both mineral exporters. Yet, other countries such as Colombia, Mexico and Suriname,
which are more diversified towards manufactures, were hit due to their trade links with
the United States and other developed economies. Trade deficits in goods are expected to
narrow in the region as a whole, however. Imports decreased at a somewhat stronger pace
than total shocks in Mexico, Brazil and a few South American countries which promptly
adjusted expenditures, while for many other countries the improved trade balances were
triggered by significantly lower prices for imports. For 2010, the expected global economic
recovery and higher commodity prices will help increase export volumes and prices, in
particular for commodity exporters.


Trade in services
World trade in services more than tripled in value terms between 1990 and 2008, reaching
$3.7 trillion. In the years immediately prior to the crisis, services trade worldwide con-
tinued a fast pace of growth, rising sharply by 11 per cent in 2008, year on year. Exports
of services from developing countries were up by 15 per cent and those from developed
countries by 8.5 per cent. However, as shown in figure II.2 there was a clear turnaround
in the third quarter of 2008 and a rather precipitous decline from the last quarter of
2008 onwards. Total services exports of developed countries dropped by 13 per cent in
the fourth quarter of 2008 from their peak in the third quarter. The largest declines were
in the euro area in the fourth quarter of 2008 (about 14 per cent) and Japan in the first


Oil exports from Western
Asia will probably continue
to increase


Trade accounts have
narrowed in most of the
larger African economies


Oil and mineral exporters
in Latin America have
experienced great adversity


Trade in services has
bottomed out after
declining sharply in late
2008




54 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


80


85


90


95


100


105


110


2008 Q1 2008 Q2 2008 Q3 2008 Q4 2009 Q1 2009 Q2


North America


Japan
Euro zone


Developed economies


Figure II.2
Service export performance, first quarter 2008–second quarter 2009


A. Developed economies


70


75


80


85


90


95


100


105


110


115


120


125


2008 Q1 2008 Q2 2008 Q3 2008 Q4 2009 Q1 2009 Q2


Brazil


Indonesia


Republic of Korea


Mexico


B. Selected developing economies


Source: OECD StatExtracts,
Balance of Payments (Main


Economic Indicators).
Note: 2008Q1=100




55International trade


quarter of 2009 (11 per cent). Services exports from several developing countries also fell
notably during that time. For example, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and the Republic of
Korea experienced declines of about 8 per cent in the last quarter of 2008, with all except
Mexico falling by more than 16 per cent in the first quarter of 2009. Going beyond the
first quarter of 2009, it appears that such dramatic declines in exports of services may have
started to bottom out for developed countries and may have become smaller for selected
developing countries.


The share of services in total world trade has fallen slightly since the growth of
global trade in services in pre-crisis years had not risen nearly as fast as that of merchandise
trade. Table II.2 shows that developing countries and economies in transition showed a
more pronounced fall, whereas developed countries actually increased their share.


As suggested by table II.3, the geographic distribution of services trade among
developing countries continues to remain quite concentrated, with the first five exporters
representing 50 per cent of total trade and 60 per cent of trade for the 25 highest ranking
countries. China and India have become the largest exporters of services in less than two
decades, leaving behind the newly industrialized economies (NIE) of East Asia.


The decline in services trade during the crisis may be partly associated with the
evolution of foreign direct investment (FDI). Worldwide, the services sector represents a
larger and growing share of global FDI stocks and flows, while the share of manufacturing
has continued to decline. As a consequence of the global economic crisis, FDI inflows to
both developed and developing countries declined by 15 per cent in 2008, to about $1.6
trillion (see chapter III). This sharp decrease marks the end of a growth cycle which lasted
four years. Further decline of FDI in services is anticipated for 2009, especially for flows
to developing countries.4 Another affected subsector is that of financial services associated
with utilities, such as telecommunications and energy. Similarly, IT-related services seem
to have felt the impact of the virtual halt of construction activities in many countries.


4 See United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, “Assessing the impact of the current
financial and economic crisis on global FDI flows”, study prepared by UNCTAD, Division on
Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD/DIAE/IA/2009/3, April 2009.


The geographic distribution
of services trade among
developing countries
continues to remain quite
concentrated


The decline in services
trade during the crisis may
be partly associated with
the evolution of foreign
direct investment


Table II.2
Exports of services: share in total trade in goods and services, 2003-2008


Percentage


2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008


World 20.1 19.9 19.6 19.2 19.7 19.4


Developed economies 22.5 22.7 22.8 22.6 23.2 23.3
Economies in transition 15.9 14.9 13.7 13.2 13.7 13.2
Developing economies 15.0 14.7 14.2 13.7 14.1 13.7


Africa 20.0 18.5 16.5 15.6 16.2 14.2
Latin America and the Caribbean 14.2 13.3 13.3 12.5 12.8 12.8
Asia 14.5 14.5 14.0 13.7 14.1 13.7
Oceania 35.2 34.2 33.0 29.8 27.9 29.0


Memorandum items:


Least developed countries 16.0 14.9 12.5 11.6 11.1 9.7
Landlocked developing countries 17.5 15.9 14.1 12.0 12.0 9.6
Small island developing States 45.4 44.3 39.8 34.3 35.1 32.3


Source: UNCTAD GlobStat.




56 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


The decline in services trade is particularly visible in maritime transport and
tourism. Data on port traffic provide additional information on the downturn in contain-
erized trade. Activity in the world’s largest container port, Singapore, was down by 19 per
cent in January 2009 (year on year). In Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR)
of China, port traffic had fallen by 23 per cent, in Long Beach (United States) by 14 per
cent and in Le Havre (France) by 25 per cent. These sharp declines tapered off later in the
year, however, as is evident from annual data for other related indicators. These data show
that, between July 2008 and July 2009, the number of vessels in operation had fallen by
10.1 per cent, the total twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) carrying capacity of ships by


The decline in services
trade is particularly visible


in maritime transport
and tourism


Table II.3
Top 25 exporters of services among developing countries, 1990, 2000, 2007 and 2008


1990 2000 2007 2008
Value of
exports


(in billions
of dollars)


Share
(per-


centage) Rank


Value of
exports


(in billions
of dollars)


Share
(per-


centage) Rank


Value of
exports


(in billions
of dollars)


Share
(per-


centage) Rank


Value of
exports


(in billions
of dollars)


Share
(per-


centage) Rank
Developing
economiesa 150 18.1 348 22.8 865 25.3 981 25.4
China 5.9 0.7 9 30.4 2.0 3 122.2 3.6 1 129.5 3.4 1
India 4.6 0.6 10 16.7 1.1 7 89.7 2.6 2 104.0 2.7 2
Hong Kong SARb 18.1 2.2 1 40.4 2.7 1 83.6 2.4 3 91.4 2.4 3
Singapore 12.8 1.5 2 28.2 1.8 4 69.8 2.0 4 83.1 2.2 4
Korea, Republic of 9.6 1.2 3 30.5 2.0 2 63.0 1.8 5 79.3 2.1 5
Taiwan Province
of China 7.0 0.8 6 20.0 1.3 5 31.3 0.9 6 33.9 0.9 7
Thailand 6.4 0.8 7 13.9 0.9 9 30.4 0.9 7 33.7 0.9 8
Turkey 8.0 1.0 5 19.5 1.3 6 28.9 0.8 8 34.8 0.9 6
Malaysia 3.9 0.5 11 13.9 0.9 8 28.3 0.8 9 30.2 0.8 10
Brazil 3.8 0.5 12 9.5 0.6 12 24.0 0.7 10 30.4 0.8 9
Egypt 6.0 0.7 8 9.8 0.6 11 19.9 0.6 11 25.1 0.6 11
Mexico 8.1 1.0 4 13.8 0.9 10 17.7 0.5 12 18.2 0.5 12
Macao SARb 1.5 0.2 23 3.6 0.2 18 14.4 0.4 13 17.4 0.5 13
South Africa 3.4 0.4 13 5.0 0.3 14 13.6 0.4 14 12.5 0.3 16
Lebanon .. .. .. .. .. .. 12.5 0.4 15 16.3 0.4 14
Indonesia .. .. .. .. .. .. 12.5 0.4 16 13.6 0.4 15
Morocco 2.0 0.2 18 3 0.2 22 12.2 0.4 17 12.5 0.3 17
Argentina 2.4 0.3 17 4.9 0.3 15 10.3 0.3 18 12.4 0.3 18
Kuwait 1.3 0.2 26 1.8 0.1 32 9.6 0.3 19 10.6 0.3 20
Chile 1.8 0.2 19 4.1 0.3 17 8.8 0.3 20 10.8 0.3 19
Philippines 3.2 0.4 14 3.4 0.2 19 8.4 0.2 21 10.2 0.3 21
Cuba 0.5 0.1 40 3.1 0.2 21 8.2 0.2 22 9.2 0.2 22
Saudi Arabia 3.0 0.4 15 4.8 0.3 16 7.9 0.2 23 8.2 0.2 23
Nigeria 1.0 0.1 33 1.8 0.1 31 7.3 0.2 24 na na na
United Arab
Emirates .. .. .. 1.8 0.1 25 7.3 0.2 25 8.2 0.2 24
Source: UNCTAD GlobStat.


a In order of 2007 ranking.
b Special Administrative Region of China.




57International trade


3 per cent, and the number of shipping companies by 7.8 per cent. Only the maximum
vessel size continued to increase (by 11.6 per cent), as new and larger vessels are being de-
livered by the world’s shipyards. Many of these larger ships have replaced smaller vessels,
leading to a significant reduction in the average number of vessels per country. For the
first time since the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
has been recording these data, the average TEU container-carrying capacity assigned per
country has fallen.5 Meanwhile, the financial crisis and rising unemployment have had a
toll on international tourism. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) data show that
statistics for international tourist arrivals flattened or exhibited negative growth in each of
the last six months of 2008, and declined by 8 per cent between January and June 2009.6
On the other hand, this trend appears to have been slowly bottoming out throughout July,
August and September, so far showing a smaller decline of 3 per cent.


Trends in primary commodity prices


Non-oil primary commodities


The year 2008 marked one of the most dramatic episodes in the history of commodity-
price cycles (figure II.3). After reaching an historic peak in mid-2008—in both nominal


5 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development connectivity database, derived from
Containerisation International Online.


6 Various World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) press releases, and UNWTO World Tourism Barometer,
vol. 7, No. 1 (January 2009); vol. 7, No. 2 (June 2009); vol. 7, No. 3 (October 2009), available at
http://www.unwto.org/facts/eng/barometer.htm.


The year 2008 marked
one of the most dramatic
episodes in the history of
commodity-price cycles


50


0


100


150


200


250


300


350


Ja
n-


04


Ap
r-


04


Ju
l-


04


O
ct


-0
4


Ja
n-


05


Ap
r-


05


Ju
l-


05


O
ct


-0
5


Ja
n-


06


Ap
r-


06


Ju
l-


06


O
ct


-0
6


Ja
n-


07


Ap
r-


07


Ju
l-


07


O
ct


-0
7


Ja
n-


08


Ap
r-


08


Ju
l-


08


O
ct


-0
8


Ja
n-


09


Ap
r-


09


Ju
l-


09


US dollars


Special drawing rights


Figure II.3
Trend in the non-oil primary commodity price index, all groups, January 2004–June 2009


In current United States dollars and special drawing rights


Source: UNCTAD Commodity
Price Statistics.




58 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


and in some cases real terms—commodity prices fell sharply as a consequence of the glo-
bal economic and financial crisis, and hit a trough at the beginning of 2009. During the
first quarter of 2009, prices of many commodities started to recover. The future dynamics
of non-oil commodity prices remain highly uncertain.


The long-lasting commodity-price boom in the years prior to the crisis was
due in part to the strong growth in demand for commodities worldwide, particularly to
the demand in fast-growing emerging economies. Increased demand was met with a lag
in supply response due to underinvestment in primary commodity production during the
preceding two decades (which provides a further explanation of the strong price increases).
Other factors also played a role, including the increased financialization of commodity
markets and the depreciation of the United States dollar. There had been an extraordinary
increase in speculative investments in commodity derivatives as financial asset classes,
which attracted swings in short-term portfolio investments. The financial turmoil of 2007
and continued dollar depreciation led many investors to seek higher returns in commodity
market derivatives, causing prices to deviate further from their trend levels. On the eve of
the global financial crisis, from July 2008, financial investors started to pull out of com-
modity markets and prices started to fall sharply. The precipitous decrease in international
commodity prices continued until the first quarter of 2009, as further reversals of portfo-
lio investments in commodity markets took place in the process of deleveraging resulting
from the global financial crisis, the related appreciation of the United States dollar and the
fall in global demand.7


Non-oil primary commodity prices rebounded from the second quarter of
2009, showing a rise of 20 per cent in the composite index between April and August
2009. The recovery was stronger for minerals, ores and metals, whose price index rose by
38 per cent between March and August 2009, but weaker in the case of food and tropical
beverages, which showed world price increases of 11 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively,
in the same period. The “China factor” explains most of the influence on the recovery in
global demand for commodities and the reversal of the downward trend in commodity
prices. The resumption of the trend towards dollar depreciation and the slowdown of the
deleveraging process in financial markets are likely to have strengthened the rebound in
commodity prices.


Minerals and metals


During the first quarter of 2009, the sharp contraction in industrial production and in the
demand for metals in developed countries caused a further dramatic fall in the prices for
most minerals, ores and metals. The steep price declines recorded since the second half of
2008 (figure II.4) have led to massive cutbacks in production and the closure of many mines
and refineries, as well as postponement or cancellation of new investments in mining.


The drop in demand caused a stark rise in international stocks for most base
metals. The first signs of an economic recovery in the second quarter of 2009 helped to
reverse the downward trend in prices, possibly prompting investors who were left with
large stocks to sell at positive profit margins. The prices of some metals, such as copper and
nickel, almost doubled during the first eight months of 2009, while lead and zinc prices
started to recover as early as February 2009, eventually showing increases of 72 and 64 per
cent, respectively, between February and August of 2009. An additional factor for these


7 See World Economic Situation and Prospects: Update as of mid-2009, available from http://www.
un.org/esa/policy/wess/wesp.html, and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development,
Trade and Development Report 2009 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.09.II.D.16), chap. II.


The pre-crisis commodity
boom was caused by a


complex mix of demand,
exchange-rate variations


and speculative activity


A sharp contraction
of industrial demand


contributed to severe
setbacks for mineral and


metal producers


The relatively early boost of
China’s demand for major


base metals supported the
significant rebound in the


second quarter




59International trade


price increases was the relatively early boost of China’s demand for major base metals,
which had most likely acted upon the opportunity of securing good prices for inputs it
expects to need as the policy stimuli work their way through. Between January and April
2009, Chinese imports increased by a staggering 641 per cent in the case of lead and 596
per cent in the case of zinc. Prices of aluminium recovered later in the year, but jumped by
16 per cent in July-August 2009.


While showing substantial volatility, the price of gold has remained at historic
highs during the past three years, averaging $921.82 per troy ounce. Gold prices tend to
respond to two forces of opposite sign. On the one hand, demand for gold for industrial
purposes reflects the general economic environment and thus prices follow the trends of
other minerals. This may explain the decline through mid-2008. On the other hand, gold
is seen as a safe haven for investors during times of crisis and financial uncertainty, thus
explaining the upward trend in its price following the intensification of the financial crisis
that began in late 2008.


The outlook for world prices of metals and minerals is uncertain. A gradual re-
covery of the world economy would support a continued upward trend, although it seems
likely that prices will increase at a much slower pace. The initial upward trend of China’s
import demand will likely, if it continues, lead to a more gradual trend, and thus more
moderate world prices in the near future.


Agricultural commodities


World prices of agricultural commodities also declined dramatically in the second half
of 2008 (figure II.5). The downward trend came to a halt in the first quarter of 2009 and
rebounded thereafter. By mid-2009, real agricultural commodity prices were still high
compared with the low levels sustained during much of the 1980s and 1990s. This holds


In this period of
uncertainty, the price of
gold remains at historic
highs


Despite the drastic fall in the
second half of 2008, prices of
agricultural commodities remain
well above the levels of the
1980s and 1990s


100


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Iron ore


Aluminium


Copper


Zinc


Gold


Figure II.4
Price indices for selected metals, United States dollars, January 2004–August 2009


2000 = 100


Source: UNCTAD Commodity
Price Statistics.
Note:


Iron ore: Australia to Japan,
64% Fe content, Hamersley,
freight on board (FOB) (US
cent/Fe unit)
Aluminium: High grade,
London Metal Exchange
(LME), cash (US dollar/ton)
Copper: Grade A, electrolytic
wire bars/cathodes, LME, cash
(US dollar/ton)
Zinc: Special high grade,
virgin zinc, LME, cash
settlement (US dollar/ton)
Gold: 99.5% fine, afternoon
fixing London, average of
daily rates (US dollar/troy
ounce).




60 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


true in particular for prices of vegetable oilseeds and oils and food commodities, which by
mid-2009 were still 30 and 50 per cent above pre-boom levels. By contrast, prices of agri-
cultural raw materials as a group have fallen below their pre-boom levels.


The decline in prices of food commodities during the first semester of 2009
is explained in part by the drop in crude oil prices and the related fall in demand for
agricultural inputs for the production of biofuels. A large number of ethanol plants were
closed in 2009. Biofuel production is exercising an increasing influence on fluctuations
in world prices of food commodities. Wheat prices, for example, are set to continue their
upward trend as a result of the expected increase in the demand for wheat used for ethanol
production in the EU, China and India. Growing concerns over energy security and the
climate change implications of rapidly rising fossil fuel utilization have led Governments
to subsidize biofuel production, which, as a result, tripled worldwide between 2000 and
2007. Most available studies suggest that, with the exception of ethanol produced from
sugar cane in Brazil, these subsidies are needed in order to make biofuels generated from
food crops competitive.8 Despite increasing doubts about the net contribution these biofu-
els make to climate change mitigation and concerns over their production’s adverse impact
on food security, the total utilization of coarse grains for the production of ethanol is esti-
mated to increase from 110 million tons in 2007/08 to 119 million tons in 2009/10.


Prices of agricultural products remain vulnerable to weather changes and har-
vest cycles. In 2008/09, record harvests for some commodities in some regions were not
fully offset by crop losses in other parts of the world suffering adverse weather conditions,


8 For examples of ethanol studies, see http://e85.whipnet.net/outlook/resource.html; http://www.
pureenergysystems.com/news/2005/04/12/6900080_Acetone_and_Ester/Ethanol_Mandates_
Subsidies.doc; and David Pimentel, “Ethanol fuels: Energy balance, economics, and environmental
impacts are negative”, Natural Resources Research, vol. 12, No. 2 (June 2003), pp. 127-134. It should
be noted that other studies have suggested that ethanol production could be profitable where the
price of oil is between $40 and $60 per barrel.


Weather conditions remain
a factor in price volatility of


agricultural exports …


Source: UNCTAD Commodity
Price Statistics.


100


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Food


Tropical beverages


Vegetable oilseeds and oils


Agricultural
raw materials


Figure II.5
Price indices of agricultural commodities, United States dollars,
January 2004–August 2009


Index 2000 = 100




61International trade


on balance putting downward pressure on world market prices. For example, despite dry
conditions reducing crop prospects in China and Argentina, the Food and Agriculture Or-
ganization of the United Nations (FAO) forecasts that world production of coarse grains
will reach 1,098 million tons by the end of the 2009 maize harvest season. After last year’s
record, this would constitute the second-largest crop in history. As a result, the price for
United States corn fell by about 15 per cent through the summer, down from $185 per ton
in May-June. Similarly, despite unfavourable climatic conditions in some Asian countries,
including India, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan Province of China and Thai-
land, FAO estimates that rice production in 2009 would be second only to the record level
of about 668 million tons reached in 2008.9


Tropical beverages have also been affected by unstable weather conditions, with
prices moving in various directions depending on the crop. The increase in coffee prices was
exacerbated by stock shortages as opening stocks in exporting countries were at their lowest
historical level in 2008/09 owing to crop failures the previous season. At the same time,
coffee consumption continued its upward trend despite the economic meltdown. Weather-
related supply shortages are also expected to influence prices in the tea and cocoa markets.
Similarly, world sugar production had initially been anticipated to reach about 149 million
metric tons in 2008/09 as a result of support measures (see discussion below), but successive
projections have been revised downwards owing to weather factors affecting output in India
and Brazil, the two largest sugar producers in the world. Sugar production is also expected
to be down in China, Mexico and the Russian Federation. As a result, sugar prices have in-
creased by about 90 per cent since December 2008, reaching $22.4 per pound, the highest
level since 1981, and making it the year’s best performing soft commodity.


In summary, the supply of agricultural commodities seems to be vulnerable
to increasingly unpredictable weather conditions such as droughts, floods and hurricanes.
Although there is no conclusive evidence, the increased frequency and intensity of such
weather shocks are generally seen to be associated with climate change caused by global
warming.


Going forward, for some products and regions, positive supply effects are ex-
pected to result from government support measures for targeted commodities in develop-
ing countries. These support measures were introduced after decades of relative neglect
of the agricultural sector. Sugar has been one of the most neglected sectors over the past
30 years, with underinvestment leading to low levels of supply as farmers have faced low
prices. Renewed interest in the rice sector has led to the implementation of public support
measures, including input subsidies, public investment programmes and producer price
incentives in many countries in Africa, such as Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique and Ni-
geria. Although such measures have led to an expansion of cultivated areas and are expect-
ed to alleviate domestic demand constraints, they may not have immediately perceptible
effects on world markets because of the low export volume of rice from these countries.


In the immediate future, the fragility of global economic activity is a stronger
determinant for world markets of agricultural products than either weather or government
support to increase supply, particularly with regard to agricultural raw materials. The drop
in global demand has affected industrial production worldwide and with it also demand
for and prices of agricultural inputs. World market prices for cotton experienced an ini-
tial sharp drop of 10.8 per cent between January and March of 2009 but have recovered
somewhat since July, stabilizing at around 63 cents per pound. Despite the price rebound,
the cotton sector has been hard hit, with global consumption declining by 10 per cent in


9 United States Department of Agriculture estimates are lower, at 436 million tons.


… but, at present, the
fragility of world economic
activity presents a greater
factor of uncertainty




62 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


2008/09 to an historic low of 23,015 million tons. Rubber prices have also suffered from
the global recession, especially from the decline in automobile production, which gener-
ates two thirds of world demand for rubber.


The oil market


Demand


Global demand for crude oil is highly dependent upon overall economic activity. In view
of the contraction of the global economy in 2009, global oil demand is expected to have
decreased from 86.3 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2008 to 84.4 mbd in 2009.10 This
decline of 2.2 per cent follows the small drop of 0.2 per cent in 2008 and is associated
with the dramatic collapse in trade and industrial production that occurred at the height
of the crisis. This has also led to a reduction in transportation activity which in turn has
a strong impact on energy demand: transportation fuels such as gasoline, kerosene and
diesel constitute almost 60 per cent of total oil demand.


Reduced demand for energy in countries of the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) in particular has remained a drag on oil con-
sumption. The corresponding data suggest that the slowdown was most severe in Japan,
followed by the United States and Europe.


By contrast, the non-OECD economies have continued to see increases in the
demand for oil, albeit at a more modest pace in 2009 than in preceding years. Oil demand
in China and India increased by 4.6 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively, in 2009.


Supply


The sharp drop in global oil demand in the light of the global economic and financial crisis
left producers with the prospect of a growing excess supply. Among the Organization of
the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), this has set off several rounds of agreed out-
put cuts since September 2008, resulting in a target of cumulative output reduction of 4.2
mbd. In effect, by August 2009, OPEC had reduced production by 2.8 mbd, equivalent
to a compliance rate of 67 per cent against agreed supply cuts.11 However, the renewed
run-up in crude prices gave individual members of OPEC the incentive to deviate from
the agreed target for production cuts in order to capitalize on the potential for additional
revenue, and total OPEC output amounted to 28.5 mbd in the second quarter of 2009.12
As the mirror image of the tighter supply conditions among its members, spare capacity in
OPEC stood as high as 6.5 mbd in August, of which 3.4 mbd belonged to Saudi Arabia
alone. Non-OPEC supplies stood at 50.8 mbd in the second quarter of 2009 and are ex-
pected to reach 51.0 mbd in 2009 as a whole, up from 50.6 mbd in 2008.


In line with weaker global demand, crude stocks remain at elevated levels. To-
tal OECD stocks amounted to 97 days of forward demand coverage in the second quarter
of 2009, compared to 88 days the year before. Among the non-OECD countries, China
has seen a significant build-up of inventories of crude oil since the beginning of 2008, to
about 280 million barrels or 33 days of forward coverage in July.


10 Data for both demand and supply are from the International Energy Agency and based on UN/
DESA calculations.


11 This refers to OPEC-11, which does not include Iraq.


12 This refers to output in crude oil and excludes output in natural gas liquids equivalent to 5 million
barrels of crude per day.


Oil demand declined in
OECD countries, while


it continues to rise in
emerging economies


In reaction to the drop in
oil demand, OPEC has had


several rounds of output
cuts since September


2008 …


… but crude stocks remain
at elevated levels




63International trade


Prices


After reaching a low of $33.97 per barrel (pb) in 30 December 2008, Brent crude oil prices
moved sideways to fluctuate between $40 pb and $50 pb until the second half of March.
In early January 2009, crude prices rose to almost $50 pb following a spell of cold weather,
the gas dispute between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, and the conflict in the Gaza
Strip. However, excess supply quickly pushed prices back to slightly more than $40 pb
towards the end of February. This increased the incentive among producers to hold back
supplies. At the same time, refinery demand showed clear weakness as a result of contract-
ing economic activity, especially in the United States. Crude prices subsequently remained
rangebound, as lower OPEC output offset weaker demand.


In late March, crude prices broke out of their trading range by moving beyond
the $50 pb mark, as the announcement of a series of stimulus measures by individual
Governments and central banks gave rise to more optimistic sentiment in financial mar-
kets regarding a recovery in global economic growth. Crude prices then continued on an
upward trend, influenced by optimism driven by rebounding equity markets as well as by
a depreciation of the United States dollar. The crude oil price temporarily peaked at $71.55
pb in mid-June 2009. Market fundamentals also played a role in sustaining the upward
trend in oil prices. These included a resumption in the demand from oil refineries after
shutdowns in the second quarter of 2009, expectations of higher demand for gasoline dur-
ing the summer holiday season in the northern hemisphere, as well as a decrease in floating
stocks due to a narrower spread between futures prices and the spot crude price.


Yet, while continuing to be highly volatile, the oil price fell back to about
$59 pb in the first half of July resulting from an initial greater pessimism vis-à-vis the
economic outlook, continued high inventories and overall weaker demand. Subsequently,
however, the price reversed course again and increased by 25 per cent to about $75 pb at
the beginning of August, in view of renewed optimism over the recovery of the global
economy. From August through October 2009, the offsetting effects of greater optimism
about the economic outlook and continued high levels of inventories appear to have kept
crude oil prices at about $70 pb (figure II.6).


The outlook for oil markets


The outlook for oil markets in 2010 will greatly depend on the timing and shape of any
global economic recovery. Based on the baseline scenario of moderate global economic
growth in 2010, global oil demand is expected to increase by 1.5 per cent in 2010, to 85.7
mbd. The stabilization of the OECD economies is forecast to result in unchanged oil
demand from those countries, which will represent 53.0 per cent of global demand. By
contrast, oil demand from non-OECD countries is expected to show an increase by 3.3
per cent in 2010 to 40.3 mbd, driven in particular by emerging economies such as China.
Moreover, increases in regulated oil-product prices tend to cause a hoarding effect, mak-
ing it difficult to ascertain whether any increase in demand in fact stems from stronger
underlying economic activity.


Demand for crude is also expected to remain solid on the part of financial
investors. The current global environment of low interest rates should sustain strong in-
centives to seek higher returns in a variety of asset classes, including crude oil. Moreover,
expectations by some market participants of an uptick in inflation in the wake of the
significant fiscal and monetary stimulus measures provide a motive for investing in oil as
a hedge against inflation. This rationale acquires an even greater relevance in view of the


The outlook for oil markets
in 2010 will greatly depend
on the timing and shape of
the economic recovery




64 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


expected continued weakening of the dollar, which implies higher import prices for the
United States and those economies with a currency pegged to the dollar.


On the supply side, non-OPEC production is forecast to increase to 51.5 mbd
in 2010. At the height of the crisis, there were fears of a significant negative impact on non-
OPEC supplies stemming from lower oil prices and tighter credit conditions, making oil
exploration and production less profitable and more difficult to finance. However, with the
recovery in oil prices and the expectation of a normalization in credit markets, these more
pessimistic forecasts for non-OPEC supplies are slowly giving way to a more stable outlook
supported by solid investment activity. In addition, significant new oil discoveries, for
example in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of southern Brazil, have provided a vivid
illustration of the continued potential for companies to achieve relatively high replacement
ratios of production through successful exploration projects.


In the outlook, Brent crude prices are projected to average $72 pb in 2010, un-
derpinned by the recovery in global economic activity, falling inventories and continued
efforts by OPEC to support prices. While the current crude supply of 84.3 mbd in the
second quarter of 2009 remains sufficient to cover the current demand of 84.1 mbd, the
market is expected to become increasingly tight moving into 2010. Demand will reach
about 85.5 mbd at the beginning of 2010, based on a more positive outlook for economic
growth as well as the seasonal winter effect in the northern hemisphere, leaving the market
undersupplied at current output levels. Consequently, although stocks will provide some
cushion against more abrupt upward price pressure from any uptick in demand, the de-
mand-supply relationship points to the emergence of increased upward pressure on prices
from the fundamental side starting in the first quarter of 2010. However, the actual price
effect will then depend to a large extent on how OPEC will move, especially with respect
to making use of its considerable spare capacity.


Oil prices may average $72
per barrel in 2010


0


20


40


60


80


100


120


140


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009


Nom inal price


Real price


Figure II.6
Nominal and real Brent crude oil prices, January 2000–April 2009


Dollars per barrel


Source: IMF, International
Financial Statistics.
Note: The real price is
deflated by the United States
Consumer Price Index.




65International trade


Risks and uncertainties


The outlook for oil prices remains subject to a number of risks. For example, the combina-
tion of tighter-than-expected supply by OPEC and a stronger recovery in economic activ-
ity could lead to a more pronounced increase in crude prices. Another source of uncer-
tainty relates to developments in currency markets. A more drastic fall in the value of the
dollar would increase the upward pressure on oil prices by increasing the demand for oil
as a hedge against inflation. With regard to geopolitical factors, the international dispute
regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear programme holds the potential to also af-
fect the oil market. With an output level of 3.9 million barrels of crude per day in 2008,
the Islamic Republic of Iran represents the second-largest producer within OPEC after
Saudi Arabia, raising the spectre of unexpected supply disruptions in the case of escalating
tensions. A resurgence of financial instability remains a further risk, although one with a
potentially more ambiguous effect on oil prices. While this could increase the demand for
oil as a real asset, it also has the potential to cause a sharp drop in oil demand through a
renewed weakening in economic activity.


Evolution of the terms of trade for developing countries13


The fall in global demand during the economic and financial crisis exerted deflation-
ary pressures on all markets, with the prices of primary commodities experiencing their
steepest falls from peak levels in 2008.14 As noted above, after hitting bottom in the
first quarter of 2009, prices for most primary commodities rebounded. These global price
movements have led to huge shifts in terms of trade, strongly driven by the changes in the
prices of primary commodities. By contrast, terms of trade faced by countries specializing
in exports of manufactures either remained flat (those with a relatively even composition
of exports and imports of manufactures and low dependency on energy or commodities)
or improved. In the aggregate, exporters of manufactures witnessed relatively stable terms
of trade.


As figure II.7 shows, even though primary commodity prices began to decline
in the second half of 2008, the previous rally had been so impressive that annual averages
generally remained well above 2007 levels. As a consequence, annualized data for the
terms of trade in 2008 show a continuation of the trends since 2003, with all developing
and transition economies, except those in East and South Asia, benefiting from improved
terms of trade. Also when classified by trade specialization, a continuation of past trends
can be observed in 2008, with clear gains for oil exporters and a deterioration for exporters
of manufactures and (low-income) net food importers (except those countries that are also
net fuel exporters). Mining and mineral exporters form the only cases in which a reversal
in the terms of trade is already visible on average for 2008. Meanwhile, terms-of-trade
reversals in 2009 are widespread compared with the trends experienced from 2002-2007.


13 This section discusses the specific changes in net barter terms of trade per region according to
trade structure, rather than in prices of individual commodities (as in the previous section) or in
the effect of terms-of-trade shocks in the value of the trade balance of each region (as in the first
section of this chapter).


14 See United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Trade and Development Report
2009, op. cit. The influence of the financialization of commodity markets and its unwinding as
deleveraging was taking place was apparent in both the upward and downward movement of
prices.


Exporters of manufactures
faced more stable terms
of trade than commodity
exporters


Terms of trade for oil
exporters remained
positive in 2008 despite
declines in the second half
of the year




66 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


The size of the terms-of-trade shocks strongly depends on the structure of
commodity trade. Low-income countries that are net importers of food and energy ex-
perienced improved terms of trade in the second half of 2008 and in early 2009 as world
market prices for these commodities fell steeply. Yet, those prices remain high compared
with levels at the beginning of the decade, and the continued high volatility in food and
energy prices is characteristic of the high vulnerability of these economies to swings in
global markets. More generally, it remains unclear whether developing countries that have
gained from improved terms of trade during the present decade, such as countries in West-
ern Asia, parts of Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as many of the
economies in transition, will see benefits in the near future. The vulnerability of economies
strongly dependent on exports of primary commodities has been repeatedly underscored
in the economic development literature up until very recently, although the debate appears
to have faded away with the substantial terms-of-trade gains during the present decade.
The current global crisis should be a warning that commodity price booms tend to be tem-
porary and that, in order to avoid the long-lasting negative consequences of severe trade
shocks, countries should engage counter-cyclical macroeconomic policy rules to protect
their domestic economy from such adversity and invest in greater economic diversification
to reduce vulnerability over time.15


Trade policy developments


The Doha Round


The most recent major attempt to re-energize the Doha Round of multilateral trade nego-
tiations was at an informal ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
in July 2008. This attempt failed over disagreements on various issues, but especially on
the special safeguard mechanism (SSM) for agriculture in developing countries. Since
then, the world has been severely hit by the global economic crisis. A natural, expected
reaction to economic turmoil is the use of trade barriers to dampen the negative impact
on domestic producers. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, protectionism spread
rapidly and caused irreparable economic and political damage. As discussed below, there
were wide concerns that a similar—albeit perhaps more timid—protectionist trend might
emerge as the current crisis deepened. To counteract this, there have been numerous calls
by world leaders, including at the G20 summits, to conclude the Doha Round before the
end of 2010 as a credible multilateral policy response to the crisis. According to WTO
estimates, the successful conclusion of the Round would provide a global stimulus and
welfare gains of about $150 billion. While small in relation to WGP and the fiscal stimulus
measures, such gains would be an incentive not to recur to the beggar-thy-neighbour poli-
cies that characterized the initial responses during the Great Depression.16


The road towards a successful completion of the Doha Round is yet to be found.
There is no doubt that the success of trade negotiations embracing the concerns of all coun-
tries would send a positive signal that countries were committed to multilateralism after


15 See, for instance, World Economic and Social Survey 2008: Overcoming Economic Insecurity (United
Nations publication, Sales No. E.08.II.C.1).


16 See Report on G20 Trade and Investment Measures, issued on 14 September 2009 by the World
Trade Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development, available at http://www.unctad.org/en/docs/
wto_oecd_unctad2009_en.pdf.


While prices of oil and
commodities remain high


compared with long-
term trends, it is doubtful


whether such gains can be
sustained


A proven resistance to recur
to beggar-thy-neighbour


policies could be a positive
stimulus for a return to


negotiations on the Doha
Round


A meaningful development
content of the Round’s


final package could make a
significant contribution to a


sustained recovery




67International trade


60


80


100


120


140


160


180


200


220


240


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009c


Oil exporters


Exporters of minerals
and mining products


Exporters of agricultural products


Exporters of manufactures Net food importersb


Figure II.7
Net barter terms of trade, selected countries, 2000–2009


A. Terms of trade by structurea


60


80


100


120


140


160


180


200


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009c


Africa


Latin America
and the Caribbean


East and South Asia


Western Asia


Economies in transition


Developed economies


B. Terms of trade by geographical area


Sources: UNCTAD Secretariat
calculations, based on
UNCTAD Handbook of
Statistics Online; UNCTAD,
Commodity Prices Bulletin;
United Nations Commodity
Trade Statistics Database;
United States Department
of Labor Statistics; Japan
Customs; IMF, International
Financial Statistics database;
and ECLAC, Balance of
Payments Statistics database.


a Selected developing
economies and
economies in transition.


b Net food importers are
low-income food-deficit
countries, excluding
exporters of fuel, minerals
and mining products.


c Partly estimated.Index 2000=100




68 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


an economic and financial crisis that, in part, was precipitated by a lack of international
regulatory coordination. More significantly, given that the crisis has also underscored the
importance of proactive government policy action, a meaningful development content of the
Round’s final package would be seen as the key to maximizing the contribution of coordi-
nated policy action for the recovery and post-crisis development, particularly for the LDCs.


It may be recalled that the Doha Round’s original focus was on redressing
development-related imbalances and asymmetries in the WTO agreements by placing de-
velopment objectives at its centre. In practice, the protracted negotiations have gradually
shifted away from a defined development agenda. In particular, the establishment of a
strengthened and more operational special and differential treatment (SDT) in favour
of developing countries and, more generally, the resolution of development-related issues
which had been identified during the implementation of the Uruguay Round were essen-
tially downgraded. The shift away from the development agenda was also manifest in the
draft modalities on agriculture and non-agricultural market access (NAMA), by which
the diverse capacities, needs and interests of developing countries were addressed through
a de facto differentiation among developing countries, departing from the traditional ap-
proach to SDT based on non-discrimination among developing countries.


The crisis has also underscored the vital importance of strengthening countries’
resilience to exogenous shocks, in particular through effective safeguard mechanisms.
Therefore, development-related deliverables that were originally expected of the Round
(such as the special safeguard mechanism (SSM) in agriculture which aims to preserve the
necessary policy space against adverse external shocks) should logically be stressed in the
negotiations.


While the above-mentioned developmental issues and safeguard mechanisms
should not be disregarded, perceptions of poor prospects for a successful conclusion of
the Doha Round in the foreseeable future seem to have provided incentives for establish-
ing regional and bilateral preferential trade agreements. Nonetheless, the global economic
crisis appears to have slowed the emergence of such trade arrangements outside WTO
disciplines, but this may be temporary, and the trend could be revived after recovery.


Therefore, as the global recovery takes hold and the risks of proliferation of
bilateral agreements re-emerge, the modus operandi of the multilateral trading system
should stay firmly aligned with the development concerns that were at the centre of the
conception of the Doha Round. A shift to place greater focus on implementation, policy
review and the enhancement of trade-related capacities would perhaps be necessary to
avoid the risk of non-implementation and disputes.


Consolidating enhanced and predictable Aid for Trade programmes, deliv-
ered both at the bilateral and multilateral levels, would form an indispensable ingredient
to support such a process. Similarly, as part of broader national development strategies,
consideration should be given to enhancing the space for developing countries to conduct
development and industrial policies aimed at improving productivity, export competitive-
ness and diversification of trade and production. In order to strengthen the capacity of
developing countries to cope with large adverse external shocks, certain use of legitimate
trade defence instruments should be permitted, such as the (temporary) use of tariffs, safe-
guards, anti-dumping and other countervailing measures.


Finally, defining the future boundaries of the trading system is likely to be
a formidable challenge, as the global economic and financial crisis has highlighted the
weakness of having multilaterally agreed rules in one area (trade) even as another area
(finance) is left largely unregulated.


It is critical that effective
safeguard mechanisms


in trade negotiations be
strengthened


A shift towards greater
focus on implementation


could avoid obstacles to
trade negotiations


Consolidation of Aid for
Trade programmes remains


indispensable




69International trade


Low-intensity protectionism in response to the crisis


In their response to the current global crisis, many Governments have been tempted by
sentiments of economic nationalism and protectionism. Although the fiscal and finan-
cial packages that have been introduced are widely considered to be indispensable policy
measures for economic stability and recovery, many contain elements—such as direct
State support to industries, bailouts, other subsidies and “buy/lend/invest/hire local” con-
ditions—that favour spending on domestic goods and services at the expense of imports
and, hence, of global trade. In addition, several of those support measures may infringe
upon fair trade practices, distort competitive conditions and influence decisions on the
location of investment and production, with implications for many years to come. Devel-
oping countries that lack the capacity to engage such support measures may suffer undue
loss in competitiveness as a consequence.


Increased trade protection in one country is likely to lead to retaliation by
other countries in the presence of a global negative shock, which could lead to generalized
beggar-thy-neighbour policies. The sum of these actions will likely have negative welfare
implications for the world as a whole and most likely no country will stand to gain in the
end. Bearing this in mind, at the latest G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, world leaders empha-
sized that “[i]t is imperative we stand together to fight against protectionism ... to refrain
from raising barriers or imposing new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and
services, imposing new export restrictions or implementing World Trade Organization
(WTO) inconsistent measures to stimulate exports and commit to rectify such measures
as they arise.”17


Nonetheless, trade defence or “contingency protection” measures are allowed
under the current WTO agreements and need not be inconsistent with a feasible multi-
lateral trading system. Their application would be regulated within an agreed multilateral
framework. These contingency protection measures are designed to provide (temporary)
relief for specific sectors of the domestic economy and are considered important elements
of national policy space for all countries. Unfortunately, many of these measures (for
example, safeguards, anti-dumping and other countervailing measures) are at present con-
sidered to be too murky and complex to implement in practice.


The poorer developing countries, and the LDCs in particular, could benefit
from such measures in coping with adverse external shocks. Most of these economies have
a weak capacity for implementing counter-cyclical policies. Their economies tend to be
heavily dependent upon exports of a few commodities and they are bound to search for
external financial sources to mitigate the consequences of adverse external shocks. Con-
tingency protection measures could facilitate the continuation of diversification policies
(as discussed above) during crises and severe adverse external shocks. It will be equally
important, however, to ensure early implementation of the duty-free, quota-free treat-
ment for the exports of LDCs, as agreed in Hong Kong SAR in 2005. This would be a
tangible confidence-building measure demonstrating that the poorest countries are indeed
supported directly by providing them full and duty-free market access for their exports.
Another supporting policy could be an assurance by developed countries to keep their gen-
eralized system of preferences (GSP) schemes free of new restrictions and conditions. Such
preferential schemes can provide an important stimulus for encouraging trade growth in
developing countries, thus partially compensating for their limited ability to put in place
policy stimuli on the scale of developed countries.


17 See Leaders’ Statement: The Pittsburgh Summit 2009, available at http://www.pittsburghsummit.
gov/mediacenter/129639.htm.


Policy responses to the
crisis tend to favour
spending on domestic
goods and services


Outright trade protection
in one country could lead
to generalized beggar-thy-
neighbour policies


“Contingency protection”
measures are allowed
under the current WTO
agreements


The poorer developing
countries could benefit
from increased contingency
protection in coping with
adverse external shocks




70 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Headroom for tariff protection in developing countries


Since the existence of the WTO, its members, and especially developing countries, have
reduced tariffs to well below the legally bound rates belonging to the most-favoured-nation
(MFN) status. This has provided some space to increase applied tariffs, if necessary. The
difference between applied and bound tariff rates is often called “tariff water”. Recent esti-
mates show that the world’s tariff water amounts to 11 percentage points, while it is close to
zero in the United States and China, and higher than 70 percentage points in many LDCs
and small island developing States.18 Further evidence indicates that there is also quite sig-
nificant variance across commodities, with the world’s tariff water for agricultural products
amounting to about 27 percentage points, while the tariff water for manufactures is about
9 percentage points. Countries with “positive water” (that is, with lower applied rates than
the MFN-bound rates) could actually increase tariffs to protect domestic industries.


In response to the current crisis, large countries have been more inclined to
increase tariffs than small countries. WTO studies report several instances in which de-
veloping countries and economies in transition have raised import tariffs well within their
bound limits.19 Developed countries, on the other hand, have closely approached their
bound limits, but no instances have been reported so far of attempts to raise their tariffs
above them, probably because this would require renegotiation of existing WTO rules.
At the same time, several Governments have also decreased tariffs. Thus, there is no clear
trend towards an increased use of import tariffs.


Non-tariff measures


Equally, there is so far no evidence pointing to the widespread use or systematic increases
in non-tariff barriers in the wake of the global crisis. Fragmentary data suggest more inci-
dental use of such trade restrictions in a limited number of countries, including the intro-
duction of stricter import licensing requirements for some sensitive goods like steel. Safe-
guards and anti-dumping measures have been applied by some developed and developing
countries, but with no clear indication of any significantly increasing trend. Anti-dumping
measures can be very disruptive to trade and the rise in the use of such measures remains
an issue that Governments will watch keenly.


