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The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013

Report by DESA; UNCTAD; ECA; ECE; ECLAC; ESCAP; ESCWA, 2013

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The 2013 World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) analyzes the post-crisis world economy as it struggles with continued weakening growth in the face of major uncertainties. For 2013 and 2014, it projects disappointing global growth, much slower poverty reduction in many developing countries, and narrowing fiscal space for investments in the many critical areas needed for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

United NationsUnited Nations


World Economic Situation
and Prospects




World Economic Situation
and Prospects 2013


asdf
United Nations
New York, 2013




Acknowledgements


The 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 commis-
sions (Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), Economic Commission for
Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and
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
from the participants at the annual LINK meeting held in New York from 22 to 24 October 2012. The cooperation and
support received through Project LINK are gratefully acknowledged.


The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) contributed to the section on international
tourism.


The report has been prepared by a team coordinated by Rob Vos and comprising staff from all collaborating
agencies, including Grigor Agabekian, Abdallah Al Dardari, Clive Altshuler, Shuvojit Banerjee, Sudip Ranjan Basu,
Hassiba Benamara, Alfredo Calcagno, Jeronim Capaldo, Jaromir Cekota, Ann D’Lima, Cameron Daneshvar, Adam
Elhiraika, Pilar Fajarnes, Heiner Flassbeck, Juan Alberto Fuentes, Marco Fugazza, Masataka Fujita, Samuel Gayi, Andrea
Goldstein, Cordelia Gow, Aynul Hasan, Jan Hoffmann, Pingfan Hong, Michel Julian, Alex Izurieta, Felipe Jimenez,
Cornelia Kaldewei, Matthias Kempf, John Kester, Pierre Kohler, Nagesh Kumar, Michael Kunz, Alexandra Laurent,
Hung-Yi Li, Muhammad Hussain Malik, Sandra Manuelito, Joerg Mayer, Nicolas Maystre, Elvis Mtonga, Alessandro
Nicita, Victor Ognivtsev, Oliver Paddison, José Palacin, Mariangela Parra-Lancourt, Ingo Pitterle, Daniel Platz, Li
Qiang, Kazi Rahman, Benu Schneider, Krishnan Sharma, Robert Shelburne, Vatcharin Sirimaneetham, Samiti Siv,
Shari Spiegel, Astrit Sulstarova, Amos Taporaie, Alex Trepelkov, Aimable Uwizeye-Mapendano, Sebastian Vergara, John
Winkel, Yasuhisa Yamamoto, Frida Youssef and Yan Zhang. Katherine McHenry provided administrative assistance.


Shamshad Akhtar, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development at UN/DESA, provided com-
ments and guidance.


For further information, see http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/policy/wesp/index.shtml, or contact:


DESA:
Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General, Department of Economic and Social Affairs; Room S-2922, United Nations,
New York, NY 10017, USA; telephone: +1-212-9635958; email: wuh@un.org
UNCTAD:
Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development; Room E-9042,
Palais de Nations, 1211, Geneva 10, Switzerland; telephone +41-22-9175806; email: sgo@unctad.org
ECA:
Dr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa; P.O. Box 3005, Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia; telephone: +251-11-5511231; email: ecainfo@uneca.org
ECE:
Mr. Sven Alkalaj, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe; Palais des Nations, CH-1211,
Geneva 10, Switzerland; telephone: +41-22-9174444; email: info.ece@unece.org
ECLAC:
Ms. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; Av. Dag
Hammarskjöld 3477, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile; telephone: +56-2-2102000; email: secepal@cepal.org
ESCAP:
Ms. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations
Building, Rajadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok 10200, Thailand; telephone: +66-2-2881234; email: unescap@unescap.
org
ESCWA:
Ms. Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, P.O. Box 11-8575, Riad
el-Solh Square, Beirut, Lebanon; telephone: +961-1-978800; email at: http://www.escwa.un.org/main/contact.asp


Copyright @ United Nations, 2013
All rights reserved




iii


Executive Summary
Prospects for global economic growth and
sustainable development


The world economy is on the brink of another major downturn


As foreseen in last year’s issue of this report, the world economy weakened considerably in
2012. A growing number of developed economies, especially in Europe, have already fallen
into a double-dip recession, while those facing sovereign debt distress moved even deeper
into recession. Many developed economies are caught in downward spiralling dynamics
from high unemployment, weak aggregate demand compounded by fiscal austerity, high
public debt burdens, and financial fragility.