Subsidies


Governments of mostly developed and the larger developing countries have increased the
use of subsidies as a part of national economic stimulus packages in response to the crisis.
Subsidies can be highly distortive to trade. As is the case for tariffs, they can artificially im-
prove the competitiveness of those producers receiving the subsidy not only domestically
but also in international markets. By supporting companies that would have been unable
to compete, the subsidies may put otherwise healthy companies in an uncompetitive posi-
tion, forcing even more subsidies. Subsidies are actionable under WTO rules and can be
countervailed. Furthermore, they may in turn generate a chain of retaliatory measures and
increased protection.


18 See Liliana Foletti, Marco Fugazza, Alessandro Nicita and Marcelo Olarreaga, “Smoke in the (Tariff)
Water” in The fateful allure of protectionism: Taking stock for the G8, Simon J. Evenett, Bernard
M. Hoekman and Olivier Cattaneo, eds. (London, United Kingdom, Centre for Economic Policy
Research, 2009).


19 See World Trade Organization, Report to the TPRB from the Director-General on the financial and
economic crisis and trade-related developments, JOB(09)/30, 26 March 2009.


There is still room for tariff
protection in developing


countries as a part of
national economic


responses to the crisis


Subsidies are actionable
under WTO rules and can


be countervailed




71International trade


The recent joint WTO-OECD-UNCTAD report20 indicates that a number
of Governments have resorted to various policy measures in 2009 to protect domestic in-
dustries and employment affected by the global crisis.21 It is perceived that by using their
existing national policy space, countries can respond to the current economic crisis by
increasing temporary protection against imports. Measures which are consistent with the
multilateral trade rules may not warrant the label of “protectionism”. The concern should
be with any excessive use or abuse of such measures by trading partners outside of the
multilateral framework.22 Thus far, however, it seems that despite some policy slippage,
Governments have avoided resorting to widespread trade restrictions in their anti-crisis
strategies. This desire to avoid beggar-thy-neighbour responses might also work as an in-
centive to conclude the Doha Round based on careful attention to development concerns
that have strongly come to the fore during the current crisis.


20 See Report on G20 Trade and Investment Measures, op. cit.


21 There are also a number of initiatives by non-governmental organizations and the academic
community which trace “protectionist signs” worldwide at various levels of detail (for example,
see “Global trade alert” trade policy discussion at www.voxeu.org). These studies and opinions are
informative and also help maintain vigilance towards averting a rising tide of protectionism and
retaliation. However, the approach of such studies may be too narrow in so far as most of them do
not manage to distinguish between rescue measures that Governments undertake legitimately to
support full employment in their own countries and measures of a beggar-thy-neighbour nature
that are sanctioned by the existing international legal framework.


22 See Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya, “Legal trade barriers must be kept in check”, Financial
Times, 11 June 2009.


The conclusion of the Doha
Round should be debated
on the basis of its merits
for development and
not as a means to avert
protectionist measures






73


Chapter III
Financial flows to
developing countries


Net resource transfers from poor to rich countries
Developing countries as a group are expected to have continued to provide net financial
resources to developed countries in 2009 at a level of $568 billion. While still substantial,
this amount is notably lower than the all-time high of $891 billion reached in 2008 (table
III.1). The forecast reduction reflects the tentative narrowing of the global imbalances as
a consequence of the ongoing global economic and financial crisis. The structure of flows
underlying the substantial negative financial transfers in 2008 and those preliminarily es-
timated for 2009 indicates that, for the most part, a disorderly unwinding of accumulated
global imbalances is under way, a prospect the World Economic Situation and Prospects
(WESP) has been flagging in recent issues.


The ongoing global financial crisis affected net financial transfers from devel-
oping countries in all regions of the developing world in 2009. Western Asia experienced
the strongest decline in net resource flows, driven in particular by much lower oil prices
and also by countries in the region having to draw on international reserves to compensate
for the fall in external demand. Latin America and the Caribbean experienced lower out-
ward investment on a net basis as the value of their export earnings declined in line with
the contraction of world trade in goods. East and South Asia are the only regions where,


Net resource transfers
from poor to rich countries
remain high despite a
decline resulting from
the global contraction of
output and employment


Only East and South Asia
saw an increase in negative
net transfers


Table III.1
Net transfer of financial resourcesa to developing economies and economies in transition, 1997-2009


Billions of dollars


1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009b


Developing economies -3.6 -37.1 -126.2 -195.0 -163.8 -208.2 -302.3 -378.0 -581.0 -781.9 -870.3 -890.7 -567.7


Africa -7.0 13.0 1.5 -32.2 -16.8 -5.1 -19.0 -35.4 -63.9 -87.2 -98.7 -91.4 20.8
Sub-Saharan Africa
(excluding Nigeria and
South Africa) 7.4 12.2 8.5 2.6 6.8 4.8 6.5 4.1 0.8 -9.6 -5.6 -1.0 27.3


East and South Asia -32.1 -128.2 -139.4 -124.8 -121.0 -147.7 -173.5 -181.1 -262.5 -383.6 -518.4 -478.9 -497.2
Western Asia 12.4 34.5 2.7 -35.3 -29.7 -23.2 -46.7 -76.9 -145.4 -175.8 -150.0 -259.5 -52.4
Latin America and the
Caribbean 23.2 43.7 8.9 -2.8 3.7 -32.2 -63.2 -84.6 -109.3 -135.4 -103.2 -60.9 -38.8


Economies in transition 1.6 0.7 -25.1 -51.5 -32.9 -27.9 -38.0 -62.4 -95.7 -117.1 -98.3 -153.0 -89.7


Memorandum items:


Heavily indebted poor
countries (HIPCs) 7.2 8.4 9.8 8.5 8.5 10.9 13.1 15.6 20.4 18.6 28.0 43.4 45.7
Least developed countriesc 10.3 13.6 11.4 6.2 9.1 7.3 8.9 6.0 2.9 -7.4 -4.9 -0.7 20.3


Sources: UN/DESA, based on IMF, World Economic Outlook Database, October 2009; and IMF, Balance of Payments Statistics.


a Net financial transfers are defined as net capital inflows less interest and other investment income payments abroad.
b Partly estimated.
c Cape Verde graduated in December 2007 and is not included in the calculations.




74 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


in the aggregate, negative net transfers increased moderately in 2009. Despite a narrow-
ing of current-account surpluses, reserve accumulation has resumed at a strong pace. Net
transfers from countries with economies in transition decreased from $153 billion in 2008
to $90 billion in 2009, owing mainly to the economic downturn in the Russian Federa-
tion, where the sharp decline in commodity prices and the pronounced reduction in global
demand for manufactured goods in the first half of 2009 required strong government
intervention in the form of counter-cyclical fiscal measures.


In developing countries, the drastic downward adjustment of export sectors is
imposing severe and potentially long-lasting hardships on women and the poor. Signifi-
cant declines in public sector revenues in developing countries as a consequence of the fall
in exports are setting off fiscal deficits and new pressures to borrow, thus increasing the
prospect of a resurgence of debt-servicing defaults farther down the road. Since private
flows are highly cyclical, foreign direct investment (FDI) and portfolio flows to develop-
ing countries have fallen sharply from a net value of $403 billion in 2007 to $71 billion
in 2008 (table III.2).


The fall in exports creates
severe problems in


developing countries


Table III.2
Net financial flows to developing countries and economies in transition, 1996-2010


Billions of dollars


Average annual flow


2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b1996-1999 2000-2005


Developing Countries


Net private capital flows 120.1 109.1 104.4 403.0 70.6 54.7 -30.0
Net direct investment 130.6 156.5 196.2 309.3 323.1 233.7 209.5
Net portfolio investmentc 49.6 -32.4 -96.8 20.8 -132.8 -128.2 -215.2
Other net investmentd -60.1 -15.1 5.0 72.9 -119.7 -50.7 -24.2


Net official flows 16.4 -37.0 -126.5 -121.9 -118.0 -21.5 -65.6
Total net flows 136.5 72.1 -22.1 281.1 -47.5 33.1 -95.6
Change in reservese -73.5 -274.6 -615.8 -1 073.1 -733.5 -474.5 -513.7


Africa


Net private capital flows 5.3 8.2 7.7 25.1 15.3 21.5 48.1
Net direct investment 7.0 19.7 27.7 42.8 52.2 34.5 40.8
Net portfolio investmentc 2.8 1.1 17.3 12.1 -34.1 -8.4 5.0
Other net investmentd -4.6 -12.6 -37.4 -29.8 -2.8 -4.6 2.3


Net official flows 3.0 4.3 8.2 6.3 4.6 14.6 14.9
Total net flows 8.3 12.5 15.8 31.4 19.9 36.1 63.0
Change in reservese -6.8 -24.7 -77.6 -86.9 -76.4 11.8 -35.3


East and South Asia


Net private capital flows 30.3 65.6 33.2 160.8 -7.7 -36.4 -157.6
Net direct investment 60.7 68.5 93.6 132.7 138.1 88.3 58.2
Net portfolio investmentc 25.5 -12.7 -109.1 8.1 -68.2 -114.7 -223.0
Other net investmentd -55.9 9.8 48.7 20.0 -77.6 -9.9 7.2


Net official flows 3.1 -17.1 -20.9 -47.7 -25.1 -19.3 -20.5
Total net flows 33.4 48.5 12.3 113.1 -32.8 -55.7 -178.1
Change in reservese -55.3 -202.7 -384.5 -688.3 -464.5 -429.3 -377.4




75Financial flows to developing countries


In order to achieve a more orderly and—in human terms—less costly reduction
of international financial transfers from poor to rich countries, faster demand growth in
developing countries would be required. However, most developing countries have limited
monetary and fiscal space to maintain domestic demand. This space is being further con-
stricted by the crisis. Additional resources for developing countries have been made avail-
able through decisions by leaders of the G20 through lending by the international financial
institutions (IFIs), especially the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The disbursement of
these resources so far has been restrained as, in many cases, they remain subject to restric-
tive policy conditionality, despite the recent reforms on conditionality by the IMF. The
conditionality reforms have not yet addressed the issue of the counter-cyclical policy space
required by developing countries in both periods of normalcy and in times of crisis.


As discussed in chapter I, the structural problems underlying the emergence
of exploding global imbalances have not been removed, and present policy efforts for
recovery could well cause a re-emergence of macroeconomic imbalances in the absence


Current policies could lead
to a renewed increase in
global imbalances


Table III.2 (cont’d)


Average annual flow


2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b1996-1999 2000-2005


Western Asia


Net private capital flows 16.5 2.6 26.7 104.9 -4.0 44.7 39.1
Net direct investment 6.3 12.8 45.4 47.2 42.3 39.7 40.5
Net portfolio investmentc -0.8 -11.0 -16.5 -37.7 -9.9 11.4 -2.2
Other net investmentd 11.0 0.7 -2.2 95.4 -36.4 -6.5 0.8


Net official flows 2.3 -22.7 -70.2 -79.6 -101.1 -44.2 -67.6
Total net flows 18.8 -20.2 -43.5 25.3 -105.0 0.5 -28.5
Change in reservese -8.5 -31.7 -103.4 -164.8 -141.2 -37.7 -83.0


Latin America and the Caribbean


Net private capital flows 68.0 32.7 36.9 112.2 67.0 24.8 40.4
Net direct investment 56.5 55.5 29.5 86.6 90.4 71.1 70.1
Net portfolio investmentc 22.1 -9.7 11.5 38.4 -20.6 -16.5 4.9
Other net investmentd -10.6 -13.0 -4.1 -12.8 -2.9 -29.7 -34.6


Net official flows 8.0 -1.5 -43.6 -0.9 3.6 27.5 7.6
Total net flows 76.0 31.2 -6.8 111.3 70.5 52.3 48.0
Change in reservese -2.9 -15.4 -50.3 -133.1 -51.5 -19.3 -18.1


Economies in transition


Net private capital flows 1.6 12.6 73.4 142.5 -79.6 -90.3 -9.9
Net direct investment 6.2 9.9 30.6 39.1 58.9 22.6 31.9
Net portfolio investmentc 1.3 -0.1 12.6 16.8 -32.4 2.6 6.6
Other net investmentd -6.0 2.8 30.2 86.5 -106.1 -115.6 -48.4


Net official flows -6.7 -7.1 -30.2 -0.8 -24.3 21.3 18.6
Total net flows -5.1 5.5 43.2 141.7 -103.9 -69.0 8.7
Change in reservese 1.7 -37.7 -137.3 -169.9 35.8 19.8 -76.7


Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook Database, October 2009.


a Partly estimated.
b Forecasts.
c Including portfolio debt and equity investment.
d Including short- and long-term bank lending, and possibly some official flows owing to data limitations.
e Negative values denote increases in reserves.




76 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


of a practical international counter-cyclical framework. The substantial surge in the gov-
ernment deficit of the United States of America will likely exert renewed impetus on its
external deficit. In Asia in particular, conditions of high dependence on exports for growth
(a dependence that will take significant time and investment to reduce) and relatively weak
domestic demand have not fundamentally changed.


The potential return of global imbalances in the context of a recession and
mounting public indebtedness in the major economies increases the risks of exchange-rate
instability and strong downward pressure on the dollar. As the world economy shows its
first signs of recovery, financial investors have rediscovered an appetite for risk in high-
yielding currencies and emerging market equities. This has not only diminished the ap-
peal of the United States dollar as a safe-haven currency but, owing to the anticipation of
investors that current United States interest rates will be kept on hold for the foreseeable
future, has caused the dollar to become the de facto carry-trade currency. The restored
dominance of speculative motives for investment over fundamentals is reflected in the fact
that, despite uncertainty about the sustainability of the current recovery in many emerg-
ing markets, financial investors are showing a widespread appetite for a huge variety of
high-yielding asset classes. The sizeable amounts of speculative capital in emerging mar-
kets add new policy management challenges for Governments, as currencies have come
under pressure to appreciate. Emerging economy authorities have been responding to the
substantial increase in capital inflows by accumulating reserves or, as in the case of Brazil,
by attempting to tax capital inflows in order to avoid currency appreciation. There also
remains the possibility of a destabilizing reversal in portfolio flows should United States
interest rates begin to increase, bursting asset bubbles in emerging markets and inducing
a rapid drain on their foreign-exchange reserves.


Private capital flows


Private capital flows to developing countries


The global financial crisis and worldwide recession imposed a sudden stop on nearly three
decades of expansion in international capital markets. From 1980 through 2007, the
world’s financial assets—including equities, private and public debt, and bank deposits—
nearly quadrupled in size relative to world gross product (WGP). Similarly, global capital
flows surged. But the upheaval in financial markets in 2008 broke this trend. The total
value of the world’s financial assets in 2008 fell by $16 trillion, to $178 trillion, the largest
setback on record.1


In developing countries, which have been attracting high and growing levels of
private capital flows since 2002, the trend reversed sharply in the second half of 2008. Across
the board, all components of private capital flows registered significant declines. (table III.2)
One of the most salient features of the financial turmoil was a steep and simultaneous fall-off
in all cross-border capital flows, including FDI, foreign equities, debt securities and cross-
border lending. The sharp correction in cross-border lending was the biggest contributor to
the contraction in capital flows, exerting severe funding pressures on developing countries.
Countries with large current-account deficits, and therefore the most dependent on foreign
capital, were hardest hit by the substantial tightening of credit conditions in international


1 McKinsey & Company, “Global capital markets: Entering a new era”, McKinsey Global Institute
report, September 2009.


Exchange-rate instability
is a major risk


The total value of financial
assets has fallen sharply


All components of private
capital flows have


declined …




77Financial flows to developing countries


markets. But even middle-income countries with current-account surplus positions were
substantially affected by the global financial crisis, as a sell-off in assets triggered a marked
depreciation of exchange rates in a large number of economies.


The reversal continued through the first quarter of 2009, with net capital flows
to developing countries shifting further downwards on an annualized basis. However, as a
result of stimulus packages and other policy measures to recapitalize financial institutions,
signs of stabilization have become noticeable in various parts of the financial market.
Positive macroeconomic news, as well as encouraging earnings announcements by private
corporations, has gradually improved the sentiment of financial investors since the second
quarter of 2009. Surprisingly, several large commercial banks in major economies not only
reported strong earnings in the second quarter of 2009 but outperformed other types of
financial institutions in both credit and equity markets.2 Equity prices worldwide have
rebounded strongly and, owing to government stabilization support of major financial
institutions, interbank lending conditions have generally been improving. Improvements
were also visible in credit markets, even though important segments continue to rely on
central bank support.


In particular, prices of equities in emerging markets have increased along with
those in developed countries. In emerging Asia, the current upswing in external financing
is predominantly driven by equity-related flows. The spread on JPMorgan’s Emerging-
Market Bond Index (EMBI) reached 800 basis points at the height of the crisis in October
2008 but significantly declined to 300 basis points in October 2009. This spread, which
reflects how much more yield investors demand to hold emerging market debt compared
to safe-haven United States Treasuries, has declined to almost pre-crisis levels. Conse-
quently, the cost and availability of debt financing in emerging countries has improved,
and financial investors have rediscovered an appetite for risk in high-yielding currencies
and emerging market equities. The IMF refers to this development in its latest Global
Financial Stability Report,3 warning that the decline in sovereign debt spreads has been
driven almost entirely by an improved global appetite for risk and core market liquidity,
despite underlying economic fundamentals’ continuing to deteriorate in many countries.
This creates renewed exposure of emerging countries to sudden shifts in investor sentiment
in the coming months.


As also suggested in previous issues of WESP, credit default swap (CDS)
spreads are a better indicator of sovereign risk than the EMBI in periods of crisis. CDS
spreads represent the marginal cost of debt, while the EMBI for a country is more repre-
sentative of the average cost of traded debt. During distress, it is the marginal cost that is
often more relevant; although CDS spreads are a derivative of the cash bond market, their
volatility and absolute levels may lead to a sell-off in the underlying bonds. This distinction
is important since EMBI spreads, being the weighted average of all bonds, reflect a market
risk perception of longer duration. Sovereign CDS spreads are usually quoted for no longer
than a five years; hence, they reflect a much shorter loan maturity than bonds.


2 Bank for International Settlements, “International banking and financial market developments”,
BIS Quarterly Review, September 2009.


3 See International Monetary Fund, Global Financial Stability Report (Washington D. C.: IMF, October
2009). The World Bank comes to a similar conclusion in its updated forecast for the Asia and Pacific
Region, arguing that although a stronger rebound in equity prices in East Asia is to be expected
given perceptions about growth and the region’s much increased role in the global economy,
the speed of the increase has led to renewed concerns about speculative bubbles (World Bank,
Transforming the Rebound into Recovery, a World Bank economic update for the East Asia and
Pacific region (Washington D. C.: World Bank, November 2009)).


… but signs of stabilization
have occurred in various
parts of the financial
market


Equity markets have
rebounded in emerging
markets


Credit default swaps
are a better indicator of
sovereign risk




78 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


As can be seen in table III.3, at the end of October 2009, the bankruptcy risk
of emerging market Governments decreased substantially compared with much higher de-
fault probabilities in the last quarter of 2008. In our sample, Ukraine still has the highest
CDS premium (10.6 percentage points), followed by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
(9.7 percentage points). The higher premium in these countries can be explained by the
specific challenges to their economies and is to a lesser extent due to global conditions.
Ukraine, which has been confronted with a sharp contraction in economic activity, has
very limited access to resources for meeting its mounting financing needs. It has lost access
to international financial markets, and this situation is reinforced by additional political
and economic uncertainties that seem to be feeding on each other. The Bolivarian Repub-
lic of Venezuela is expected to continue to register high inflation rates of about 30 per cent
(see chapter IV), driven by higher taxes and a shortage of essential products, and this is
reflected in higher CDS spreads.


Capital inflows to developing countries have rebounded, leading to improved
liquidity conditions. The Institute of International Finance (IIF) predicts that the current
upswing in emerging economies will mainly be based on equity-related flows and will thus
lead to an important rotation in the debt-equity mix in external financing for at least the
next few years.4 Portfolio equity flows, which are at the cutting edge of this debt-equity
rotation, have shown a dramatic turnaround in 2009. For a group of 30 emerging markets,
the IIF projects that net inflows of portfolio equity in 2009 should reach $82 billion, com-
pared with net outflows of the same amount in 2008. However, given the fact that some
of the returning portfolio flows may well be speculative, bouts of volatility and a potential
partial reversal of portfolio flows could make countries vulnerable to setbacks in economic
performance.


Bank lending to emerging economies showed the sharpest decline among all
components of private capital flows in 2008 and banks continued to trim their exposures
in 2009, whereas a slow rebound can be expected in 2010 at the earliest. Interestingly,


4 Institute of International Finance, Capital Flows to Emerging Economies (Washington, D.C.: October
2009).


Sovereign bankruptcy risks
have decreased, but remain


high in some countries


Liquidity conditions
have improved


Bank lending has registered
the sharpest decline among


flows of private capital


Table III.3
Credit default swap spreads and annual probabilities of default
in selected emerging market countries


CDS spreads
(basis points)


Annual probabilities of defaulta
(percentage)


23 October 2008 23 October 2009 23 October 2008 23 October 2009


Brazil 571 130 6.3 1.7
Hungary 574 201 6.4 2.5
Korea, Republic of 620 92 6.8 1.2
Mexico 580 160 6.4 2.0
Russian Federation 1 056 180 10.1 2.3
Turkey 777 182 8.1 2.3
Ukraine 2 535 1 129 16.3 10.6
Venezuela
(Bolivarian Republic of ) 2 224 990 15.5 9.7


Source: UN/DESA, based on data of Deutsche Bank Research, available at http://www.dbresearch.com.


a Calculated at a recovery rate assumption of 25 per cent.




79Financial flows to developing countries


most of the registered reductions in the outstanding stock affected international claims,
while positions in local currencies remained relatively stable during this period. Non-bank
lending flows also declined markedly during the crisis, but have rebounded notably since
mid-2009, as net external bond issuance by emerging markets has increased in recent
months. This trend is expected to increase in 2010.


Amid the current improvements in financial sectors, any forecast of net pri-
vate flows in 2010 is subject to downside risks and uncertainties in the world economy.
The stronger-than-expected rebound in equity prices worldwide belies the fact that credit
channels are still impaired and the economic recovery is likely to be slow. Investor senti-
ment largely driven by an improved global appetite for risk for high-yielding assets rather
than based on underlying economic fundamentals can redirect herding behaviour against
renewed optimism, creating new bouts of volatility. The emergence of large capital inflows
also carries with it the risk of new asset price bubbles, thereby complicating macroeco-
nomic policy responses. While stronger bank earnings are currently supporting capital
levels, additional writedowns of impaired assets will be necessary in the coming months
and this will affect lending capabilities. Since the real sector is lagging behind the rebound
in the financial sector, and is expected to remain subdued in 2010, excess capacity remains
high. Therefore, Governments need to be mindful of the risks of a premature withdrawal
of stimulus, given the large output gaps as well as concerns that developed countries are
converging towards a slower growth path than prior to the crisis. Downside risks include
a double dip in economic activity, in particular in the advanced countries, as effects of
stimulus measures and inventory restocking wear off.


From a regional perspective, the impact of the global financial turmoil on
Africa has been limited, as risks in the majority of financial markets in the region were un-
correlated with those in mature economies. FDI inflows to Africa reached another record
level despite the global financial crisis in 2008, but are likely to decline in 2009.5 The re-
covery of commodity prices in the second quarter of 2009 has helped stimulate economic
growth in the region, albeit at a much lower pace than prior to the crisis. Economic growth
in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to expand by just 1 per cent in 2009, compared to
6.5 per cent between 2002 and 2007. Recovery in South Africa is expected only in 2010,
since that country experienced not only negative growth rates that continued into most of
2009, but also severe capital outflows. This pattern reversed itself in the latter part of 2009
since South Africa was able to finance its large current-account deficit with increasing
net inflows that were boosted by improved credit market conditions and strong portfolio
equity flows.


East and South Asia are experiencing the most significant rebound in private
capital flows in 2009. The dramatic reversal in portfolio equity flows reflects the net buy-
ing of equities by foreign investors. As growth prospects have improved in the region,
portfolio inflows have more than compensated for the decline in bank lending that still
remain subdued in 2009. Policymakers in Asia have been successful in using interna-
tional reserves and swap facilities to increase credit flows, support domestic liquidity and
stimulate demand. The boost in portfolio flows has been particularly pronounced in the
Republic of Korea and India, which together have accounted for almost the entire turna-
round in emerging Asia in 2009.6 Continued large capital inflows, combined with strong


5 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, World Investment Report 2009: Transnational
Corporations, Agricultural Production and Development (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.09.
II.D.15).


6 Institute of International Finance, “Capital flows to emerging market economies”, IIF Research Note,
3 October 2009.


Significant risks remain
with regard to future net
private capital flows


The impact on Africa has
been limited


East and South Asia have
benefited from strong
portfolio inflows




80 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


domestic credit growth and higher commodity prices could not only enlarge asset bubbles
but also create inflationary pressures in some countries. As a result, monetary authorities
might consider it essential to tighten monetary policies much earlier than originally an-
ticipated, thereby creating adverse impacts on the real sector of the economy and the path
to recovery.


The massive increase in credit flows to Western Asia during 2007 was followed
by a sharp reversal in 2008 and inflows remained weak in 2009. Along with the glo-
bal credit crunch, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in particular have experi-
enced net outflows in 2009 in the form of net repayments to banks. However, as both the
Governments and the central banks in oil-exporting countries were in strong financial
positions, tighter credit conditions had only a limited effect on real investment activities
in the region. Governments actively stimulated domestic credit expansion and private
investment. With the recovery of oil prices in the second quarter of 2009, asset growth
has picked up again in oil-exporting countries and has stimulated the accumulation of
international reserves.


Economic growth prospects have improved in Latin America and the Caribbean,
since a sharper deceleration of external demand during the height of the crisis had been
prevented in several countries with active counter-cyclical policies. While net private inflows
in 2009 have been lower in the aggregate than in 2008, Brazil has already taken the lead in
the region by attracting increased capital inflows. Similar to the development in Asia, the
upswing is mainly dominated by equity-related flows, showing a sharp rebound in portfolio
investment. Bank credit growth in Latin America and the Caribbean has stabilized in recent
months, suggesting that policy actions have been successful in halting the deterioration in
financial conditions. However, since banks remain cautious amid uncertainty about the
recovery, credit growth remains sluggish. Oil-exporting countries in the region, such as Ec-
uador, Mexico and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), have so far only benefited to a lesser
extent by the rise in commodity prices. The space for additional counter-cyclical measures
in these countries might be significantly reduced in 2010 owing to budgetary constraints
and high debt levels.


The rise in oil prices and improvements in equity markets, despite a continuing
pullback in net bank lending and deteriorating trade balances, have been critical to the
recent performance of the economies in transition. Most significantly, the current-account
surplus of the Russian Federation will turn to a deficit in 2009. Given that budget deficits
have been allowed to increase rapidly to finance generous stimulus measures, the Russian
Federation could face further financing challenges in 2010.


Trends in foreign direct investment
At the global level, FDI inflows are expected to fall from $1.7 trillion in 2008 to below
$1 trillion in 2009, and show a slow recovery in 2010 (see table III.4).


The global economic slowdown has had a variety of impacts on FDI inflows.
The decline was more distinct in developed countries, while several developing markets
were still continuing to experience increasing FDI inflows in 2008 despite the financial
turmoil. Thus, the crisis has changed the FDI landscape:7 investments to developing and
transition economies surged, increasing their share in global FDI flows to 43 per cent in
2008. In Africa, inflows rose to a record level, the fastest increase being in West Africa.


7 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, World Investment Report 2009, op. cit.


Western Asia has seen a
sharp reversal in credit


flows


Latin America and the
Caribbean have also seen


an upswing based on
equity-related flows


Oil prices and equity
markets have been driving


the performance of the
economies in transition


FDI inflows will recover
slowly in 2010




81Financial flows to developing countries


This constituted a 27 per cent rise over 2007, and a large portion of these flows were
mainly attracted by producers of natural resources. In Latin America and the Caribbean,
FDI inflows increased by 13 per cent, continuing the upward trend of the preceding years.
Inflows to South, East and South-East Asia witnessed a 17 per cent expansion, while FDI
to Western Asia continued to grow for the sixth consecutive year in 2008. FDI inflows
to South-eastern Europe and the CIS rose for the eighth year running. However, in 2009
FDI flows to all regions will suffer from a decline.


FDI has been the most stable component of cross-border private capital flows
during the past few years, buoyed by strong economic growth and improvements in the
investment climate in a number of countries. In the first half of 2008, developing coun-
tries weathered the incipient global financial crisis better than developed countries, as
their economic growth remained robust, supported by rising commodity prices. However,
in the second part of the year and into 2009, as a result of the deep contraction in world
economic activity, FDI inflows were severely affected. Given that an increasing proportion
of these flows came in the form of reinvested earnings, the level of investment collapsed in
the downturn of the business cycle. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade
and Development (UNCTAD), lower profits by foreign affiliates drove down reinvested
earnings, contributing to the 46 per cent drop in FDI outflows from the developed coun-
tries in the first quarter of 2009.


FDI was severely affected
by the crisis


Table III.4
Inflows of foreign direct investment and cross-border mergers and acquisitions,
by region and major economy, 2008-2009


Billions of dollars


Foreign direct investment inflows Cross-border mergers and acquisitions, net salesb


2008 2009a
Growth rate
(percentage)


2008 2009
Growth rate
(percentage)


First 10
months Full year


First 10
months


First 10
months only


World 1 697.4 1 039.0 -38.8 571.4 673.2 204.4 -64.2


Developed economies 962.3 543.7 -43.5 452.8 551.8 172.3 -62.0
Europe 518.3 403.8 -22.1 232.9 245.7 114.4 -50.9
United States 316.1 98.7 -68.8 150.4 225.8 42.9 -71.5
Japan 24.4 13.6 -44.5 8.3 9.2 -6.4 -177.8


Developing economies 620.7 428.6 -31.0 98.1 100.9 30.2 -69.2
Africa 87.6 74.7 -14.7 20.8 20.9 6.0 -71.1
Latin America and the Caribbean 144.4 87.4 -39.5 12.4 15.2 -4.8 -138.5
Asia and Oceania 388.7 266.5 -31.4 64.9 64.7 29.0 -55.3


Western Asia 90.3 53.5 -40.7 14.1 14.7 1.8 -87.4
South, East and South-East Asia 297.6 204.1 -31.4 50.7 50.8 27.2 -46.4


Economies in transition 114.4 66.7 -41.7 20.5 20.5 1.9 -90.7


Source: UNCTAD.
Note: World FDI inflows are projected on the basis of 134 economies for which data are available as of 19 November 2009. Data are estimated by
annualizing available data, in most cases for the first two quarters of 2009. The proportion of inflows to these economies in relation to total inflows to
their respective region or subregion in 2008 is used to extrapolate the 2009 data.


a Preliminary estimates.
b Net cross-border M&A sales in a host economy are sales of companies in the host economies to foreign TNCs (excluding sales of foreign affiliates in


the host economy). The data covers only those deals that involved an acquisition of an equity stake of more than 10 per cent.




82 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


The increase in FDI flows in 2008 was fuelled by cross-border mergers and
acquisitions (M&As), which declined with the worsening of the financial turmoil in devel-
oped country financial markets in the second half of 2008. With the sharp deterioration
in banking-related flows, it became more difficult for investors to finance M&A activities.
UNCTAD reports that in the aggregate for 2008 only the primary sector witnessed growth
of 17 per cent in the value of M&A sales, whereas manufacturing and services—which
account for the largest proportion of world inward FDI stocks—reported declines of 10
per cent and 54 per cent, respectively. In conclusion, despite the decline in commodity
prices, long-term trends in M&As continued to hold in times of crisis. While the services
sector still accounts for the largest share of global FDI flows, there has been a significant
increase in FDI flows to the primary sector, mainly to extractive industries. The share of
manufacturing in global FDI flows has continued to decline. The share of transnational
corporation (TNC) investments in extractive industries has more than doubled since the
1990s. These industries account for a significant share of total FDI inflows in some econo-
mies and for the bulk of inward FDI in a number of low-income mineral rich countries.


The economic and financial crisis had varying impacts on FDI undertaken by
special funds, such as sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) or private equity funds. Private eq-
uity firms, which account for one fifth of global cross-border M&As, are highly dependent
on bank loans and therefore became severely limited in their financing options in 2008.
Consequently, cross-border M&As by these firms fell by 38 per cent in 2008. SWFs, on
the other hand, recorded a rise in FDI in 2008, even despite a fall in commodity prices,
whose export earnings often provide these funds with financing. The value of SWF-related
cross-border M&As increased in 2008 by 18 per cent.


Many business cycle-sensitive industries, such as automotives and transport
materials, metal and non-metal products, chemicals, and, more generally, the manufac-
turing sector as a whole, have been among the worst affected by the crisis, and thus had
a direct negative impact on future FDI plans of TNCs. On the other hand, some less
cyclically-sensitive activities that rely on less income-elastic elements of domestic demand
(such as agro-food and many services) or on supplying markets with quick growth pros-
pects in the medium term (such as pharmaceuticals) have been less affected. Furthermore,
in terms of preferred regions for FDI, East, South and South-East Asia remains the most
favoured destination. The majority of respondents to a recent UNCTAD survey consider
the growth of markets in this region—and, to a very limited extent, the availability of af-
fordable labour costs—the main criterion for their investment decisions.


Global FDI is set to remain weak for 2009, as corporations might remain hesi-
tant and bearish about expanding their international operations. UNCTAD estimates8
that after a slow recovery in 2010, inflows are expected to reach $1.8 trillion in 2011, that
is to say, almost the same level as in 2008.


International financial cooperation


Official development assistance


Measured against international commitments, aid delivery had been falling short even before
the onset of the global economic crisis. The crisis will now put further pressure on aid budg-
ets of donors and on the economic and social conditions of many developing countries. This


8 Ibid.


FDI was also dragged down
by weaker merger and


acquisitions activity


The impact on FDI by
special funds varied


The crisis in business cycle-
sensitive industries


reduced FDI


FDI is expected to remain
weak in 2009


The crisis puts further
pressure on aid budgets




83Financial flows to developing countries


new problem is well understood by the international community and several pronounce-
ments have been made to mitigate the impact. In April 2009, G20 leaders reaffirmed their
commitment to achieve their official development assistance (ODA) pledges and agreed to
provide additional financial support to low-income countries. Subsequently, the Develop-
ment Committee of the IMF and World Bank urged all donors not only to accelerate the
delivery of their aid commitments but also to consider going beyond existing ones. At the
special high-level meeting of the Economic and Social Council with the Bretton Woods
institutions in April 2009 and the High Level Meeting of the Development Assistance Com-
mittee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in
May 2009, donors reiterated their determination to fulfil their ODA commitments, despite
their domestic financial difficulties. Members of the DAC reaffirmed their existing ODA
commitments, especially those for Africa.


In 2008, total net ODA from the DAC member countries rose by 10.2 per cent
in real terms and, excluding debt relief, reached its highest ever recorded level of $119.8
billion (figure III.1).9 Donors increased their bilateral development projects by 12.5 per
cent.10 Among the DAC member countries, the largest donors in 2008 were the United
States ($26.0 billion), Germany ($13.9 billion), the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland ($11.4 billion), France ($11.0 billion) and Japan ($9.4 billion).


Net ODA reached 0.30 per cent of the DAC member countries’ combined
gross national income (GNI) in 2008, a marginal increase from the 2007 level of 0.28


9 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, “Development aid at its highest level
ever in 2008”, OECD News, 30 March 2009, available at https://www.oecd.org, table 1.


10 United Nations, The Millennium Development Goals Report 2009 (United Nations publication, Sales
No. E.09.I.12), p. 48.


Total net ODA from the DAC
members peaked in 2008


ODA by DAC member
countries remains below its
target level


0


20


40


60


80


100


120


140


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008


Figure III.1
Total ODA flows from DAC countries by component, 2000–2008


Billions of 2007 dollars


Net debt-forgiveness grants Total net ODA


Humanitarian aid
Multilateral ODA
Bilateral development projects,
programmes and technical cooperation


Source: UN/DESA, based
on data of the OECD/DAC
database, available at http://
www.oecd.org/document/33
/0,2340,en_2649_34447_3666
1793_1_1_1_1,00.html#dac.




84 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


per cent (figure III.2). This figure, however, remains significantly below the 0.7 per cent
target reaffirmed in the Monterrey Consensus adopted at the United Nations Interna-
tional Conference on Financing for Development in March 2002, although Denmark,
Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have been exceeding the target for
many years now.


Among the non-DAC countries, whose contributions are now estimated to
reach 8-10 per cent of global aid flows, the 31.5 per cent increase in net ODA in 2008
from the Republic of Korea was the most notable, exceeding the ODA levels of Greece,
New Zealand and Portugal.11 The Republic of Korea increased its contributions to re-
gional development banks and funds in 2008 and expects to become a DAC member in
2010. China, India, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) are emerging
as major donors from the South. Brazil and Thailand are also increasing their contribu-
tions.12 The importance of development assistance from non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) and the private sector is gaining recognition. It is estimated that private giving
towards development amounted to close to $20 billion in 2007, even given the substan-
tial possibility of underreporting.13 The presence of non-DAC actors creates competitive
pressures and increases choice among the types of aid and donors. Traditional donors


11 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, “Development aid at its highest level
ever in 2008”, op. cit.


12 Lama Hammad and Bill Morton, “Non-DAC donors and reform of the international aid architecture”,
Issues Brief, July 2009 (Development Cooperation Series, The North-South Institute).


13 Mathew Martin and Jonathan Steve, “Key challenges facing global development cooperation”,
discussion paper prepared for the 2007 United Nations Development Cooperation Forum, Geneva,
5 July 2009, p. 21.


Non-DAC actors are
becoming more relevant


Figure III.2
Net ODA of DAC members, 1990–2008, and DAC
secretariat simulations to 2009 and 2010


0.40


140


120


100


80


60


40


20


0


0.35


0.30


0.25


0.20


0.15


0.10


0.05


0.00


Pe
rc


en
ta


ge
o


f G
N


I


Bi
lli


on
s o


f d
ol


la
rs


(2
00


4
pr


ic
es


)


19
90


19
91


19
92


19
93


19
94


19
95


19
96


19
97


19
98


19
99


20
00


20
01


20
02


20
03


20
04


20
05


20
06


20
07


20
08


20
09


20
10


0.33


0.22


0.26


0.33


0.30


0.39


ODA as a percentage
of GNI (left scale)


Total ODA
(right scale)


ODA to Africa
(right scale)


Source: OECD/DAC database,
available at http://www.oecd.org/


dataoecd/47/57/42458739.pdf.
Note: Dollar values are


in 2004 prices.




85Financial flows to developing countries


have expressed concern that the entry of other donors could undermine progress on aid
effectiveness.14


A March 2009 OECD/DAC survey of future spending plans indicates that
total net ODA from DAC members in 2010 would be about $121 billion (in 2004 prices),
which still falls short of the target $130 billion.15 In 2008 prices and exchange rates,
OECD/DAC estimates the total delivery gap towards the 2010 target to be $35 billion,
of which $10 billion would be the required increase on top of the planned ODA budgets
by 2010.


Africa was the largest ODA recipient, receiving $42 billion, or 35 per cent of
global ODA in 2008. Excluding debt relief, bilateral ODA to Africa rose by 11 per cent.
ODA to sub-Saharan Africa more than doubled from 2000 to 2007. Despite this progress,
however, aid to Africa needs to increase more rapidly since increases in the overall levels
are accounted for mainly by relief contributions provided to Nigeria. At 2004 prices, the
gap between delivery and the 2010 target is $17 billion ($21 billion at 2008 prices). The
shortfall in ODA flows to Africa accounts for 60 per cent of the shortfall between the
delivery in 2008 and the 2010 global commitments.16


Since the adoption of the Brussels Programme of Action for the Least Devel-
oped Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 in May 2001, ODA flows to least developed
countries (LDCs) have increased from less than $14 billion in 2001 to a record level of $32
billion in 2007.17 Aid flows to 49 LDCs account for one third of global ODA. While the
share of ODA in GNI from the DAC countries to the LDCs is increasing (0.05 per cent in
2001 to 0.09 per cent in 2007), it remains short of the target rate of 0.15-0.20 per cent. All
donor countries, except Portugal, increased or maintained the proportion of their GNI al-
located as ODA to the LDCs between 2000 and 2007. The number of DAC countries that
met the target of 0.15 per cent increased from five to eight during the same period. Greece
and the United States, however, allocated less than 0.05 per cent of their GNI as ODA to
the LDCs in 2007.18 LDCs receive much higher ODA per capita than other developing
countries, but the distribution among them is quite uneven. About one sixth of LDCs (or
eight countries, accounting for 16 per cent of the group’s population) received more than
half of the total ODA allocated to this group in 2006-2007. In the case of multilateral
ODA, the channelling of resources towards poor countries improved between 2000 and
2006, but considerable scope remains for achieving a more equitable distribution of bilat-
eral ODA between higher- and lower-income developing countries.


Absolute levels of ODA flows in 2009 are likely to fall in response to the
global economic contraction. The impact of negative shocks in the current year may also


14 From the viewpoint of traditional donors, non-DAC donor aid programmes fall short of long-term
social development dimensions, applying less conditionality and higher levels of tied aid. Also,
non-DAC aid is often directed to Governments with poor track records in human rights as a means
to pursue the donor Government’s short-term foreign policy objectives. Some traditional donors
are also apprehensive that the availability of easily accessible loans by donors from the South may
lead to a new debt crisis and reverse the progress in ongoing debt relief efforts (see Hammad and
Morton, 2009).


15 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, “Development aid at its highest level
ever in 2008”, op. cit.


16 United Nations, MDG Gap Task Force Report 2009: Strengthening the Global Partnership for
Development in a Time of Crisis (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.09.I.8), p. 8.


17 Loc. cit.


18 Loc. cit.


There is a shortfall in ODA
from DAC members


Increased aid to Africa is
mainly the result of relief
contributions to Nigeria


LDCs receive relatively high
but unevenly distributed
ODA per capita


Aid budgets are expected
to decrease




86 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


lead to a long-term contraction in aid budgets.19 Cutting aid from major donors at this
point in time would not only create additional fiscal burdens on developing countries but
could also reverse some of the progress already made towards meeting the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs). How aid can play a counter-cyclical role to help respond to
the sharp reversal in overall financial flows to developing countries presents an important
policy challenge.


Aid effectiveness continues to be the main focus of DAC donor countries, as
principal proponents of the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action. Ensuring
that aid can play a positive role in a time of economic downturn requires a stronger com-
mitment from Governments and better coordination at global and national levels. Demon-
strating improved effectiveness can facilitate domestic political support in trying economic
times. The OECD DAC Working Party on Aid Effectiveness has begun selectively measur-
ing performance at the country level. While it may be tautological to state that improved
effectiveness ensures that each aid dollar has greater impact, the act of realizing this goal
demands significant political and bureaucratic effort on the part of recipient countries.
Countries that already have more effective political systems and bureaucracies can be ex-
pected to perform better when it comes to aid effectiveness, as they do in other aspects of
development policy. In the context of the asymmetries inherent in donor-recipient interac-
tions, mobilizing and monitoring the political and bureaucratic contributions to this effort
on the part of the DAC donors themselves should logically be deemed a priority.


In some recipient countries, such as Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mozambique and Viet
Nam, the Paris Declaration has been made a national priority and its principles have been
actively implemented.20 In Ghana, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia,
joint assistance strategies have been developed to move from projects to programme-based
and sector-wide approaches. Yet, the pace and depth of these efforts are not consistent across
donor programmes and there is no one-size-fits-all strategy.


In 2009 and 2010, the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum
(UNDCF)21 is expected to focus on a series of interrelated and mutually reinforcing ac-
tivities to promote national development and the achievement of MDGs in: (a) mutual
accountability and aid transparency; (b) South-South and triangular cooperation; and (c)
aid policy coherence, with a view to moving from aid to more long-term sources of devel-
opment financing. A special focus will be given to issues of quality and impact of aid in the
area of gender equality and the empowerment of women. High expectations are placed on
the DCF, especially from non-DAC donors, and the outcomes of phase II of its activities
will determine its future role in this area.


Innovative sources of development financing


Since the Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development in 2002, international
development assistance has seen noticeable diversification in the set of instruments for
achieving specific development objectives. Innovative financing mechanisms have shown


19 Emmanuel Frot, “Aid and the financial crisis: shall we expect development aid to fall?” 13 May 2009,
available at www.voxeu.org.


20 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Managing Aid: Practices of DAC Member
Countries (Paris: OECD Better Aid series, 2009), p. 77.


21 Established in 2008 as the focal point within the United Nations system and as a principal forum
for global dialogue and policy review on the effectiveness and coherence of international
development cooperation.


Greater aid effectiveness
requires stronger


commitments and better
coordination


The Paris Declaration has
become a national priority


in several countries


Expectations are high
regarding the work of the


UNDCF


ODA instruments have
become more diversified




87Financial flows to developing countries


some, while as yet limited, potential for complementing traditional development aid to
achieve the MDGs by raising about $2.5 billion since 2006.22 The innovative financing for
development framework has a strong element of public-private partnership, joint design
and decision-making among developing and developed countries in terms of raising the
resources, while the traditional approach emphasizes the partnership only in relation to the
use of resources. A new modality containing efforts and initiatives for collecting revenues
for sector-specific international development cooperation through innovative channels has
drawn continued attention from the international community, as there is an expectation
that such funds can play a greater role in terms of raising revenues and addressing particu-
lar issues more effectively than traditional ODA.


Three groups—the High-Level Taskforce on Innovative International Financ-
ing for Health Systems, the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development and
the I-8 Group/L.I.F.E. (Leading Innovative Financing for Equity)—have been influential
in the work on innovative financing for development:


The High-Level Taskforce on Innovative International Financing for Health •
Systems, whose first meeting was held in Doha in November 2008, explores
and recommends actions for strengthening international assistance by advo-
cating the protection of social sector investments regardless of the economic
situation. The members of the Taskforce include the British Prime Minister,
high government officials from European countries as well as from Ethiopia
and Liberia, the President of the World Bank and the Director-General of the
World Health Organization (WHO).
The Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development, working closely •
with the United Nations, serves as a platform for different initiatives and new
ideas. The Group has brought together countries, international organizations
and NGOs to strengthen international solidarity and facilitate international
cooperation in this area by making possible the preparation of new initiatives
and coordinating the channelling of funds.
The newly formed I-8 Group/L.I.F.E consolidates eight existing and very •
promising innovative financing initiatives, including UNITAID,23 the


22 See the report of the Secretary-General entitled, “Progress report on innovative sources of
development finance”, United Nations General Assembly, 29 July 2009 (document A/64/189).


23 A Geneva-based organization founded in September 2006—under a hosting agreement with
the World Health Organization (WHO)—to buy medications in high volume and negotiate lower
prices of drugs, tests and treatments for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by using funds
collected from airline ticket levies in participating countries. This organization is governed by a
board composed of donors and recipient Governments (including Brazil, Chile, France, Norway
and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and representatives of African and
Asian countries, some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation. By financing UNITAID, donors can support its activities to negotiate 25-50 per cent
rebates on the price of drugs and dispatch them across the world to countries that need them
most. UNITAID also pays an important role in influencing manufacturers to invest in the research
and development of drugs that otherwise would not be produced. Since 2006, UNITAID has raised
and committed more than $730 million to support 16 projects in 93 countries. Furthermore,
UNITAID is expected to become a principal recipient of funds raised by the Millennium Foundation,
whose start-up capital was provided by UNITAID in November 2008. The Millennium Foundation
was established to achieve three health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by
developing and implementing innovative financing mechanisms, and is governed by a board of
representatives of donors and recipient Governments (including Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and
the United Kingdom), NGOs and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.




88 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm)24 and Debt2Health,25
works closely linked with the United Nations system. Its mission is to reinforce
the initiatives put forward by the High-Level Taskforce and the Leading Group
and prepare the ground for new initiatives.


Expanding the number of players involved in this framework is currently an
important priority for these groups, as is identifying a variety of realistic proposals for
voluntary contributions and implementing them.


The innovative sources of financing for development today include voluntary
contributions, taxes, equity investments, bonds, loans and guarantees. Tailoring these in-
struments to the specific needs and vulnerabilities of developing countries remains the
major challenge. Visible progress has been made—especially in improving acute health
problems in developing countries—through initiatives using the air-ticket solidarity levy,
the advance market commitment (AMC) and the international financial facility (IFF).
Many proposals are also emerging on climate change and illicit financial transfers.26


With reference to the persistent gap between the pledges made by developed
country leaders and actual delivery of ODA, the Special Envoy of the United Nations Sec-
retary-General on Innovative Financing has highlighted the enormous potential as a new
source of financing for development of levies on foreign-exchange transactions (which are
currently untaxed and whose volume has been facilitated by globalization).27 A globally
coordinated levy of 0.005 per cent on transactions of the most widely traded currencies
(the United States dollar, the euro, the pound sterling and the Japanese yen) would raise at
least $33 billion every year without curbing the demand for such currencies. One possibil-
ity is that proceeds of this levy can be managed and disbursed effectively by one of the I-8
Group/L.I.F.E. members that have demonstrated high standards of performance records.


To tackle the challenges of the recent global economic crisis and to mitigate
its negative impacts on development, the Group of Eight (G8) Development Ministers’
meeting in Rome on 11 and 12 June 2009 recognized innovative financing as a critical
element in raising the necessary development resources alongside traditional ODA, and


24 A British charity foundation created in January 2006 with the financial support of Italy, France,
Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom (and the World Bank serving as its treasury
manager) to fund immunization programmes and strengthen health systems in developing
countries. South Africa joined as a donor in 2007, and Brazil is considering joining. Under this
initiative, funds are raised by issuing bonds with donors’ pledges. The first issuance of a vaccine
bond in November 2006 raised $1 billion. So far, $2 billion has been raised. By issuing an additional
$4 billion worth of bonds, IFFIm projects an increase in its spending by $500 annually until 2015
to finance vaccination programmes via the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI)
Fund, which manages and allocates resources to immunization projects. The scheme also intends
to assist developing country Governments in budgeting and planning for their own immunization
programmes.


25 Debt2Health, launched in September 2007, is an innovative financing initiative of the Global Fund
to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Under this initiative, a donor government cancels a certain
amount of debt owed by a developing country with high debt and high disease burden. To date,
two agreements have been signed: between Germany and Indonesia (September 2007), by which
Germany cancelled €50 million and Indonesia would invest the equivalent of €25 million in health
through approved Global Fund programmes; and between Germany and Pakistan (December
2008), by which Germany cancelled €40 million and Pakistan would invest €20 million in Global
Fund-approved domestic programmes. In May 2009, Australia joined the initiative and offered an
$A 75 million Debt2Health swap to Indonesia to fight tuberculosis. Further information is available
at http://www.theglobalfund.org/documents/innovativefinancing/Factsheet_d2h_en.pdf.


26 Report of the Secretary-General, United Nations General Assembly, op. cit.


27 Philippe Douste-Blazy, “A tiny tax could do a world of good”, The New York Times, 24 September
2009.


Tailoring ODA instruments
to specific needs remains


important


Levies on foreign-
exchange transactions


offer significant revenue
potential


The role of innovative
financing is also recognized


by the G8




89Financial flows to developing countries


proposed acceleration of scale and speed in the implementation of innovative financing
mechanisms.28 The G8 ministers further noted that the functioning of such mechanisms
should be consistent with the principles of the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for
Action and should maximize their effectiveness, and endorsed the work undertaken by the
three influential groups mentioned above.


A genuine need exists to scale up innovative financing as a complementary,
more stable and predictable source of development finance. Building on the experiences
of existing mechanisms, the international community can pursue a variety of feasible in-
novative mechanisms and maximize their impact on development. Closer collaboration
with international and regional organizations in monitoring existing mechanisms may be
imperative in this respect.


Debt relief


Since the adoption of the Monterrey Consensus in 2002, the international community has
made notable progress in reducing the external debt burden of developing countries.29 The
ratio of debt-service payments of the 35 post-decision-point heavily indebted poor coun-
tries (HIPCs) (those qualified for debt relief) declined from 3.2 per cent of gross domestic
product (GDP) in 2001 to 1.1 per cent of GDP in 2008.30 As a result, these 35 countries
have increased their spending on health, rural infrastructure and education (or “poverty-
reducing expenditure”) on average from 6.3 per cent of their GDP to 8.2 per cent of GDP
in 2008.31 Nevertheless, owing to the global financial crisis, a large number of developing
countries are facing renewed fiscal stress and challenges. In addition to lower revenues and
currency depreciation, external financing conditions from public and private sectors tight-
ened. All these factors pose serious risks to the debt sustainability of developing countries
and their capacity to service or roll over external debt.


The ratio of external debt to export revenues fell further to 4.1 per cent in
2008 (compared to 12.7 per cent in 2001) for the 35 post-decision-point HIPCs (figure
III.3). However, the global economic slowdown has affected the external debt situation of
developing countries through a variety of channels. Many developing countries, includ-
ing those that benefited from the current debt-relief initiatives, face enormous pressures
on external payments and fiscal budgets. The situation has been particularly severe for
the commodity-exporting countries. The fall in foreign-exchange earnings is expected to
exacerbate the burden of existing debt-servicing obligations. Moreover, the reduction in
export revenues, followed by higher costs for imported food and fuel have also contributed
to overall balance-of-payments difficulties in many developing countries.


The weakened external payments’ position has been accompanied by the de-
terioration in fiscal positions. Currency depreciations have increased the domestic cost
of servicing external debt, and the fall in exports has reduced not only hard currency
earnings but also tax revenues from export-related activities and import duties. While
countries with large foreign reserves or fiscal stabilization funds may be able to cushion


28 See “Chair’s Summary: G8 Development Ministers’ Meeting”, Rome, Italy, 12 June 2009, available at
http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/g8/ministerials-ministerielles/2009-06-11_Rome-DevtMin.
aspx.


29 United Nations, MDG Gap Task Force Report 2009, op. cit.


30 International Development Association and International Monetary Fund, “Heavily Indebted Poor
Countries (HIPC) Initiative and Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI): Status of implementation”,
report prepared by the staff of IDA and IMF, 15 September 2009, table 1.


31 Ibid.


Innovative financing needs
to be scaled up


Despite notable progress
on debt relief, risks remain


Various factors are at play in
affecting the external debt
situation of developing
countries


Fiscal positions have
deteriorated




90 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


the effects of a decline in fiscal revenues, many other countries will face greater difficulties
in securing public expenditures for development activities unless additional resources are
forthcoming. As at March 2009, the debt levels of almost 30 countries exceeded 60 per
cent of their GDP.32


The crisis has also aggravated the external debt situation of a large number of
countries that have not received debt relief and has compromised the progress made under
the HIPC Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). Even those with-
out serious debt-servicing problems faced problems in rolling over their stock of existing
private sector debt.33


At the end of July, 40 countries were eligible or potentially eligible for the HIPC
Initiative.34 Of these, 26 are receiving full debt relief from the IMF and other creditors
by virtue of having reached the completion point, and some of the 9 countries that have
reached their decision points are receiving interim debt relief. In 2008 year-end net present
value (NPV) terms, the total amount of debt relief available for these 35 countries is esti-
mated at $85.7 billion, of which $57.3 billion falls under the HIPC Initiative and $28.5
billion under the MDRI.35 The cost of the remaining five pre-decision-point HIPCs is
estimated at $17 billion, most of which will be delivered to the Sudan and Somalia. With
respect to the MDRI, almost 85 per cent of the total debt relief has already been delivered
to the 26 post-completion-point countries. After full delivery of debt relief, it is expected
that the debt burden of these 40 countries will be reduced by 80 per cent.


32 International Monetary Fund (IMF), The Implications of the Global Financial Crisis for Low-Income
Countries (Washington, D. C.: IMF, March 2009), p. 25.


33 United Nations, MDG Gap Task Force Report 2009, op. cit., p. 41.


34 The number of HIPCs declined from 41 to 40 after Nepal withdrew from the debt-relief initiatives
in February 2009.


35 International Development Association and International Monetary Fund, loc. cit., tables 2 and 3.


Even countries with less
severe debt problems faced


problems in rolling over
their debt


Forty countries are eligible
for debt relief under the


HIPC Initiative


0


5


10


15


20


25


1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006


Figure III.3
Debt-service payments as a proportion of export revenues, 1990–2007


All developing countries


Least developed countries


Heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC)


Percentage


Sources: UN/DESA, based
on data from Millennium


Development Goals
Indicators, available at http://
mdgs.un.org, and World Bank
Global Development Finance


database.




91Financial flows to developing countries


Many of the countries that have not yet completed the requirements for full
debt relief share some common challenges (preserving peace and stability, improving gov-
ernance and the delivery of basic services, for example). Addressing these challenges will
require extreme efforts by these countries as well as support from the international com-
munity. Another challenge is to ensure that eligible countries receive full debt relief from
all their creditors. Progress in the delivery of debt relief by non-Paris Club bilateral credi-
tors, representing 13 per cent of the total cost, remains low. The delivery of debt relief
by commercial creditors, representing 6 per cent of the total cost, has improved through
significant debt relief provided to two HIPCs receiving interim assistance.


Reducing debt-service payments, however, is not sufficient to avoid the risk
of debt distress. The World Bank noted the need to manage expectations of what debt
relief can realistically achieve. Debt sustainability analyses show that the debt situations
of a number of HIPCs that have reached the completion point remain highly vulnerable
to external shocks because many of them continue to be heavily dependent upon com-
modity exports. Even prior to the global economic crisis, only about 40 per cent of the
post-completion-point HIPCs had a low risk of future debt distress, and the number of
countries with a high risk of debt distress had increased from one to four.


At the G20 London Summit in April 2009, leaders reached agreement on a
number of initiatives to increase the external financing available to developing countries,
including a $1.1 trillion package to meet the immediate financial needs arising from the
financial crisis and to boost global economic activity. Through this initiative, the IMF was
expected to triple its resources to $750 billion, but the actual use of these resources has
been limited. The Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact
on Development, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 24-26 June
2009, underlined the legitimate right of developing countries, as a last resort, to negotiate
agreements on debt standstills to help mitigate the adverse effects of the crisis.


It is also important to highlight the problem of low- and middle-income coun-
tries not regarded as HIPCs but with longstanding external debt problems, only a few of
whom have managed to address their predicament in the past decade. Many non-HIPCs
managed to reduce their reliance on multilateral financing by drawing on private sector
credit prior to the 2008 financial crisis, and a large portion of such loans is expected to be
renewed in 2009 and beyond. Owing to the higher cost of borrowing, these countries are
likely to face difficulties.


Particularly in this period of crisis, it is useful to emphasize the underlying
international consensus that servicing external debt should not take precedence over the
effort to achieve the MDGs. The international community should therefore avail itself of
the opportunity presented by the crisis to address long-neglected deficiencies in external
debt arrangements, including the resolution of sovereign debt, as part of the global effort
to strengthen the international financial system.


Reconstructing the global financial system
The global scale of the economic crisis is attributable to known deficiencies in the inter-
national financial regime which the international community has hitherto been unable
to address and which have been proliferating since the breakdown of the Bretton Woods
system in 1971. The necessary reforms require difficult international political rearrange-
ments, often in conflict with the commercial interests of the financial sectors of mature


Eligible countries need to
receive debt relief from all
creditors


Debt relief is not
sufficient to achieve debt
sustainability


The G20 agreed on a
number of initiatives to
assist developing countries


Other low- and middle-
income countries will face
problems in renewing their
debt


Servicing external debt
should not take precedence
over the MDGs


Progress is needed in
five key areas




92 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


economies. The parties most severely affected by the global financial regime are severely
underrepresented in reform discussions. The series of developing country debt crises since
the 1980s and the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s could be regarded as dress re-
hearsals for the current crisis and as an unheeded warning of the need to reform the in-
ternational financial system and architecture, including the mandate, scope, governance,
responsiveness and development orientation of key mechanisms. There are five key areas in
which progress is urgently needed: international financial regulation, multilateral surveil-
lance, IMF lending and resources, the international system of payments and reserves, and
governance reforms in the Bretton Woods institutions.


International cooperation
on financial regulation


The crisis has demonstrated the urgent need to introduce international regulatory over-
sight of a globalized financial system, with sufficient transparency for investors and regula-
tors. This would ensure that financial leverage levels do not endanger the stability of the
system as a whole and would create less volatile financial flows for innovation, risk-taking
and investing in employment, production and development.


In the Declaration on Strengthening the Financial System,36 adopted at the
London Summit on 2 April 2009, the G20 countries declared their common intention
to reshape regulatory systems so as to identify and take account of macroprudential risks;
expand the perimeter of regulation and oversight to all systemically important financial
institutions, instruments and markets; mitigate pro-cyclicality in prudential regulation;
strengthen capital and risk management; implement new principles on executive remu-
neration; and improve standards on valuation and provisioning.


In a financially integrated world, where most of the key players have developed
into large, complex multilateral firms, such reforms will be successful only if coordinated
at the international level. Although of critical importance, the effort to achieve sufficient
coordination and harmonization of national regulatory policies is a difficult undertaking,
since, in the foreseeable future, most countries will find it difficult to delegate decisions
regarding the supervision and regulation of their financial institutions or national finan-
cial system to external bodies, thereby giving up national sovereignty over a key issue of
economic policy.


Heretofore, efforts to strengthen cooperation through the deliberations of the
Financial Stability Forum (FSF)—recently reorganized following a G20 decision as the
Financial Stability Board (FSB)—the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS)
and colleges of supervisors have proved inadequate in confronting the current financial
crisis. Current institutional arrangements for ensuring that national decisions regarding
regulation appropriately take into consideration both external and domestic consequences
clearly remain inadequate. The effort at the G20 Pittsburgh Summit to agree on com-
pensation standards in the financial sector presents an example of the need to rise above
the variety of inconsistencies and incoherence among regulatory systems across countries,
which offer potentially dangerous opportunities for arbitrage and evasion. A clear tendency
remains to put domestic interests first without considering possible adverse international


36 See, “Declaration on Strengthening the Financial System”, The London Summit, 2 April 2009,
available at www.g20.org.


The crisis has again shown
the need for international


regulations and more
transparency


Successful reforms require
international coordination


Current institutional
arrangements remain


inadequate




93Financial flows to developing countries


spillovers. The difficulties of better aligning national and global interests, as well as other
structural, political, cultural and legal constraints, have significantly hampered effective
cross-border supervision.


Enhanced cross-border coordination and cooperation must be accompanied
by a clear commitment to avoid fragmentation and regulatory protectionism resulting
from actions taken at national and regional levels to address the crisis and its aftermath.
Nonetheless, the process of building up national (or regional) controls is already under
way in many countries. Some observers believe that this has already had adverse inter-
national effects resulting in fragmentation of the global financial system. It will likely
continue unless much better structures for international cooperation and coordination are
developed to ensure a level playing field in global finance.37


The crisis has demonstrated the harm inflicted by regulatory loopholes and
regulatory arbitrage. There appears to be an agreement, in principle, that given the na-
tional scope of regulation and the global nature of the financial markets, the coordination
of regulators should be strengthened in key aspects of prudential regulation. As a first step,
the international community must articulate and affirm essential principles governing
financial market regulation in all countries and across borders, and provide for continuous
oversight of progress in coordination and cooperation.


Another important gap is incompatibility among bank insolvency frameworks,
especially in the case of inconsistencies between the home and host countries of financial
institutions. There is broad international agreement that existing frameworks do not allow
for the orderly resolution of cross-border failures of large complex banking organizations.
Current frameworks focus on individual institutions rather than on financial groups or
financial systems as a whole, and have proven problematic even at the national level.


No country on its own can establish an effective resolution framework in a
globally integrated financial system. At the Pittsburgh Summit, the G20 leaders called for
addressing, in an internationally consistent manner, cross-border resolutions for systemi-
cally important financial institutions by the end of 2010. This includes the development
by financial firms of contingency and resolution plans; the establishment by authorities of
crisis-management groups and a legal framework for crisis interventions; more intensive
supervision; and additional capital and liquidity requirements for systemically important
institutions.38 One of the most important and difficult matters in this regard is burden-
sharing. 39 To be credible, burden-sharing arrangements should be legally binding and
based on objective criteria that ensure an equitable distribution of costs.


Better coordination is also needed to ensure more consistency in depositor
and investor protection schemes across countries. Explicit coordination principles should
help mitigate destabilizing capital flows, including deposits, from one country to another
during periods of market stress and uncertainty. For instance, it has been noted that during
the current crisis, the introduction of protection of domestic banks’ assets and liabilities
with government guarantees by some developed countries puts pressure on less protected
systems in neighbouring countries, exposing them to risks of deposit runs. The network


37 See, for instance, “Seven lessons from the last three years”, speech delivered by John Gieve, Deputy
Governor of the Bank of England, at the London School of Economics, London, 19 February 2009,
available at www.bis.org.


38 See, “Leaders’ Statement”, The Pittsburgh Summit, 24-25 September 2009, available at www.g20.
org.


39 In the case of recent developing country debt crises, for example, the burden fell fully on
Governments of debtor countries, even for privately contracted debt.


Fragmentation and
regulatory protectionism
have to be avoided


Bank insolvency
frameworks remain
incompatible


Better coordination is
also needed regarding
depositor and investor
protection schemes




94 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


of government support in advanced countries also puts pressure on emerging-market
banks.40


Cross-border information flows have been inconsistent, lacking both complete
data on cross-border risk exposure and an adequate appreciation of systemic connections
among financial institutions, thereby providing poor guidance to the management of crisis
responses. In this regard, it has been suggested that supervisors in different countries should
have prior agreements on the kind of information relevant for systemic stability that all
authorities should collect and share among themselves. There should be a system of unam-
biguous legal obligations and powers to share this information with external authorities.


While there is broad agreement on the need to improve cooperation and com-
munication across regulators, there are quite different views on how international coopera-
tion can be reinforced. The approach of the G20 has been to strengthen existing arrange-
ments by requesting the FSB, with its recently expanded membership, to set standards and
the IMF to assess whether national regulation meets these standards. This will expand the
surveillance role of the IMF to the hitherto overlooked intersection between national mac-
roeconomic policies and the supervision of individual financial institutions and national fi-
nancial systems. In the context of the recent performance of its assigned surveillance duties,
doubts about the Fund’s legitimacy, accountability and effectiveness have been raised.


The most ambitious alternatives are proposals for new institutions or approaches
to regulation implemented through a world financial organization, an international bank
charter, and an international insolvency mechanism. According to proponents of a world
financial organization, the current informal arrangements comprising numerous bodies,
which have sometimes been moving on a divergent, rather than convergent, path and have
no legal power, may not be enough. Thus there may be a case for exploring the need for a
more formal global regulatory framework, with legal powers of enforcement similar to the
World Trade Organization (WTO). The new body would establish principles for pruden-
tial supervision, define obligations for its members, appoint independent panels of experts
to determine whether countries were in compliance with those obligations, and authorize
the imposition of sanctions against countries that failed to comply.


A less ambitious version of the world financial organization proposal is the
creation of a global regulatory coordinating council, under the aegis of the FSB.41 Said
council would be mandated to reinforce operational cooperation between the IMF and the
FSB and strengthen global efforts towards harmonization and coordination.


A key issue in a cross-border harmonized bank resolution framework is the di-
vision of costs among public authorities involved in such efforts. In this regard, there have
been proposals for an international bank charter which would spell out the procedures for
joint risk assessment, remedial action and burden-sharing across countries. There have also
been calls for a universal venue, guided by international law, where cross-border insolven-
cies of internationally active financial institutions can be administered.


A less bold approach to cooperation is the “colleges of supervisors” mechanism
promoted by the G20. These colleges have been established for all the large complex finan-
cial groups that the FSB has identified as being in need of them. The colleges, consisting


40 International Monetary Fund, “Initial Lessons of the Crisis for the Global Architecture and the
IMF”, paper prepared by the IMF Strategy and Policy Review Department, 18 February 2009, p. 7,
available at www.imf.org.


41 Letter to his Excellency Dr. Youssef Boutros-Ghali, Chairman of the International Monetary and
Financial Committee, from Charles Dallara, Managing Director of the Institute of International
Finance,13 April 2009, available at www.iif.org.


Cross-border information-
sharing needs to be


improved


A more formal global
regulatory framework


may be needed


An international bank
charter could help in


assessing risks


“Colleges of supervisors”
are an alternative approach




95Financial flows to developing countries


of home and host supervisors, are collectively responsible for the effective supervision of
large cross-border institutions, including assessing risk concentration and major strengths
and weaknesses, as well as deciding on firms’ permissible activities. One of the key issues
on the supervisory college agenda is to agree on concrete steps to codify closer home-host
collaboration, including explicit agreement on actions to address vulnerabilities at an early
stage. Also, in the absence of the above-mentioned bank charter, colleges could be an ar-
biter for home and host supervisors on bank resolution.


It is also worth noting that the fragmented nature of domestic regulation in
many countries also requires more coordination and cooperation. Indeed, even within
national boundaries there remains the potential for jurisdictional conflict and miscom-
munication between competing laws and regulatory bodies.


Multilateral surveillance and policy coordination
Surveillance remains the key crisis prevention tool of the IMF. But progress still needs to
be made in its design and implementation. Since it is indisputable that the global financial
crisis requires global solutions, the world economy, now more than ever, needs a credible
IMF with a governance structure that is more representative of developing country inter-
ests, and one that can exercise strong policy leadership.


IMF surveillance can only be effective to the extent that members are coopera-
tive and responsive in implementing recommendations. Indeed, many of the imbalances
that led to the crisis had been identified by the IMF and other international organizations.
However, there was a failure to act on available information. The challenge is to ensure
that, going forward, the relevant information is used proactively to mitigate future crises.


While the Fund’s traditional emphasis has been on exchange rates,42 the crisis
has pushed macrofinancial and microprudential issues onto centre stage in IMF surveil-
lance. In this regard, more attention should be given to financial risks, including asset
price bubbles, leverage, risk concentration in large banks, and hidden or off-balance sheet
exposures. A key aspect here is the integration of macroeconomic and financial sector sur-
veillance, the focus on the linkage between the macroeconomy and the financial markets
and the soundness of the financial sector of member countries, especially those that are
systemically important. The challenge for policymakers at both national and international
levels is the lack of an agreed conceptual framework to guide international cooperation on
these other, but intimately related, dimensions of policy.


The IMF, as a global institution with substantial analytical capacities, is to
play an important role in helping to reach consensus on these issues and in implementing
the resulting arrangements. To this end, a joint IMF-FSB early-warning exercise may help
establish a less fragmented and more pointed surveillance system. Indeed, the exercise will
combine the Fund’s macrofinancial expertise with the regulatory experience of the Board
to produce a more systematic view of evolving global risks. The final outcome of the early-
warning exercise is expected to constitute policy advice for mitigating these risks.


In addition, the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) of the IMF and
World Bank needs to be made more focused, risk-based and forward-looking, and have
greater emphasis on external links and spillover effects. As regards FSAP implementation,
it is worth noting that all G20 members are committed to participating in the Program.


42 See World Economic Situation and Prospects 2009 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.09.II.C.2),
pp. 83-84.


More coordination may
be needed even within
individual countries


The design and
implementation of
surveillance needs to be
improved


A broader approach to
surveillance is needed


A joint IMF-FSB early-
warning exercise may help
to streamline surveillance


The FSAP needs to be made
more focused




96 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


There is an agreement that financial sector surveillance should be embedded more ef-
fectively as an element of the Fund’s Article IV consultations and its results integrated
into the broader macroeconomic surveillance work. Moreover, there has been agreement
on the necessity of reassessing the Fund’s surveillance mandate to cover the full range of
macroeconomic and financial sector policies.43


G20 leaders called on the Fund to assess regularly the actions taken and ac-
tions required to revive global growth. It is also important to evaluate the costs and impact
of the large fiscal stimulus measures as well as their long-term macroeconomic implica-
tions. The peer-review approach announced by the G20 will be serviced by IMF staff, but
the enforceability of the outcomes of this makeshift mechanism is still to be tested. For
many advanced economies, there is an urgent need for medium-term policy frameworks to
anchor expectations and reassure markets of the long-term solvency of fiscal positions.


Moving beyond resolution of the current crisis, enhanced international coop-
eration should aim at identifying and implementing policies that are conducive to a rebal-
ancing of global sources of growth and to a sustainable reduction of savings-investment
gaps, as suggested in chapter I. In this regard, there have been serious concerns that poli-
cymakers may be currently sowing the seeds of future boom and bust episodes by taking
actions that may slow, or possibly prevent, necessary global adjustments, by providing “too
much” demand stimulus.


In this regard, the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the
IMF (IMFC) called on the Fund to develop, by the time of its spring meeting in 2010,
principles for orderly, cooperative and consistent exit strategies and policies. There is con-
sensus that a premature withdrawal of monetary and fiscal stimuli by individual countries
with a view to an “orderly exit” would pose a significant risk. Thus, an exit strategy should
retain a counter-cyclical policy framework, with the phasing out of stimulus measures
after unemployment rates have come down to acceptable levels.


The primary long-term goal of enhanced surveillance must be the reduction of
global imbalances, including those that contributed to the current crisis. This can only be
accomplished if key systemically important countries take a coordinated approach to fiscal
and monetary policy with the aim of shifting aggregate demand from deficit to surplus
countries.


The current crisis has brought to light important weaknesses in international
cooperation and coordination. In this regard, it has been stressed that even where the
problems were well understood, there was no agreement on responsibilities or means for
enforcing the necessary cooperative actions.44 Consequently, it is necessary to build an ef-
fective framework for enhanced multilateral surveillance and policy coordination against
the backdrop of planned governance reform in the IMF and other global institutions.


Without a political agreement in this area any solution to the present crisis
would only be partial and inadequate. Moreover, if such a framework or forum for poli-
cymakers having an authority to respond to global systemic concerns is not established,
the enhanced resources and mandate of the Fund will likely not be enough to forestall
future crises. There is a need to promote an adequate level of coordination, be it under
the auspices of the IMF or not, aimed at having mutually compatible policies on fiscal,
monetary and exchange-rate issues, including mechanisms to address accountability and
enforceability in the application of these policies.


43 Communiqué of the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the Board of Governors of
the International Monetary Fund, Washington, D. C., 4 October 2009, available at www.imf.org.


44 See, for instance, Amar Bhattacharya, “A Tangled Web”, Finance & Development, March 2009, p. 42.


The macroeconomic
implications of fiscal


measures need
to be evaluated


Enhanced surveillance
has to focus on reducing


imbalances


A political agreement on
coordination is part of the


solution to the crisis




97Financial flows to developing countries


At the Pittsburgh Summit, leaders put forward the G20 as the premier forum
for international economic cooperation, and launched a Framework for Strong, Sustaina-
ble and Balanced Growth aimed at ensuring that the fiscal, monetary, trade and structural
policies of their countries are collectively consistent with the Framework’s objective, in-
cluding the reduction of development imbalances. It was also decided that the IMF would
assist the G20 members in the mutual assessment of how their policies fit together.


The crisis has shown that international cooperation can be mobilized if the
interests of major economic powers are under threat. Indeed, swift and decisive policy ac-
tions by G20 countries and, at their request, by multilateral financial institutions might
have helped avoid an outright global economic and financial collapse. The G20 has also
become a significant locus for multilateral economic discussion, but its effectiveness will
be truly tested in the coming global effort to address international imbalances in trade,
finance, and the public-private economic mix.


More universal venues for economic coordination and reform, such as the
United Nations—particularly in a global system of mechanisms specializing in such dis-
tinct areas as trade, development finance and macroeconomic cooperation—could still
prove to be indispensable in the long run. But the agility of small groupings such as the
G20 is an advantage in a crisis situation. It will be necessary for the G20 process to de-
velop greater legitimacy, especially as it begins to deal with a broader set of issues, includ-
ing through allowing variable membership configurations depending on the issues under
discussion, forging stronger institutional linkages with non-member States and achieving
responsiveness of more universal international bodies to G20 decisions.45


The ongoing crisis has given new and strong impetus to improving policy coor-
dination on economic and financial issues. National authorities have pronounced a rejec-
tion of beggar-thy-neighbour type policies but do not have a secure international context
in which to moderate domestic pressures towards unilateral policies. The crisis should be
seen as an opportunity to strengthen multilateral collaboration in a significant way. To
that end, however, a whole spectrum of world economic governance issues needs to be
urgently addressed.


IMF lending and resources
Since the onset of the crisis, the IMF has been providing large-scale financing to a small
group of countries. An important characteristic of new IMF lending arrangements has
been their exceptionally large size in relation to the country’s quota. The conditions of the
recent loans have been fewer and more targeted than in the past. However, these condi-
tions continue to place at their core standard IMF-type elements such as public sector
spending reductions and prohibitions on capital-account restrictions whose role in the
current situation has raised some concern.


Along with meeting immediate country needs, the Fund has moved to over-
haul its lending toolkit and conditionality framework to increase the effectiveness of its
crisis prevention and resolution efforts. It has doubled all loan access limits, including
those for low-income countries, and the surcharge framework has been simplified.


Moreover, in March 2009, the Flexible Credit Line (FCL), a crisis prevention
instrument, was established. The main objective of the FCL is to provide assurance to


45 See, for instance, statement by the representative of Singapore at the eighth meeting of the Second
Committee, United Nations General Assembly, 12 October 2009 (press release GA/EF/3244).


Swift action by the G20
helped avoid an economic
collapse


The crisis presents an
opportunity to strengthen
multilateral collaboration


The IMF has made changes
to its lending toolkit




98 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


members with strong economic policies and a proven track record of rapid, large and up-
front access to Fund resources in case of need, with no ex post conditionality. Colombia,
Mexico and Poland have already signed up for this new facility for an amount totalling
$78 billion. The Fund has also indicated that it is committed to providing larger amounts
and more upfront financing across a wide range of its facilities.


For other middle-income countries which may need a large precautionary ar-
rangement, but which have yet to go through policy adjustment, there is a new High-Ac-
cess Precautionary Arrangement (HAPA), also characterized by large and frontloaded ac-
cess, but imposing ex post performance requirements. The existence of two precautionary
facilities has raised some concerns, however, as the choice between an FCL and a HAPA
would inevitably require potentially controversial judgements regarding the strength of
underlying policies, economic fundamentals and the track record of member countries,
often leading to arbitrary differentiations among them. This conundrum exposes the un-
derlying deficiency of an approach that is meant to provide unconditional financing for
truly external shocks, but access to which is based on meeting a set of prior conditionality
indicators derived from standard IMF criteria which have not proven robust in previous
episodes (such as in the Asian crisis).


The introduction of the FCL and HAPA can only be seen as a first step in the
effort to prevent and resolve crises, if even that, since the instruments being introduced take
as given the existing international regulatory regime over private capital flows. For example,
one could view these enormous publicly provided resources as an implicit guarantee for
private sector investments in emerging markets, thereby creating an unacceptable moral
hazard. The IMFC, at its twentieth meeting on 4 October 2009, asked the Fund, by the
time of the 2010 Annual Meetings, to study and report on the latter’s future financing role,
including the possibility of offering credible alternatives to self-insurance. The crisis has
highlighted the need for very large liquidity buffers to deal with fast and sizeable capital
market shocks. Accordingly, a much larger precautionary facility that reduces the need for
self-insurance against crisis and is available for a vast majority of countries may be needed.
A more representative and legitimate IMF could become an important provider of reliable
emergency financing, gradually taking over the role of international lender of last resort that
is now assumed by some of the major national central banks through swap arrangements.


Many of the recent changes in lending facilities have been focused on precau-
tionary arrangements. However, there is also scope for further innovation with regard to
how resources in drawing programmes are deployed. Amidst unprecedented crisis, it is
important to take a fresh look at the ways in which the IMF provides its support.


As of 1 May 2009, structural performance criteria were discontinued for all
IMF loans, including programmes with low-income countries. The focus of conditional-
ity is shifting to an ex ante and review-based approach. Structural reforms will continue
to be part of IMF-supported programmes, but only when they are considered critical to a
country’s recovery, in contrast to the previous approach, which always included a panoply
of structural reform conditionalities, including requirements unrelated to the problems at
hand. As identified in many studies, including research by Bretton Woods institutions’
staff,46 structural reforms tend to enhance pro-cyclicality, while macroeconomic reforms
have a deflationary bias, constricting public investment and social expenditures critical to
sustainable long-term development.


46 See, for example, the background report dated 6 April 2009, entitled “Fiscal Policy for Growth
and Development: An Interim Report”, submitted to the Development Committee Meeting of
the IMF and the World Bank on 23 April 2009, available at http://siteresources.worldbank.org/
DEVCOMMINT/Documentation/20890698/DC2006-0003(E)-FiscalPolicy.pdf.


The current arrangements
can only be a first step


The focus of conditionality
has shifted




99Financial flows to developing countries


Strong, credible policy frameworks are necessary, and there is an urgent need
for greater clarity regarding which policies are actually effective, given that the current
situation has raised many questions about the standard framework. In fact, there is now
often a stigma attached to seeking support from the Fund, signalling underlying policy
weaknesses which can be exacerbated in the course of the Fund’s programme. Reducing
this political stigma is considered vital to increasing use of the Fund by its members, thus
enabling it to play a greater role in recovery from the global crisis.


IMF support to developing countries


For example, despite pronounced intentions, many recent IMF country programmes con-
tain pro-cyclical conditions that can unnecessarily exacerbate an economic downturn in
a number of developing countries. Indeed, amid sharply falling global demand, the Fund
has been advocating belt-tightening for many developing programme countries. At the
same time, it has been praising advanced economies for their unprecedented efforts in
borrowing and spending their way out of recession. The IMF should expand the use of
its resources to help support counter-cyclical measures in those developing countries that
have sustainable public finances in the medium-term but are impeded in this effort by
adverse market conditions. This would be consistent with ongoing concerted efforts to
stimulate global demand.


During the global slowdown, many countries may need to borrow more to
support output recovery and maintain social spending. To ensure that the developing
countries are not unduly constrained by policy arrangements from taking on more debt to
support recovery efforts, the IMF and the World Bank are reviewing the Debt Sustainabil-
ity Framework for Low-Income Countries (DSF), as had been requested by the G20. The
DSF should be sufficiently flexible to take into account each country’s circumstances while
still performing its role in preventing a renewed build-up of unsustainable debt burden.


There have also been suggestions for the IMF and other international financial
institutions to take an unorthodox stance and use their financing to address problems in the
corporate and banking sectors, including support for bank recapitalization or facilitation
of the rollover of private external debt.47 The Fund’s financing of member Governments
has traditionally been used for the replenishment of foreign-exchange reserves, sovereign
debt repayment or intervention in the foreign-exchange market. However, in the current
crisis, Governments and their central banks, in both developed and developing countries,
have used foreign-exchange reserves and new borrowing to help their domestic financial
institutions and corporations repay international creditors. With the ongoing globalization
of finance, these needs are likely to increase further. The IMF should play an important
role in meeting them.


There is a consensus that the Fund’s lending to low-income countries should
be more flexible in the light of long-recognized diverse country needs and growing ex-
posure to global volatility. In July 2009, the IMF announced a new concessional lend-
ing framework to enhance its usefulness to low-income countries. In addition to the
doubling of average loan access limits for low-income countries mentioned above, the
Fund’s concessional lending capacity was boosted to up to $17 billion through 2014, of


47 See, for instance, statement by Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer, United Kingdom, at
the nineteenth meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, International
Monetary Fund, Washington, D. C., 25 April 2009, available at www.imf.org.


Reducing the policy stigma
of seeking IMF support is
considered vital


Counter-cyclical measures
should be emphasized


The IMF and the World
Bank are reviewing debt
sustainability


IMF lending needs to be
more flexible




100 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


which $8 billion is to be delivered in the first two years. This exceeds the call by the G20
for $6 billion in new lending over two-to-three years. The new measures include a new
unified facility for low-income countries under a new Poverty Reduction and Growth
Trust (PRGT) fund. The framework comprises three new concessional lending facilities:
an Extended Credit Facility (ECF), successor to the PRGF, to provide medium-term sup-
port; a Stand-by Credit Facility (SCF), similar to the Stand-By Arrangement, to address
short-term and precautionary needs; and a Rapid Credit Facility (RCF), to offer emer-
gency support with limited conditionality. In addition, interest payments for low-income
countries have been temporarily suspended.


In the context of lending reform and sharply higher demand for Fund financ-
ing, G20 leaders pledged to triple the lending capacity of the IMF to $750 billion and,
as mentioned above, at least double its capacity for concessional lending to low-income
countries. To bolster the Fund’s resources as quickly as possible, it was decided to negotiate
temporary bilateral credit arrangements with the IMF totalling $250 billion, to increase
New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) by up to $500 billion and to expand the participa-
tion in NAB to additional, financially strong IMF members. There was also an agreement
to implement the 2008 quota agreement as quickly as possible—thereby increasing IMF
quota resources by 12 per cent—and complete the next review of IMF quotas by January
2011, accelerating the process by two years.


Bilateral borrowing arrangements and the expansion of NAB are likely the
most viable options for mobilizing liquidity in a timely manner. However, they are consid-
ered by many IMF members to be a temporary bridge to a permanent increase of resources
through a general quota review. They are also potentially harmful in that they could create
conflicts of interest for an institution mandated to undertake surveillance over all mem-
bers. Consequently, Fund borrowing cannot be seen as a substitute for a substantial quota
increase in terms of maintaining IMF decision-making structure or legitimacy. Over the
medium term, it is important from both governance and balance-sheet perspectives that
the quota be restored as the primary basis of IMF lending. The next review of IMF quotas,
envisaged for January 2011, comes at an appropriate moment in this regard.


The global reserve system
In April 2009, the G20 decided on a general special drawing rights (SDR) allocation by the
IMF equivalent to $250 billion as part of the package to raise official lending capacity in
response to the crisis. By so doing, the world leaders, for the first time since the late 1960s,
recognized the need to significantly boost international liquidity using an international
reserve unit. The proposed general allocation was approved by the Fund’s Board of Gover-
nors and came into effect in August 2009. Also, in August 2009, the Fourth Amendment
to the IMF Articles of Agreement adopted in 1997—which corrects for the fact that coun-
tries which joined the Fund after 1981 have never received an SDR allocation—entered
into force. The special one-time allocation of about $33 billion was made in September
2009. With the two fresh allocations totalling roughly $283 billion, the outstanding stock
of SDRs increased nearly tenfold from about $33 billion to about $316 billion.


The ongoing financial crisis has brought to the fore the deficiencies of the
present international monetary system, in which a national currency (the United States
dollar) serves as a dominant source of international foreign-exchange reserves. These
deficiencies include growing global imbalances, exchange-rate instability and the possibility


G20 leaders pledged
to increase the lending


capacity of the IMF


Fund borrowing cannot
replace quota increases


The G20 decided on a
general SDR allocation


The crisis has illustrated
the deficiencies of the


status quo




101Financial flows to developing countries


of an erosion of confidence in the dollar as a reserve currency (see chapter I). The spread of
greater exchange-rate flexibility did not produce changes that reduced trade and financial
imbalances; in fact, it contributed to the inherent instability of the system. Exchange-rate
adjustments were not quantitatively sufficient and often progressed in the wrong direction,
owing to the fact that the United States dollar, as a reserve currency, serves as a benchmark
for many other currencies and an anchor for international asset prices.


In the era of globalization, the use by all countries of a widely accepted na-
tional reserve currency has its clear benefits owing to network externalities. However, the
costs of such an arrangement in terms of systemic instability may have started to exceed
the benefits. Similarly, the costs to the United States as supplier of global reserves may
also be rising. Increased imbalances have had an adverse effect on United States domestic
demand and on external demand for United States products as well as, more generally, on
the country’s potential ability to maintain economic policy autonomy.


There have been suggestions for a move away from the almost exclusive reli-
ance on the United States dollar towards a system based on multiple, competing national
reserve currencies. However, the experience of the interwar period specifically suggests
that such a system adds another element of instability: that associated with exchange-rate
volatility among currencies used as reserve units, stemming from the possibility of sharp
shifts of demand from one international currency to the other, since they are likely to be
close substitutes.48 In addition, such a move would not solve the inherent inequity in the
current system, as reserve assets would still be provided by industrial countries. Moreover,
developed countries issuing reserve currencies are likely to account for an increasingly lim-
ited share of the world economy. Hence, the demand for international reserves will likely
grow faster than the capacity of these countries to provide a smooth supply.


Discussions concerning wider use of a truly international currency have been
gaining momentum. The international community should seize this opportunity to start
deliberations on the feasibility and desirability of the creation of a new, more stable and
equitable international monetary system. While, unlike in the late 1960s, the provision of
global liquidity is not an issue, the current problems are associated with the control of glo-
bal liquidity, and significant equity issues regarding access by developing countries to such
liquidity.49 Moreover, a system based on a truly global reserve currency would create a more
equitable method of sharing the seigniorage derived from providing global liquidity.


The introduction of a full-fledged international reserve currency, based, for
instance, on the proposal by John Maynard Keynes, may take a long time as it requires
extraordinary political will, vision and courage, all of which are still lacking. In this re-
gard, it has been argued that a more realistic way of reform may be to broaden existing
SDR arrangements which, perhaps, over time could evolve into a new and widely accepted
world reserve currency.50


Making SDR issuance automatic and regular could be a first step forward. It has
been suggested that the size of the issues could be linked to the estimated additional demand
for foreign-exchange reserves resulting from the growth of the world economy. There have


48 See, for instance, Barry Eichengreen, “Out of the Box Thoughts about the International Financial
Architecture”, IMF Working Paper, No. WP/09/116, May 2009, p. 10, available at www.imf.org.


49 For an extensive discussion of the global reserve system and possible ways to reform it, see, for
instance, Report of the Commission of Experts of the President of the United Nations General
Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, pp. 92-102, available at
www.un.org/ga/president/63/interactive/financialcrisis/PreliminaryReport210509.pdf.


50 Zhou Xiaochuan, “Reform the international monetary system”, 23 March 2009, available at www.
bis.org.


Using a multicurrency
system could add further
instability


A truly global reserve
currency would be more
equitable


A more realistic approach
may be to broaden SDR
arrangements




102 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


also been calls to issue SDR in counter-cyclical fashion to finance world liquidity and
provide official support to developing countries during crises. One version of the proposal
to use SDR in a counter-cyclical manner envisages the development of an appropriate
mechanism to withdraw SDR should global liquidity become excessive or inflationary. It
is worth noting that the procedure under which countries holding 85 per cent of the IMF
voting power must agree before SDRs can be issued may not be appropriate if the Fund
were authorized to provide additional SDR liquidity in periods of shortage. Rather, it must
be able to act more like a global central bank and international lender of last resort.


Because the current mechanism of SDR allocation is based on IMF quotas,
such new allocations of SDR would provide developing countries with additional liquidity
of only about $110 billion. This suggests that the issue of the SDR allocation should be
closely linked to the reform of IMF quotas. Besides, as not all members need an increase
of their international reserves, the Fund should explore mechanisms to redistribute SDR
to countries most in need.


It has been suggested also that the international community revive the idea of
the substitution account put forward in 1971. Under this proposal,51 official dollar hold-
ers could deposit part of their reserves in a special account in the IMF denominated in
SDRs. The centralized management of a part of member countries’ reserves by the IMF
would help promote both a greater role for the SDR as a reserve currency and more effec-
tive reserve management at the global level, as it would allow central banks to diversify
out of dollars without causing sharp exchange-rate swings and, probably, use some exces-
sive reserves for domestic development. A more ambitious version of the proposal calls
for an open-ended SDR-denominated fund set up by the IMF, allowing subscription and
redemption in the existing reserve currencies by various investors as desired. This arrange-
ment is thought to form the basis for promoting the development of SDR-denominated
assets and partially allowing the management of global liquidity in the form of existing
reserve currencies.


It is widely recognized that making the SDR an attractive unit in which to
hold central bank reserves requires deep and liquid markets in SDR claims. To achieve
this, the issuance and use of SDRs by the IMF, Governments, banks and non-financial
firms need to reach a certain critical mass. In other words, it will be necessary to overcome
the coordination problem (prospective issuers should have evidence that others would act
in like manner). In the past, all attempts to commercialize SDR have been unsuccessful.


Another important issue is a settlement system between the SDR and na-
tional currencies to make the unit an acceptable means of payment in international trade
and financial transactions. Such a system should be able to facilitate the direct exchange
of SDR claims not only into dollars but into all constituent currencies. In order to ac-
commodate the expected increase in the volume of SDR transactions resulting from
new allocations, the IMF has called for an expansion of the capacity of voluntary ar-
rangements to ensure adequate liquidity in the SDR market. Several countries, including
China and the United States, have already committed themselves to establishing a new
arrangement or expanding the capacity of their existing arrangements in the light of the
new allocations.


Furthermore, SDRs are currently valued against a basket of currencies consist-
ing of the euro, the Japanese yen, the pound sterling and the United States dollar. To gain


51 Peter B. Kenen, “Revisiting the Substitution Account”, paper presented at the conference “Towards
a World Reserve System” held by the Initiative for Policy Dialogue of Columbia University on 6
November 2009.


SDR allocation is closely
linked to the reform


of IMF quotas


A revival of the substitution
account may need


to be considered


SDRs would need to be
commercialized


A settlement system would
need to be established


between SDRs and
national currencies


To gain global prominence,
the number of currencies


that constitute the SDR
would have to increase




103Financial flows to developing countries


global prominence, the number of constituent currencies of the SDR would have to be
increased to include monetary units of both developed and developing countries.


Global governance and the
Bretton Woods institutions


Strengthening the resource base of the Fund and improving its lending toolkit to address
the global crisis should proceed together with longer-term reforms to boost its governance
and legitimacy. The IMF needs a more representative, responsive and accountable govern-
ance structure to ensure that it remains at the centre of the international monetary system
and reflects the realities of the twenty-first century. The reform of governance is therefore
a necessary prerequisite for all other changes involving the role of the Fund.


The changes in voting power have thus far been insignificant compared with
the changes that have occurred in the global economy. The 2008 quota and voice reform
will basically lead to a realignment of existing shares primarily through a redistribution
among the group of emerging market and developing countries, a step back from the agree-
ment of September 2006, which premised these reforms in terms of increasing the overall
voice of developing countries. The understanding that providing ample voting weight to
potential users of Bretton Woods institutions’ resources would help guarantee these institu-
tions’ effectiveness—a principle enshrined in the original 1944 allocation of voting weights
when European countries were the prospective users—should guide vote reallocation and
reforms in voting procedures. Consequently, the next realignment of quotas in favour of
emerging market and developing countries should go far beyond the initial modest agree-
ment achieved during the 2008 Spring Meetings, which has yet come into force.


IMFC and the Development Committee agreed to shift at least 5 per cent of
aggregate quota shares in the IMF and 3 per cent in the World Bank from developed to
developing and transition countries at the next quota review, scheduled to be completed
in January 2011. Many developing countries, however, emphasized that a shift of at least
7 per cent in the IMF and at least 6 per cent in the World Bank has been committed to by
the G20 Pittsburgh Summit and should not be further delayed.52


To further democratize the voting procedure and ensure that decisions affect-
ing key aspects of the institution have the support of the majority of members, a proposal
has been made to amend the Articles of Agreement to lower the voting threshold on criti-
cal decisions from 85 per cent to between 70 and 75 per cent. To better balance the in-
terests of large and small countries, consideration should also be given to applying double
majority mechanisms to a wider range of decisions. At present, a double majority (support
by three fifths of the members having 85 per cent of the total voting power) is required to
amend the Articles of Agreement.


Another important issue is the composition of the Executive Board. In this
regard, there have been proposals to reduce the size of the Board from 24 to 22 chairs by
2010 and to 20 chairs by 2012, while preserving the existing number of emerging market
and developing country chairs.53


52 Communiqué of the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four on International Monetary Affairs
and Development, Istanbul, Turkey, 3 October 2009, available at www.g24.org.


53 Statement by Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the United States Treasury, at the nineteenth meeting
of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, Washington, D. C., 25 April 2009, available
at www.imf.org.


The IMF needs a reformed
governance structure


Changes in voting
power have so far been
insignificant


There is a proposal to lower
the voting threshold on
critical decisions




104 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


The objective of ensuring greater involvement of the Fund’s Governors in pro-
viding strategic direction to the IMF and in increasing its accountability can only be
achieved under a more democratic distribution of voting power on the Board. As a possible
immediate step, there have been calls to transform the IMFC into a council, as envisaged
by Article XII of the Articles of Agreement. Some consider that a council, consisting of
ministers and governors, would provide a forum for coordination and take strategic deci-
sions critical to global stability.54


It has been emphasized, however, that before activation of a council, a substantial
and far-reaching reform of quota and voice should be accomplished. Otherwise, with prevail-
ing voting shares, the developing countries would have even less influence in the IMF. In-
deed, unlike the present consensus-based IMFC, the council’s decision-making rule, as con-
tained in the Articles of Agreement, would be the same as that of the Executive Board.55


The G20 has also agreed that the heads and senior leadership of the interna-
tional financial institutions should be appointed through an open, transparent and merit-
based selection process, with due regard to gender equality and geographical and regional
representation. In order to ensure the legitimacy of the Fund and the World Bank as truly
global institutions, it is important to achieve greater diversity among staff members and to
avoid the disproportionate representation of only a few specific regions.


It has been claimed that the reform of the World Bank should be even more
ambitious and, given its development mandate, not simply mimic the IMF in all respects.
For instance, in its report on World Bank governance,56 a high-level commission led by
former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo suggested that the historic link between IMF
quotas and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) sharehold-
ing and voting power allocation should be abandoned, and called for the development
of Bank-specific principles and formulas for shareholding. The Commission also recom-
mended that the balance in voting power in the Bank should be evenly split between
developed and developing countries.


54 See Final Report of the Committee on IMF Governance Reform, 24 March 2009, available at https://
www.imf.org/external/np/omd/2009/govref/032409.pdf.


55 International Monetary Fund, “Executive Board Report to the IMFC on Reform of Fund Governance”,
3 October 2009, available at www.imf.org.


56 See, “Repowering the World Bank for the 21st Century”, Report of the High-Level Commission on
Modernization of World Bank Group Governance, October 2009, available at www.worldbank.
org.


A more democratic
distribution of voting


power on the Board has
been called for


The G20 has agreed on the
appointment process for


leadership positions


World Bank reform should
be even more ambitious




105


Chapter IV
Regional developments
and outlook


Developed market economies
The developed market economies have finally exited their deepest recession since the
1930s, but the current situation is highly dependent upon policy stimuli and short-term
factors, and the medium-term outlook points to subdued rates of growth with significant
downside risks.


Unemployment has increased dramatically across the region, posing a number
of risks, both short and long term (see figure IV.1). In the short term, the transition to
sustained growth will require a durable improvement in private consumption expenditure,
which would be jeopardized by continuing high unemployment. In the medium run lies
the danger posed by the growing number of persons without a job who could transition
from short- to long-term unemployment, a difficult problem in itself, but also a factor
generating lower long-run growth potential.


Fiscal and monetary policies have played key roles in stabilizing activity, but the
unwinding of these stimuli will be a delicate task. On the fiscal side, government deficits
have increased enormously and, given current trajectories, are in many cases not sustain-
able (see figure IV.2). But premature consolidation would be disastrous, risking a return to
recession, as discussed in chapter I. Similarly, monetary policy must withdraw the massive


Figure IV.1
Unemployment in the developed regions, 2006-2010


Percentage of labour force


0


2


4


6


8


10


12


United States Japan EU-15


2006


2007
2008


2009a


2010b


Sources: Project LINK and
UN/DESA, based on data
of the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD).
a Estimated.
b Forecasts.




106 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


stimulus provided by unconventional measures and return interest rates to more neutral lev-
els without disturbing the recovery. Some degree of policy coordination may be necessary in
this process to mitigate the impact of changing interest-rate differentials on currencies.


North America: growth resumes in the
United States but downside risks are high


The economy of the United States of America has moved beyond the trough of its worst
recession since the Second World War as, after four quarters of decline, gross domestic prod-
uct (GDP) resumed growth in the third quarter of 2009; the developments of many high-
frequency indicators are consistent with continued growth in the coming quarters. With a
slump in the first half of the year, the growth rate for 2009 as a whole is expected to be -2.5
per cent (see annex table A.1). A mild recovery of 2.1 per cent is forecast for 2010, as private
consumption is expected to remain weak owing to high unemployment and the need to
rebuild the household wealth that was lost during the financial crisis.


The recession was mainly caused by the bubble-bust cycle of the housing sector
and the associated credit crisis. By the time the housing market reached its trough in May
2009, the level of new home sales had dropped by 74 per cent from its peak in 2006. The
Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for twenty cities declined by 32 per cent
in the same period. Builders, in an effort to reduce the supply of new homes, pushed housing
starts to a level which was 79 per cent lower than the peak level of 2006, their lowest in history.
These factors have triggered a continuous decline in residential investment since 2006. However,
in mid-2009, signs of a turnaround emerged in the housing sector, especially in construction
activity and housing prices, and further stabilization is expected going forward.


The housing market
is stabilizing


Figure IV.2
General government financial deficit, 2005-2010


Percentage of GDP


0


2


4


6


8


10


12


2005 2006 2007 2008 2009b 2010c


United States


Japan


Euro zonea


Source: OECD, Economic
Outlook, November 2009.


a Excluding Cyprus, Malta
and Slovenia.
b Estimated.


c Forecasts.




107Regional developments and outlook


During the crisis, the reduced value of real estate assets held by households
and the simultaneous lower market value for their financial assets significantly reduced the
net wealth of households and, as a consequence, the ratio of total debt to financial assets
soared (see figure IV.3). In order to rebuild their balance sheets, households adjusted their
consumption behaviour in the form of a higher saving ratio. Households also increased
their savings as a buffer against income uncertainty following the surge in unemployment.
The ratio of personal saving to disposable household income increased from 1.2 per cent
for the first quarter of 2008 to 4.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2009.


The predicted stabilization of the housing market is expected to help the recovery
of private consumption. However, given the headwinds faced by households, this recovery
is expected to be weak, with private consumption contracting in 2009 before increasing
by a modest 1.5 per cent in 2010.


Business investment suffered a shock of a magnitude similar to that of residen-
tial investment. Capital spending on equipment and software items started to decline from the be-
ginning of 2008, while business spending on construction joined the downturn in the second
half of 2008. Credit tightening, falling equity prices and declining corporate profits have all
led to a sharp decline in business fixed investment. Although the fall in capital goods orders
may have bottomed out in mid-2009, business construction is expected to remain weak for an
extended period, dragged down by the general weakness in the economy, the inventory over-
hang and the difficulty in financing. In summary, fixed capital formation is expected to decline
by another 18 per cent in 2009 but will increase by 2.3 per cent in 2010.


Labour-market conditions have been deteriorating since 2008, with the level of
employment on a continuous decline. By the end of 2009, more than eight million
people had lost their jobs, pushing the unemployment rate up to more than 10 per cent.
Over the same period, average working hours also declined. Going forward, this provides


Households are
saving more


High unemployment may
be a drag on the recovery


Figure IV.3
Net wortha of assets of United States households and non-profit organizations,
fourth quarter of 2003-second quarter of 2009


Billions of dollars


30000


35000


40000


45000


50000


55000


60000


65000


70000


20
03




20
04




20
05




20
06




20
07




20
08




20
08




20
08




20
08




20
09




20
09




Fo
ur


th
q


ua
rt


er


Fo
ur


th
q


ua
rt


er


Fo
ur


th
q


ua
rt


er


Fo
ur


th
q


ua
rt


er


Fo
ur


th
q


ua
rt


er


Fi
rs


t q
ua


rt
er


Se
co


nd
q


ua
rt


er


Th
ird


q
ua


rt
er


Fo
ur


th
q


ua
rt


er


Fi
rs


t q
ua


rt
er


Se
co


nd
q


ua
rt


er


Source: United States Federal
Reserve Board, Flow of Funds
Account, available at http://
www.federalreserve.gov/
releases/z1/.
a Net worth at the end


of each quarter, not
seasonally adjusted.




108 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


firms with the possibility of increasing output without new hiring. Given the relatively
weak recovery, employment is not expected to pick up until the latter half of 2010
causing the rate of unemployment to peak by mid-year before it eases back (see annex
table A.7).


Headline inflation peaked at 5.6 per cent in July 2008 and has been declin-
ing steadily ever since, reaching a low of -2.1 per cent in July 2009; it is estimated to
average -0.4 per cent for the year as a whole (see annex table A.4). This swing in inflation
mainly reflects the volatility in the prices for energy and certain commodities over the
2008-2009 period. Core inflation has been running just below 2 per cent throughout
2009, decelerating slightly towards the end of the year, and is expected to remain sub-
dued in 2010. Cost pressures, as measured by unit labour costs, are expected to remain
weak. The growth rate (year on year) in hourly wages declined from 3.7 per cent in January
2009 to 2.4 per cent in October 2009 and is expected to remain stable in 2010 (close to
the rate of core consumer price index (CPI) inflation), while labour productivity growth
is expected to increase slightly. Moderate core inflation, coupled with the assumption of
another rise in energy and other commodity prices, is likely to keep headline inflation low,
at a projected 1.4 per cent on average for 2010.


The external balances of the United States have undergone a significant adjustment
over the past few years. After reaching its peak in mid-2006, the trade deficit is estimated
to have fallen by more than half in nominal terms by the end of 2009. In volume terms, the
growth of imports started to slow down or even turn negative in late 2006 and has fallen by
about 14 per cent in 2009. The growth of exports (in volume terms) started to increase in 2007
and reached a rate of 5.4 per cent in 2008. However, the global recession in 2009 led to a
collapse in trade, with the exports of the United States falling by 10.4 per cent. In addition,
the drop in fuel prices after the summer of 2008 has helped to reduce the import bill by about
$80 billion for 2009. The lower trade deficit has also reduced the current-account deficit, but
it is expected to increase again in 2010 with the sharp rise in the fiscal deficit and insufficient
increase in private savings.


On the policy front, the United States Federal Reserve (Fed) is assumed to keep
the federal funds rate within the current range of 0.00–0.25 per cent until the third quarter of
2010. It is also assumed that the $700 billion that was authorized for the Troubled Asset Relief
Program (TARP) will be fully utilized. Of all the announced elements of TARP, the Public-
Private Investment Program (PPIP) is the most recent one to have been put into operation
and only part of the amount committed has been allocated as of late 2009. It is assumed that
it will be fully implemented and will further relieve the credit constraints encountered by busi-
nesses and households.


In February, the Government enacted the American Recovery and Reinvest-
ment Act of 2009 which planned to disburse $787 billion over ten years to provide eco-
nomic stimulus. Through the Act, the Government aims to provide direct relief to house-
holds through tax cuts, expanded unemployment benefits and social welfare provisions.
It also envisages increased government expenditure and investment. Nevertheless, this
package, together with the cost of bailing out financial institutions and the reduced rev-
enue owing to the recession, has jointly pushed the federal budget deficit to $1.4 trillion
for the 2009 fiscal year, equal to 9.9 per cent of GDP. The current government budget is
anticipated to post an even higher deficit for the 2010 fiscal year. On the level of State and
local governments, reduced revenue has restrained their capability to provide additional
stimulus. In some instances, State and local governments even had to cut expenditures
and raise taxes.


The external deficit
has declined


The Federal Reserve is
expected to keep interest


rates down


Public debt will rise to
worrisome levels




109Regional developments and outlook


Risks include the possibility of a resumption of a downward spiral in financial
markets, a continuation of the housing slump, a further increase in unemployment rates, and a
continuation of the drop in business capital spending. The tremendous increase in government
debt, combined with the fact that the Fed is now holding huge amounts of public debt
securities, presents another risk that could trigger concerns about the value of the United
States dollar, as discussed in chapter I.


After a very weak growth of 0.4 per cent in 2008, the Canadian economy is
expected to recover from its decline of 2.6 per cent in 2009 and to expand again by 2.6
per cent in 2010. Since the financial system in Canada was much less exposed to toxic
assets and far less leveraged than that of the United States, the banks have been able to
navigate the financial crisis without receiving capital injections from the Government. Yet,
the extremely close economic ties with the United States have provoked a severe downturn
through trade channels. Merchandise exports are more than 75 per cent dependent upon
United States markets and fell by about 25 per cent in the first half of 2009 following the
economic downturn south of Canada’s border. Weak private consumption and fixed in-
vestment demand have amplified the downturn originating in the external sector.


In 2010, the Canadian economy is expected to recover, aided by a fiscal stimu-
lus in the form of both tax cuts and higher government expenditure, as well as by the
incipient economic recovery in the United States and the turn in the global inventory cy-
cle. The expected recovery of prices for oil and other commodities will also provide some
growth impetus as primary products make up an important share of Canadian exports. As
employment growth typically lags the growth of production, the unemployment rate will
likely stay in the range of between 9.5 and 10 per cent for an extended period.


Developed Asia and the Pacific:
high dependency on a global recovery


The economy of Japan is tentatively recuperating from its worst recession in three decades.
Since the second quarter of 2009, exports and industrial production have rebounded, lead-
ing to an improvement in business sentiment. A mild recovery of 0.9 per cent is expected for
2010, compared with an estimated slump of almost 6 per cent in 2009 (see annex table A.1).


After collapsing by about 40 per cent in late 2008 and early 2009, Japanese ex-
ports started to rebound in the second quarter of 2009, but the momentum has moderated
recently, reflecting in part the cyclical nature of the global inventory adjustment. Exports
will continue to grow in 2010, but only at a moderate pace (see figure IV.4).


Domestic demand remained weak in the second half of 2009, despite a re-
bound in industrial production. Business investment continued to decline, although at a
moderated pace. Corporate financing conditions have improved, as the premium for cor-
porate bond issuance narrowed and funding for the private sector in general has increased,
albeit slowly. However, corporate profits have continued to decline substantially. Given
the excess in industrial capacity, business investment is expected to remain weak in the
outlook. Public investment, in contrast, has increased, especially public construction, and
is expected to remain elevated in the outlook along with the continued implementation of
various stimulus measures.


Demand for durable consumption goods has rebounded, but aggregate pri-
vate consumption remains weak. A key drag in this respect is the increasingly deterio-
rating employment situation. In the labour market, the ratio of job offers to applicants


Canada’s growth was
dragged down by the
United States economy


Growth is highly dependent
upon export performance


Business investment
remains weak but public
investment has become an
engine of growth


Private consumption
is constrained by high
unemployment




110 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


has continued to decline. Despite some monthly fluctuations, the unemployment rate is
at an historical high of about 5.5 per cent. At the same time, the nominal wage rate is
continuing to decline and employee income has decreased significantly. Under these cir-
cumstances, private consumption will continue to be severely constrained in the outlook.
Deflation continues to characterize economic conditions in general.


The Bank of Japan (BoJ) has taken a number of monetary policy measures in
three main areas by reducing the policy interest rate, ensuring stability in financial mar-
kets and facilitating corporate financing. So far, these measures have improved financial
market conditions and have lowered the costs of corporate finance. Given the persistent
sizeable output gap and continued weak domestic demand, the BoJ is assumed to maintain
the policy interest rate at close to zero and to keep in place the various unconventional
expansionary monetary and financial measures taken in response to the crisis, at least until
mid-2010.


A series of fiscal stimulus packages have been launched since mid-2008, includ-
ing additional government spending totalling about 5 per cent of GDP. Despite a change
in Government, the stimulus package is expected to be implemented as envisaged in the
outlook. The government deficit is estimated to reach about 6.5 per cent of GDP on aver-
age during 2009-2010, putting further upward pressure on the already large public debt,
which could surpass 200 per cent of GDP, making it among the highest in the world.


The economy of Australia has managed to avoid falling into a recession amidst
the global financial crisis. Aggressive stimulus measures have supported household con-
sumption and business investment, offsetting the severe external shocks. GDP is expected
to grow by about 1.3 per cent in 2010, compared with an estimated 0.8 per cent in 2009.
Downside risks remain as rising unemployment and depressed asset prices continue to weigh
on domestic demand, particularly when the effects of the policy stimuli start to weaken.


No change is expected in
monetary policy measures


Public debt is rising to
record levels


Australia is avoiding
recession amidst


a turbulent global
environment, but risks


remain


Figure IV.4
Japan’s export volume and industrial production, January 2005-September 2009


2005=100


60


70


80


90


100


110


120


130


140


Ja
n-


05


Ap
r-


05


Ju
l-0


5


O
ct


-0
5


Ja
n-


06


Ap
r-


06


Ju
l-0


6


O
ct


-0
6


Ja
n-


07


Ap
r-


07


Ju
l-0


7


O
ct


-0
7


Ja
n-


08


Ap
r-


08


Ju
l-0


8


O
ct


-0
8


Ja
n-


09


Ap
r-


09


Ju
l-0


9


Export volume


Industrial production


Source: UN/DESA, based on
data from the Bank of Japan


and the Japanese Ministry
of Economics, Trade and


Industry.




111Regional developments and outlook


In response to the global economic downturn, Australia has adopted drastic
monetary and fiscal measures. The Reserve Bank of Australia had reduced interest rates by
a total of 425 basis points (bps), but with activity picking up, it raised the policy rate by
50 bps during October and November 2009, thereby becoming the first major developed-
country central bank to raise rates in the current cycle. In addition to major tax cuts in its
regular budget for 2008/2009, the Australian Government also adopted two fiscal stimu-
lus packages, totalling about 5 per cent of GDP. As a result, the Government budget will
be turning from a surplus into a projected deficit of 4.5 per cent of GDP in 2010.


These stimulus measures have supported disposable income, buttressing the
growth in private consumption when household net worth fell and unemployment rose.
Despite benefiting from low interest rates and tax cuts, business investment is relatively
weak amidst reduced profitability due to depressed sales, which is also keeping capacity
utilization rates low. Business confidence has strengthened recently, as increased govern-
ment spending, including outlays on infrastructure projects, is expected to further support
domestic demand.


New Zealand showed positive GDP growth in the second quarter of 2009, for
the first time since the end of 2007, ending its most prolonged recession since the 1970s.
While net exports made a solid contribution, both household consumption and business
investment also increased, driven by record-low interest rates. Consumer and business
confidence continued to improve, pointing to a further recovery. GDP is expected to grow
by 2 per cent in 2010, recovering from a decline of -1.3 per cent in 2009.


The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has reduced interest rates by 575 basis
points in little more than six months, taking them to 2.5 per cent. The Government has so
far adopted fiscal stimuli to the tune of 4.3 per cent of GDP.


Declines in international commodity prices, reduced demand for many of
New Zealand’s manufactured exports and declining numbers of foreign tourists have
been accompanied by difficulties experienced by banks in securing offshore funding. As a
result, firms have been cutting back in investment and reducing labour demand. The dete-
riorating employment outlook is weighing on consumer confidence, and households have
already been scaling back spending in response to falling housing and financial wealth.


Western Europe: emerging from recession,
but the recovery will lack vigour


Western Europe is emerging from its worst recession of the post-war period. Economic
activity plummeted in the final quarter of 2008 and continued its descent in the first
quarter of 2009 as exports dropped sharply following the severe deceleration in world de-
mand, investment spending collapsed from both the multiple shocks emanating from the
financial crisis and the greatly diminished future demand outlook, and firms embarked on
a massive round of inventory destocking. The second quarter of the year displayed signs of
a stabilization of activity as GDP fell only slightly in most economies and positive growth
returned to France and Germany. For the euro area as a whole, growth finally returned in
the third quarter, marking the end of five consecutive quarters of decline, but the econo-
mies of Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland continued
to contract, albeit at marginal rates.


Leading indicators, such as the European Commission’s Economic Sentiment
Indicator (ESI), began to signal a possible turning point in March, but for the most part


New Zealand is ending its
prolonged recession




112 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


remained well below their historical averages. Industrial production in the euro area turned
upwards in May for the first time since the beginning of the crisis but was still 13 per
cent below its level of September 2008. In the outlook, growth is expected to strengthen
somewhat over the forecast period, but will remain sub par. Given the very strong negative
carryover from the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, GDP for the European Union
(EU)-15 will fall sharply, by 4.2 per cent in 2009, and is expected to recover by a mere
0.5 per cent in 2010 (see annex table A.1). The recovery will be led by exports, which will
rebound along with global aggregate demand and inventory restocking. Domestic demand
will be supported mainly through government policy measures. Activity is expected to
moderate in the first half of 2010 as policy stimuli and short-term factors fade, before a
more durable pickup sets in during the second half of 2010. Stronger recovery will require
further normalization of credit conditions and a pickup in global demand that could in-
duce a resumption of business investment and employment growth. This, in turn, would
underpin stronger private consumption demand. Such a rebound would assume that mac-
roeconomic stimulus would not be prematurely abandoned, as discussed in chapter I.


Consumption contracted in most economies in the region in 2009, but despite
the dramatic fall in consumer confidence, it was at a much slower pace generally than the
decline in GDP, and thus acted as a moderating factor during the downturn.1 Automatic
stabilizers and discretionary government spending, especially the labour-market support
programmes and car-scrapping schemes, 2 have bolstered consumption spending. In addi-
tion, the fall in real disposable income has been dampened by the sharp decline in infla-
tion coupled with lags in the deterioration in labour-market conditions.3 Consumption is
expected to decline further in 2010, though only to a slight degree. Consumer confidence
has risen significantly from its trough at the beginning of 2009 and inflation is expected
to remain extremely low. But there are significant headwinds: savings rates will likely stay
up as consumers need to rebuild their balance sheets (particularly in countries strongly
affected by the housing and financial crises), lending conditions are expected to remain
significantly tighter than they were before the crisis, and labour-market conditions are not
expected to improve much in 2010.


The precipitous decline in investment, close to 11 per cent for the EU-15, was a
major driver of the recession and its revival will be key to the sustainability of the recovery.
Investment in equipment suffered from a combination of collapsing foreign demand lead-
ing to a sharp drawdown in inventories and a decrease in capacity utilization to near record
low levels, coupled with the multiple negative impacts from the global financial crisis that
increased both the cost and conditions of external financing. Foreign demand has picked
up and the inventory cycle is turning. Capacity utilization should therefore begin to rise,
but with financing conditions remaining tight, a turnaround in investment is not expected
until the second half of 2010. Residential investment was hit by the collapse of the housing


1 The exceptions are Denmark and Spain, while Ireland and the United Kingdom experienced
outsized drops (but less than the drop in GDP). These economies were mostly affected by
collapsing housing markets and/or financial sectors.


2 Car-scrapping schemes promote the replacement of old, fuel-inefficient cars with new, low-
emission ones. The incentive schemes are being implemented or are under consideration in at least
nine Western European countries, including all of the major economies. See http://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Scrappage_program#Approaches_by_country; and Nelson D. Schwartz, “In Europe,
‘Cash for Clunkers’ Drives Sales”, The New York Times, 31 March 2009, available at http://www.
nytimes.com/2009/04/01/business/global/01refunds.html?_r=1.


3 Wage growth reached its cyclical peak in the third quarter of 2008 and moderated only slightly in
the fourth quarter before slowing substantially in the first half of 2009, while employment did not
start its decline until the third quarter of 2008.


Consumption has declined,
but has still been a


moderating factor during
the downturn


Investment spending will
remain sluggish in the


near term




113Regional developments and outlook


market and the associated financial crisis and is likely to take considerable time to recover
as financing conditions for real estate have experienced the most severe tightening.


The other major factor driving the recession was the collapse of exports as
world demand plummeted. Some countries were hit particularly hard because of their
product specialization and the geographic orientation of their exports. Germany, a major
exporter of capital goods, suffered from the steep fall in industrial production in Asia
as well as from the decline in import demand from oil-producing countries. Germany’s
export decline had knock-on effects across Europe. With the rebound in global trade,
foreign orders are on the rise again and are supporting output recovery. The revaluation
of many regional currencies, however, is dampening the rebound in exports. Imports also
collapsed during the downturn, to the extent that in the second quarter of 2009 net export
growth actually contributed positively to aggregate demand. Import volumes are expected
to register positive growth in 2010 as activity rebounds and is boosted further by the ap-
preciation of European currencies.


Average unemployment rates in the euro area have drifted up from 7.2 per
cent in March 2008 to 9.7 per cent in September 2009, but employment conditions vary
greatly across countries. In Spain, unemployment reached 19.3 per cent in September fol-
lowing an increase of 9 percentage points since March 2008, while Germany registered 7.6
per cent, an increase of only 0.4 per cent (see figure IV.5). This divergence reflects in part
differences in the severity and nature of the economic downturn, with the housing market
collapse playing a large role in Spain for example, but in part it also reflects differences in
labour-market adjustments. In several European countries, the main adjustment was not
undertaken through shedding jobs, but rather through labour hoarding by firms, aided in
some cases by government policy measures, such as subsidized programmes of shortened


Collapsing exports were a
devastating external shock
but are now leading the
upturn


Increasing unemployment
is a key concern


Figure IV.5
Unemployment in selected Western European economies, January 2008-September 2009


Percentage of labour force


2008 January 2008 July 2009 January 2009 July
2


4


6


8


10


12


14


16


18


20


Spain


Ireland


Italy


France


Germany


United Kingdom


Source: OECD Main Economic
Indicators.




114 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


working hours (the Kurzarbeitergeld programme in Germany, for instance). Labour-saving
adjustment is readily visible in decreases in the average number of hours worked and de-
clines in productivity. With growth expected to remain anaemic in the outlook, however,
such labour-hoarding measures will reach their limits, causing stronger increases in unem-
ployment rates. In the outlook, unemployment is expected to continue to rise in Western
Europe through 2010 (see annex table A.7).


Headline inflation has fallen from a high of just over 4 per cent in mid-2008
to negative rates from June to October 2009. This is not necessarily indicative of a defla-
tionary environment, but is mostly the result of strong negative base effects caused by last
year’s high oil prices. These will reverse their impact in the months ahead. The impact
of the recession can be more clearly seen in core inflation, which had been close to 2 per
cent in the second half of 2008, but which subsequently drifted down to 1.2 per cent in
September and October. A widening output gap as demand falls short of supply, coupled
with a strengthened exchange rate in some cases, continues to exert downward pressure on
prices. As demand recovers, core inflation should begin to rise, but both core and headline
inflation are expected to remain well below 2 per cent in the forecast period (see annex
table A.4).


Discretionary fiscal policy and the workings of automatic stabilizers have played
major roles in combating the recessionary forces gripping the region. Significant stimulus
packages were enacted by many countries under the auspices of the European Economic
Recovery Plan.4 Budgetary positions have worsened significantly not only because of the
stimulus measures but also because revenues fell more than usual, as the tax base has been
reduced through the decline in real estate and financial wealth and falling corporate prof-
its. Recent estimates from the European Commission put the general government fiscal
balance for the euro area at -6.4 per cent of GDP in 2009 compared with -2.0 per cent
in 2008, with a further deterioration expected in 2010. The increase in budget deficits,
coupled with the numerous financial bailouts, have led to sharply higher debt positions,
with the government debt ratio in the euro area rising from 69.3 per cent of GDP in 2008
to an estimated 78.2 per cent in 2009, and continuing to rise in 2010.5 This sharp rise in
indebtedness limits the possibilities for further discretionary stimulus, if needed, and raises
questions regarding the timing and degree of future budget consolidations. In the outlook,
it is assumed that current policies will be maintained, with no new ones enacted.


Monetary policy has also been very active. The European Central Bank (ECB)
brought rates down from 4.25 per cent in July 2008 to the current 1.00 per cent in May
2009, for a cumulative cut of 325 bps. The Bank of England (BoE), as well as all of the
other central banks in the region, has also brought rates down dramatically, in many cases
to nearly zero. But policy moved quickly to more unconventional measures, as the scale
of the slowdown and its characteristics became apparent. The ECB moved from a variable
rate tender with fixed allotment of liquidity to a fixed rate tender with unlimited allot-
ment of liquidity, and subsequently extended the lending maturity to one year. The BoE
adopted quantitative easing through the Asset Purchase Facility, whereby it purchased do-
mestic government securities (gilts) in the secondary market as well as high-quality private
sector assets, including commercial paper and corporate bonds. These and other types of


4 The European Commission estimates that the total amount of discretionary measures undertaken
by euro area member States amounted to 1.3 per cent of GDP for 2009, with an additional 1.2 per
cent expected in 2010. See “European Economic Forecast-Autumn 2009”, European Commission
Staff Working Document, European Economy, vol. 10 (3 November 2009), Brussels, p. 30.


5 Ibid., pp. 30-31.


Inflation remains
extremely low


Fiscal policy is key to
supporting demand


Monetary policy has been
extremely active and has


resorted to unconventional
measures




115Regional developments and outlook


unconventional policy measures are expected to be gradually withdrawn over the forecast
period while interest-rate policy remains on hold until the final quarter of 2010.


Downside risks to the forecast remain significant. If labour markets were to
deteriorate more substantially before recovery is ensured, consumption could falter, lead-
ing to a renewed downturn. Similarly, a premature removal of fiscal stimuli or a tightening
of monetary policy could lead to a renewed downturn. Investment may not recover if the
record low capacity utilization lingers due to too slow a pace of recovery in demand, or if
credit availability continues to be difficult. The labour-market situation poses another risk
if the short-term unemployed begin to move into the ranks of the long-term unemployed,
a far more intractable problem and one which could reduce potential output. Finally, fur-
ther appreciation of the euro and other regional currencies against the United States dollar
could stall the improvement in exports and lead to a renewed downturn.


The new European Union member States:6
the crisis is over but the upturn is lagging


The new EU member States were among the hardest hit by the global economic crisis.
Their combined GDP contracted by 3.7 per cent in 2009 after more than a decade of
strong and continuous growth (see annex table A.1). The economic downturn was driven
by collapsing export demand and impaired financial systems resulting from frozen inter-
national capital markets and rising non-performing domestic loans. With the exception
of Poland, which has less of an export-oriented economy and benefits from a relatively
healthy financial sector, all new EU member States saw their GDP declining in 2009. The
output declines in the Baltic States were particularly steep, falling by about 15 per cent and
sweeping away years of dynamic growth.


Although quarterly economic indicators suggest that by the end of 2009 the
situation in most economies will have stabilized, the prospects for 2010 remain uncertain.
The recession in the Baltic States is likely to continue and only a marginal rebound is
expected in Central Europe. Growth is therefore expected to reach only 1.2 per cent for
the region in 2010. A return to a foreign credit-fuelled growth pattern is unlikely in the
foreseeable future. Moving forward, these economies will have to rebalance and rely more
on domestic savings and export growth.


In the Baltic States, weak domestic demand has substantially reduced imports,
resulting in a dramatic turnaround in their current-account balances from double-digit
deficits in 2008 (as a share of GDP) to surpluses in 2009. On the one hand, this was due
both to significant declines in import demand and to the declining income payments to
foreign investors from falling profitability and writeoffs of asset values, and, on the other,
to increasing transfers from the EU. In the countries of Central Europe, the current-
account deficits as a share of GDP also declined by about 2 percentage points for similar
reasons.


The heavy reliance on foreign capital inflows turned from a boon to a source of
instability. The banking systems of most new EU member States obtained a large share of
funds from foreign parents and international capital markets (see figure IV.6). When glo-
bal capital markets seized up, the financial systems in these economies were no longer able
to finance investment projects or real estate loans or even provide working capital to sup-
port normal business activities. In the Baltic States and Bulgaria, economies with currency


6 This subsection mainly refers to the new EU member States in Central and Eastern Europe.


Downside risks are
prevailing


The crisis has had a
profound impact on the
region


Current-account balances
are improving




116 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


boards or fixed exchange-rate regimes and a high proportion of foreign-currency denomi-
nated debt, monetary authorities, fearing an adverse impact on debt-servicing obligations
and private and public-sector balance sheets, refrained from devaluing their exchange rate
in order to adjust external imbalances.


In response to the crisis, Governments and central banks did implement ex-
traordinary measures, including recapitalizing the banking sectors and nationalizing some
financial institutions, increasing deposit insurance, reallocating resources to private credit
and negotiating international assistance packages. International assistance, led by the EU
and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), played a critical role in stabilizing the re-
gion; recipients included Latvia and Hungary in 2008 and Romania in 2009. In addition,
Poland negotiated a precautionary Flexible Credit Line facility with the IMF in 2009 to
facilitate rolling over its short-term debt.


By the end of 2009, the new EU member States in Central and Eastern Europe
were able to return to international capital markets and, as a result of the international
assistance packages, the possibility of a systematic meltdown of their financial systems had
subsided. Overall credit growth remains subdued, however. In 2010, private consumption
will be restrained owing to a combination of factors, including weak consumer confi-
dence, high unemployment, cuts in public sector wages, increased savings as households
attempt to consolidate their finances, and increases in the value added tax undertaken to
increase budget revenues. Investment, including foreign direct investment (FDI), is likely
to remain depressed, undermining the region’s productive capacity in the long run. The
speed of economic recovery will depend not only on the external environment, but on the
flexibility of their internal markets, including the ability of their banking sectors to restore
lending.


Actions have been taken
to prevent a collapse of the


financial sector


Figure IV.6
External indebtedness of the banking sector, December 2009, and
economic performance of selected new EU member States, 2009


Percentage


Poland


Czech Republic


Bulgaria Hungary


Romania


Estonia


Lithuania


Latvia
-20


-15


-10


-5


0


5


0 10 20 30 40 50 60


G
ro


ss
d


om
es


tic
p


ro
du


ct


Share of foreign liabilities to total assets of the banking sector
Source: The European


Central Bank.




117Regional developments and outlook


The Governments in the region have little room for counter-cyclical fiscal
spending, especially under the constraints of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). Facing
serious revenue shortfalls in 2009, the fiscal authorities had to revise budgets repeatedly,
cutting expenditures and increasing indirect taxes. This was the case particularly for coun-
tries (such as Hungary or Latvia) that received financial assistance from the IMF and the
EU, which is conditional on fiscal austerity. Economic stimulus in the region was mostly
limited to lowering direct taxes, undertaking efforts to promote exports and FDI and im-
proving absorption of the regular stream of EU funding. In countries of Central Europe,
exchange-rate flexibility has permitted a slight depreciation against the euro, which has
helped the export sectors remain competitive. In the Baltic States, where the recession
is deepest, fiscal policy remains pro-cyclical, as the Governments are committed to the
eventual adoption of the euro and must meet strict fiscal criteria. Governments therefore
decided on considerable fiscal retrenchment.


Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia have become members of the euro zone
and, as a result, have had very low interest rates.7 Elsewhere, and especially in the Czech
Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania, central banks had to maintain higher interest
rates but were able to lower them gradually as their currencies stabilized and inflationary
pressures subsided in the second half of 2009. Nevertheless, the banking sectors are facing
rising non-performing loans and a cautious private sector will constrain credit growth.


In 2009, inflation subsided among the new EU member Sates as a result of low-
er food and energy prices and the abrupt weakening of domestic demand. Sluggish labour
markets contributed to lower wage pressures, turning core inflation negative in a number
of countries. The decline in inflation rates was more pronounced in countries with fixed
exchange rates, while periods of currency depreciation in countries with flexible exchange-
rate regimes contributed to imported inflation. In 2010, inflation in the region is expected
to remain at low, single-digit levels and may stay close to zero in the Baltic States.


The decline in exports and domestic demand, along with other factors, has led
to an increase in unemployment in the region, despite active policies to support labour
markets. In the Baltic States, unemployment rates increased to about 15 per cent from a
low of 4 per cent in 2008. In other countries, the unemployment rate increased by 2-3
percentage points to an average of 10 per cent. Further increases, by a few percentage
points, are possible in 2010 and in the longer run may contribute to the rise of structural
unemployment in the region.


Economies in transition
In 2009, the shock waves of the global economic and financial crisis proliferated throughout
the transition economies. While the direct effects of the global financial turmoil struck those
countries with relatively higher exposure to international financial markets, a large number
of the transition economies experienced strong secondary and indirect negative shocks.


After more than a decade of strong economic growth, aggregate GDP in the
transition economies dropped by 6.5 per cent on average in 2009, the decay being much
stronger in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (a decline of 6.7 per cent)
than in South-eastern Europe (3.7 per cent). The recession has been deepest in the larger
economies (notably, the Russian Federation and Ukraine). A number of smaller economies
managed to avoid slipping into recession during 2009.


7 Slovakia joined the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) on 1 January 2009.


Fiscal policy options are
limited


Monetary conditions are
being loosened, but the
effect is still to be seen


The trend in inflation
reversed in 2009


Economies in transition
have seen divergent
performance during
the crisis




118 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


The divergent outcomes to some extent reflect the heterogeneity of the tran-
sition economies in terms of the extent to which their market reform processes have
been completed and the degree and nature of their integration into the global economy.
Countries with weaker integration into global trade and financial markets have been
more insulated from the global economic downturn and financial turmoil. In the out-
look, economic recovery also seems to be on its way in the economies in transition, but
there are important downside risks related to the overall course of recovery in the global
economy.


South-eastern Europe: recession on the
back of the slowdown in Western Europe


With the exception of Albania, the economies in transition in South-eastern Europe
slipped into a recession in 2009. Their combined GDP declined by 3.7 per cent (see an-
nex table A.2) on the back of a strong contraction in external demand (predominantly
from the EU), shrinking capital inflows and declining remittances. In Albania, GDP
growth remained positive, supported by heavy government spending. The Albanian econ-
omy is relatively closed, showing an especially low degree of trade openness. The other
economies in South-eastern Europe are more open and their growth is export-oriented.
Consequently, they were strongly hit by the crisis through trade channels. In Serbia,
manufacturing production dropped by nearly 20 per cent (year on year) in the first half
of 2009. Similarly, in Croatia, a steep fall in export demand caused a double-digit drop in
manufacturing output. The pace of the downturn decelerated in the second half of 2009
in these and other countries of the subregion. A return to positive GDP growth rates is
expected in 2010.


The downturn has triggered sharp reductions in trade and current-account
deficits throughout South-eastern Europe. These deficits mirror dwindling FDI and other
capital inflows. The main adjustment has been undertaken through a steep decline in im-
ports, as merchandise exports, tourism revenues, remittances and other transfers have all
dropped considerably. The contraction of import demand was linked to falling consumer
and investor confidence and the decline in economic activity. FDI inflows are not likely
to recover to previous heights any time soon and, consequently, a further narrowing of
current-account deficits is expected in 2010.


Cost-push and demand-pull inflationary pressures in South-eastern Europe
have subsided since the second half of 2008. Given the weak global demand, imported
inflation has also been low, if not negative. As a result, inflation rates have remained low in
2009 and are expected to stay subdued in 2010 (see annex table A.5). Unemployment rates
were already high before the crisis and have been pushed up further during 2009 (see an-
nex table A.8). The rise in unemployment has lagged behind the drop in output, however,
as enterprises were slow to dismiss labour. Such lags are expected to affect unemployment
during the recovery as well, and jobless rates are expected to continue to rise in 2010.


The recession has led to a severe drop in government revenue, thus affecting
budget execution. Most countries have been forced to adopt emergency anti-crisis
measures. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
and Montenegro undertook major budgetary revisions involving a significant downward
revision of projected revenues and planned reductions in the public sector wage bill, as
well as attempts to redirect public funds to capital investment. Bosnia and Herzegovina


Most economies are in the
midst of a recession


Current-account deficits
have narrowed


Inflation is low, but
unemployment is expected


to stay high


The crisis has triggered
emergency policy


responses




119Regional developments and outlook


and Serbia also had to revert to emergency borrowing from the IMF to maintain
macroeconomic stability. Owing to relatively tight fiscal policies in the years preceding
the crisis, only a few of the South-eastern European countries were able to afford fiscal
stimulus measures (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which has a low level
of public debt amounting to about 20 per cent of GDP, being a case in point). Despite
subsiding inflationary pressures, anti-crisis responses through monetary policies have been
relatively limited. The policy space in some of the South-eastern European economies is
partly constrained by explicit or implicit currency pegs to the euro. The surge in fiscal
deficits and the rise in non-performing loans during the crisis prevented the central
banks from significant monetary loosening out of fear that these conditions would fuel
inflationary expectations and undermine currency stability. Serbia, which has a flexible
exchange rate, is probably the only country in the subregion that facilitated significant
monetary easing.


The Commonwealth of Independent States: 8
a severe economic slump


Output declined sharply in the CIS in 2009 owing to multiple shocks. In the Russian
Federation, the initial disruption created by the lack of access to international financing
was compounded by sharp falls in world commodity prices. The decline of the Russian
economy dampened economic performance throughout the CIS. The output decline was
steepest in Ukraine, which faced a strongly adverse terms-of-trade shock and severe exter-
nal financing constraints, and Armenia, where the remittance-fuelled construction boom
ended abruptly. Less open economies, which possessed the fiscal space to implement stim-
ulus packages, such as Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, continued to expand despite the
global recession. Turkmenistan did suffer a setback, however, caused by disruptions to the
pipeline for gas exports to the Russian Federation. Other economies, such as Kyrgyzstan
and Uzbekistan, found a buffer in rising gold prices and gains from renegotiated agree-
ments with the Russian Federation regarding natural gas exports. The CIS economies are
expected to recover in 2010, supported by stronger worldwide demand and improved fi-
nancial conditions. The rebound will be subdued, however, as a consequence of continued
fragility of the banking sector and some planned fiscal consolidation. After contracting by
6.7 per cent in 2009, the combined GDP of the CIS is expected to expand by about 1.7
per cent in 2010.


The larger CIS countries suffered double-digit declines in domestic invest-
ment. The drop was particularly large in Ukraine. In contrast, continued foreign interest
in the exploitation of natural resources kept up investment demand in Kazakhstan and
the smaller energy-producing economies. Growth of public consumption contained the
fall of domestic demand in the Russian Federation and other countries with the ability to
provide fiscal support during the crisis. The construction sectors, which had shown dy-
namic growth before the crisis, went into decline in all economies, especially the smaller,
low-income countries of the CIS. Sharply falling real estate prices, lack of bank lending
and falling remittances explain why construction activity suffered disproportionately dur-
ing the downturn.


8 Georgia officially left the Commonwealth of Independent States on 18 August 2009. However,
its performance is discussed in the context of this group of countries for reasons of geographic
proximity and similarities in economic structure.


After a sharp contraction
in 2009, prospects for
recovery remain uncertain


Falling domestic demand
drove the contraction




120 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


The economic downturn has been accompanied by a sharp fall in both import
and export trade volumes (see annex table A.16). The decline in the terms of trade further
accentuated the nominal decline in export earnings (see figure IV.7) but the CIS countries
were still able, despite considerable narrowing, to post a combined current-account sur-
plus. Ukraine displayed the largest swing, with a small surplus in 2009 as output collapsed
and the currency depreciated. The current-account surplus of the Russian Federation fell
sharply while the current-account balance in Kazakhstan turned into deficit as lower com-
modity prices drove exports down and strong FDI and expansive fiscal policies contained
the fall of imports. In Belarus, the collapse in demand and prices for oil products reduced
exports while the cost of imports was increased by lower energy subsidies. Low-income
non-energy exporting countries continued to post large current-account deficits. In Ar-
menia and Tajikistan, the deficit widened further as lower remittances offset the impact
of falling imports.


Unemployment rates have increased starkly in most CIS countries as well as
in Georgia (see annex table A.8). Unlike during previous episodes of severe economic
disruption, wage payment arrears were not the first recourse taken by firms in the Rus-
sian Federation in a bid to survive; rather, the adjustment was undertaken through the
shedding of workers. Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine also witnessed a significant dete-
rioration in labour-market indicators. Moreover, the return of migrant workers who had
lost their jobs in the Russian Federation caused a further increase in unemployment as
well as social tensions in their home countries, especially the low-income CIS countries.
In Kazakhstan, employment growth stagnated in 2009, but did not affect the rate of
unemployment because of low population growth, government employment programmes
and net migratory outflows.


Current-account trends
diverged but overall


surplus declined


Unemployment is rising


Figure IV.7
Declines in imports and exports (freight on board) in selected countries
of the Commonwealth of Independent States, January-September 2009
relative to January-September 2008


Percentage


-60


-50


-40


-30


-20


-10


0


Azerbaijana Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan Kazakhstan Armenia Belarus
Republic of


Moldova
Russian


Federation Ukraine


Exports Imports
Source: UN/DESA, based


on data from CIS Interstat
Statistical Committee,


available at www.cisstats.com.
a First half of 2009 relative to


the first half of 2008.




121Regional developments and outlook


Weak domestic demand and falling energy and food prices have dampened
inflation throughout the CIS (see annex table A.5). The pass-through effect has been mod-
est in the Russian Federation and Belarus, however, as a consequence of rigidities in price
adjustments. In Ukraine, the rate of inflation remained high as the impact of weaker de-
mand and commodity prices was offset by the sharp exchange-rate devaluation and higher
tariffs on utilities agreed upon with the IMF. By contrast, inflation decelerated sharply
in the smaller economies of the CIS, as well as in Georgia, where the impact of currency
depreciations was weaker.


As commodity prices declined and capital flows reversed, strong downward
pressures on exchange rates emerged in a number of countries. While administrative re-
strictions were introduced to limit foreign-currency demand in Ukraine, the contagion of
the devaluation of the Russian rouble in early 2009 also forced exchange-rate adjustments
in other CIS countries. During the first half of 2009, after commodity prices had started to
rebound and inflation concerns had receded owing to weak domestic demand, monetary
policy shifted towards preserving financial stability and supporting economic activity. The
space for monetary policy responses remains severely limited as a result of the precarious
external situation and, in some countries, the increase in the de facto dollarization of their
economies. Increased currency substitution has been a response to the ongoing exchange-
rate volatility. As access to foreign financing will continue to be limited in the near future
and confidence in the economy stays weak, the concerns of monetary policymakers will
need to be focused on the impact of liquidity injections on the exchange rate.


Fiscal deficits have increased as tax revenues declined, social spending increased
and large amounts of resources were earmarked to rescue the ailing banking sectors of the
larger CIS economies. Low-income countries were able to sustain higher spending pres-
sures with the support of the IMF; Tajikistan, for instance, obtained resources through
a three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and Kyrgyzstan was given access to
the Exogenous Shocks Facility. In some cases, however, especially Ukraine, external emer-
gency financing was insufficient and had to be complemented by tax increases, thereby
limiting the effect of automatic fiscal stabilizers. By contrast, some commodity producers
with large fiscal reserves, such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation,
engaged in extensive stimulus packages (see box IV.1). This has played an important role
in sustaining economic activity. Although a premature withdrawal of stimulus measures
must be avoided, CIS countries will soon face the challenge of adopting and implementing
medium-term fiscal consolidation plans and redefining spending priorities.


Despite the projected recovery in output (an albeit muted one), the CIS econo-
mies face major uncertainties in the outlook. A further weakening of commodity prices
and continued difficulties in accessing international capital markets could colour economic
prospects, particularly for countries with large external financing needs. Bank lending will
remain depressed given continued financial fragility. Although energy-rich economies were
able to deploy reserves for counter-cyclical measures, their policy space has narrowed in the
outlook as significant amounts of reserves have already been spent and as fiscal consolida-
tion will be needed in the medium term. Moreover, in the case of the Russian Federation,
substantial financing gaps have already emerged and will pose difficulties in covering pro-
jected public spending. Despite the robust economic performance prior to the crisis, the
current downturn highlights the risks associated with too heavy a reliance on only a few
commodity exports and a low degree of economic diversification.


Inflation trends are down
but significant differences
have emerged


Monetary policy is
supporting financial
stability


Active fiscal policies seek to
offset contractionary forces


Prospects are uncertain




122 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Public finances in resource-dependent economies
during the crisis: the case of the Commonwealth of
Independent States


Fiscal policy in resource-dependent economies faces specific challenges owing to the fact that pub-
lic revenues are closely associated with cyclical fluctuations in world commodity markets. This has
been the situation in many economies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in which
commodities still account for a large share of exports. Resource-rich economies can partly address
cyclicality by establishing stabilization funds which are replenished during an upturn and can be
used to smooth public expenditure during a downturn. The situation is, however, more precarious
for resource-dependent economies that are not so richly endowed.


The global economic crisis has had a significant impact on public finances throughout
the CIS region, both as a result of the fall in revenues and, in some cases, the increase in counter-cycli-
cal discretionary spending. Countries started the current downturn with very different fiscal positions,
and significant fiscal space for anti-crisis measures existed only in oil-producing countries, which had
accumulated relatively large reserves in stabilization funds during times of high commodity prices.


The rules determining the accumulation and use of resources differ across countries
but, broadly speaking, there has been a convergence towards a model that combines stabilization
and saving functions to varying degrees (the offsetting of short-term volatility of hydrocarbon prices
and the accumulation of resources on a long-term basis for intergenerational sharing). The reform of
the Russian Federation’s Stabilization Fund in 2008 explicitly recognized these two roles by splitting
the resources into a Reserve Fund and a National Welfare Fund, with holdings reaching 9.7 per cent
and 6.2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), respectively, by the end of that year (see figure A).
In other countries in the region, these different functions are implicit in the rules defining the accu-
mulation and use of resources in a single fund. By the end of 2008, the National Fund of Kazakhstan
held assets equivalent to 20.6 per cent of GDP (see figure B), while the resources held at the State Oil


Box IV.1


Figure A
Russian Federation: Oil funds assets, July 2006-September 2009


Billions of dollars


0


50


100


150


200


250


Ju
l-0


6


Se
p-


06


N
ov


-0
6


Ja
n-


07


M
ar


-0
7


M
ay


-0
7


Ju
l-0


7


Se
p-


07


N
ov


-0
7


Ja
n-


08


M
ar


-0
8


M
ay


-0
8


Ju
l-0


8


Se
p-


08


N
ov


-0
8


Ja
n-


09


M
ar


-0
9


M
ay


-0
9


Ju
l-0


9


Se
p-


09


Reserve Fund


National Welfare Fund


Stabilization Fund


Source: Ministry of Finance of
the Russian Federation.




123Regional developments and outlook


Fund of Azerbaijan reached 23.6 per cent of GDP. The larger size of the funds in these two countries
reflects not only that they were created earlier but also that they had different sources and rules for
the accumulation of resources.


During the years of high prices and fast output growth, saving part of the oil and gas re-
ceipts reduced overheating pressures and strengthened the capacity of public finances to deal with
a possible downturn. However, buoyant oil and gas prices leading to rapid expansion also encour-
aged capital inflows, which, unlike current revenues, were not sterilized by the oil funds operating
in CIS countries. These funds, by design, were effective in dampening appreciating pressures only
on exchange rates associated with large current-account surpluses but not those related to capital
inflows.


Reluctance to let the exchange rate appreciate fully as a result of large capital inflows
created expectations of future appreciation that encouraged further inflows. Despite the support
provided by cautious fiscal policies, loose monetary policies contributed to entrenched inflation. The
strength of public finances, resulting in sovereign credit-rating upgrades, and the confidence-boost-
ing effect of the oil funds, facilitated borrowing by the private sector in international capital markets.
The reliance of the private sector on external financing became a growing source of vulnerability and
the initial channel for the transmission of the worldwide financial crisis to Kazakhstan and the Russian
Federation.a


Considering the existing fiscal space relative to the size of their economies, the counter-
cyclical responses adopted by Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation were among the largest in the
world. In Kazakhstan, the National Fund provided $10 billion, or 7.4 per cent of 2008 GDP, in 2008-2009
to finance the government’s stimulus package. In the Russian Federation, the fiscal measures intro-
duced in 2008 and those announced in 2009 were equivalent to about 7 per cent of GDP. For the first
time since 2000, a budget deficit will emerge in both countries in 2009.


The future dynamics of these countries’ budget deficits will depend on the evolution of
oil prices, the robustness of the economic recovery and the policy decisions regarding maintenance
or withdrawal of fiscal stimulus. Given the starting position—the 2009 shortfall of the federal budget


Box IV.1 (cont’d)


Figure B
Kazakhstan: National Fund assets, January 2006-October 2009


Billions of dollars


Ja
n-


06


A
pr


-0
6


Ju
l-0


6


O
ct


-0
6


Ja
n-


07


A
pr


-0
7


Ju
l-0


7


O
ct


-0
7


Ja
n-


08


A
pr


-0
8


Ju
l-0


8


O
ct


-0
8


Ja
n-


09


A
pr


-0
9


Ju
l-0


9


O
ct


-0
9


0


5


10


15


20


25


30


a See World Economic
Situation and Prospects 2009
(United Nations publication,
Sales No. E.09.II.C.2), chapter
IV, box IV.1, pp. 104-106.


Source: National Bank of
Kazakhstan.




124 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Developing economies
Average growth in developing countries slowed considerably from 5.4 per cent in 2008 to
1.9 per cent in 2009, corresponding to only 1 per cent in per capita terms. Overall, devel-
oping countries were hit hard through financial and, especially, trade channels, with the
magnitude of the impact varying according to openness and export dependence. Coun-
tries whose growth depends strongly on exports of energy, minerals and manufactured
goods were the most severely affected. By contrast, China and India, whose growth is less
export-led, showed resilience, mainly owing to strong fiscal and monetary policy interven-
tions and the large size of their domestic markets. Together with other economies in East
Asia, both countries are expected to be drivers of a global recovery. Over the next year,
economic activity is expected to gain momentum across all developing regions. Many
developing countries in Africa, Western Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean are
expected to experience significant turnarounds as demand for oil and minerals strengthen.
While average growth for developing countries is forecast to accelerate to 5.3 per cent in
2010, it still remains far below its potential.


Overall, the economic slowdown and the deterioration of labour markets had
strong and very likely long-lasting adverse effects on poverty reduction and other develop-
ment goals. As the global recovery still appears to be fragile and slow, developing countries
face major challenges in achieving robust and sustainable growth.


deficit in the Russian Federation is projected at about 9 per cent of GDP—budget deficits will persist
in the coming years. The necessary financing of these deficits will be a radical departure from the
pre-crisis environment, where the Government had practically withdrawn from capital markets. Of-
ficial projections envisage the depletion of the Russian Reserve Fund by the end of 2010. Net foreign
financing in 2010 is initially estimated at $16 billion and similarly large amounts will need to be raised
over the subsequent two years.


The projected reliance on foreign capital markets introduces a new source of vulner-
ability and emphasizes the need to put in place financial and institutional reforms that facilitate the
mobilization of domestic resources. In this context, the potential contribution of privatization initia-
tives may be discussed. The willingness of investors to finance these deficits will depend on the cred-
ibility of the plans put forward to return public finances to more sustainable levels. They will need to
be anchored in medium-term plans that envisage fiscal consolidation as the situation improves. The
current difficulties have, however, unwound progress that has been made in putting in place a formal
system of fiscal rules.


Fiscal balances have deteriorated in virtually all CIS economies as a result of lower eco-
nomic growth, declining trade and falls in the prices of other commodities. Given the absence of
fiscal reserves and the difficulties in financing those deficits, many countries have been unable to
let automatic fiscal stabilizers work fully and have been forced to cut public expenditures, despite
some official financing. In Ukraine, International Monetary Fund (IMF) support envisaged a tightening
of fiscal policy, excluding the costs of domestic banking recapitalization. In Belarus, the agreement
with the IMF did not leave space for counter-cyclical fiscal stimulus, although it did leave support to
the banking sector outside fiscal ceilings. In the poorest countries in the region, the low degree of
financial development has spared them from the costs of a banking crisis. However, external official
financing represents the only way to offset the sharp falls in fiscal revenues and avoid the need for
dramatic compression in expenditure.


Box IV.1 (cont’d)




125Regional developments and outlook


Africa: signs of recovery, but concerns remain


There seems to be a growing sentiment in Africa that the worst of the economic and finan-
cial crisis has passed as signs of recovery begin to appear. The future of many mineral and
oil exporters in the region looks brighter than in early 2009 as the prices and the demand
for these commodities rebounded sharply at the end of the first quarter and general eco-
nomic activities started to resume.


However, economic growth in almost all African countries will remain well
below potential. Aggregate growth in Africa is estimated to be 1.6 per cent in 2009, down
from an average of about 5.7 per cent during the period 2002-2008. Average GDP per
capita for the region contracted by 0.7 per cent in 2009. The richer African countries faced
stronger declines in per capita income than low-income countries owing to greater eco-
nomic linkages with the rest of the world (figure IV.8). As all groups registered a growth
of GDP per capita below 3 per cent, which is considered the minimum rate for achieving a
meaningful reduction in poverty, 2009 marked an unfortunate reversal and offset part of
the hard-earned social and economic gains that had been made in reducing both poverty
and the large gap which still separates Africa from its Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs). In addition, considerable economic difficulties remain, as seen in the two largest
sub-Saharan African economies. In South Africa, manufacturing activities and the labour
market remain depressed. In Nigeria, the banking system is experiencing severe distress.
More worrisome, hunger levels have soared in the Horn of Africa and in East Africa, ow-
ing to prolonged droughts and are exacerbated by increased insecurity in some countries.


At the subregional level, Southern Africa contracted by 1.7 per cent in 2009,
the worst regional performance on the continent. South Africa recorded its first recession
since the collapse of the apartheid regime. This slowdown also spilled over to its neigh-
bours, particularly Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia. West Africa grew by 2.4 per cent in


Some signs of recovery are
beginning to appear …


… but the crisis will likely
have long-lasting effects on
development and poverty
reduction


Southern Africa registered
the strongest contraction,
while East and North Africa
were more resilient


Figure IV.8
Growth of per capita GDP in Africa,a by income group, 2006-2010


Percentage


-3.0


-2.0


-1.0


0.0


1.0


2.0


3.0


4.0


5.0


6.0


7.0


Africa
Low-income


African countries
Lower-middle-income


African countries


Upper-middle-income
and high-income
African countries


2006 2007 2008 2009b 2010c


Source: UN/DESA.
a Excluding Seychelles and


Swaziland, owing to lack
of data.


b Estimated.
c Forecasts.




126 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


2009. Nigeria, the second-largest sub-Saharan economy, grew by 1.9 per cent, as declines in
the industrial sector and crude oil production were offset by increases in agriculture. Mean-
while, other food exporters of the region proved to be quite resilient as the demand and
prices for commodities like cocoa, coffee and bananas remained robust. North Africa, with
an average growth of 3.5 per cent in 2009, was also more resilient, owing to robust domestic
consumption and excellent harvests in Algeria and Morocco. In Morocco, the unemploy-
ment rate even decreased from 9.6 to 8.0 per cent between the first and second quarters
of 2009. East Africa recorded the highest subregional growth rate in 2009: owing to the
dynamism in Ethiopia and in the five member countries of the East African Community,
it expanded by 3.8 per cent. However, the significance of such a positive headline figure ap-
pears questionable in view of severe problems in satisfying the basic needs of a large number
of those countries’ citizens. More specifically, prolonged droughts and variations in rainfall,
accentuated in some cases by conflicts and political turmoil, continue to have a devastat-
ing impact on a region where more than 20 million people are affected by severe hunger.


Unemployment and underemployment remain a major concern in Africa, es-
pecially among women and youth. Moreover, Africa has a very high rate of vulnerable
employment,9 which is expected to rise from 73 to 78 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa and
from 37 to 42 per cent in North Africa between 2008 and 2009.


Weighted average inflation decreased to 8.1 per cent in 2009 as food and oil
prices declined from their peak in 2008, although subregional levels remain diverse. In the
Communauté financière africaine (CFA) zone, inflation is forecast at approximately 4 per
cent in 2009. In North and Southern Africa, it is expected to be about 6 and 8 per cent,
respectively, while it is likely to remain at about 15 per cent in East Africa. In the outlook, as
prices are expected either to decline slightly further or to remain stable at their October 2009
level, inflation is forecast to be about 6 per cent in 2010. However, food prices will likely soar
in many East African countries as the food crisis affecting their populations intensifies.


Many of Africa’s biggest central banks have reduced their main interest rates
by between 3 and 5 percentage points since the last quarter of 2008. While most African
countries’ financial systems have not been adversely affected by the crisis, the Central
Bank of Nigeria injected $2.6 billion into five troubled banks in August 2009 before in-
jecting an additional $1.3 billion into four other banks at the beginning of October.


Due to prudent management of public finances during periods of robust
growth, many African countries entered the current crisis in a better fiscal position than in
past crises. Some countries, such as Egypt, Mauritius, Nigeria and South Africa, embarked
on fiscal stimulus packages, primarily in infrastructure. Nevertheless, the economic crisis
has strained budgets in the region. With the exception of Ghana and a few other countries,
almost all African countries experienced a deterioration of their fiscal balances in 2009.
In oil-importing middle-income countries (MICs), this decline can be mainly explained
by increased government expenditure, while in most of the energy-exporting MICs, the
main factor was the decline in government revenues. The crisis also forced most of the
major oil exporters to switch from fiscal surplus to deficit this year. While most of their
Governments entered the crisis in strong budget positions after the prices of their exports
skyrocketed in 2008, some of these countries, such as Angola, Chad and Nigeria, revised
their budgets downwards for 2009 after oil prices fell below $40 per barrel (pb). Neverthe-
less, near-term prospects look brighter as oil prices have rebounded to $70-$80 pb, and
this may be reflected in the upcoming budgets.


9 Vulnerable employment as defined by the International Labour Office is calculated as the ratio
between the sum of own-account and contributing family workers to total employment.


Vulnerable employment
rates have increased further


Inflation will decline, except
in countries facing a


food crisis


While most financial systems
were not adversely affected,


the Nigerian banking system is
experiencing severe distress


Fiscal balances have
deteriorated in 2009, forcing


several oil exporters to revise
their budgets downwards




127Regional developments and outlook


Regarding trade, aggregate exports declined faster than imports owing to the
sharp drop in the prices of oil and minerals. Hence, the aggregate African trade and
current-account balances, which are mainly determined by the price of oil, switched into
deficit in 2009 and will probably remain so in 2010. However, this aggregate picture
contrasts dramatically with some country-specific situations. For instance, South Africa’s
trade balance moved into surplus in the second quarter of 2009 following a sharp decline
in its volume of merchandise imports.


Preliminary data suggest that FDI flows to Africa declined in 2009, following
five years of uninterrupted growth. Natural-resource producers, which attract a large share of
the region’s inflows, suffered particularly as some projects were interrupted. Rwanda, whose
FDI went up sharply during the first half of 2009, constitutes one of the few exceptions.


In comparing the average monthly levels for African currencies between Janu-
ary and September 2009 with the 2008 average, all African currencies had depreciated
vis-à-vis the dollar as that currency had recorded a significant rebound in the second half
of 2008 and early 2009 owing to flight-to-safety effects (see chapter I). While the average
depreciation had been about 10 per cent up until September 2009, the currencies of the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Seychelles and Zambia had depreciated by
more than 30 per cent.


The global economic crisis and adverse weather shocks have undoubtedly com-
plicated efforts to restructure those African economies that continue to rely heavily on ag-
riculture and commodity exports. However, while significant threats to political stability
persist in several countries, modest progress has been observed in terms of improvements
in economic governance and public sector management.10 This progress may have helped
some African countries to mitigate the worst social and economic consequences of the
global crisis. Moreover, several African countries have continued to implement long-term
reforms to improve their business environment and investment climate, despite the chal-
lenges presented by the crisis.


While African countries have taken a number of initiatives to lessen the im-
pact of the economic downturn, their recovery will mainly depend on the revival of the
global economy. Moreover, many African countries are expected to remain below their
growth potential during the next few years, as the economic crisis will have long-lasting
effects. As global demand recovers, Africa is projected to grow by 4.3 per cent in 2010. In
addition, African countries are expected to benefit from plans to boost domestic demand
and from a gradual recovery in FDI and other private flows.


However, numerous downside risks to economic growth remain. A key struc-
tural element relates to the continued high dependence of most African economies on
primary commodity exports, which are subject to strong fluctuations in demand and pric-
es. Other downside risks include the possibility of prolonged global recession, failure of
donors to meet aid commitments, fragility of domestic financial sectors, limited access to
foreign borrowing, erratic weather conditions and political instability in some countries.
To mitigate these risks, Africa needs to make greater efforts, with the help of donors and
international financial institutions, to implement long-term reforms and strategies in order
to reduce vulnerability to external shocks, improve mechanisms of transparent and effec-
tive public administration, strengthen private sector development and promote invest-
ment, employment generation and poverty reduction.


10 Economic Commission for Africa, African Governance Report II, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
United Kingdom, 2009.


African trade and current
accounts switched into
deficit as oil revenues
dropped


FDI is likely to decline
as projects have been
interrupted


All African currencies
depreciated by an average
of 10 per cent compared
with 2008


African growth continues to
rely heavily on agriculture
and commodity exports,
but progress has been
made in improving
governance


Although Africa’s future
looks bright, growth will
remain below potential
over the next few years




128 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


East Asia: leading the global recovery


The East Asian economies rebounded in the course of 2009 after suffering severe down-
turns in the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, when exports, industrial pro-
duction and domestic investment weakened sharply. Driven by a strong performance of
China’s economy, average regional growth in 2009 is estimated at 4.1 per cent, down from
6.2 per cent in 2008 (see annex table A.3). Economic activity in East Asia is expected to
gain further momentum in 2010 as exports and private sector demand continue to recover,
with average growth forecast at 6.7 per cent.


In many East Asian economies, strongly expanding government expenditures
on consumption and investment drove the recovery. At the same time, aggressive mon-
etary easing and fiscal policy measures, such as tax rebates and the extension of credit
lines to households and firms, supported private sector demand. Since the second quarter
of 2009, export sectors have recovered gradually as demand for manufactured goods sta-
bilized, trade finance improved and inventories were built up. Overall, growth disparities
within the region were wider in 2009 than in previous years although most countries
benefited from strong macroeconomic fundamentals at the onset of the crisis. Viet Nam
and the region’s less export-dependent economies of China and Indonesia showed remark-
able resilience on the back of buoyant domestic demand, which had been spurred by rapid
credit growth and sizeable fiscal stimulus measures. In fact, much of East Asia’s growth
in 2009 is accounted for by China, where GDP expanded by 8.1 per cent compared to
9.0 per cent in 2008. In 2010, growth in China is forecast to accelerate to 8.8 per cent as
economic policies remain expansionary. The smaller, heavily export-dependent economies
of the region were much harder hit by the global recession, with rapidly falling exports
triggering severe declines in investment. Several of these economies, for instance Hong
Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China and Singapore will experience full-
year contractions of GDP in 2009. However, they did rebound strongly in the course of
the year and are likely to benefit the most from the expected recovery of global demand
and trade activity in 2010.


Across East Asia, labour markets started to improve in the second half of 2009
after deteriorating markedly at the beginning of the year, when the manufacturing indus-
tries in the region suffered dramatic contractions. Government measures, such as direct
wage subsidies, tax reductions, easier access to credit and higher infrastructure spending,
played a key role in alleviating an emerging employment crisis. In 2010, labour markets
are expected to see further modest improvements owing to the recovery of export indus-
tries and continued government stimulus in support of domestic demand. In the heavily
export-dependent economies, unemployment rates are now much higher than in recent
years. In Taiwan Province of China, for instance, the unemployment rate reached 6.1
per cent in August 2009, the highest level since record-keeping began in 1978. In some
of the more populous countries of the region, including China, Indonesia and the Philip-
pines, the impact of the current crisis on unemployment levels has been relatively muted.
However, since in many countries, labour surveys are conducted only infrequently and
underemployment is often not adequately recorded, the actual employment situation may
be weaker than suggested by officially reported data. Several countries, for instance Indo-
nesia and Thailand, registered an increase in informal and vulnerable employment as weak
social protection systems and widespread poverty have forced people to take whatever
work is available.


East Asia has rebounded
after experiencing a sharp


economic slowdown


Expansionary monetary
and fiscal policies are


driving the recovery


Government measures
have helped stabilize


labour markets




129Regional developments and outlook


Average consumer price inflation in East Asia declined from 6.0 per cent in
2008 to 0.6 per cent in 2009 owing to weaker domestic demand, significant excess pro-
duction capacity and, most importantly, lower oil and commodity prices in world markets.
Several economies, including China, Taiwan Province of China and Thailand, experi-
enced deflationary pressures. However, these pressures started to ease in the third quarter
as the base effect of the surge in energy and commodity prices in 2008 began to wane and
economic activity across the region recovered. Inflation is expected to rise mildly in the
course of 2010, mainly as a result of shrinking output gaps and higher global commodity
prices. Nonetheless, in most countries, inflation will likely remain low during 2010, except
in Viet Nam, where pressures are expected to be high.


Central banks across the region eased monetary policy aggressively between
October 2008 and April 2009 to increase credit flows, support domestic liquidity and
stimulate demand. During the rest of 2009, interest rates were kept at record lows in
most countries as inflationary pressures continued to be subdued. The easing of liquid-
ity stimulated credit expansion and domestic spending: for instance, domestic credit in
China, Indonesia and Malaysia continued to record double-digit growth in 2009, fuelling
concerns of asset bubbles. The People’s Bank of China started to implement measures to
rein in liquidity and bank lending, while thus far refraining from interest-rate hikes. In
general, monetary authorities are expected to maintain an accommodative policy stance
until a sustained recovery is ensured or inflationary pressures increase considerably. An
early and decisive tightening of monetary policy is also complicated by the fact that it
would likely fuel the appreciation of the domestic currency against the currencies of ma-
jor trading partners, thus weakening the domestic export sector. Nevertheless, some East
Asian central banks are expected to start raising interest rates from their current lows in
the first half of 2010.


Most East Asian Governments responded to the sharp economic slowdown
in the second half of 2008 by announcing large fiscal stimulus packages with a view to
strengthening domestic demand, supporting the business sector and mitigating the im-
pact of the crisis on the vulnerable and the poor. Overall, discretionary support during
the course of 2009 has been stronger than in most other regions as East Asian economies
benefited from healthy fiscal positions at the onset of the crisis. In addition, automatic
stabilizers, such as welfare payments and unemployment insurance are relatively weak. In
2010, fiscal policy will remain expansionary overall, but many Governments will start to
remove some of the extraordinary stimulus measures put in place in 2009 and will gradu-
ally move towards a more neutral policy stance. In China, the Government indicated that
it would continue to implement its proactive fiscal policy. The increase in government
spending led to a marked deterioration of fiscal balances in 2009. Nonetheless, budget
deficits remained relatively moderate in most countries, ranging from 2.5 per cent to 5 per
cent of GDP. Malaysia and Viet Nam have been outliers, registering deficits of more than
8 per cent, adding to concerns about fiscal sustainability.


The current crisis has illustrated the dependence of many East Asian econo-
mies on exports as their engine of growth. In the final months of 2008 and at the begin-
ning of 2009, East Asia’s merchandise exports and imports declined precipitously as the
impact of lower final demand from developed economies was compounded by the high
import content of the region’s manufactured exports. Since the second quarter of 2009,
exports and imports recovered gradually owing to improved trade finance, restocking of
inventories and stabilizing final demand for manufactured goods. In most East Asian


Inflationary pressures
remain low, mainly owing
to excess capacities


Monetary policy will remain
accommodative in 2010,
though some central banks
may start raising interest
rates


Some Governments will
gradually remove the
extraordinary stimulus
measures


Exports have started to
recover after contracting
sharply in early 2009




130 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


economies, the decline in export earnings in 2009 was more than offset by reduced im-
port bills, resulting in improved trade balances, most notably in Indonesia, the Republic
of Korea and Thailand. The main exception is China, whose trade and current-account
surpluses shrank markedly—a trend that seems unlikely to continue in 2010. Import bills
will rise considerably in 2010 as domestic demand recovers and international energy prices
move up. Trade surpluses may therefore start to narrow in many countries despite growth
in export earnings. In several East Asian economies, particularly in the Republic of Korea,
export sectors benefited from significant real depreciations of the national currencies in
2008 and early 2009 (see figure IV.9). However, since then, some currencies, such as the
Indonesian rupiah, have appreciated markedly as a result of massive capital inflows, raising
concerns among policymakers (see also box IV.2). Meanwhile, China faces mounting in-
ternational pressure to allow the renminbi to appreciate and contribute more significantly
to a global rebalancing.


While the overall outlook for East Asia is favourable, the region faces several
major policy challenges and downside risks, including a premature exit or sharp reversal of
the expansionary monetary and fiscal policy measures that were put in place over the past
year. In some countries, continued large capital inflows, combined with strong domestic
credit growth and sharply higher international commodity prices, might fuel asset bubbles
and increase inflationary pressures. Central banks may therefore see the need to tighten
monetary policy more aggressively than currently anticipated, thus hampering the fragile
economic recovery. Besides, a possible escalation of the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic
may undermine consumer confidence and harm the tourism sector, which is important for
several East Asian economies.


The timing of the monetary
and fiscal exit strategies


poses a key policy
challenge


Figure IV.9
Real effective exchange rates in selected East Asian countries, 2005-2009


January 2005=100


60


80


100


120


140


160


180


Jan-05 Jul-05 Jan-06 Jul-06 Jan-07 Jul-07 Jan-08 Jul-08 Jan-09 Jul-09


Indonesian
rupiah


Chinese renminbi


Korean won


Thai baht


Philippine peso


Source: UN/DESA, based on
data from JPMorgan.


Note: An increase in the
value indicates a real effective


appreciation of the currency
(see annex table A.13


for details).




131Regional developments and outlook


Progress in monetary and financial
cooperation in Asia and the Pacific


The global financial and economic crisis has again directed the attention of policymakers to the
lack of financial tools and policies available at the regional level over and above those in the
hands of national governments. While most countries had built up sufficient reserves to protect
their balance of payments, other countries, most notably Pakistan and Sri Lanka, were severely
impacted by capital outflows and did not have recourse to regional sources of assistance.


So far, the potential for monetary and financial cooperation in the region has only
been marginally tapped. A pressing policy gap for the region, which has been highlighted by
the recent crisis, is the lack of mechanisms for coordinating exchange-rate policies. Such mecha-
nisms could be particularly important during the economic recovery phase as pressure on coun-
tries to maintain exchange-rate competitiveness increases. The Asian Clearing Union, which was
established in 1974 at the initiative of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the
Pacific (ESCAP), remains limited to the clearing of settlements and does not deal with exchange-
rate stability for intraregional trade. The development of an Asian bond market, another regional
initiative, could also be accelerated. At present, it remains at the preparatory stage, with discus-
sions among Governments relating to issues such as regulation and harmonization. Integration
and credibility of regional bonds could be encouraged through the issuance of debt denomi-
nated in Asian Currency Units or a similar basket of currencies.


The current crisis presents the region with a window of opportunity to press for-
ward with a truly effective regional crisis-response fund. Such a window also opened immedi-
ately after the 1997 crisis but the relatively rapid return to economic growth resulted in a loss of
policy urgency.


As agreed at the Fifteenth Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) held in Hua Hin, Thailand, from 23 to 25 October 2009, the ASEAN Plus Three Chiang
Mai Initiative reserve pool—known as the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM)—will
be implemented by the end of 2009. The agreement paves the way for the conversion of the
existing system of bilateral swap agreements between ASEAN Plus Three countries, amount-
ing to $80 billion, to a multilateral pool of $120 billion. Eighty per cent of the new funds will be
provided by the Plus Three countries, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. Japan will contrib-
ute $38.4 billion to the pool (it has also extended $60 billion worth of yen-denominated swap
facilities separately), as will China (including Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of
China), while the Republic of Korea will contribute $19.2 billion. Within ASEAN, the contributions
of member economies will be made primarily by Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore (each
contributing $4.76 billion) and the Philippines ($3.68 billion). The reserve pool could evolve into
a truly effective first line of defence in situations of balance-of-payments difficulties or banking
sector pressures. However, it appears at present that the same restrictive conditions attached to
the Chiang Mai Initiative remain in place, most importantly the fact that only 20 per cent of bor-
rowing is unrestricted, while 80 per cent is tied to IMF conditionality.


Many other issues still need to be resolved before this agreement can fulfil its func-
tion as a defence mechanism in the event of a balance-of-payments crisis. For the agreement to
become a first line of defence during a crisis, its geographical coverage, size and functions will
need to be expanded. To be effective in preventing systemic crises, a regional crisis fund should
attempt to include as many systemically important countries in the region as possible. The quan-
tum of resources placed in the fund should be sufficient for it to act as the lender of first resort in
the event of macroeconomic difficulties. Within its remit, the fund should also ideally include sup-
port to domestic financial sectors by Governments, in addition to balance-of-payments support,
similar to the lending provided by the IMF to countries in difficulty. Critically, for the fund to be
operational, an institutional structure must be set up and would include revising the relationship
with the IMF. The fund would require a physical infrastructure with a well-qualified and independ-
ent secretariat that would engage in monitoring economies prior to and during crises as well as in
designing and monitoring the terms associated with lending to regional Governments.


Box IV.2




132 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


South Asia: resilience to the global crisis


The global economic crisis adversely affected South Asia through weakening export de-
mand and reduced capital inflows, but the slowdown in growth has been less severe than
in other developing regions. Average growth decelerated moderately from 6.5 per cent
in 2008 to 4.7 per cent in 2009. Overall, South Asian economies showed considerable
resilience as domestic demand was supported by strong remittance inflows, lower infla-
tionary pressures, accommodative monetary policies and sizeable fiscal stimulus measures.
In 2010, regional growth is expected to pick up, to 5.5 per cent, as exports recover and
domestic demand remains strong (see annex table A.3).


India continues to lead the growth momentum of the region and its economy
expanded by 5.9 per cent in 2009, down from 7.3 per cent in 2008. Growth was under-
pinned by a large increase in public expenditures. Private consumption and investment
also continued to expand—although at a lower pace than in previous years—owing to tax
cuts and the easing of credit delivery to specific economic sectors. In 2010, growth is fore-
cast to accelerate to 6.5 per cent on the back of stronger private consumption and invest-
ment and a moderate recovery of exports. The long-term growth prospects of the Indian
economy remain promising given the high rates of domestic savings and investment and
the improved macroeconomic policy environment.


Pakistan and Sri Lanka have received support from the IMF after suffering
from large budgetary and external imbalances, which had resulted in a sharp decelera-
tion of economic growth. However, Pakistan’s outlook continues to be fragile owing to
the volatile security situation and the ongoing violence, even though a slight recovery is
projected in 2010. The prospects for Sri Lanka’s economy, by contrast, have improved as
the 25-year-long civil war ended in May 2009. In Bangladesh and Nepal, economic activ-
ity has so far been only mildly impacted by the global crisis. In both countries, private
consumption has remained buoyant on the back of robust growth in workers’ remittances
and strong agricultural output. The Islamic Republic of Iran experienced a sharp economic
slowdown since mid-2008 owing to lower oil prices and declining oil production, but a
moderate recovery is expected in 2010.


Labour markets in South Asia continue to be characterized by a large informal
sector and a heavy dependence on agriculture. While the impact of the economic crisis on
official unemployment rates has been less pronounced than in other developing regions,
labour-market pressures have intensified over the past year. Recent surveys in India and
Sri Lanka show that the economic slowdown adversely affected employment levels, par-
ticularly in export-oriented industries, as well as the quality of employment. In India, the
textile sector saw large job losses in 2009 as it suffered from weaker demand in developed
economies and price cuts by Bangladeshi competitors. By contrast, employment levels in
Indian firms catering to the domestic market have been largely unaffected by the slow-
down. Moreover, the 2006 National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), by
which adults living in rural areas are guaranteed at least 100 days of wage employment per
year, helped to mitigate the effect of slowing output growth. In Sri Lanka, unemployment
increased to 6.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2009, up from 5.3 per cent a year ago,
while the labour force participation rate declined to its lowest level in over a decade.


Inflation in most South Asian countries slowed in 2009 owing to the drop
in commodity prices and the softening of aggregate demand pressures. Regional aver-
age inflation declined from its decade high of 12.6 per cent in 2008 to 10.9 per cent in
2009. However, in India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nepal and Pakistan, inflation—


South Asia has shown
considerable resilience in


the face of the global crisis


Robust growth, particularly
in India, is supported by


increased public spending


Export-oriented industries
saw significant job


losses in 2009


Food price inflation remains
elevated despite lower


commodity prices




133Regional developments and outlook


particularly food price inflation—has remained persistently high due to a variety of fac-
tors, including large nominal exchange-rate depreciations, the reduction of fuel and other
subsidies, the upward revision of minimum support prices for agricultural crops, as well
as poor harvests owing to late monsoon rains in 2009. Unless international oil and com-
modity prices rise more quickly than expected in 2010, inflation is likely to slow in most
countries, the regional average being forecast at 9.8 per cent.


Most South Asian central banks eased monetary policy in 2009, following a
long period of monetary tightening in the region. Reduced inflationary pressures allowed
for interest-rate cuts and other accommodative measures in order to provide greater liquidi-
ty to financial institutions and stimulate domestic economic activity. Most importantly, the
monetary authorities tried to ensure adequate credit flows to productive sectors by directly
influencing credit supplies. An example is the agricultural-cum-rural credit policy and pro-
gramme in Bangladesh. The quick and aggressive moves by the Reserve Bank of India
(RBI) helped to stabilize the financial sector and cushion the impact of the global crisis on
the domestic economy. Other central banks eased monetary policy more slowly as inflation-
ary concerns persisted. In the near term, most central banks are expected to maintain their
accommodative policy stance as growth remains below potential and inflation continues to
decline. However, the RBI is expected to tighten monetary policy in the course of 2010 as
the focus is expected to shift gradually towards addressing inflationary fears.


Faced with challenging global conditions and slowing domestic economies,
most South Asian Governments pursued expansionary fiscal policies in 2009, which re-
sulted in further increasing budget deficits. Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka implemented
fiscal stimulus packages that included, for instance, special support for the sectors that
were most severely affected by the crisis, additional spending on infrastructure and social
programmes and—in the case of India—sizeable tax cuts. While fiscal expenditures in-
creased significantly, revenue growth weakened over the past year. Therefore, most econo-
mies experienced sharply deteriorating fiscal balances in 2009, with deficits in Bangladesh,
India and Sri Lanka ranging from 6 to 9 per cent of GDP. Several Governments, most
notably that of India, are expected to wind down the stimulus measures in 2010 with a
view to reducing the budget deficits.


Despite a drop in export revenues, trade and current-account balances im-
proved in all South Asian economies in 2009 except in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Exports sectors were hard hit as demand from developed countries declined sharply, par-
ticularly for manufactured goods. The Islamic Republic of Iran, India and Pakistan reg-
istered the most severe contractions, with annual export earnings falling by more than
17 per cent. However, exports started to recover in several South Asian economies in the
second half of 2009—a trend that is likely to continue in 2010. The decline in global
energy and food prices, combined with the slowdown in domestic demand, led to sharply
lower import bills, while remittance inflows continued to increase substantially. Current-
account deficits narrowed markedly as a share of GDP in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh is expected to report a larger surplus than in 2008. Meanwhile, pressures on
the domestic currencies of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka eased in the course of 2009 fol-
lowing sharp depreciations earlier.


In the near term, a sharper-than-expected slowdown in remittance inflows,
renewed weakness in exports and lower agricultural output may drag economic growth
in South Asian countries. Most economies continue to be highly vulnerable to weather
conditions owing to insufficient irrigation and extensive subsistence farming. Lower agri-
cultural output, combined with a marked rise in energy prices, may also push up inflation,


Most central banks are
expected to maintain their
accommodative monetary
policy stance


Expansionary fiscal policies
have led to sizeable budget
deficits


Current-account balances
have improved despite
sharply lower export
revenues


Slowing remittance inflows
and higher inflation may
harm domestic demand




134 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


which has remained elevated in several countries. This may constrain household spending,
one of the drivers of growth in recent years. In the medium term, considerable risks are
associated with the high fiscal deficits of many countries.


Western Asia: improving global conditions
will underpin a return to positive growth


With the world economy starting to see a recovery from recession through the second
and third quarters of 2009, the economic sentiment in Western Asia has improved from
pessimism to cautious optimism. As the region comprises the major crude oil exporters,
the strong recovery of prices for crude oil to about $80 per barrel has contributed to the
optimistic projection for 2010. Nevertheless, Western Asia is estimated to experience an
economic contraction by 1.0 per cent in 2009, down from a positive growth rate of 4.6
per cent in 2008 (see annex table A.3). The regional contraction is mainly driven by those
economies characterized by a stronger international economic linkage with the United
States and Europe. A fall in external demand and lower fund inflows from developed
countries, especially in terms of private foreign capital, contributed to lower net exports
and a slowdown in investment projects. However, as in the case of Saudi Arabia, for ex-
ample, resilient domestic demand, backed not least by fiscal stimulus measures, helped to
prevent an even sharper fall in economic growth. In 2010, the region is forecast to experi-
ence a rebound in economic growth to 3.6 per cent, underpinned by a solid performance
of the oil-exporting economies in the light of higher oil prices.


External demand conditions, which in many respects led the region into the
downturn, will also determine the extent and speed of the recovery. Oil exporters will ben-
efit from the recovery in oil prices from their trough at the end of 2008, which was driven
by more optimistic expectations regarding global growth and its effect on oil demand, by
the fall in the value of the dollar and, at least in part, by a significant production cut by the
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that became effective at the
beginning of 2009. In Saudi Arabia, for example, after a sharp contraction by more than
50 per cent in 2009 compared with the previous year, the trade surplus will move up again
by about 37 per cent to $103 billion in 2010. At the same time, non-oil exporters have been
suffering from a sharp drop in global demand across virtually all product groups. However,
with imports having contracted even more severely, countries such as Israel and Turkey will
experience narrowing trade deficits in 2009. They are, however, expected to widen again in
2010 following the stabilization of domestic demand and higher import bills.


Meanwhile, domestic demand conditions varied widely among the countries
in the region. Private consumption has suffered from generally weaker consumer senti-
ment in the course of the crisis. At the same time, personal disposable incomes are also
under pressure from rising unemployment. In Turkey, government stimulus measures have
helped to avoid a sharp contraction in private consumption. Similarly, Kuwait, Saudi Ara-
bia and the United Arab Emirates are expected to experience continued growth in do-
mestic demand in 2009, despite the contraction in real GDP and thanks to expansionary
fiscal policies.


Consumer price inflation peaked in the second half of 2008. As a general
trend, the rate of consumer price inflation has been declining since then in several coun-
tries in view of weaker demand and lower commodity prices. In this context, in the oil-
exporting economies, the lower oil price has removed upward price pressures both on the


Economic sentiment has
improved from pessimism


to cautious optimism


Trade surpluses will
increase again with


rebounding oil prices


Fiscal stimulus is upholding
domestic demand


Inflation has been
decreasing, but is forecast


to pick up moderately
in 2010




135Regional developments and outlook


supply and the demand sides, as lower revenues have curtailed overall demand. The decline
in inflation has been particularly pronounced in Qatar, with the estimated consumer price
inflation declining from 15.0 per cent in 2008 to -1.4 per cent in 2009 owing to lower
commodity prices and a considerably weaker housing market. A similar scenario has been
playing out in the United Arab Emirates, with inflation dropping from 12.3 per cent in
2008 to 1.5 per cent in 2009. In 2010, inflation is forecast to pick up moderately owing
to the impact of the decline in the value of the dollar in those economies with a currency
peg and low base effects.


The once-feared reverse mass migration of expatriate workers from the member
countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)11 did not take place (see box IV.3) as
the labour markets showed resilience. However, labour markets remained weaker in other
parts of the region. For example, the unemployment rate of Jordan rose to 14.0 per cent
in the third quarter of 2009, from 12.0 per cent in the same period of the previous year,
while Turkey’s unemployment rate increased to 12.8 per cent in July 2009, compared with
9.9 per cent in July 2008.


11 Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


While widespread reverse
migration from the Gulf
Cooperation Council
countries has not occurred
so far, unemployment is
rising elsewhere


The early impact of the financial crisis on expatriate
workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries


At the onset of the current global financial crisis, one of the major economic and social concerns in
the Western Asia region, besides the abrupt plunge in crude oil prices, was the state of expatriate
workers in the region’s major oil-exporting countries, namely the member States of the Gulf Coopera-
tion Council (GCC).a Despite active efforts to promote employment of national citizens in the private
sector, the GCC member countries have remained dependent upon expatriate workers, implying a
significant influx of foreign workers during the economic boom. This led to a pronounced expansion
in the foreign workforce of the GCC countries, with the share of foreign nationals in the total popula-
tion reaching 49 per cent in Bahrain (2007), 69 per cent in Kuwait (2008), 29 per cent in Oman (2007),
27 per cent in Saudi Arabia (2008) and 81 per cent in the United Arab Emirates (2008), and the share of
foreign nationals 15 years of age and older reaching 89 per cent in Qatar (2006). As the global finan-
cial crisis initially had a particular impact on the region’s core activities in the private sector, namely
finance and construction, there had been fears of massive job losses and an exodus of expatriate
workers from the GCC countries, leading to possible severe repercussions for both the host countries
and the labour-exporting countries in the Arab and Asia regions.


However, up to the third quarter of 2009, there has been no sign of a large-scale exodus
of expatriate workers. A case in point is Lebanon, which is significantly dependent upon employment
opportunities in the GCC member countries as well as workers’ remittances from these countries,
and where no appreciable number of returning expatriates has been reported. The picture is similar
for other major labour-exporting countries for which data are available. For example, workers’ remit-
tances from the GCC member countries to Pakistan have been increasing and remittances to the
Philippines were stable until the second quarter of 2009. Meanwhile, remittances to Egypt decreased
in the first quarter of 2009, but showed a recovery in the second quarter (see figure). Assuming that
informal remittance flows are correlated to the officially recorded flows by central banks, these data
suggest that outflows of workers’ remittances from the GCC member countries have remained fairly
stable despite the financial crisis.


The GCC countries manage the hiring and firing of expatriate workers under a sponsor-
ship system, whereby a transfer of expatriate workers from one employer to another is restricted. Once
laid off and losing the sponsoring employer, an expatriate worker mostly must leave the host country.
The system’s influence is reflected in official unemployment figures. In 2008, the unemployment rate


Box IV.3


a The Gulf Cooperation
Council comprises Bahrain,
Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates.




136 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


for nationals in Saudi Arabia stood at 9.8 per cent, while that for foreigners stood at 0.4 per cent. In the
United Arab Emirates, the unemployment rate for the national workforce was 13.8 per cent, whereas
that for foreigners was 2.6 per cent. The GCC countries have been actively engaged in labour-market
reforms in recent years. Although the job security of nationals became an urgent policy challenge
only when economies slowed, reforms regarding the employment of expatriate workers have been
ongoing. Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia had all taken measures to reform the sponsorship
system by the third quarter of 2009. In particular, in May, Bahrain decided to allow expatriate workers to
shift jobs without the sponsor’s permission. This was the first significant relaxation of the sponsorship
system in the GCC member countries. The decision was enforced in August, and, in the same month,
Kuwait followed Bahrain’s lead.


There are four possible explanations for the relatively stable employment situation of
expatriate workers in the GCC member countries. First, despite a possible contraction of GDP in major
crude oil-exporting countries, domestic demand continued to expand moderately on the back of
active fiscal measures that lessened the impact on the employment situation (all GCC countries had
committed to an active fiscal policy for the year 2009). Second, employers might be expecting an
imminent upturn in economic activity and so maintained their pool of expatriate workers to avoid
possible high costs of new recruitment in the future. In fact, in the debate on sponsorship system re-
form, those against relaxing the rule of employee transfers cited higher recruitment costs as a major
concern. Third, within the GCC countries, expatriate workers are relocating to areas less affected by
the financial crisis. For example, the remittance data of the State Bank of Pakistan in 2009 shows an
increase of remittances from Abu Dhabi and a decrease from Dubai. Anecdotal evidence also shows
a move of expatriate workers to Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Fourth, flexible wage adjustments may take
place to the mutual benefit of employers and employees. This argument is supported by the absence
of any second-round effects of the inflation in 2007-2008, and the rapid decline in consumer inflation
rates in 2009.


Box IV.3 (cont’d)


Workers’ remittances from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries,
first quarter 2008-second quarter 2009


Millions of dollars


0


200


400


600


800


1000


1200


1400


2008-Q1 2008-Q2 2008-Q3 2008-Q4 2009-Q1 2009-Q2


Egypt


Pakistan


Philippines


Sources: Central Bank of
Egypt, State Bank of Pakistan


and Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas.




137Regional developments and outlook


International and intraregional investment flows have taken on a more selec-
tive nature in the wake of the crisis, not least due to increased risk aversion. At the height
of the crisis, the drying-up of international credit markets and the sharp contraction in
crude oil prices severely curtailed investment levels. However, the normalization in credit
markets and the recovery in oil prices have also revived investment flows, although there
is a stronger risk awareness attached to them. In addition, government stimulus measures
have also helped to underpin investment levels.


Exchange rates in the region stayed stable as of the end of the third quarter of
2009, with the new Israeli shekel and the Turkish lira showing a slight appreciation against
the dollar for 2009. Signs of fragility have been observed in Yemen, whose national cur-
rency has gradually depreciated against the dollar. Despite a positive decision at the GCC
summit in December 2008, the goal of creating a GCC currency union in January 2010
has been facing further challenges as the United Arab Emirates has opted not to partici-
pate in the currency union from its inception.


A series of reductions in policy interest rates have been observed in the region
since October 2008, together with the reduction in commercial banks’ reserve require-
ments and the provision of extra liquidity facilities. Owing to falling general price levels,
the region’s monetary authorities are expected to maintain a supportive stance focused
on stabilizing economic growth, although this room for manoeuvre will diminish more
noticeably in the second half of 2010 in view of the expected rise in inflation. With Israel
having already seen the first hike in its policy interest rate in the light of inflation that is
running slightly above the policymakers’ target range, more economies are expected to
follow suit in 2010.


Fiscal policies remain dominant in stimulating economic activity in many
economies in the region. However, fiscal balances are being squeezed from different di-
rections. In the oil-exporting countries, revenue will be lower in 2009 compared to 2008
owing to lower average oil prices, while non-oil-exporting countries in the region will see
lower tax revenue as a result of weaker domestic demand. On the expenditure side, while
lower average oil prices in 2009 will reduce subsidies on domestic energy prices, this fiscal
gain is expected to be outweighed by increased spending in an effort to create jobs and, in
the case of the oil-exporting countries, to diversify the structure of their economies. Taken
as a whole, supportive fiscal policies will generate sizeable budget deficits in virtually all
economies in the region. This will include even more extreme swings in fiscal positions,
such as in Saudi Arabia, which is forecast to see a fall in its budget balance from a surplus
of 33.0 per cent of GDP in 2008 to a deficit of 9.0 per cent in 2009. However, oil exporters
will be in the relatively more comfortable position of being able to sustain deficit spending
measures by drawing on the fiscal reserves that they have accumulated since 2002.


The fragility in crude oil prices represents the main downside risk in Western
Asia. Crude oil prices are an indicator not only for the oil-exporting countries’ income
and wealth, but they also constitute an important determinant of economic sentiment that
influences forward-looking economic behaviour in the majority of countries in the region.
In this respect, an unexpected sharp fall in oil prices could again set off a more severe
contraction in economic activity in the region. In addition, unexpected fiscal austerity
measures could dent domestic demand, subjecting the economic recovery in the region to
renewed uncertainty.


Investment flows have
recovered and have also
become more selective


Exchange rates have been
resilient


Monetary policy is likely to
tighten later in 2010


Fiscal balances are facing a
multitude of pressures


Risks include a sharper
correction in oil prices and
unexpected fiscal austerity
measures




138 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Latin America and the Caribbean: policy stimulus and
rebounding commodity prices improve the outlook for 2010


After five consecutive years of GDP growth above 4 per cent, Latin America and the
Caribbean contracted by 2.1 per cent in 2009, as growth across the region fell sharply in
the first half of the year. Mexico, whose economy contracted by 9.2 per cent in the first
semester, and Central American countries are among the economies expected to register
the lowest growth figures this year. In 2010, the regional economy, which has already
presented signs of recovery in the third quarter of 2009, is forecast to return to positive
growth of 3.4 per cent (see annex table A.3).


Latin American and Caribbean economies suffered primarily from a decrease
in external demand and low commodity prices for their exports. In addition, a rapid con-
traction of private consumption and investment aggravated the economic outlook for
2009. The contraction of private consumption was exacerbated by a sharp reduction in
migrants’ remittances to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, where double-digit
falls were registered between the second quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2009.


In several countries, active counter-cyclical policies, including a significant
increase in government consumption, prevented more severe contractions. By the third
quarter of 2009, economic activity had stopped falling in most countries, consumer con-
fidence had improved, and signs of recovery had emerged. In 2010, the region as a whole
is expected to recover, owing mainly to the rebound of commodity prices and higher
external demand.


The pace of recovery is expected to vary across the region. In South America,
the recovery will be faster, led by Brazil and sustained by the expansion of domestic con-
sumption and the improvement of external demand, in particular from China. According
to the United Nations baseline forecast, the Brazilian economy is expected to grow by 4.5
per cent in 2010. In contrast, the recovery in Mexico and the Central American and Car-
ibbean countries depends on a better performance of the United States economy. Mexico’s
economy is forecast to grow by 3.0 per cent in 2010, recovering from a decline of 7 per
cent in 2009.


In the first half of 2009, there were massive job losses, especially in manu-
facturing sectors. This pushed up both unemployment rates and informal sector employ-
ment. About 2.5 million more urban workers became unemployed in the region in 2009,
pushing up total urban unemployment to 18.4 million. Fiscal stimulus measures have
prevented greater employment losses. Increasing unemployment rates started to decelerate
in the second quarter of 2009. The average unemployment rate for the region is expected
to increase to 8.5 per cent in 2009, up from 7.5 per cent in 2008. The rate would have
been much higher, had the participation rate not declined as much as it did in the first
half of 2009. Despite a projected economic recovery in the region, unemployment rates are
expected to remain at their elevated levels in 2010.


Rising unemployment poses serious risks to economic recovery. In addition,
the shrinking formal job sector has pushed many more people into low productivity in-
formal sector jobs and into poverty, so that the deeper social impact of the economic crisis
may not become more evident until 2010. In several countries, this could pose an addi-
tional challenge for public spending, as greater pressures could be exerted on Governments
to increase compensatory social transfers.


In most Latin American and Caribbean countries, inflationary pressures eased
in 2009. Average inflation is estimated to reach 6.2 per cent in 2009, down from 7.8 per


A rebound in the second
half of 2009 is expected to
be followed by a recovery


in 2010


Unemployment rates are
stabilizing, but poverty is


expected to increase


Inflation pressures
have eased




139Regional developments and outlook


cent in 2008. The deceleration of inflation was more pronounced in Chile, Colombia, Ec-
uador and Peru. Two factors explain the reduction in inflationary pressures. First, higher
unemployment and lower domestic demand have reduced pressure on domestic prices.
Second, falling commodity prices reduced cost-push pressures, especially in countries that
are net importers of food and energy. These factors were of less importance in the Bolivar-
ian Republic of Venezuela where inflation rates have continued to be high, at about 30 per
cent, driven by higher taxes and a shortage of essential products. In 2010, despite higher
oil prices, inflation is expected to remain subdued as domestic demand growth will be
limited in most countries and exchange rates are expected to strengthen along with the
weakening of the United States dollar.


Central banks, in particular those in Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru, started
to ease monetary policy aggressively in the last quarter of 2008 in response to emerging
liquidity shortages. In addition, several central banks, in particular those of Argentina
and Brazil, lowered the legal reserve requirements in order to prevent a liquidity crisis. The
Central Bank of Brazil also opened several lines of credit to banks and specific sectors of
the economy, and, in July 2009, the supply of bank credit in Brazil was already 20 per cent
higher than in June 2008. In the course of 2009, risk premiums on lending to emerging
market economies fell and many Latin American countries regained access to interna-
tional capital markets and managed to issue new sovereign and corporate bonds.


Interest rates are expected to remain low in 2010, at least until the recovery is
perceived to be more solid and as long as inflation rates remain stable. If growth turns out
to be weaker than expected and inflationary pressures stay low, several central banks may
consider a further easing of monetary policies.


In many countries, Governments actively implemented counter-cyclical fiscal
policies. This was the case in particular in countries (such as Brazil, Chile, Panama and
Peru) that had been able to sustain fiscal surpluses in previous years and that had accumu-
lated ample foreign-exchange reserves. Enhanced social programmes made up an impor-
tant part of the fiscal stimulus packages in some countries. In Brazil, these programmes
played an important role in mitigating the impact of the financial crisis on private con-
sumption. Tax breaks further stimulated domestic demand in Brazil and already helped
move the economy out of its recession in the second quarter of 2009.


The space for additional counter-cyclical measures in 2010 is limited in many
countries, in particular in countries whose public spending largely depends on oil-export
revenues. In the case of Mexico, the challenge is particularly great, since an accelerating fall
in oil output is not expected to be compensated by high prices, as in previous years. For Latin
America and the Caribbean as a whole, public revenues are expected to fall by about 1.8
percentage points of GDP, leading to a primary deficit of 0.9 per cent of GDP in 2009 (see
figure IV.10). Mexico’s Government had to cut spending in 2009 even before the economy
reached bottom, as oil revenues had dropped significantly in the first half of the year. Carib-
bean economies also face limited room for counter-cyclical policies because of falling gov-
ernment revenues and already high levels of public indebtedness (see box IV.4). Therefore,
several countries, in particular Caribbean and Central American countries, will need access
to external resources from international financial institutions to finance their public policies
in the context of a slow economic recovery and higher unemployment and poverty levels.


The aggregate current-account balance is estimated to record a small deficit
in 2009, showing little change compared with that in 2008. Countries that had recorded
large trade surpluses in previous years, such as the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, saw
strong decreases in export earnings, but import demand in the region contracted strongly


Interest rates are expected
to remain low


There is limited room for
additional counter-cyclical
fiscal policies


The region will sustain
a small current-account
deficit in 2009




140 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Figure IV.10
Revenue, expenditure and primary balances of central
Governments in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1990-2009


0.0


2.0


4.0


6.0


8.0


10.0


12.0


14.0


16.0


18.0


20.0


22.0


Pe
rc


en
ta


ge
o


f G
D


P


-2.0


-1.0


0.0


1.0


2.0


3.0


4.0


5.0


6.0


Su
rp


lu
s (


+)
o


r d
e


ci
t (


-)
as


p
er


ce
nt


ag
e


of
G


D
P


19
90


19
91


19
92


19
93


19
94


19
95


19
96


19
97


19
98


19
99


20
00


20
01


20
02


20
03


20
04


20
05


20
06


20
07


20
08


20
09


a


Expenditure (left-axis)


Revenue (left-axis)
Primary balance (right-axis)


Source: Economic
Commission for Latin America


and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
a Estimated.


Challenges for exchange-rate management in the
English-speaking Caribbean countries and Suriname


Most of the countries in the English-speaking Caribbean and Suriname have fixed or quasi-fixed nom-
inal exchange-rate regimes, which have become a valuable instrument for anchoring expectations
and reducing inflation. During 2008, as shown in the figure below, some of these regimes have faced
challenges in keeping their real exchange rates competitive, as is evident from the significant and
sustained appreciation of their currencies against the United States dollar.


As a consequence of the financial crisis, inflationary pressures started to subside in all
English-speaking Caribbean countries, leading to a progressive narrowing of the inflation differentials
with the United States and limiting further appreciation of their real exchange rates. Unlike other
countries in the region, Jamaica operates a managed floating exchange-rate regime. As a conse-
quence, its currency experienced a marked depreciation of 16.9 per cent in real terms against the
dollar between September 2008 and June 2009.


The stabilization of real exchange rates has helped stem further losses of export com-
petitiveness which had affected the tourism sectors in particular. Yet, balance-of-payments problems
emerged during the crisis as capital inflows dried up and remittance earnings fell. In Jamaica, for
instance, both private capital inflows and remittances fell sharply, the latter falling by 13 per cent
in July 2009 compared with July 2008. The fact that several of these countries are reporting large
current-account deficits, high levels of public debt and low international reserves makes them more
vulnerable to the drying up of financial inflows.


As a consequence of the crisis, several Caribbean countries, including the Dominican
Republic, Guyana, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, are facing severe balance-of-
payments problems and a policy dilemma in managing their exchange rates. An eventual devaluation


Box IV.4




141Regional developments and outlook


with the decline in domestic demand. South American countries saw a significant deterio-
ration in their terms of trade owing to the correction in international commodity prices.
Central American countries and other net energy importers, in contrast, saw their trade
deficits narrow, as the relative price of their imports decreased substantially. In 2010, an
expected global economic recovery and higher commodity prices will help increase export
volumes and prices, improving the regional trade balance and current accounts.


The inflow of remittances also fell markedly in the region since the beginning
of 2009, putting pressure on the current transfers account. These flows are not expected


would make imports more expensive and exports more competitive, which could help reduce the
current-account deficit. However, given that several of these countries have high import dependence,
the potential benefits from changing the parity are unlikely to be significant. In addition, the short-
to medium-term costs of such an adjustment would be much higher debt-servicing obligations (in
terms of national currency), and this in turn would push up government deficits and costs to firms
with sizeable foreign debts. Moreover, the exchange-rate peg has offered a strong anchor for price
expectations, which have contributed to financial deepening and economic development in the
region.


In the case of countries with abundant natural resources, such as Suriname and Trinidad
and Tobago, which in recent years have posted surpluses on both the fiscal and external accounts
and have accumulated vast international reserves, the situation is less dramatic. They have thus been
better placed to sustain their quasi-fixed exchange-rate regimes. By contrast, Barbados, Belize, Guy-
ana and several countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) are dependent upon ac-
cessing external financing in order to maintain their fixed exchange rates. Jamaica, which has already
received external financing from multilateral financial institutions but needs more funding, has start-
ed negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for emergency financing to cover debt-service
payments on the country’s large public debt and avoid a severe exchange-rate crisis.


Box IV.4 (cont’d)


Bilateral real exchange rates versus the dollar, selected countries, 2004-2009


2000=100


Ja
n-


04


Ap
r-


04


Ju
l-0


4


O
ct


-0
4


Ja
n-


05


Ap
r-


05


Ju
l-0


5


O
ct


-0
5


Ja
n-


06


Ap
r-


06


Ju
l-0


6


O
ct


-0
6


Ja
n-


07


Ap
r-


07


Ju
l-0


7


O
ct


-0
7


Ja
n-


08


Ap
r-


08


Ja
n-


09


Ap
r-


09


Ju
l-0


8


O
ct


-0
8


60


70


80


90


100


110


120


130


140


150


Trinidad and Tobago


Guyana


Suriname


Barbados


Jamaica


Bahamas


Source: Economic
Commission for Latin
America and the Caribbean
(ECLAC).




142 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


to increase in 2010, as labour markets in developed economies will take time to recover.
By contrast, foreign direct investment flows to the region have already started to pick up,
in particular to Brazil. The region’s stock of international reserves is growing again, after
falling 9.9 per cent between September 2008 and February 2009. This is particularly the
case for Brazil, which had already rebuilt its international reserves in July 2009, achieving
a new record of $209 billion.


After concerns of national currency depreciation in late 2008 in some econo-
mies, the weakening of the dollar is now a major concern for several South American
countries, as their currencies appreciated in nominal terms. This reflects improved ex-
pectations and credit conditions, as well as increased concerns about the long-term value
of the United States dollar. In contrast, Mexico and some Central American countries
continued to register nominal depreciations of their currencies.


A weaker-than-expected global recovery would limit demand for exports from
the region, which is still highly dependent upon commodity prices and demand from the
United States, in particular for manufactured products. On the domestic side, if labour-
market conditions continue to deteriorate, they would affect consumer confidence and
domestic demand, limiting a quick economic recovery in 2010. As fiscal positions have
deteriorated significantly, many countries in the region face limited room for additional
counter-cyclical policies which remain crucial to sustaining the economic recovery and
alleviating social costs.


Downside risks to
the forecast remain




Statistical annex




Annex


List of tables


A. 1 Developed economies: rates of growth of real GDP, 2000-2010 ...................................................................................... 145
A. 2 Economies in transition: rates of growth of real GDP, 2000-2010 .................................................................................... 146
A. 3 Developing economies: rates of growth of real GDP, 2000-2010 .................................................................................... 147
A. 4 Developed economies: consumer price inflation, 2000-2010........................................................................................... 149
A. 5 Economies in transition: consumer price inflation, 2000-2010 ......................................................................................... 150
A. 6 Developing economies: consumer price inflation, 2000-2010 ......................................................................................... 151
A. 7 Developed economies: unemployment rates, 2000-2010 .................................................................................................. 153
A. 8 Economies in transition and developing economies: unemployment rates, 2000–2009 ............................... 155
A. 9 Major developed economies: quarterly indicators of growth,
unemployment and inflation, 2007–2009 ..................................................................................................................................... 157
A.10 Selected economies in transition: quarterly indicators of growth and inflation, 2007–2009 ........................ 158
A.11 Major developing economies: quarterly indicators of growth,
unemployment and inflation, 2007–2009 ..................................................................................................................................... 159
A.12 Major developed economies: financial indicators, 2000-2009 .......................................................................................... 161
A.13 Selected economies: real effective exchange rates, broad measurement, 2000-2009 ...................................... 162
A.14 Indices of prices of primary commodities, 2000-2009 ........................................................................................................... 164
A.15 World oil supply and demand, 2001-2010 ..................................................................................................................................... 165
A.16 World trade: changes in value and volume of
exports and imports, by major country group, 2000-2010 ................................................................................................. 166
A.17 Balance of payments on current accounts,
by country or country group, summary table, 2000-2008 ................................................................................................... 168
A.18 Balance of payments on current accounts, by country or country group, 2000-2008 ...................................... 169
A.19 Net ODA from major sources, by type, 1988-2008 ................................................................................................................... 172
A.20 Total net ODA flows from OECD Development Assistance Committee
countries, by type of flow, 1996–2008 .............................................................................................................................................. 173
A.21 Commitments and net flows of financial resources,
by selected multilateral institutions, 1999–2008 ....................................................................................................................... 174
A.22 Greenhouse gas emissions of Annex 1 Parties to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1990-2010 ..................................................................................................... 175




145Statistical annex


Table A.1
Developed economies: rates of growth of real GDP, 2000-2010


Annual percentage change


2000-
2008a 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009b 2010c


Developed economies 2.2 3.9 1.4 1.4 1.8 3.0 2.5 2.8 2.6 0.5 -3.5 1.3


United States 2.4 4.1 1.1 1.8 2.5 3.6 3.1 2.7 2.1 0.4 -2.5 2.1
Canada 2.6 5.2 1.8 2.9 1.9 3.1 3.0 2.9 2.5 0.4 -2.6 2.6
Japan 1.4 2.9 0.2 0.3 1.4 2.7 1.9 2.0 2.3 -0.7 -5.6 0.9
Australia 3.2 3.5 2.1 4.0 3.4 3.2 3.1 2.6 4.2 2.3 0.8 1.3
New Zealand 3.0 3.8 2.4 4.7 4.3 4.4 2.8 2.7 2.9 -1.1 -1.3 2.8


European Union 2.2 3.9 2.0 1.3 1.3 2.5 2.0 3.2 2.9 0.8 -4.1 0.5


EU-15 2.1 3.9 2.0 1.2 1.2 2.4 1.8 3.0 2.6 0.6 -4.2 0.5
Austria 2.3 3.7 0.5 1.6 0.8 2.5 2.5 3.5 3.5 2.0 -3.8 1.0
Belgium 2.0 3.7 0.8 1.4 0.8 3.2 1.8 2.8 2.9 1.0 -3.5 0.4
Denmark 1.5 3.5 0.7 0.5 0.4 2.3 2.4 3.3 1.6 -1.2 -3.0 1.1
Finland 3.1 5.1 2.7 1.6 1.8 3.7 2.8 4.9 4.2 1.0 -7.0 0.0
France 1.9 3.9 1.9 1.0 1.1 2.5 1.9 2.2 2.3 0.4 -2.2 0.7
Germany 1.5 3.2 1.2 0.0 -0.2 1.2 0.8 3.2 2.5 1.3 -4.8 1.2
Greece 4.1 4.5 4.2 3.4 5.6 4.9 2.9 4.5 4.0 2.9 -0.6 -0.4
Ireland 5.0 9.4 5.7 6.5 4.4 4.6 6.2 5.4 6.0 -3.0 -7.8 -2.3
Italy 1.2 3.7 1.8 0.5 0.0 1.5 0.7 2.0 1.6 -1.0 -5.3 0.1
Luxembourg 4.2 8.4 2.5 4.1 1.5 4.4 5.4 5.6 6.5 0.0 -4.5 0.4
Netherlands 2.1 3.9 1.9 0.1 0.3 2.2 2.0 3.4 3.6 2.0 -4.7 0.0
Portugal 1.3 3.9 2.0 0.8 -0.8 1.5 0.9 1.4 1.9 0.0 -3.5 0.1
Spain 3.3 5.0 3.6 2.7 3.1 3.3 3.6 4.0 3.6 0.9 -3.8 -0.9
Sweden 2.6 4.4 1.1 2.4 1.9 4.1 3.3 4.2 2.6 -0.2 -5.0 1.5
United Kingdom 2.5 3.9 2.5 2.1 2.8 3.0 2.2 2.9 2.6 0.6 -4.5 0.6


New EU member States 4.6 4.1 2.9 3.1 4.3 5.6 4.8 6.5 6.2 3.9 -3.7 1.2
Bulgaria 5.6 5.4 4.1 4.5 5.0 6.6 6.2 6.3 6.2 6.0 -5.7 2.0
Cyprus 3.7 5.0 4.0 2.1 1.9 4.2 3.9 4.1 4.4 3.7 -0.5 1.0
Czech Republic 4.2 3.6 2.5 1.9 3.6 4.5 6.3 6.8 6.1 2.5 -4.0 1.0
Estonia 6.9 10.0 7.5 7.9 7.6 7.2 9.4 10.0 7.2 -3.6 -12.0 -3.0
Hungary 3.6 5.2 4.1 4.4 4.3 4.7 3.9 4.0 1.2 0.6 -6.0 0.5
Latvia 7.2 6.9 8.0 6.5 7.2 8.7 10.6 12.2 10.0 -4.6 -17.5 -4.0
Lithuania 6.9 3.3 6.7 6.9 10.2 7.4 7.8 7.8 9.8 2.8 -15.9 -3.8
Malta 2.2 5.0 -1.6 2.6 -0.3 0.4 4.1 3.8 3.7 2.1 -3.8 -0.6
Poland 4.2 4.3 1.2 1.4 3.9 5.3 3.6 6.2 6.8 5.0 1.1 2.5
Romania 5.8 2.4 5.7 5.1 5.2 8.5 4.2 7.9 6.3 7.1 -7.6 0.1
Slovakia 5.7 1.4 3.4 4.8 4.7 5.2 6.5 8.5 10.4 6.4 -4.5 1.2
Slovenia 4.3 4.4 2.8 4.0 2.8 4.3 4.5 5.8 6.8 3.5 -5.5 1.5


Other Europe 2.3 3.5 1.6 0.9 0.4 3.2 2.8 3.1 3.4 1.9 -2.0 0.7


Iceland 4.1 4.3 3.9 0.1 2.4 7.7 7.5 4.3 5.6 1.3 -6.3 0.5
Norway 2.4 3.3 2.0 1.5 1.0 3.9 2.7 2.3 3.1 2.1 -1.2 2.1
Switzerland 2.1 3.6 1.2 0.4 -0.2 2.5 2.6 3.6 3.6 1.8 -2.5 -0.4


Memorandum items:


North America 2.4 4.2 1.1 1.9 2.4 3.5 3.1 2.7 2.2 0.4 -2.5 2.1
Western Europe 2.2 3.9 2.0 1.2 1.3 2.6 2.0 3.2 2.9 0.8 -4.0 0.5
Asia and Oceania 1.7 3.0 0.5 0.8 1.7 2.8 2.1 2.1 2.6 -0.3 -4.6 1.0
Major developed economies 2.0 3.8 1.2 1.3 1.7 2.9 2.3 2.6 2.2 0.3 -3.6 1.5


Source: UN/DESA, based on OECD, Main Economic Indicators and individual national sources.
Note: Country groups are calculated as a weighted average of individual country growth rates of gross domestic product (GDP), where weights are
based on GDP in 2005 prices and exchange rates.


a Average percentage change.
b Partly estimated.
c Baseline scenario forecasts, based in part on Project LINK.




146 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.2
Economies in transition: rates of growth of real GDP, 2000-2010


Annual percentage change


2000-
2008a 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009b 2010c


Economies in transition 7.0 8.8 5.7 5.0 7.3 7.7 6.5 8.0 8.4 5.5 -6.5 1.6


South-eastern Europe 4.8 4.3 3.7 4.4 4.0 5.7 4.7 5.3 6.3 4.5 -3.7 0.7


Albania 6.2 6.7 7.9 4.2 5.8 5.7 5.8 5.5 6.2 8.0 3.0 2.5
Bosnia and Herzegovina 5.0 5.4 2.0 4.9 3.8 6.3 3.9 6.9 6.6 5.4 -3.5 1.0
Croatia 4.3 3.0 3.8 5.4 5.0 4.2 4.2 4.8 5.5 2.5 -5.0 0.1
Montenegro 4.8 3.1 1.1 1.9 2.5 4.4 4.2 8.6 10.7 7.0 -4.5 1.0
Serbia 5.4 5.3 5.6 3.9 2.4 8.3 5.6 5.2 6.9 5.5 -4.0 0.8
The former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia 2.9 4.5 -4.5 0.9 2.8 4.1 4.1 4.0 5.9 4.9 -3.0 1.0


Commonwealth of
Independent States 7.2 9.3 5.9 5.1 7.6 7.9 6.6 8.3 8.6 5.6 -6.7 1.7


Net fuel exporters 7.2 9.9 5.6 5.0 7.4 7.4 6.9 8.3 8.5 5.6 -6.0 1.8
Azerbaijan 16.3 11.1 9.9 10.6 11.2 10.2 26.4 34.5 25.1 10.8 6.0 7.0
Kazakhstan 9.4 9.8 13.5 9.8 9.3 9.6 9.7 10.7 8.9 3.3 -2.0 2.0
Russian Federation 6.9 10.0 5.1 4.7 7.3 7.2 6.4 7.7 8.1 5.6 -7.0 1.5
Turkmenistan 7.0 5.5 4.3 0.3 3.3 4.5 13.0 11.4 11.6 9.8 4.0 8.0
Uzbekistan 6.4 4.0 4.5 4.2 4.4 7.7 7.0 7.3 9.5 9.0 7.0 7.0


Net fuel importers 7.4 5.8 8.0 5.5 9.1 11.6 4.7 7.9 8.9 5.2 -11.3 0.9
Armenia 11.4 5.9 9.6 15.0 14.0 10.5 13.9 13.2 13.8 6.8 -15.0 1.0
Belarus 8.0 5.8 4.7 5.0 7.0 11.4 9.4 10.0 8.6 10.0 -3.0 1.5
Georgiad 6.9 1.8 4.8 5.5 11.1 5.9 9.6 9.4 12.3 2.1 -4.0 2.0
Kyrgyzstan 4.8 5.4 5.3 0.0 7.0 7.0 -0.2 3.1 8.5 7.6 1.0 3.0
Republic of Moldova 5.8 2.1 6.1 7.8 6.6 7.4 7.5 4.8 3.0 7.2 -8.0 1.5
Tajikistan 8.8 8.3 9.6 10.8 11.1 10.3 6.7 6.6 7.7 7.9 2.0 3.0
Ukraine 7.1 5.9 9.2 5.2 9.6 12.1 2.7 7.1 8.9 3.2 -15.0 0.4


Source: UN/DESA, based on data of the Economic Commision for Europe.
Note: Country groups are calculated as a weighted average of individual country growth rates of gross domestic product (GDP), where weights are
based on GDP in 2005 prices and exchange rates.


a Average percentage change.
b Partly estimated.
c Baseline scenario forecasts, based in part on Project LINK.
d Georgia officially left the Commonwealth of Independent States on 18 August 2009. However, its performance is discussed in the context of this


group of countries for reasons of geographic proximity and similarities in economic structure.




147Statistical annex


Table A.3
Developing economies: rates of growth of real GDP, 2000-2010


Annual percentage change


2000-
2008a 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009b 2010c


Developing countriesd 5.8 5.8 3.0 4.3 5.3 7.3 6.7 7.3 7.6 5.4 1.9 5.3


Africa 5.3 3.4 4.3 5.4 5.3 6.5 5.9 5.9 6.0 4.9 1.6 4.3
North Africa 4.6 2.7 3.9 3.3 6.6 4.9 5.8 5.4 4.8 4.4 3.5 3.9
Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding
Nigeria and South Africa) 5.9 2.8 4.9 4.4 4.1 8.1 7.1 7.0 7.9 6.6 2.3 5.2
Net fuel exporters 5.6 3.4 4.2 7.7 7.4 6.3 6.0 5.1 5.5 4.5 2.7 4.5
Net fuel importers 5.1 3.3 4.3 4.0 4.0 6.6 5.8 6.5 6.4 5.2 0.9 4.1


East and South Asia 7.2 6.8 4.8 6.5 7.0 7.8 7.7 8.6 9.3 6.3 4.3 6.4
East Asia 7.4 7.7 4.8 7.1 6.8 7.9 7.6 8.7 9.6 6.2 4.1 6.7
South Asia 6.6 3.8 4.6 4.5 7.8 7.4 8.0 8.5 8.3 6.5 4.7 5.5
Net fuel exporters 5.5 3.5 4.4 7.0 6.9 4.9 5.4 6.5 7.4 3.9 1.8 3.3
Net fuel importers 7.3 7.0 4.8 6.5 7.0 7.9 7.8 8.7 9.4 6.4 4.4 6.6


Western Asia 4.9 6.4 -0.6 2.4 5.3 8.7 6.9 6.1 5.0 4.6 -1.0 3.6
Net fuel exporters 5.4 5.9 1.8 1.3 6.1 9.4 6.6 6.0 5.2 6.5 0.5 4.6
Net fuel importers 4.4 7.0 -3.4 3.9 4.2 7.9 7.2 6.2 4.9 2.2 -2.9 2.3


Latin America and the Caribbean 3.7 4.4 0.8 0.5 1.8 5.8 4.6 5.5 5.6 4.1 -2.1 3.4
South America 3.9 3.3 1.0 0.0 1.8 7.0 5.1 5.5 6.5 5.3 -0.1 3.7
Mexico and Central America 2.9 6.2 0.1 1.0 1.6 4.0 3.4 5.0 3.6 1.7 -6.4 2.9
Caribbean 5.2 5.0 2.3 3.4 3.5 3.8 8.2 10.3 6.7 3.9 0.2 2.5
Net fuel exporters 3.4 4.7 0.1 -1.6 1.9 6.3 5.2 6.2 5.1 3.0 -4.2 2.7
Net fuel importers 3.9 4.0 1.4 2.6 1.8 5.4 4.2 4.9 6.0 5.2 -0.1 4.1


Memorandum items:


Least developed countries 6.7 7.7 6.9 5.0 4.7 8.2 7.8 7.9 8.5 7.2 3.3 5.3
East Asia (excluding China) 4.8 7.1 2.0 5.4 3.9 5.8 4.9 5.6 5.8 2.9 -0.8 3.8
South Asia (excluding India) 5.3 3.3 3.4 5.8 6.7 5.7 5.5 6.2 6.8 4.8 2.3 3.4
Western Asia
(excluding Israel and Turkey) 5.3 5.7 2.0 1.3 5.9 9.1 6.5 5.8 5.3 6.5 0.7 4.5
Landlocked developing economies 7.1 4.9 6.7 5.7 6.1 7.8 8.4 9.3 8.9 6.0 1.3 4.4
Small island developing economies 5.1 7.1 0.4 3.6 3.6 6.1 7.2 8.5 7.0 2.9 -0.9 3.1


Major developing economies


Argentina 3.7 -0.8 -4.4 -10.9 8.8 9.0 9.2 8.5 8.7 7.2 0.5 3.0
Brazil 3.7 4.3 1.3 2.7 1.1 5.7 3.2 4.0 5.7 5.2 0.0 4.5
Chile 4.2 4.5 3.4 2.2 3.9 6.0 5.6 4.3 5.1 3.0 -1.5 3.7
China 10.0 8.4 8.3 9.1 10.0 10.1 10.4 11.6 13.0 9.0 8.1 8.8
Colombia 4.4 2.9 2.2 2.5 4.6 4.7 5.7 6.9 7.5 2.5 0.0 2.5
Egypt 4.9 3.5 3.2 4.1 4.1 4.5 6.8 7.1 7.2 3.6 4.7 4.5
Hong Kong SARe 4.9 8.0 0.5 1.8 3.0 8.5 7.1 7.0 6.4 2.4 -3.6 2.9
India 7.2 4.0 5.2 3.8 8.4 8.3 9.3 9.7 9.1 7.3 5.9 6.5
Indonesia 5.1 4.9 3.6 4.5 4.8 5.0 5.7 5.5 6.3 6.0 4.3 5.0
Iran, Islamic Republic of 5.2 2.8 3.8 7.2 7.0 4.4 4.9 6.2 7.5 3.5 1.0 2.5
Israel 3.8 8.9 -0.4 -0.7 1.8 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.4 4.1 0.1 2.0
Korea, Republic of 4.8 8.5 4.0 7.2 2.8 4.6 4.0 5.2 5.1 2.2 -0.1 3.8




148 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.3 (cont’d)


2000-
2008a 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009b 2010c


Malaysia 5.5 8.9 0.5 5.4 5.8 6.8 5.3 5.8 6.3 4.5 -3.6 3.0
Mexico 2.8 6.6 0.0 0.8 1.4 4.0 3.2 4.8 3.2 1.3 -7.1 3.0
Nigeria 8.8 5.3 8.2 21.2 10.3 10.6 5.4 6.2 7.0 6.0 1.9 5.0
Pakistan 5.5 2.0 3.2 4.8 7.4 7.7 6.2 6.0 6.0 6.0 2.4 3.3
Peru 5.6 3.0 0.2 5.0 4.0 5.0 6.8 7.7 8.9 9.8 1.0 4.2
Philippines 5.1 6.0 1.8 4.4 4.9 6.4 5.0 5.4 7.2 4.6 1.5 3.2
Saudi Arabia 3.9 4.9 0.5 0.1 7.7 5.3 5.6 3.2 3.4 4.4 -0.8 3.1
Singapore 5.4 10.1 -2.4 4.1 3.8 9.3 7.3 8.4 7.8 1.1 -2.7 4.0
South Africa 4.1 4.2 2.7 3.7 3.1 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.1 3.1 -2.2 3.1
Taiwan Province of China 3.6 5.8 -2.2 4.6 3.5 6.2 4.2 4.8 5.7 0.1 -3.8 3.9
Thailand 5.0 4.8 2.2 5.3 7.1 6.3 4.6 5.2 4.9 4.8 -3.5 3.1
Turkey 4.7 6.8 -5.7 6.2 5.3 9.4 8.4 6.9 4.5 1.1 -4.9 2.2
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 4.4 3.7 3.4 -8.9 -7.8 18.3 10.3 9.9 8.9 4.9 -1.4 1.0


Sources: UN/DESA, based on data of the Statistics Division; IMF, International Financial Statistics.
Note: Country groups are calculated as a weighted average of individual country growth rates of gross domestic product (GDP), where weights are
based on GDP in 2005 prices and exchange rates.


a Average percentage change.
b Partly estimated.
c Baseline scenario forecasts, based in part on Project LINK.
d Covering countries that account for 98 per cent of the population of all developing countries.
e Special Administrative Region of China.




149Statistical annex


Table A.4
Developed economies: consumer price inflation, 2000-2010


Annual percentage changea


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009b 2010c


Developed economies 2.5 2.3 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.3 2.1 3.3 0.1 1.3


United States 3.4 2.8 1.6 2.3 2.7 3.4 3.2 2.9 3.8 -0.4 1.4
Canada 2.7 2.5 2.3 2.8 1.9 2.2 2.0 2.1 2.4 0.3 2.1
Japan -0.7 -0.8 -0.9 -0.2 0.0 -0.3 0.2 0.1 1.4 -1.0 0.3
Australia 4.5 4.4 3.0 2.8 2.3 2.7 3.5 2.3 4.4 1.3 1.8
New Zealand 2.6 2.6 2.7 1.8 2.3 3.0 3.4 2.4 4.0 3.0 1.7


European Union 2.6 2.7 2.2 2.0 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.3 3.4 0.7 1.4


EU-15 2.0 2.3 2.0 1.9 1.9 2.0 2.0 2.1 3.2 0.6 1.3
Austria 2.3 2.7 1.8 1.4 2.1 2.3 1.4 2.2 3.2 1.2 1.5
Belgium 2.5 2.5 1.6 1.6 2.1 2.8 1.8 1.8 4.5 0.0 0.8
Denmark 2.9 2.4 2.4 2.1 1.2 1.8 1.9 1.7 3.4 1.2 2.0
Finland 3.0 2.6 1.6 0.9 0.2 0.6 1.6 2.5 4.1 1.7 1.3
France 1.7 1.6 1.9 2.1 2.1 1.7 1.7 1.5 2.8 0.2 1.0
Germany 1.5 2.0 1.4 1.0 1.7 1.6 1.6 2.3 2.6 0.0 1.1
Greece 3.2 3.4 3.6 3.6 2.9 3.6 3.2 2.9 4.2 1.8 1.8
Ireland 5.6 4.9 4.6 3.5 2.2 2.4 3.9 4.9 4.1 -2.7 -0.8
Italy 2.5 2.8 2.5 2.7 2.2 2.0 2.1 1.8 3.3 1.0 1.4
Luxembourg 3.2 2.7 2.1 2.0 2.2 2.5 2.7 2.3 3.4 0.5 1.2
Netherlands 2.4 4.2 3.3 2.1 1.2 1.7 1.2 1.6 2.5 0.7 1.0
Portugal 2.9 4.4 3.6 3.3 2.4 2.3 3.1 2.5 2.6 -1.0 0.3
Spain 3.4 3.6 3.1 3.0 3.0 3.4 3.5 2.8 4.1 -0.7 0.7
Sweden 0.9 2.4 2.2 1.9 0.4 0.5 1.4 2.2 3.4 -0.2 0.6
United Kingdom 0.8 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.3 2.0 2.3 2.3 3.6 2.1 2.3


New EU member States 12.7 9.3 5.2 3.7 5.1 3.4 3.2 4.1 6.1 3.2 2.7
Bulgaria 10.3 7.4 5.8 2.2 6.4 5.0 7.3 8.4 12.4 2.5 2.0
Cyprus 4.2 2.0 2.8 4.1 2.3 2.6 2.5 2.4 4.7 1.0 2.0
Czech Republic 3.9 4.7 1.8 0.1 2.8 1.9 2.6 3.0 6.3 1.0 1.5
Estonia 4.0 5.7 3.6 1.3 3.0 4.1 4.4 6.6 10.4 -0.5 1.0
Hungary 9.8 9.1 5.3 4.7 6.7 3.6 3.9 8.0 6.0 4.5 4.1
Latvia 2.6 2.5 1.9 3.0 6.2 6.7 6.5 10.1 15.4 3.0 1.0
Lithuania 1.0 1.4 0.3 -1.1 1.1 2.7 3.7 5.7 11.1 5.0 1.5
Malta 2.4 2.9 2.2 1.3 2.8 3.0 2.8 1.3 4.7 2.5 2.0
Poland 9.9 5.4 1.9 0.7 3.4 2.2 1.3 2.5 4.2 3.8 3.0
Romania 45.7 34.5 22.5 15.3 11.9 9.0 6.6 4.8 7.8 5.5 3.6
Slovakia 12.0 7.3 3.1 8.6 7.5 2.7 4.5 2.8 3.9 1.0 2.0
Slovenia 8.9 8.4 7.5 5.6 3.6 2.5 2.5 3.6 5.5 0.5 1.7


Other Europe 2.3 2.0 1.0 1.5 0.7 1.4 1.7 0.8 3.3 1.0 1.1


Iceland 5.1 6.4 5.2 2.1 3.2 4.0 6.7 5.1 12.7 12.0 7.0
Norway 3.1 3.0 1.3 2.5 0.5 1.5 2.3 0.7 3.8 2.3 1.7
Switzerland 1.6 1.0 0.6 0.6 0.8 1.2 1.1 0.7 2.4 -0.6 0.4


Memorandum items: 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0


Major developed economies 2.1 1.9 1.2 1.7 1.9 2.2 2.2 2.1 3.1 -0.1 1.3
Euro zone 2.3 2.6 2.2 2.1 2.1 2.0 2.0 2.1 3.1 0.2 1.1


Sources: UN/DESA, based on OECD, Main Economic Indicators; Eurostat; and individual national sources.


a Data for country groups are weighted averages, where weights for each year are based on GDP in 2005, in United States dollars.
b Partly estimated.
c Baseline scenario forecasts, based in part on Project LINK.




150 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.5
Economies in transition: consumer price inflation, 2000-2010


Annual percentage changea


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009b 2010c


Economies in transitiond 25.0 21.4 13.8 12.1 10.1 11.8 9.2 9.1 14.7 11.9 7.3


South-eastern Europed 23.4 30.3 7.2 4.0 4.3 6.8 6.0 3.7 7.8 4.7 3.7
Albania 0.0 3.1 5.5 2.6 2.3 2.4 2.4 2.9 3.4 2.5 3.0
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.7 1.8 0.9 0.2 -0.3 3.0 6.1 1.5 7.4 1.0 2.0
Croatia 4.6 3.8 1.7 1.8 2.0 3.3 3.2 2.9 6.1 3.0 3.0
Montenegro .. 22.6 18.3 6.7 2.2 2.6 3.0 4.3 8.6 4.0 2.0
Serbia 71.1 95.0 19.5 10.0 11.1 16.2 11.8 6.1 11.6 10.5 6.1
The former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia 6.6 5.2 2.3 1.1 0.9 0.2 3.3 3.6 8.3 0.5 2.0


Commonwealth of
Independent States 25.2 20.7 14.5 12.8 10.7 12.3 9.5 9.5 15.3 12.6 7.7


Net fuel exporters 20.0 20.3 15.0 13.1 10.6 12.3 9.6 9.3 14.4 12.2 7.3
Azerbaijan 1.8 1.6 2.8 2.1 6.7 9.6 8.2 16.6 20.8 2.7 4.8
Kazakhstan 13.2 8.4 5.8 6.4 6.9 7.6 8.6 10.8 17.1 8.2 7.3
Russian Federation 20.8 21.5 15.8 13.7 10.9 12.7 9.7 9.0 14.1 12.7 7.3
Turkmenistan 7.0 8.2 15.0 15.3 10.0 12.0 9.0 6.4 12.0 10.0 9.0
Uzbekistan 25.0 26.6 21.6 19.0 14.2 15.0 10.5 12.3 12.0 10.0 8.0


Net fuel importers 60.0 23.6 11.0 10.9 11.1 12.0 8.4 11.4 21.8 15.3 10.5
Armenia -0.8 3.2 1.1 4.7 7.0 0.6 2.9 4.4 9.0 4.2 6.0
Belarus 168.9 61.4 42.8 28.5 18.3 10.4 7.0 8.3 14.8 14.3 8.0
Georgiae 4.2 4.6 5.7 4.9 5.7 8.2 9.2 9.2 9.9 1.0 1.3
Kyrgyzstan 19.7 6.9 2.1 3.0 4.1 4.4 5.6 10.2 24.5 7.9 5.2
Republic of Moldova 31.3 9.8 5.3 11.8 12.5 12.0 12.8 12.4 12.8 1.0 3.0
Tajikistan 32.8 38.6 12.2 16.3 7.2 7.2 10.0 13.4 20.9 7.8 9.5
Ukraine 28.2 12.0 0.8 5.2 9.0 13.5 9.1 12.8 25.2 17.2 12.0


Source: UN/DESA, based on data of the Economic Commission for Europe.


a Data for country groups are weighted averages, where weights for each year are based on GDP in 2005, in United States dollars.
b Partly estimated.
c Baseline scenario forecasts, based in part on Project LINK.
d Excluding Montenegro before 2001.
e Georgia officially left the Commonwealth of Independent States on 18 August 2009. However, its performance is discussed in the context of this


group of countries for reasons of geographic proximity and similarities in economic structure.




151Statistical annex


Table A.6
Developing economies: consumer price inflation, 2000-2010


Annual percentage changea


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009b 2010c


Developing countries by region: 6.9 6.3 5.9 5.8 4.9 4.6 4.4 5.2 8.1 4.3 4.8


Africa 18.2 13.0 9.3 8.9 6.1 6.4 5.7 6.1 10.9 8.1 6.1
North Africa 1.1 1.1 0.7 2.3 4.7 2.6 4.2 5.3 9.2 5.9 4.3
Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding
Nigeria and South Africa) 53.1 30.6 17.6 17.1 9.9 9.8 8.4 7.4 13.1 10.2 7.4
Net fuel exporters 26.2 17.1 11.6 12.5 10.6 8.5 6.0 6.2 10.9 8.4 6.4
Net fuel importers 12.2 9.9 7.6 6.1 2.7 4.8 5.4 6.1 10.8 7.9 5.9


East and South Asia 2.0 2.7 2.1 2.7 4.1 3.6 3.7 4.9 7.4 2.8 4.2
East Asia 1.0 2.1 1.0 1.9 3.5 2.8 2.8 4.0 6.0 0.6 2.6
South Asia 5.6 5.0 5.8 5.9 6.2 6.5 7.1 8.5 12.6 10.9 9.8
Net fuel exporters 10.6 8.4 11.5 13.1 12.8 11.9 10.6 14.7 24.2 12.0 10.1
Net fuel importers 1.6 2.4 1.6 2.2 3.7 3.2 3.4 4.5 6.7 2.3 3.9


Western Asia 19.9 19.9 17.4 8.6 4.0 4.5 5.8 5.9 9.9 4.4 5.2
Net fuel exporters -0.4 -0.2 0.3 1.1 1.4 2.4 3.7 5.2 10.6 3.7 4.2
Net fuel importers 38.5 38.4 33.0 15.5 6.3 6.5 7.7 6.6 9.3 5.0 6.1


Latin America and the Caribbean 8.9 6.6 8.7 10.8 6.9 6.3 5.1 5.3 7.8 6.2 5.4
South America 8.8 6.7 10.8 13.8 7.0 7.2 5.7 5.8 8.7 6.9 6.4
Mexico and Central America 9.1 6.4 5.1 4.6 4.9 4.4 3.9 4.3 5.8 5.1 3.4
Caribbean 6.9 7.8 5.3 18.8 30.4 7.2 8.2 7.1 12.8 4.0 6.3
Net fuel exporters 13.2 8.4 7.7 8.4 7.0 5.7 5.1 6.1 9.0 8.5 6.8
Net fuel importers 5.5 5.3 9.5 12.6 6.9 6.7 5.2 4.7 7.0 4.5 4.3


Memorandum items:


Least developed countries 52.2 30.4 20.0 18.7 11.3 10.6 9.0 9.4 13.5 8.8 8.1
East Asia (excluding China) 1.6 3.5 2.9 2.6 3.2 3.9 4.0 3.1 6.2 1.9 3.0
South Asia (excluding India) 8.9 7.4 8.8 9.9 11.0 10.9 9.8 12.8 21.1 12.2 9.8
Western Asia
(excluding Israel and Turkey) -0.2 0.2 0.7 1.5 1.8 2.8 4.0 5.3 10.9 3.7 4.5


Major developing economies


Argentina -0.9 -1.1 25.9 13.4 4.4 9.6 10.9 8.8 8.6 6.0 7.0
Brazil 7.0 6.8 8.5 14.7 6.6 6.9 4.2 3.6 5.7 4.8 4.1
Chile 3.8 3.6 2.5 2.8 1.1 3.1 3.4 4.4 8.7 1.9 2.5
China 0.3 0.7 -0.7 1.1 3.8 1.8 1.6 4.8 5.9 -0.7 2.3
Colombia 9.2 8.0 6.4 7.1 5.9 5.0 4.3 5.5 7.0 4.5 4.0
Egypt 2.7 2.3 2.7 4.5 11.3 4.9 7.6 9.3 18.3 10.1 6.2
Hong Kong SARd -3.8 -1.6 -3.1 -2.5 -0.4 0.9 2.0 2.0 4.3 0.1 2.7
India 4.0 3.8 4.3 3.8 3.8 4.2 5.8 6.4 8.3 10.3 9.8
Indonesia 3.7 11.5 11.9 6.8 6.1 10.5 13.1 6.4 10.2 5.1 5.5
Iran, Islamic Republic of 14.5 11.3 14.3 16.5 14.8 13.4 11.9 17.2 25.5 14.0 11.0
Israel 1.1 1.1 5.7 0.7 -0.4 1.3 2.1 0.5 4.6 3.1 3.0
Korea, Republic of 2.3 4.1 2.7 3.6 3.6 2.8 2.2 2.5 4.7 2.8 2.8
Malaysia 1.5 1.4 1.8 1.0 1.5 3.0 3.6 2.0 5.4 0.9 2.5
Mexico 9.5 6.4 5.0 4.5 4.7 4.0 3.6 4.0 5.1 5.3 3.3
Nigeria 6.9 18.9 12.9 14.0 15.0 17.9 8.2 5.4 11.6 11.5 8.5




152 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.6 (cont’d)


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009b 2010c


Pakistan 4.4 3.1 3.3 2.9 7.4 9.1 7.9 7.6 20.3 14.2 10.5
Peru 3.8 2.0 0.2 2.3 3.7 1.6 2.0 1.8 5.8 3.2 2.0
Philippines 3.9 6.8 3.0 3.6 5.9 7.6 6.3 2.8 9.3 3.0 4.3
Saudi Arabia -1.1 -1.1 0.2 0.6 0.3 0.7 2.2 4.2 9.9 4.5 4.0
Singapore 1.4 1.0 -0.4 0.5 1.7 0.4 1.0 2.1 6.5 0.4 1.8
South Africa 5.3 5.7 9.5 5.7 -0.7 2.1 3.2 6.2 10.1 7.2 6.1
Taiwan Province of China 1.3 0.0 -0.2 -0.3 1.6 2.3 0.6 1.8 3.5 -0.6 1.4
Thailand 1.6 1.6 0.7 1.8 2.8 4.5 4.6 2.2 5.5 -1.2 1.8
Turkey 54.9 54.4 45.0 21.6 8.6 8.2 9.6 8.8 10.4 5.9 7.0
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 16.2 12.5 22.4 31.1 21.7 16.0 13.7 18.7 30.4 30.0 28.0


Source: UN/DESA, based on IMF, International Financial Statistics.


a Data for country groups are weighted averages, where weights are based on GDP in 2005 prices and exchange rates.
b Partly estimated.
c Baseline scenario forecasts, based in part on Project LINK.
d Special Administrative Region of China.




153Statistical annex


Table A.7
Developed economies: unemployment rates, a,b 2000-2010


Percentage of labour force


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009c 2010d


Developed economies 6.5 6.7 7.3 7.4 7.1 6.8 6.3 5.7 6.1 8.6 9.4


United States 4.0 4.7 5.8 6.0 5.5 5.1 4.6 4.6 5.8 9.3 10.1
Canada 6.8 7.2 7.7 7.6 7.2 6.8 6.3 6.0 6.1 9.1 9.6
Japan 4.7 5.0 5.4 5.3 4.7 4.4 4.1 3.9 4.0 5.4 5.9
Australia 6.3 6.8 6.4 5.9 5.4 5.0 4.8 4.4 4.2 6.2 7.3
New Zealand 6.1 5.4 5.3 4.8 4.0 3.8 3.8 3.7 4.2 6.9 7.8


European Union 8.7 8.5 8.9 9.0 9.1 8.9 8.2 7.1 7.0 9.2 10.2


EU-15 7.7 7.3 7.6 8.0 8.1 8.1 7.7 7.0 7.1 9.3 10.6
Austria 3.6 3.6 4.2 4.3 4.9 5.2 4.8 4.4 3.9 5.6 6.6
Belgium 6.9 6.6 7.5 8.2 8.4 8.5 8.3 7.5 7.0 7.9 9.1
Denmark 4.3 4.5 4.6 5.4 5.5 4.8 3.9 3.8 3.4 5.7 7.1
Finland 9.6 9.1 9.1 9.1 8.8 8.3 7.7 6.9 6.4 9.2 10.6
France 9.0 8.3 8.6 9.0 9.2 9.3 9.3 8.3 7.9 9.1 9.6
Germany 7.5 7.6 8.4 9.3 9.8 10.6 9.8 8.4 7.3 8.6 10.1
Greece 11.2 10.7 10.3 9.7 10.5 9.9 8.9 8.3 7.7 9.0 8.7
Ireland 4.4 3.9 4.5 4.8 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.6 6.0 12.0 14.1
Italy 10.2 9.1 8.6 8.5 8.0 7.7 6.8 6.1 6.8 8.7 10.1
Luxembourg 2.2 1.9 2.6 3.8 5.0 4.6 4.6 4.2 4.9 5.5 6.1
Netherlands 2.8 2.2 2.8 3.7 4.6 4.7 3.9 3.2 2.8 3.9 6.2
Portugal 4.0 4.0 5.1 6.4 6.7 7.7 7.8 8.1 7.8 10.0 10.6
Spain 11.1 10.4 11.1 11.1 10.6 9.2 8.5 8.3 11.4 17.1 18.2
Sweden 5.6 5.9 6.1 6.8 7.6 7.7 7.0 6.1 6.2 8.9 11.0
United Kingdom 5.4 5.0 5.1 5.0 4.7 4.8 5.4 5.3 5.6 7.8 9.1


New EU member States 12.2 13.0 13.7 12.9 12.9 11.9 10.0 7.6 6.5 8.6 8.8
Bulgaria 16.4 19.5 18.2 13.7 12.1 10.1 9.0 6.9 5.6 8.1 8.0
Cyprus 4.9 3.8 3.6 4.1 4.7 5.3 4.6 4.0 3.6 4.8 5.0
Czech Republic 8.7 8.0 7.3 7.8 8.3 7.9 7.1 5.3 4.4 8.5 8.8
Estonia 12.8 12.4 10.3 10.0 9.7 7.9 5.9 4.7 5.5 14.5 15.0
Hungary 6.4 5.7 5.8 5.9 6.1 7.2 7.4 7.4 7.8 10.8 11.2
Latvia 13.7 12.9 12.2 10.5 10.4 8.9 6.8 6.0 7.5 16.0 17.0
Lithuania 16.4 16.5 13.5 12.5 11.4 8.3 5.6 4.3 5.8 14.0 15.0
Malta 6.7 7.6 7.5 7.6 7.4 7.2 7.1 6.4 5.9 7.0 7.0
Poland 16.1 18.3 20.0 19.7 19.0 17.8 13.9 9.6 7.1 8.0 8.0
Romania 7.3 6.8 8.6 7.0 8.1 7.2 7.3 6.4 5.8 6.4 6.4
Slovakia 18.8 19.3 18.7 17.6 18.2 16.2 13.4 11.2 9.6 12.0 12.3
Slovenia 6.7 6.2 6.3 6.7 6.3 6.5 6.0 4.9 4.4 6.0 6.0




154 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.7 (cont’d)


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009c 2010d


Other Europe 2.8 2.8 3.4 4.2 4.3 4.4 3.7 3.2 3.1 4.2 4.3


Icelande 1.3 1.4 2.5 3.4 3.1 2.0 1.3 1.0 1.6 8.0 7.4
Norway 3.2 3.4 3.7 4.2 4.3 4.5 3.4 2.6 2.5 3.4 3.1
Switzerland 2.6 2.6 3.2 4.3 4.4 4.4 4.0 3.6 3.5 4.5 4.8


Memorandum items:


Major developed economies 5.6 5.8 6.5 6.6 6.3 6.2 5.8 5.4 5.9 8.3 9.2
Euro zone 8.5 8.0 8.4 8.8 9.0 9.0 8.3 7.5 7.5 9.7 10.9


Source: UN/DESA, based on data of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Eurostat.


a Unemployment data are standardized by the OECD and Eurostat for comparability among countries and over time, in conformity with the
definitions of the International Labour Organization (see OECD, Standardized Unemployment Rates: Sources and Methods (Paris, 1985)).


b Data for country groups are weighted averages, where labour force is used for weights.
c Partly estimated.
d Baseline scenario forecasts, based in part on Project LINK.
e Not standardized.




155Statistical annex


Table A.8
Economies in transition and developing economies: unemployment rates,a 2000-2009


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009b


South-eastern Europe


Albaniac 16.8 16.4 15.8 15.0 14.4 14.1 13.8 13.5 12.5 12.8
Bosnia and Herzegovina .. .. .. .. .. .. 31.1 29.0 23.4 24.5
Croatia 16.1 15.8 15.1 13.9 13.7 12.6 11.1 9.6 8.4 9.2
Montenegro 37.4 36.6 36.5 33.4 31.1 27.3 22.3 18.0 15.9 13.9
Serbia 12.1 12.2 13.3 14.6 18.5 20.8 20.9 18.1 14.0 15.9
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 32.2 30.5 31.9 36.7 37.2 37.3 36.0 34.9 33.8 32.0


Commonwealth of Independent States


Net fuel exporters


Azerbaijanc 1.2 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.0 ..
Kazakhstan 12.8 10.4 9.3 8.8 8.4 8.1 7.8 7.3 6.6 6.5
Russian Federation 9.8 8.9 7.9 8.2 7.8 7.2 7.2 6.1 6.2 8.2
Turkmenistanc 2.4 2.6 2.5 2.5 .. 3.7 .. 3.6 .. ..
Uzbekistanc 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2


Net fuel importers


Armeniac 10.9 9.8 10.5 10.2 9.4 7.6 7.4 7.1 6.3 6.9
Belarusc 2.1 2.3 3.0 3.1 1.9 1.5 1.2 1.0 0.8 1.0
Georgiad 10.3 11.1 12.6 11.5 12.6 13.8 13.6 13.3 16.5 18.0
Kyrgyzstanc 3.1 3.2 3.1 2.9 2.9 3.3 3.5 3.3 2.9 2.8
Republic of Moldovac 8.5 7.3 6.8 8.0 8.2 7.3 7.4 5.1 4.0 6.8
Tajikistanc 2.7 2.3 2.6 2.3 2.0 2.1 2.3 2.5 2.1 2.1
Ukraine 11.6 10.9 9.6 9.1 8.6 7.2 7.4 6.9 6.9 10.0


Africa


Algeria .. 27.3 25.9 23.7 17.7 15.3 12.3 13.8 11.3 ..
Botswana 15.8 19.6 .. 23.8 .. .. 17.6 .. .. ..
Egypt 9.0 9.2 10.2 11.9 10.3 11.2 10.7 9.0 8.7 9.4
Mauritius 6.7 6.8 7.2 7.7 8.4 9.6 9.1 8.5 7.2 8.1
Morocco 13.6 12.5 11.6 11.9 10.8 11.0 9.7 9.5 9.6 8.8
South Africa 26.0 27.9 30.0 29.8 27.0 26.6 25.5 24.3 23.2 23.9
Tunisia 15.7 15.1 15.3 14.5 14.2 14.2 14.3 14.1 14.2 ..


Developing America


Argentinae, f 15.1 17.4 19.7 17.3 13.6 11.6 10.2 8.5 8.2 8.6
Barbados 9.4 9.9 10.3 11.0 9.6 9.1 8.7 7.4 8.1 10.0
Boliviae 7.5 8.5 8.7 9.2 6.2 8.1 8.0 7.7 .. ..
Brazilg, h 7.1 6.2 11.7 12.3 11.5 9.8 10.0 9.3 7.9 ..
Chile 9.7 9.9 9.8 9.5 10.0 9.2 7.7 7.1 7.8 9.8
Colombiai 17.3 18.2 17.6 16.7 15.4 13.9 13.0 11.4 11.5 13.2
Costa Rica 5.3 5.8 6.8 6.7 6.7 6.9 6.0 4.8 5.0 7.8
Dominican Republic 13.9 15.2 16.1 16.4 17.0 18.4 16.4 15.6 14.0 14.9
Ecuadorj 14.1 10.4 8.6 9.8 9.7 8.5 8.1 7.4 8.2 ..
El Salvador 6.5 7.0 6.2 6.2 6.5 7.3 5.7 .. 5.9 ..
Guatemala .. .. 5.4 5.2 4.4 .. .. .. .. ..




156 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.8 (cont’d)


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009b


Honduras .. 5.9 6.1 7.6 8.0 6.5 4.9 4.0 .. ..
Jamaica 15.5 15.0 14.2 11.4 11.7 11.3 10.4 9.9 10.6 ..
Mexico 3.4 3.6 3.9 4.6 5.3 4.7 4.6 3.7 4.0 5.5
Nicaragua 7.8 11.3 11.6 10.2 9.3 7.0 7.0 6.9 6.1 ..
Panama 15.2 17.0 16.5 15.9 14.1 12.1 10.4 7.8 6.5 6.6
Paraguaye 10.0 10.8 14.7 11.2 10.0 7.6 8.9 7.2 7.4 ..
Perue,k 8.5 9.3 9.4 9.4 9.4 9.6 8.2 8.4 8.4 10.3
Trinidad and Tobago 12.2 10.8 10.4 10.5 8.4 8.0 6.2 5.5 4.6 5.1
Uruguaye 13.6 15.3 17.0 16.9 13.1 12.2 11.4 9.6 8.2 7.5
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 13.9 13.3 15.8 18.0 15.3 12.4 10.0 8.5 7.4 8.0


Developing Asia


China 3.1 3.6 4.0 4.3 4.2 4.2 4.1 4.0 4.0 ..
Hong Kong SARl 4.9 5.1 7.3 7.9 6.8 5.6 4.8 4.0 3.6 5.2
India 4.3 .. .. .. 5.0 .. .. .. .. ..
Indonesia 6.1 8.1 9.1 9.5 9.9 11.2 10.4 9.4 8.4 8.1
Iran (Islamic Republic of ) .. .. 12.8 .. 10.3 11.5 .. 10.5 .. ..
Israel 8.8 9.4 10.3 10.7 10.4 9.0 8.4 7.3 6.1 7.08
Jordan 13.7 14.7 14.4 14.8 12.5 14.8 14.0 13.1 12.7 13.5
Korea, Republic of 4.4 4.0 3.3 3.6 3.7 3.7 3.5 3.2 3.2 3.7
Malaysia 3.1 3.5 3.5 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.3 3.2 3.3 3.8
Pakistan 7.8 7.8 8.3 8.3 7.7 7.7 6.2 5.3 5.2 ..
Palestinian Occupied Territory 14.1 25.2 31.3 25.6 26.8 23.5 23.6 21.5 25.7 29.3
Philippinesm, n 10.1 9.8 10.2 10.2 10.9 7.8 7.9 7.3 7.4 7.6
Saudi Arabia 4.6 4.6 5.3 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.3 5.6 .. ..
Singapore 2.7 2.7 3.6 4.0 3.4 3.1 2.7 2.3 2.3 3.3
Sri Lankao 7.6 7.9 8.8 8.1 8.1 7.2 6.5 6.0 5.2 6.0
Taiwan Province of China 3.0 4.6 5.2 5.0 4.4 4.1 3.9 3.9 4.1 5.8
Thailand 3.6 3.3 2.4 2.2 2.1 1.8 1.5 1.4 1.4 1.7
Turkey 6.5 8.4 10.3 10.5 10.3 10.3 9.9 9.9 10.2 13.4
Viet Name 6.4 6.3 6.0 5.8 5.6 5.3 4.8 4.6 4.7 ..


Sources: UN/DESA, based on data of Economic Commission for Europe (ECE); ILO LABORSTAT database and KILM 6th edition; Economic Commission
for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); national sources.
a As a percentage of the labour force.
b Partly estimated.
c End-of-period registered unemployment data (as a percentage of the labour force).
d Georgia officially left the Commonwealth of Independent States on 18 August 2009. However, its performance is discussed in the context of this


group of countries for reasons of geographic proximity and similarities in economic structure.
e Urban areas.
f Break in series: new methodology starting in 2003.
g Six main cities.
h Break in series: new methodology starting in 2002.
i Thirteen main cities.
j Covers Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca from 2000.
k Metropolitan Lima.
l Special Administrative Region of China.
m Philippines definition: this partly adopts the ILO definition, that is to say, it does not include one ILO criterion, which is "currently available for work".
n Break in series: new methodology starting in 2005.
o Excluding Northern and Eastern provinces.




157Statistical annex


Table A.9
Major developed economies: quarterly indicators of growth, unemployment and inflation, 2007-2009


Percentage


2007 quarters 2008 quarters 2009 quarters


I II III IV I II III IV I II III


Growth of gross domestic producta
(percentage change in seasonally adjusted data from preceding quarter)


Canada 3.6 4.2 2.1 1.1 -0.7 0.3 0.4 -3.7 -6.2 -3.1 0.4
France 3.0 1.6 2.7 1.2 1.9 -1.7 -1.0 -5.9 -5.5 1.1 1.1
Germany 1.3 1.3 3.2 0.5 6.5 -2.2 -1.3 -9.4 -13.4 1.8 2.9
Italy 1.2 0.4 0.8 -2.0 2.2 -2.2 -3.1 -8.0 -10.5 -1.9 2.4
Japan 5.7 0.1 -2.3 4.1 4.0 -2.9 -6.5 -11.5 -12.2 2.7 4.8
United Kingdom 2.9 2.6 2.0 2.2 2.4 -0.3 -2.9 -6.9 -9.6 -2.3 -1.2
United States 1.2 3.2 3.6 2.1 -0.7 1.5 -2.7 -5.4 -6.4 -0.7 2.8
Major developed economies 3.6 4.2 2.1 1.1 -0.7 0.3 0.4 -3.7 -6.2 -3.1 0.4
Euro zone 3.0 1.6 2.7 1.2 1.9 -1.7 -1.0 -5.9 -5.5 1.1 1.1


Unemployment rateb
(percentage of total labour force)


Canada 6.2 6.1 6.0 5.9 5.9 6.1 6.1 6.4 7.6 8.4 8.6
France 8.8 8.5 8.2 7.9 7.6 7.6 7.9 8.3 8.9 9.4 9.8
Germany 8.8 8.5 8.3 8.0 7.6 7.4 7.1 7.1 7.3 7.6 7.6
Italy 6.0 5.9 6.2 6.4 6.6 6.8 6.8 6.9 7.4 7.4 ..
Japan 4.0 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.9 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.5 5.2 5.5
United Kingdom 5.5 5.3 5.3 5.1 5.1 5.3 5.8 6.3 7.0 7.7 ..
United States 4.5 4.5 4.7 4.8 4.9 5.4 6.0 6.9 8.1 9.2 9.6
Major developed economies 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.4 5.4 5.7 6.0 6.4 7.2 8.0 ..
Euro zone 7.7 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.2 7.4 7.6 8.0 8.8 9.3 9.6


Change in consumer pricesc
(percentage change from preceding quarter)


Canada 3.9 6.0 0.0 -0.1 1.3 8.5 4.3 -5.9 -1.3 3.5 0.4
France 0.4 4.3 0.9 3.8 2.9 5.7 0.7 -2.0 -1.6 2.2 -0.2
Germany 3.5 3.1 2.2 3.3 3.0 3.1 2.9 -2.2 -0.4 0.8 0.9
Italy 1.6 2.6 2.3 2.8 4.5 4.6 4.0 -1.7 -0.8 2.1 1.0
Japan -2.1 1.9 0.8 1.6 -0.4 3.5 4.0 -2.8 -4.9 0.0 -1.2
United Kingdom 0.7 4.2 -0.5 4.2 1.8 8.3 5.2 0.5 -1.6 4.6 2.4
United States 3.9 7.9 1.1 3.0 4.5 9.1 4.8 -10.9 -1.8 4.1 2.9
Major developed economies 2.2 5.4 1.1 2.8 3.0 6.9 4.1 -6.2 -2.1 2.8 1.5
Euro zone 0.8 5.5 0.0 5.5 2.3 6.9 1.1 -1.1 -2.9 3.8 -1.1


Source: UN/DESA, based on Eurostat, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and national sources.


a Expressed as an annualized rate. Major developed economies is calculated as a weighted average, where weights are based on annual GDP valued
in 2005 prices and exchange rates.


b Seasonally adjusted data as standardized by OECD.
c Expressed as an annualized rate. Major developed economies is calculated as a weighted average, where weights are based on 2005 GDP in United


States dollars.




158 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.10
Selected economies in transition: quarterly indicators of growth and inflation, 2007-2009


Percentage


2007 quarters 2008 quarters 2009 quarters


I II III IV I II III IV I II III


Rates of growth of gross domestic producta


Armenia 11.5 11.6 15.6 14.6 9.1 11.0 11.0 -1.2 -5.5 -23.1 ..
Azerbaijan 28.7 24.3 24.6 24.7 8.4 11.0 11.3 11.7 4.1 .. ..
Belarus 9.2 9.4 9.1 7.1 11.2 10.5 11.2 7.5 1.1 -0.4 ..
Croatia 9.2 7.4 3.3 2.6 7.6 4.4 0.0 -2.0 -6.7 -6.3 ..
Georgia 10.7 13.0 13.7 11.7 9.1 8.3 -3.9 -2.5 -5.9 -10.7 ..
Kazakhstan 10.6 8.9 9.0 5.0 6.1 5.2 1.1 0.7 -2.2 .. ..
Kyrgyzstan 9.3 10.9 8.0 6.8 4.7 5.7 5.1 13.8 0.2 0.5 ..
Republic of Moldova 17.5 24.2 4.5 .. 5.3 7.3 10.0 .. -6.9 -8.9 ..
Russian Federation 7.5 8.0 7.7 9.0 8.7 7.5 6.0 1.2 -9.8 -10.9 ..
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 6.8 4.3 4.2 5.2 5.6 6.7 5.8 2.0 -0.9 .. ..
Ukraine 8.7 8.7 6.2 7.3 6.1 6.1 6.2 -7.7 -20.4 -17.9 ..


Change in consumer pricesa


Armenia 4.8 4.3 2.2 6.4 7.9 10.1 11.2 6.8 2.0 3.3 ..
Azerbaijan 16.5 15.3 15.9 18.7 16.6 23.8 24.1 18.7 8.2 -0.7 -1.0
Belarus 7.5 6.9 8.1 10.7 12.8 15.4 16.2 14.7 15.6 13.9 12.4
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.8 0.3 1.0 4.0 6.4 8.4 9.4 5.5 1.6 -1.0 -1.4
Croatia 1.6 2.1 2.9 4.9 5.9 6.6 7.4 4.5 3.8 2.8 1.2
Georgia 10.4 7.5 7.6 11.2 11.2 11.4 11.0 6.3 2.8 2.3 -0.8
Kazakhstan 8.0 7.8 9.8 17.2 18.7 19.5 19.5 11.5 8.7 8.2 ..
Kyrgyzstan 4.7 4.8 9.8 21.3 22.4 28.7 29.2 18.5 16.2 9.1 ..
Republic of Moldova 11.8 10.6 13.2 13.7 14.9 16.3 11.9 8.4 3.1 -0.9 -1.7
Russian Federation 7.7 7.9 8.9 11.4 12.9 14.9 14.9 13.7 13.7 12.4 ..
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1.7 1.7 2.8 5.1 8.2 8.6 7.1 5.1 1.0 -0.4 -1.0
Ukraine 10.2 11.4 14.1 15.5 22.5 30.2 25.8 22.6 20.4 15.1 15.3


Source: UN/DESA, based on data of Economic Commission for Europe and national sources.


a Percentage change from the corresponding period of the preceding year.




159Statistical annex


Table A.11
Major developing economies: quarterly indicators of growth, unemployment and inflation, 2007-2009


Percentage


2007 quarters 2008 quarters 2009 quarters


I II III IV I II III IV I II III


Rates of growth of gross domestic producta


Argentina 8.0 8.6 8.8 9.1 8.5 7.8 6.9 4.1 2.0 -0.8 ..
Brazil 5.3 5.8 5.4 6.1 6.1 6.2 6.8 1.3 -1.8 -1.2 ..
Chile 5.9 5.5 3.6 3.8 3.4 4.6 4.6 0.2 -2.4 -4.7 -1.6
China 11.7 11.9 11.5 11.2 10.6 10.1 9.0 6.8 6.1 7.9 8.9
Colombia 8.4 7.6 6.0 8.2 4.2 3.9 2.8 -1.1 -0.5 -0.5 ..
Ecuador 1.6 1.1 1.4 5.8 6.5 8.3 8.0 3.4 1.5 -1.1 ..
Hong Kong SARb 5.6 6.1 6.8 6.9 7.3 4.1 1.5 -2.6 -7.8 -3.6 -2.4
India 9.8 9.2 9.0 8.8 8.6 7.8 7.7 5.8 5.8 6.1 7.9
Indonesia 6.1 6.4 6.5 6.3 6.1 6.6 6.6 4.8 4.6 4.0 4.1
Israel 4.7 4.3 6.0 5.7 5.6 5.1 4.1 2.1 -0.1 -0.8 -0.4
Korea, Republic of 4.5 5.3 4.9 5.7 5.5 4.3 3.1 -3.4 -4.2 -2.2 0.6
Malaysia 5.5 5.8 6.4 7.2 7.4 6.6 4.8 0.1 -6.2 -3.9 -1.2
Mexico 3.0 3.0 3.5 3.7 2.6 2.9 1.7 -1.6 -7.9 -10.1 -6.2
Philippines 6.9 8.3 6.8 6.3 3.9 4.2 4.6 2.9 0.6 0.8 0.8
Singapore 7.6 8.6 9.5 5.5 6.7 2.5 0.0 -4.2 -9.5 -3.3 0.6
South Africa 6.5 5.5 5.1 4.9 4.1 5.1 3.8 1.9 -0.8 -2.6 -2.1
Taiwan Province of China 4.5 5.7 7.1 6.5 6.9 5.4 -0.8 -7.1 -9.1 -6.9 -1.3
Thailand 4.6 4.5 5.3 5.3 6.4 5.2 2.9 -4.2 -7.1 -4.9 -2.8
Turkey 8.1 3.8 3.2 4.2 7.2 2.8 1.0 -6.5 -14.3 -7.0 ..
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 8.7 7.8 9.0 7.2 4.9 7.2 3.8 3.5 0.5 -2.4 -4.5


Unemployment ratec


Argentina 9.8 8.5 8.1 7.5 8.4 8.0 7.8 7.3 8.4 8.8 9.1
Brazil 9.8 10.0 9.3 8.1 8.4 8.1 7.8 7.3 8.6 8.6 7.9
Chile 6.4 6.8 7.5 7.4 7.4 8.0 8.1 7.5 8.6 10.2 10.6
Colombia 12.8 11.2 10.8 9.5 11.9 11.4 11.3 10.5 13.8 12.4 12.5
Hong Kong SARb 4.4 4.2 4.0 3.4 3.3 3.3 3.4 4.1 5.2 5.4 5.3
Israel 7.7 7.6 7.3 6.7 6.1 5.9 6.1 6.5 7.6 8.0 7.8
Korea, Republic of 3.6 3.3 3.1 3.0 3.4 3.1 3.1 3.1 3.8 3.8 3.6
Malaysia 3.4 3.4 3.1 3.0 3.6 3.5 3.1 3.1 4.0 3.6 ..
Mexico 4.0 3.4 3.9 3.5 4.0 3.5 4.2 4.3 5.1 5.2 6.2
Philippines 7.8 7.4 7.8 6.3 7.4 8.0 7.4 6.8 7.7 7.5 7.6
Singapore 2.7 2.3 1.7 1.7 1.9 2.2 2.3 2.5 3.3 3.3 3.4
Taiwan Province of China 3.8 3.9 4.0 3.9 3.9 3.9 4.2 4.7 5.6 5.8 6.1
Thailand 1.6 1.6 1.2 1.1 1.7 1.4 1.2 1.3 2.1 1.8 1.2
Turkey 11.4 8.9 9.2 10.5 11.5 9.5 10.3 12.6 15.8 13.8 ..
Uruguay 9.9 9.5 9.0 8.1 8.5 7.5 7.6 6.6 7.5 8.0 7.1
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 10.3 8.2 8.4 6.8 8.3 7.5 7.4 6.1 8.2 7.7 8.3




160 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.11 (cont’d)


2007 quarters 2008 quarters 2009 quarters


I II III IV I II III IV I II III


Change in consumer pricesa


Argentina 9.5 8.8 8.6 8.5 8.5 9.1 8.9 7.8 6.6 5.5 5.9
Brazil 3.0 3.3 4.0 4.3 4.6 5.6 6.3 6.2 5.7 5.2 4.4
Chile 2.7 2.9 4.8 7.2 8.0 8.9 9.3 8.6 5.6 3.1 -0.6
China 2.7 3.6 6.1 6.7 8.0 7.9 5.3 2.6 -0.6 -1.5 -1.3
Colombia 5.2 6.2 5.3 5.4 6.1 6.4 7.7 7.8 6.6 4.8 3.2
Ecuador 2.1 1.7 2.5 2.8 5.3 9.1 10.0 9.3 7.9 5.5 3.5
Hong Kong SARb 1.7 1.3 1.7 3.5 4.6 5.7 4.6 2.2 1.8 -0.1 -0.9
India 7.0 6.3 6.7 5.5 6.3 7.8 9.0 10.2 9.4 8.9 11.7
Indonesia 6.4 6.0 6.5 6.7 7.7 10.3 11.9 11.1 7.6 4.7 2.7
Israel -0.6 -1.1 0.9 2.8 3.6 5.0 5.1 4.6 3.4 3.2 3.2
Korea, Republic of 2.0 2.4 2.3 3.4 3.8 4.8 5.5 4.5 3.9 2.8 2.0
Malaysia 2.6 1.5 1.8 2.2 2.6 4.9 8.4 5.9 3.7 1.3 -2.3
Mexico 4.1 4.0 4.0 3.8 3.9 4.9 5.5 6.2 6.2 6.0 5.1
Philippines 2.9 2.4 2.5 3.3 5.6 9.7 12.2 9.6 6.9 3.2 0.3
Singapore 0.5 1.0 2.7 4.1 6.6 7.5 6.6 5.5 2.1 -0.5 -0.3
South Africa 5.1 6.0 6.2 7.2 8.9 10.1 11.2 10.1 8.8 8.0 6.4
Taiwan Province of China 1.0 0.3 1.5 4.5 3.6 4.2 4.5 1.9 0.0 -0.8 -1.3
Thailand 2.5 1.9 1.7 2.9 5.0 7.5 7.3 2.1 -0.2 -2.8 -2.2
Turkey 10.3 9.5 7.1 8.2 8.8 10.3 11.7 10.9 8.4 5.7 5.3
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 19.1 19.5 16.1 20.1 26.2 31.0 34.7 33.4 29.5 28.2 28.7


Sources: IMF, International Financial Statistics, and national sources.
a Percentage change from the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
b Special Administrative Region of China.
c Reflects national definitions and coverage. Not comparable across economies.




161Statistical annex


Table A.12
Major developed economies: financial indicators, 2000-2009


Percentage


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a


Short-term interest ratesb


Canada 5.7 4.0 2.6 3.0 2.3 2.8 4.2 4.6 3.3 0.8
Francec 4.4 4.3 3.3 2.3 2.1 2.2 3.1 4.3 4.6 1.4
Germanyc 4.4 4.3 3.3 2.3 2.1 2.2 3.1 4.3 4.6 1.4
Italyc 4.4 4.3 3.3 2.3 2.1 2.2 3.1 4.3 4.6 1.4
Japan 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.7 0.7 0.4
United Kingdom 6.1 5.0 4.0 3.7 4.6 4.7 4.8 6.0 5.5 1.4
United States 6.5 3.7 1.7 1.2 1.6 3.5 5.2 5.3 3.0 0.7


Long-term interest ratesd


Canada 5.9 5.5 5.3 4.8 4.6 4.1 4.2 4.3 3.6 3.2
France 5.4 4.9 4.9 4.1 4.1 3.4 3.8 4.3 4.2 3.7
Germany 5.3 4.8 4.8 4.1 4.0 3.4 3.8 4.2 4.0 3.2
Italy 5.6 5.2 5.0 4.3 4.3 3.6 4.0 4.5 4.7 4.0
Japan 1.7 1.3 1.3 1.0 1.5 1.4 1.7 1.7 1.5 1.3
United Kingdom 5.3 4.9 4.9 4.5 4.9 4.4 4.5 5.0 4.6 3.6
United States 6.0 5.0 4.6 4.0 4.3 4.3 4.8 4.6 3.7 3.2


General government financial balancese


Canada 2.9 0.7 -0.1 -0.1 0.9 1.5 1.6 1.6 0.0 -5.0
France -1.5 -1.5 -3.1 -4.1 -3.6 -2.9 -2.3 -2.7 -3.4 -8.3
Germany 1.3 -2.8 -3.7 -4.0 -3.8 -3.3 -1.6 0.2 0.0 -3.4
Italy -0.8 -3.1 -2.9 -3.5 -3.5 -4.3 -3.3 -1.5 -2.7 -5.3
Japanf -7.6 -6.3 -8.0 -7.9 -6.2 -6.7 -1.6 -2.5 -2.7 -7.8
United Kingdom 3.6 0.5 -2.0 -3.3 -3.4 -3.4 -2.7 -2.7 -5.0 -12.1
United States 1.6 -0.4 -3.8 -4.8 -4.4 -3.3 -2.2 -2.9 -5.9 -10.4


Sources: UN/DESA, based on IMF, International Financial Statistics; OECD Economic Outlook; and Eurostat.


a Average for the first nine months.
b Three-month Interbank Rate.
c From January 1999 onwards, represents the three-month Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR), which is an interbank deposit bid rate.
d Yield on long-term government bonds.
e Surplus (+) or deficit (-) as a percentage of nominal GNP or GDP. Estimates for 2009.
f Deferred tax payments on postal savings accounts are included in 2000 and 2001.




162 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.13
Selected economies: real effective exchange rates, broad measurement,a 2000-2009


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009b


Developed economies


Australia 100.0 95.7 99.7 110.9 120.2 126.8 132.2 140.8 140.4 125.9
Bulgaria 100.0 107.9 112.2 120.6 125.3 127.8 135.5 143.2 149.5 168.3
Canada 100.0 96.5 94.7 102.4 104.5 108.0 111.7 112.5 103.3 93.8
Czech Republic 100.0 106.5 118.4 117.1 121.3 129.3 133.4 138.9 156.8 148.9
Denmark 100.0 102.5 106.7 113.8 114.4 111.9 109.8 109.8 110.5 117.3
Euro zone 100.0 101.7 105.2 117.0 121.1 119.8 120.9 125.7 131.4 124.8
Hungary 100.0 107.1 113.5 115.1 119.0 119.2 115.6 119.8 122.1 119.2
Japan 100.0 88.7 82.8 82.8 83.4 79.0 72.0 67.2 73.7 84.0
New Zealand 100.0 99.4 111.5 130.5 140.3 147.3 135.9 146.3 134.6 125.2
Norway 100.0 102.8 108.8 108.3 110.5 117.1 122.8 131.9 134.3 127.7
Poland 100.0 110.7 107.3 99.2 101.9 111.2 113.5 117.4 126.0 108.8
Romania 100.0 107.8 113.0 117.0 126.8 153.5 171.2 190.7 181.0 173.3
Slovakia 100.0 102.1 104.1 112.5 116.9 117.1 118.3 128.5 131.8 142.1
Sweden 100.0 91.3 93.5 97.3 96.2 93.3 94.2 97.5 91.8 89.3
Switzerland 100.0 103.1 109.4 111.2 109.0 104.9 100.3 95.5 97.4 105.6
United Kingdom 100.0 97.2 98.3 95.6 99.6 97.3 97.1 99.0 87.1 79.4
United States 100.0 106.0 106.2 98.0 91.9 89.3 86.9 82.8 79.6 89.1


Economies in transition


Croatia 100.0 105.5 106.6 109.8 113.6 114.5 115.4 116.7 124.3 126.9
Russian Federation 100.0 120.8 126.8 131.1 140.6 154.6 170.5 180.4 193.0 181.5


Developing economies


Argentina 100.0 105.0 56.1 62.4 60.8 60.0 58.5 57.8 58.9 57.5
Brazil 100.0 90.2 89.7 98.6 105.8 129.7 140.8 155.6 175.1 165.5
Chile 100.0 94.7 93.0 91.9 100.1 111.7 118.0 117.3 122.8 127.2
China 100.0 105.5 103.0 97.9 96.0 98.2 101.1 103.3 112.3 113.2
Colombia 100.0 100.4 99.1 88.1 94.8 104.9 102.8 110.4 114.4 107.9
Ecuador 100.0 102.5 111.0 114.3 114.7 121.2 130.7 125.9 136.6 109.0
Egypt 100.0 91.1 81.6 65.5 66.2 72.0 74.2 76.4 86.5 84.0
Hong Kong SARc 100.0 101.8 101.5 95.0 89.9 86.4 84.1 80.1 75.7 80.6
India 100.0 102.5 99.1 98.4 99.1 102.3 99.3 106.6 100.9 96.0
Indonesia 100.0 96.3 116.6 123.2 113.5 113.8 142.0 149.3 162.6 161.2
Israel 100.0 99.7 89.8 87.5 85.4 86.4 86.9 87.9 98.0 97.4
Korea, Republic of 100.0 90.6 93.5 92.8 95.0 104.9 110.0 107.6 90.6 77.7
Kuwait 100.0 107.5 109.3 102.4 94.9 96.3 95.3 93.2 99.0 105.4
Malaysia 100.0 103.9 101.6 98.7 100.7 103.3 107.0 112.7 115.6 111.5
Mexico 100.0 107.9 109.5 100.0 98.2 103.1 106.0 106.0 105.9 90.7
Morocco 100.0 97.8 98.6 98.8 97.3 94.7 94.7 93.6 94.0 100.4
Nigeriad 100.0 111.1 111.0 103.1 107.8 124.3 133.3 130.7 144.7 138.8
Pakistan 100.0 95.5 100.1 101.0 100.4 102.3 105.8 105.6 105.5 103.1
Peru 100.0 104.2 104.1 100.0 99.5 99.3 99.4 99.7 106.6 105.8
Philippines 100.0 107.6 112.5 107.6 100.7 107.1 129.5 136.0 130.7 130.4




163Statistical annex


Table A.13 (cont’d)


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009b


Saudi Arabia 100.0 103.6 102.3 94.4 87.6 84.9 84.1 81.9 83.2 92.9
Singapore 100.0 97.8 95.9 95.5 102.2 106.8 112.2 119.5 125.3 115.3
South Africa 100.0 90.6 80.6 105.7 115.3 117.7 113.5 109.3 100.0 104.4
Taiwan Province of China 100.0 96.1 93.9 89.6 90.8 89.2 89.0 87.8 84.6 76.4
Thailand 100.0 97.0 101.2 100.3 100.1 102.7 111.6 124.9 121.1 111.1
Turkey 100.0 87.5 100.7 110.6 116.1 124.5 120.6 127.8 126.0 116.4
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 100.0 109.4 92.6 93.5 98.8 99.2 107.9 119.7 138.6 187.7


Sources: JPMorgan Chase and IMF, International Financial Statistics.


a Indices based on a "broad" measure currency basket of 46 currencies (including the euro). The real effective exchange rate, which adjusts the
nominal index for relative price changes, gauges the effect on international price competitiveness of the country's manufactures owing to currency
changes and inflation differentials. A rise in the index implies a fall in competitiveness and vice versa. The relative price changes are based on
indices most closely measuring the prices of domestically produced finished manufactured goods, excluding food and energy, at the first stage of
manufacturing. The weights for currency indices are derived from 2000 bilateral trade patterns of the corresponding countries.


b Average for the first ten months.
c Special Administrative Region of China.
d Data is from International Financial Statistics (IFS) only. Data for 2009 is until July.




164 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.14
Indices of prices of primary commodities, 2000-2009


Non-fuel commodities Combined index
Manufac-


tured
export
prices


Real prices
of non-fuel


commo-
ditiesa


Memo-
randum


item: Crude
petroleumbFood


Tropical
beverages


Vegetable
oilseeds
and oils


Agricul-
tural raw
materials


Minerals
and


metals Dollar SDR


2000 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100.0
2001 103 79 94 96 89 96 100 98 98 83.8
2002 102 89 117 94 87 97 99 99 98 88.3
2003 104 94 137 112 98 105 99 108 97 101.8
2004 119 100 155 127 137 126 113 117 108 130.6
2005 127 126 141 132 173 141 126 120 117 183.5
2006 151 134 148 152 278 184 165 123 149 221.3
2007 164 148 226 169 313 207 179 133 156 250.4
2008 234 178 298 202 332 257 214 139 185 342.2


2006 I 151 136 137 144 220 167 153 119 140 209.0
II 155 129 141 150 285 186 167 123 151 234.6
III 148 133 149 150 301 188 168 125 151 238.4
IV 151 139 164 142 304 190 169 127 150 203.1


2007 I 155 143 179 158 288 191 169 129 148 198.0
II 154 142 209 162 336 206 180 131 157 235.5
III 165 150 236 161 322 209 181 133 157 259.0
IV 183 157 278 175 307 219 184 138 159 308.1


2008 I 223 182 342 201 358 261 216 141 185 335.2
II 273 184 358 211 381 293 239 145 202 425.7
III 244 191 305 216 355 271 225 141 192 411.3
IV 195 155 185 163 236 199 173 130 153 190.3


2009 I 206 164 188 146 200 193 171 126 153 155.5
II 213 175 226 150 231 208 181 129 161 212.0
III 228 186 215 164 270 227 192 .. .. 245.3


Sources: UNCTAD, Monthly Commodity Price Bulletin; United Nations, Monthly Bulletin of Statistics; and Middle East Economic Survey, available at
http://www.mees.com/Energy_Tables/basket.htm.


a Combined index of non-fuel commodity prices in dollars deflated by manufactured export price index.
b The new OPEC reference basket, introduced on 16 June 2005, currently has 12 crudes.




165Statistical annex


Table A.15
World oil supply and demand, 2001-2010


2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b


World oil supplyc,d
(millions of barrels per day) 77.1 76.9 79.8 83.3 84.3 85.0 85.4 86.1 84.0 85.4


Developed economies 18.3 18.3 17.8 17.4 16.5 16.3 16.4 16.2 16.2 16.1
Economies in transition 8.7 9.6 10.5 11.6 12.0 12.4 12.9 12.9 13.3 13.6
Developing economies 48.3 47.3 49.7 52.5 54.0 54.4 53.9 54.8 52.3 53.4


OPECe 30.4 28.8 30.8 33.1 34.2 34.3 34.9 35.9 33.4 34.2
Non-OPEC 17.9 18.5 18.9 19.4 19.8 20.1 19.0 18.9 18.9 19.2


Processing gainsf 1.7 1.8 1.8 1.9 1.9 1.9 2.2 2.2 2.3 2.2


World total demandg 77.3 77.7 79.3 82.5 83.8 85.1 86.5 86.3 84.4 85.7


Oil prices (dollars per barrel)
OPEC Basketh 23.12 24.36 28.10 36.05 50.64 61.08 69.08 94.45 58.70 69.60
Brent Oil 24.42 24.97 28.85 38.30 54.43 65.39 72.70 97.64 61.00 72.00


Sources: United Nations, World Bank, International Energy Agency, U.S. Energy Information Administration, and Middle East Economic Survey, available
at http://www.mees.com/Energy_Tables/basket.htm.


a Partly estimated.
b Baseline scenario forecasts.
c Including crude oil, condensates, natural gas liquids (NGLs), oil from non-conventional sources and other sources of supply.
d Totals may not add up due to rounding.
e Includes Angola and Ecuador as of January 2007 and December 2007, respectively.
f Net volume gains and losses in the refining process (excluding net gain/loss in the economies in transition and China) and marine transportation


losses.
g Including deliveries from refineries/primary stocks and marine bunkers, and refinery fuel and non-conventional oils.
h The new OPEC reference basket, introduced on 16 June 2005, currently has 12 crudes.




166 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.16
World trade: changes in value and volume of exports and imports, by major country group, 2000-2010


Annual percentage change


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b


Dollar value of exports


World 13.4 -3.9 4.8 16.6 21.3 14.8 15.6 15.8 15.3 -23.9 10.6
Developed economies 7.3 -2.8 3.6 15.3 18.1 9.4 12.7 14.4 12.4 -22.7 9.0


North America 13.4 -6.6 -4.2 4.9 12.2 12.8 11.7 10.1 10.5 -24.1 11.3
EU plus other Europe 3.5 1.1 6.7 19.5 19.5 8.7 13.4 16.5 12.5 -21.4 7.8
Developed Asia 14.0 -13.6 3.1 12.8 20.1 7.4 10.1 9.2 15.6 -27.5 13.1


Economies in transition 34.2 -0.7 6.3 26.4 35.3 35.4 28.4 26.2 36.4 -44.6 13.9
South-eastern Europe 16.6 3.1 6.5 21.4 23.2 15.1 23.6 31.9 25.5 -26.9 12.0
Commonwealth of Independent States 37.7 -1.0 6.3 27.0 36.7 37.6 28.8 25.8 37.4 -46.0 14.5


Developing economies 27.3 -6.3 7.2 18.3 26.2 22.6 19.1 16.8 17.0 -22.7 12.4
Latin America and the Caribbean 19.7 -3.6 1.0 9.2 23.8 20.5 19.6 12.2 14.9 -31.0 9.9
Africa 26.1 -8.2 3.4 22.6 31.6 37.0 17.7 18.2 28.7 -30.9 15.3
Western Asia 81.4 -7.0 5.0 22.5 30.6 33.8 19.8 19.0 26.3 -33.7 17.3
East and South Asia 19.2 -6.7 9.9 19.4 25.4 19.1 19.0 17.3 13.8 -16.6 11.6


Dollar value of imports


World 12.9 -3.5 3.7 16.1 22.0 14.1 14.8 15.5 16.0 -23.6 10.7
Developed economies 10.3 -3.6 3.0 15.6 19.2 12.1 13.4 13.0 12.4 -24.1 9.2


North America 17.6 -6.2 1.5 7.9 16.1 14.5 10.0 6.0 7.0 -26.7 14.6
EU plus other Europe 5.3 -1.2 4.3 19.8 20.6 10.8 15.3 16.8 13.3 -22.5 7.5
Developed Asia 17.8 -8.3 -0.3 15.4 19.7 13.5 11.8 9.5 22.2 -26.9 6.8


Economies in transition 14.8 14.1 12.0 26.6 27.8 26.6 30.2 38.9 31.3 -40.2 11.0
South-eastern Europe 12.9 13.9 20.2 26.1 17.5 18.2 18.0 28.0 21.6 -30.2 11.0
Commonwealth of Independent States 15.6 14.1 10.3 26.7 30.0 28.3 32.3 40.6 32.7 -42.3 11.2


Developing economies 19.7 -4.4 5.0 16.5 28.0 17.3 16.4 18.5 21.3 -20.5 12.5
Latin America and the Caribbean 15.8 -2.1 -7.0 3.7 22.1 18.3 19.3 18.9 21.2 -25.1 12.2
Africa 1.0 0.2 3.4 20.6 26.1 22.1 16.6 26.0 33.1 -19.5 11.3
Western Asia 21.7 0.0 7.2 17.3 36.8 13.5 12.1 31.0 28.0 -26.6 7.0
East and South Asia 20.6 -6.7 8.7 19.5 28.2 17.2 16.4 15.4 18.5 -18.2 13.8


Volume of exports


World 13.2 -1.1 4.4 5.6 10.6 8.0 9.6 6.6 2.8 -12.6 5.5
Developed economies 12.6 -0.9 2.2 3.0 8.3 5.6 9.0 4.9 3.3 -15.2 4.9


North America 14.0 -5.5 -2.4 0.7 6.6 7.1 7.3 5.5 4.3 -13.5 7.6
EU plus other Europe 11.9 2.3 3.1 2.9 8.0 5.2 9.3 4.4 2.6 -13.2 2.6
Developed Asia 12.7 -6.6 6.6 7.9 12.1 4.8 10.7 6.4 4.8 -26.1 11.5


Economies in transition 15.2 3.8 7.9 13.3 14.2 0.7 7.6 9.5 2.6 -9.6 1.9
South-eastern Europe 13.5 5.5 5.2 8.7 11.8 8.3 13.2 21.6 9.8 -20.2 5.0
Commonwealth of Independent States 15.4 3.6 8.0 13.8 14.5 -0.2 6.9 8.1 1.6 -8.0 1.5


Developing economies 14.5 -1.9 8.6 9.8 14.6 12.7 10.7 9.1 2.1 -8.9 6.5
Latin America and the Caribbean 4.6 -0.1 1.7 4.9 11.9 7.2 8.6 5.2 -0.4 -11.1 4.2
Africa -9.2 -2.0 4.7 8.3 14.6 29.0 -6.9 10.9 3.4 -2.4 5.8
Western Asia 37.2 3.0 4.5 8.2 7.6 5.2 4.0 9.1 -2.3 -6.3 3.0
East and South Asia 15.3 -3.5 12.0 11.5 16.7 13.7 14.4 9.7 3.1 -9.4 7.6




167Statistical annex


Table A.16 (cont’d)


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009a 2010b


Volume of imports


World 13.8 -0.5 4.1 5.3 11.4 7.5 8.9 6.7 3.1 -12.3 5.4
Developed economies 11.0 -0.6 2.5 4.0 8.6 5.8 7.5 3.7 0.1 -12.3 3.9


North America 12.3 -3.6 3.2 0.2 7.2 7.8 4.3 -0.6 -4.1 -12.7 9.1
EU plus other Europe 10.7 1.0 2.0 5.7 9.3 5.0 9.7 6.4 1.0 -11.7 2.0
Developed Asia 9.0 0.3 3.1 6.3 8.8 4.5 4.8 1.1 7.1 -14.7 1.5


Economies in transition 21.8 14.0 11.8 12.2 14.1 15.9 23.1 27.7 14.8 -35.9 12.1
South-eastern Europe 17.4 15.3 17.0 9.9 6.2 11.3 11.4 15.8 7.9 -23.0 3.9
Commonwealth of Independent States 23.9 13.8 10.7 12.7 15.7 16.8 25.2 29.6 16.0 -32.7 4.6


Developing economies 20.8 -0.9 7.4 7.9 17.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 7.5 -10.1 7.4
Latin America and the Caribbean 17.5 -0.4 -4.1 -2.2 13.7 12.1 13.5 11.5 8.1 -14.9 7.5
Africa 1.8 6.3 5.0 7.1 14.3 15.9 10.4 16.3 17.5 -7.9 6.1
Western Asia 22.9 2.4 7.3 5.7 23.3 5.7 6.1 22.2 13.1 -15.7 1.7
East and South Asia 20.3 -2.4 11.4 11.1 17.7 10.4 10.7 8.2 5.2 -8.0 8.6


Sources: UN/DESA Statistics Division, ECA, ECE, ECLAC, ESCAP, ESCWA and IMF.


a Partly estimated.
b Baseline scenario forecasts, based in part on Project LINK.




168 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.17
Balance of payments on current accounts, by country or country group, summary table, 2000-2008


Billions of dollars


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008


Developed economies -324.1 -282.5 -287.4 -319.9 -337.5 -522.3 -603.1 -551.2 -702.9


Japan 119.6 87.8 112.6 136.2 172.1 165.7 170.4 211.0 157.1
United States -417.4 -398.3 -459.1 -521.5 -631.1 -748.7 -803.5 -726.6 -706.1
Europea -28.4 20.4 64.3 86.6 143.8 89.8 61.5 17.7 -103.5


EU-15 -61.0 -8.2 36.8 45.3 108.1 29.9 8.6 9.2 -84.2
New EU member States -22.4 -18.5 -19.9 -27.6 -42.6 -37.3 -57.3 -92.3 -112.5


Economies in transitionb 47.0 31.0 25.3 30.3 56.2 80.0 87.5 56.1 86.4


South-eastern Europe -1.3 -2.1 -5.0 -5.5 -7.3 -7.5 -8.5 -15.3 -22.4
Commonwealth of Independent Statesc 48.5 33.4 30.6 36.2 63.9 88.2 97.2 73.5 111.7


Developing economies 91.4 70.5 120.1 213.4 275.0 461.6 688.3 767.7 778.5


Net fuel exporters 79.3 34.1 27.5 76.0 132.2 268.6 375.1 351.5 461.4
Net fuel importers 12.1 36.4 92.6 137.4 142.7 193.0 313.3 416.2 317.2
Latin America and the Caribbean -47.3 -52.8 -15.2 10.5 23.1 36.7 50.2 15.9 -27.2


Net fuel exporters -14.1 -21.1 -0.6 12.4 14.0 26.6 34.9 18.7 31.1
Net fuel importer -33.2 -31.7 -14.6 -1.9 9.0 10.1 15.3 -2.8 -58.3


Africa 8.6 -2.1 -12.6 -6.4 0.5 10.7 47.6 33.4 35.1
Net fuel exporters 26.5 13.3 -1.9 12.6 27.0 50.1 95.7 94.1 118.9
Net fuel importers -17.8 -15.4 -10.7 -19.0 -26.5 -39.4 -48.0 -60.7 -83.8


Western Asia 36.7 31.7 21.1 41.0 72.8 148.3 190.7 166.1 246.1
Net fuel exportersd 50.3 32.5 24.6 49.0 88.1 170.8 217.8 205.3 292.2
Net fuel importers -13.6 -0.8 -3.5 -8.1 -15.3 -22.4 -27.1 -39.2 -46.1


East and South Asia 93.4 93.7 126.8 168.4 178.7 265.9 399.8 552.3 524.6
Net fuel exporters 16.6 9.4 5.4 2.0 3.1 21.1 26.7 33.3 19.2
Net fuel importers 76.8 84.4 121.4 166.4 175.5 244.7 373.1 519.0 505.4


World residuale -185.6 -181.0 -141.9 -76.2 -6.2 19.2 172.7 272.6 162.0


Sources: IMF, World Economic Outlook, October 2009; and IMF, Balance of Payments Statistics.


a Europe consists of the EU-15, the new EU member States and Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
b Includes Georgia.
c Excludes Georgia, which left the Commonwealth of Independent States on 18 August 2009.
d Iraq data not available prior to 2005.
e Statistical discrepancy.




169Statistical annex


Table A.18
Balance of payments on current accounts, by country or country group, 2000-2008


Billions of dollars


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008


Developed economies


Trade balance -297.6 -262.6 -262.5 -312.6 -426.0 -641.0 -790.8 -784.3 -880.1
Services, net 82.5 77.1 97.0 115.3 168.3 206.8 278.8 386.8 429.9
Income, net 27.7 40.5 18.8 45.9 123.0 154.2 146.4 132.9 72.5
Current transfers, net -136.7 -137.5 -140.6 -168.5 -202.7 -242.3 -237.5 -286.7 -325.2
Current-account balance -324.1 -282.5 -287.4 -319.9 -337.5 -522.3 -603.1 -551.2 -702.9


Japan


Trade balance 114.93 69.17 92.46 103.99 128.46 93.85 81.12 105.09 38.43
Services, net -45.89 -42.71 -40.71 -31.44 -34.25 -24.08 -18.17 -21.20 -20.81
Income, net 60.40 69.22 65.78 71.21 85.72 103.50 118.17 138.63 152.56
Current transfers, net -9.83 -7.88 -4.92 -7.51 -7.85 -7.58 -10.68 -11.55 -13.10
Current-account balance 119.6 87.8 112.6 136.2 172.1 165.7 170.4 211.0 157.1


United States


Trade balance -454.69 -429.90 -482.83 -549.01 -671.83 -790.85 -847.26 -830.99 -840.25
Services, net 74.85 64.39 61.23 53.97 61.84 75.58 86.90 129.57 144.32
Income, net 21.05 31.72 27.41 45.30 67.22 72.36 48.08 90.85 118.23
Current transfers, net -58.65 -64.48 -64.95 -71.80 -88.36 -105.77 -91.27 -116.00 -128.37
Current-account balance -417.4 -398.3 -459.1 -521.5 -631.1 -748.7 -803.5 -726.6 -706.1


Europea


Trade balance 1.4 49.1 96.5 107.7 86.1 20.8 -56.5 -83.4 -116.9
Services, net 56.6 59.6 79.2 98.1 147.7 164.3 221.2 295.3 331.3
Income, net -17.2 -22.0 -40.5 -30.1 15.9 32.2 31.1 -36.7 -134.9
Current transfers, net -69.2 -66.3 -70.8 -89.1 -105.9 -127.5 -134.4 -157.4 -183.0
Current-account balance -28.4 20.4 64.3 86.6 143.8 89.8 61.5 17.7 -103.5


EU-15


Trade balance 8.2 52.9 95.2 106.8 83.1 8.3 -63.2 -72.0 -123.5
Services, net 28.3 32.9 52.6 67.7 113.3 123.6 171.3 229.8 251.5
Income, net -28.5 -28.2 -40.7 -38.9 18.7 23.2 36.1 11.2 -30.1
Current transfers, net -69.0 -65.8 -70.4 -90.3 -107.1 -125.3 -135.6 -159.8 -182.2
Current-account balance -61.0 -8.2 36.8 45.3 108.1 29.9 8.6 9.2 -84.2


New EU member States


Trade balance -29.8 -26.7 -25.5 -29.1 -34.3 -35.2 -51.0 -72.4 -86.6
Services, net 9.4 9.7 8.8 8.3 9.4 13.0 15.5 21.9 26.0
Income, net -7.3 -7.9 -10.9 -16.6 -28.1 -26.5 -35.3 -56.5 -67.5
Current transfers, net 5.2 6.3 7.6 9.8 10.3 11.5 13.6 14.8 15.6
Current-account balance -22.4 -18.5 -19.9 -27.6 -42.6 -37.3 -57.3 -92.3 -112.5


Economies in transitionb


Trade balance 53.7 37.8 34.4 43.1 71.3 106.6 128.5 110.2 166.4
Services, net -4.3 -7.2 -8.3 -7.1 -10.7 -12.7 -11.8 -18.4 -22.0
Income, net -9.6 -6.8 -8.9 -16.3 -17.1 -28.5 -44.9 -52.2 -79.4
Current transfers, net 7.2 7.2 8.2 10.6 12.8 14.5 15.8 16.5 21.5
Current-account balance 47.0 31.0 25.3 30.3 56.2 80.0 87.5 56.1 86.4




170 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.18 (cont’d)


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008


South-eastern Europe


Trade balance -9.0 -10.9 -14.1 -18.7 -22.6 -23.1 -25.5 -34.0 -42.3
Services, net 2.6 3.5 3.5 6.2 6.5 7.1 8.0 9.7 11.7
Income, net 0.2 0.1 0.0 -0.3 -0.3 -1.0 -1.2 -1.9 -3.2
Current transfers, net 4.9 5.2 5.6 7.3 9.1 9.5 10.1 10.9 11.4
Current-account balance -1.3 -2.1 -5.0 -5.5 -7.3 -7.5 -8.5 -15.3 -22.4


Commonwealth of Independent Statesc


Trade balance 63.2 49.2 49.0 62.4 94.8 130.9 156.0 147.2 212.5
Services, net -7.0 -10.8 -11.9 -13.4 -17.3 -19.8 -20.0 -28.3 -33.7
Income, net -9.7 -6.8 -8.9 -16.0 -16.9 -27.6 -43.9 -50.3 -76.1
Current transfers, net 2.1 1.8 2.3 3.1 3.3 4.6 5.1 4.9 9.0
Current-account balance 48.5 33.4 30.6 36.2 63.9 88.2 97.2 73.5 111.7


Developing economies


Trade balance 199.6 171.9 214.6 285.5 343.0 525.5 711.0 772.3 811.4
Services, net -50.8 -57.1 -57.0 -56.4 -50.1 -59.9 -68.3 -75.9 -109.2
Income, net -117.4 -111.2 -115.9 -117.6 -134.9 -154.3 -140.3 -140.9 -156.4
Current transfers, net 60.1 66.9 78.5 101.8 117.0 150.2 186.0 212.2 232.7
Current-account balance 91.4 70.5 120.1 213.4 275.0 461.6 688.3 767.7 778.5


Net fuel exporters


Trade balance 164.3 112.2 114.6 164.8 226.2 369.9 465.9 461.2 628.1
Services, net -51.5 -48.0 -51.3 -55.7 -62.6 -73.5 -93.6 -117.1 -154.6
Income, net -28.2 -25.4 -33.8 -37.5 -40.6 -49.7 -30.8 -25.2 -36.6
Current transfers, net -5.3 -4.7 -2.1 4.5 9.3 21.9 33.6 32.5 24.4
Current-account balance 79.3 34.1 27.5 76.0 132.2 268.6 375.1 351.5 461.4


Net fuel importers


Trade balance 35.3 59.7 99.9 120.7 116.9 155.6 245.1 311.0 183.4
Services, net 0.7 -9.1 -5.8 -0.6 12.5 13.6 25.3 41.2 45.4
Income, net -89.2 -85.8 -82.1 -80.1 -94.3 -104.6 -109.5 -115.7 -119.8
Current transfers, net 65.3 71.7 80.6 97.3 107.6 128.3 152.4 179.7 208.2
Current-account balance 12.1 36.4 92.6 137.4 142.7 193.0 313.3 416.2 317.2


Latin America and the Caribbean


Trade balance 1.6 -5.5 21.9 43.8 59.3 82.2 101.4 72.1 45.6
Services, net -14.3 -17.6 -12.7 -11.9 -12.4 -16.8 -17.7 -23.4 -28.9
Income, net -56.0 -56.0 -54.1 -59.1 -68.5 -81.8 -97.3 -98.7 -109.4
Current transfers, net 21.5 26.3 29.8 37.7 44.8 53.1 63.8 65.9 65.6
Current-account balance -47.3 -52.8 -15.2 10.5 23.1 36.7 50.2 15.9 -27.2


Africa


Trade balance 20.0 6.6 -0.6 7.3 19.5 38.0 56.2 56.5 75.1
Services, net -5.4 -5.7 -7.8 -7.6 -8.9 -13.1 -14.4 -24.5 -37.5
Income, net -21.7 -19.3 -21.7 -26.8 -35.2 -44.8 -41.8 -52.7 -63.7
Current transfers, net 15.7 16.2 17.5 20.8 25.0 30.7 47.7 54.0 61.2
Current-account balance 8.6 -2.1 -12.6 -6.4 0.5 10.7 47.6 33.4 35.1




171Statistical annex


Table A.18 (cont’d)


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008


Western Asiad


Trade balance 67.5 64.5 61.9 83.4 114.2 187.2 238.2 229.8 350.5
Services, net -19.9 -20.6 -23.4 -21.8 -24.6 -27.9 -46.0 -61.0 -85.1
Income, net 2.7 -2.2 -6.4 -9.3 -5.3 -3.0 11.6 16.6 8.7
Current transfers, net -8.2 -9.9 -11.0 -11.4 -11.5 -8.0 -13.2 -19.2 -28.0
Current-account balance 36.7 31.7 21.1 41.0 72.8 148.3 190.7 166.1 246.1


East Asia


Trade balance 119.7 117.6 139.2 166.3 180.3 255.4 366.8 474.3 450.8
Services, net -11.9 -13.9 -13.9 -16.9 -10.8 -12.7 -6.2 9.6 12.7
Income, net -29.5 -27.2 -26.4 -14.4 -18.6 -14.6 -4.6 1.5 17.4
Current transfers, net 9.0 9.8 14.3 19.5 24.9 33.4 38.2 51.5 63.3
Current-account balance 87.3 86.4 113.2 154.5 175.8 261.5 394.3 536.9 544.1


South Asia


Trade balance -9.2 -11.3 -7.8 -15.3 -30.3 -37.2 -51.6 -60.5 -110.6
Services, net 0.8 0.8 0.8 1.9 6.6 10.6 15.9 23.4 29.7
Income, net -7.6 -6.6 -7.3 -7.9 -7.2 -10.0 -8.2 -7.5 -9.3
Current transfers, net 22.1 24.6 27.9 35.2 33.8 41.0 49.5 60.0 70.6
Current-account balance 6.1 7.4 13.7 13.9 2.9 4.4 5.6 15.4 -19.6


World residuale


Trade balance -44.3 -52.9 -13.6 16.0 -11.7 -8.9 48.6 98.2 97.7
Services, net 27.4 12.8 31.6 51.7 107.5 134.2 198.7 292.5 298.7
Income, net -99.3 -77.6 -106.0 -87.9 -29.1 -28.5 -38.8 -60.2 -163.3
Current transfers, net -69.5 -63.3 -53.9 -56.0 -73.0 -77.6 -35.8 -58.0 -71.1
Current-account balance -185.6 -181.0 -141.9 -76.2 -6.2 19.2 172.7 272.6 162.0


Sources: IMF, World Economic Outlook, October 2009; and IMF, Balance of Payments Statistics.


a Europe consists of EU-15, new EU member States plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
b Includes Georgia.
c Excludes Georgia, which left the Commonwealth of Independent States on 18 August 2009.
d Iraq data not available prior to 2005.
e Statistical discrepancy.




172 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.19
Net ODA from major sources, by type, 1988-2008


Donor group or
country


Growth rate of ODA
(2007 prices and
exchange rates)


ODA as a
percent-


age of GNI


Total ODA
(millions


of dollars)


Percentage distribution of ODA by type, 2008


Bilateral Multilateral


1988-
1997


1998-
2007 2008 2008


Total
(Grants


& Loans)


Grants


Loans


Total
(United
Nations
& Other)


United
Nations OtherTotal


of which:
Technical


cooperation


Total DAC
countries -0.68 5.57 0.30 119 759 71.1 72.2 12.8 -1.1 28.9 4.6 24.2


Total EU 0.41 5.25 0.42 70 168 63.9 62.9 14.7 1.0 36.1 4.9 31.2


Austria 4.79 11.63 0.42 1 681 71.7 72.0 11.4 -0.2 28.3 2.2 26.0
Belgium -0.66 6.70 0.47 2 381 58.0 59.2 15.8 -1.2 42.0 3.2 38.8
Denmark 3.59 0.09 0.82 2 800 65.2 66.1 3.5 -0.9 34.8 12.4 22.4
Finland -3.99 7.07 0.43 1 139 60.1 58.8 22.3 1.3 39.9 9.9 30.0
Francea 0.58 2.39 0.39 10 957 59.6 55.1 24.0 4.5 40.4 2.3 38.2
Germany 0.63 4.46 0.38 13 910 64.4 66.9 29.8 -2.5 35.6 2.3 33.4
Greece … 6.42 0.20 693 45.8 45.8 28.3 .. 54.2 2.0 52.2
Ireland 9.05 14.41 0.58 1 325 68.3 68.3 2.0 .. 31.7 11.8 19.9
Italy -7.93 5.12 0.20 4 444 40.0 41.8 2.0 -1.8 60.0 4.6 55.4
Luxembourg 15.01 9.41 0.92 409 68.6 68.6 1.2 .. 31.4 14.3 17.1
Netherlands 0.83 3.06 0.80 6 993 76.3 77.7 8.0 -1.7 23.7 8.1 15.7
Portugal 11.92 1.82 0.27 614 59.6 37.5 24.0 22.1 40.4 2.0 38.4
Spain 15.37 8.17 0.43 6 686 68.9 64.3 7.7 4.6 31.1 4.4 26.7
Sweden -0.04 7.28 0.98 4 730 68.3 67.1 2.8 1.2 31.7 10.9 20.8
United Kingdom 0.88 9.19 0.43 11 409 65.2 62.7 8.2 2.5 34.8 4.1 30.7


Australia -0.44 4.14 0.34 3 166 75.4 75.5 36.5 -0.1 24.6 1.8 22.8
Canada -1.93 3.56 0.32 4 725 70.0 70.8 12.3 -0.8 30.0 4.7 25.3
Japan 0.14 1.45 0.18 9 362 70.9 82.7 20.8 -11.8 29.1 5.8 23.2
New Zealand 0.13 5.01 0.30 346 80.6 80.6 19.4 .. 19.4 9.7 9.7
Norway 0.95 3.57 0.88 3 967 77.3 74.9 15.2 2.4 22.7 11.7 11.0
Switzerland 2.55 4.73 0.41 2 016 76.9 76.2 .. 0.7 23.1 7.5 15.6
United States -4.81 10.20 0.18 26 008 88.9 92.4 2.5 -3.5 11.1 2.6 8.5


Source: UN/DESA, based on data of the OECD online database, available at http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx.


a Excluding flows from France to the Overseas Departments, namely Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Réunion.




173Statistical annex


Table A.20
Total net ODA flows from OECD Development Assistance Committee countries, by type of flow, 1996-2008


1996-1997
average 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008


Net disbursements at current prices and exchange rates
(millions of dollars)


Official Development Assistance 52 028 69 065 79 432 107 078 104 369 103 487 119 759
Bilateral grants and grant-like flows 33 925 50 888 57 246 83 432 79 443 75 326 86 436
of which:


Technical co-operation 13 515 18 352 18 672 20 732 22 242 14 779 15 306
Humanitarian aid 1 783 4 360 5 193 7 121 6 751 6 278 8 568
Debt forgiveness 3 260 8 317 7 134 24 999 18 600 9 624 ..


Bilateral loans 1 818 -1 153 -2 942 -1 008 -2 531 -2 437 -1 265
Contributions to multilateral institutionsa 16 286 19 330 25 127 24 653 27 457 30 598 34 572


Share of total net flows
(percentage)


Official Development Assistance 27 55 50 35 34 23 ..
Bilateral grants and grant-like flows 18 41 36 28 26 17 ..
of which:


Technical co-operation 7 15 12 7 3 ..
Humanitarian aid 1 3 3 2 2 1 ..
Debt forgiveness 2 7 4 8 6 2 ..


Bilateral loans 1 -1 -2 0 -1 -1 ..
Contributions to multilateral institutionsa 9 15 16 8 9 7 ..


Source: UN/DESA, based on OECD, The DAC Journal of Development Co-operation Report 2008 and DAC online database, available at http://www.oecd.
org/dac/stats/idsonline.


a Grants and capital subscriptions. Does not include concessional lending to multilateral agencies.




174 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.21
Commitments and net flows of financial resources, by selected multilateral institutions, 1999-2008


Millions of dollars


1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008


Resource commitmentsa 65 568 63 085 72 177 95 292 67 593 55 895 71 712 64 738 74 493 135 247


Financial institutions, excluding IMF 42 770 36 882 41 787 38 523 43 053 45 678 51 385 55 700 66 620 76 074
Regional development banksb 19 437 16 235 19 349 16 751 20 393 21 468 23 039 23 088 31 330 36 119
World Bank Groupc 22 899 20 238 22 004 21 382 22 230 23 743 27 677 31 901 34 691 39 352


International Bank for
Reconstruction and
Development (IBRD) 13 789 10 699 11 709 10 176 10 572 10 792 13 611 14 195 12 829 13 468
International Development
Association (IDA) 5 691 5 861 6 859 8 040 7 550 8 387 8 696 9 506 11 867 11 235
International Financial
Corporation (IFC) 3 419 3 678 3 436 3 166 4 108 4 564 5 370 8 200 9 995 14 649


International Fund for Agricultural
Development (IFAD) 434 409 434 390 430 467 669 711 599 602
IMF (billions of dollars) 19 22 26 52 18 3 13 1 2 49
United Nations operational
agenciesd 4 198 3 803 4 690 4 569 6 740 7 617 7 708 8 345 6 255 10 481


Net flows -7 450 -10 859 14 931 2 001 -11 655 -20 235 -39 609 -25 864 -6 772 40 733


Financial institutions, excluding IMF 5 150 -59 1 431 -11 199 -14 755 -10 235 835 5 208 -11 403 21 824
Regional development banksb 4 229 327 1 696 -3 904 -8 025 -6 570 -1 668 2 965 5 940 21 174
World Bank Groupc 921 -386 -265 -7 295 -6 730 -3 665 2 503 2 243 5 463 650


International Bank for
Reconstruction and
Development (IBRD) -3 019 -4079 -4 570 -12 126 -11 241 -8 930 -2 898 -5 087 -1 767 -6 176
International Development
Association (IDA) 3 940 3 693 4 432 4 831 4 511 5 265 5 401 7 330 7 230 6 826


IMF (billions of dollars) -13 -11 14 13 3 -10 -40 -31 -18 19


Memorandum item:
(in units of 2000 purchasing power)e


Resource commitments 62 446 63 085 73 650 97 237 62 586 47 774 59 760 54 863 56 010 97 300
Net flows -7 095 -10 859 15 236 2 042 -10 792 -17 295 -33 008 -21 919 -5 091 29 304


Sources: Annual reports of the relevant multilateral institutions, various issues.
a Loans, grants, technical assistance and equity participation, as appropriate; all data are on a calendar-year basis.
b African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), European Bank for Reconstruction and


Development (EBRD), Inter-American Development Bank (IaDB) (including Inter-American Investment Corporation (IaIC)) and the International
Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).


c Data is for the fiscal year.
d United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the World


Food Programme (WFP).
e Totals deflated by the United Nations index of manufactured export prices (in dollars) of developed economies: 2000=100.




175Statistical annex


Table A.22
Greenhouse gas emissionsa of Annex 1 Parties to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1990-2010


Teragram CO2 equivalent


1990 2000 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008b 2009b 2010c


Annual
growth rate
1990-2010


Cumulative
change


between 1990
and 2010


Australia 416 495 516 522 525 534 541 541 532 526 1.2 26.5


Austria 79 81 93 92 93 92 88 87 79 78 -0.1 -1.5


Belarus 129 71 71 76 77 81 80 78 69 62 -3.6 -51.6


Belgium 143 145 146 146 142 137 131 129 120 117 -1.0 -18.2


Bulgaria 118 69 72 71 71 72 76 78 68 65 -2.9 -44.3


Canada 592 717 741 741 731 718 747 751 700 703 0.9 18.7


Croatia 31 26 30 30 30 31 32 33 31 30 -0.2 -3.8


Czech Republic 195 147 146 147 146 149 151 155 147 144 -1.5 -25.9


Denmark 70 69 75 69 65 72 68 63 58 55 -1.2 -21.2


Estonia 42 18 20 20 20 19 22 15 13 10 -6.8 -75.7


Finland 71 70 85 80 69 80 78 74 69 67 -0.3 -5.2


France 565 561 556 556 558 546 536 524 496 483 -0.8 -14.6


Germany 1 215 1 008 1 007 997 969 980 956 924 844 817 -2.0 -32.8


Greece 106 127 131 131 132 128 132 131 130 127 0.9 19.8


Hungary 99 78 81 80 80 79 76 74 66 63 -2.2 -36.4


Iceland 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 0.7 14.1


Ireland 55 69 69 69 70 70 69 62 52 46 -1.0 -17.7


Italy 516 550 570 574 574 563 553 545 511 507 -0.1 -1.9


Japan 1 270 1 346 1 360 1 355 1 358 1 342 1 374 1 355 1 263 1 261 0.0 -0.7


Latvia 27 10 11 11 11 12 12 10 7 6 -7.2 -77.5


Liechtenstein — — — — — — — — — — 0.9 20.7


Lithuania 49 19 21 22 23 23 25 23 17 16 -5.4 -67.1


Luxembourg 13 10 12 13 13 13 13 12 10 10 -1.6 -27.2


Monaco — — — — — — — — — — -1.0 -18.0


Netherlands 212 214 217 218 212 209 208 200 184 177 -0.9 -16.6


New Zealand 62 71 76 75 77 78 76 74 72 72 0.8 17.0


Norway 50 53 54 55 54 53 55 55 53 53 0.3 5.8


Poland 459 389 384 384 387 399 399 388 363 344 -1.4 -25.2


Portugal 59 82 84 86 89 85 82 85 84 84 1.8 41.7


Romania 243 136 154 155 149 154 152 153 133 125 -3.3 -48.7


Russian Federation 3 319 2 030 2 098 2 113 2 118 2 186 2 193 2 218 1 987 1 939 -2.7 -41.6


Slovakia 73 48 50 50 49 49 47 43 35 30 -4.4 -59.6


Slovenia 19 19 20 20 20 21 21 21 20 20 0.3 7.0


Spain 288 386 410 426 441 433 442 455 436 430 2.0 49.4


Sweden 72 68 70 70 67 67 65 63 58 56 -1.2 -22.1




176 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010


Table A.22 (cont’d)


1990 2000 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008b 2009b 2010c


Annual
growth rate
1990-2010


Cumulative
change


between 1990
and 2010


Switzerland 53 52 52 53 54 53 51 51 49 47 -0.5 -10.0


Turkey 170 280 286 297 312 333 373 380 358 366 3.9 115.0


Ukraine 926 390 411 411 418 437 436 443 370 364 -4.6 -60.7


United Kingdom 774 677 664 662 656 651 640 604 541 500 -2.2 -35.4


United States 6 084 6 975 6 957 7 047 7 082 7 006 7 107 6 962 6 638 6 612 0.4 8.7


All Annex 1 Parties 18 670 17 560 17 804 17 928 17 947 17 959 18 112 17 861 16 666 16 415 -0.6 -12.1


Source: UN/DESA, based on data of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) online database available at
http://unfccc.int/ghg_emissions_data/ghg_data_from_unfccc/time_series_annex_i/items/3814.php.
Note: Based on the historical data provided by the UNFCCC for the GHG emissions of the Annex 1 Parties up to 2007, DESA/DPAD extrapolated the data
to 2010. The extrapolation is based on the following procedure:


GHG/GDP intensity for each country is modelled using time-series regression techniques, to reflect the historical trend of GHG/GDP. While the y
trend for each individual country would usually be a complex function of such factors as change in structure of the economy, technology change,
emission mitigation measures, as well as other economic and environmental policies, the time-series modelling could be considered a reduced
form of a more complex structural modelling for the relations between economic output and GHG emissions.
GHG/GDP intensity for each country is extrapolated for the out-of-sample period (i.e., 2008-2010), using parameters derived from the time-series y
regression model.
In some cases, the extrapolated GHG/GDP intensity for individual countries was adjusted to take account of announced emission control measures y
taken by Governments.
The projected GHG emissions were arrived at using GDP estimates in accordance with the y World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010 baseline
forecast and the extrapolated GHG/GDP intensity.


a Without land use, land-use change and forestry.
b Estimated.
c Baseline scenario forecasts.




Litho in United Nations, New York United Nations publication
09-55950—January 2010—4,860 Sales No. E.10.II.C.2
ISBN 978-92-1-109160-1




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