The economic woes of the developed countries are spilling over to develop-
ing countries and economies in transition through weaker demand for their exports and
heightened volatility in capital flows and commodity prices. The larger developing econo-
mies also face home-grown problems, however, with some (including China) facing much
weakened investment demand because of financing constraints in some sectors of the
economy and excess production capacity elsewhere. Most low-income countries have held
up relatively well so far, but are now also facing intensified adverse spillover effects from
the slowdown in both developed and major middle-income countries. The prospects for
the next two years continue to be challenging, fraught with major uncertainties and risks
slanted towards the downside.


Growth of world gross product (WGP) is expected to reach 2.2 per cent in
2012 and is forecast to remain well below potential at 2.4 per cent in 2013 and 3.2 per cent
in 2014 (figure O.1). At this moderate pace, many economies will be unable to recover the
severe job losses of the Great Recession.


Figure 0.1
Weakening and highly uncertain outlook for the world economy


Percentage change


4.1 4.1


1.4


-2.1


4.0


2.7


2.4


3.2


0.2


1.1


2.2


3.8


4.5


-3


-2


-1


0


1


2


3


4


5


2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014


Baseline


Policy scenario


Downside scenario


Source: UN/DESA.
a Growth rate for 2012 is
partially estimated. Estimates
for 2013 and 2014 are
forecasts. See “Uncertainties
and risks” section for a
discussion of the downside
scenario and box I.3 for a
discussion of the policy
scenario.




iv World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


The global jobs crisis continues


Global unemployment remains very high, particularly among developed economies, with
the situation in Europe being the most challenging. The unemployment rate continued
to climb, reaching a record high of nearly 12 per cent in the euro area during 2012, an
increase of more than one percentage point from one year ago. Conditions are worse in
Greece and Spain where more than a quarter of the working population is without a job.
Only a few economies in the region, such as Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and the
Netherlands, register low unemployment rates of about 5 per cent. Unemployment rates
in Central and Eastern Europe edged up slightly in 2012, partly resulting from fiscal
austerity. Japan’s unemployment rate retreated to below 5 per cent. In the United States,
the unemployment rate stayed above 8 per cent for the most part of 2012, but dropped to
just below that level from September onwards.


At the same time, long-term unemployment (over one year) in developed econo-
mies stood at more than 35 per cent by July 2012, affecting about 17 million workers. Such
a prolonged duration of unemployment tends to have significant, long-lasting detrimental
impacts on both the individuals who have lost their jobs and on the economy as a whole.


In the outlook, greater and more sustainable job creation should be a key
policy priority in developed economies. If economic growth stays as anaemic in developed
countries as projected in the baseline forecast, employment rates will not return to pre-
crisis levels until far beyond 2016 (figure O.2).


The employment situation varies significantly across developing countries.
Unemployment rates in most economies in East Asia and Latin America have already
retreated to, or dropped below, levels seen prior to the global financial crisis. The growth
moderation in late 2011 and 2012 has so far not led to a discernable rise in the unem-
ployment rate in these two regions—a positive sign, with the caveat that a rise in the
unemployment rate would usually lag in an economic downturn. If the growth slowdown
continues, the unemployment rate could increase significantly. In Africa, despite relatively
strong GDP growth, the employment situation remains a major problem across the region,


Figure 0.2
Jobs crisis continues in Europe and the United States and recovery will be protracted


Percentage change


-6


-5


-4


-3


-2


-1


0


1


20
07


Q
1


20
07


Q
3


20
08


Q
1


20
08


Q
3


20
09


Q
1


20
09


Q
3


20
10


Q
1


20
10


Q
3


20
11


Q
1


20
11


Q
3


20
12


Q
1


20
12


Q
3


20
13


Q
1


20
13


Q
3


20
14


Q
1


20
14


Q
3


20
15


Q
1


20
15


Q
3


20
16


Q
1


20
16


Q
3


Euro area (16)
Advanced economies (21)


Source: UN/DESA, based on
data from ILO and IMF.
Note: The chart shows


percentage changes of total
employment (as a moving


average) with respect to pre-
recession peaks. Projections


(dashed lines) are based
on estimates of the output


elasticity of employment
(Okun’s law), following a


similar methodology to that
of ILO, World of Work Report


2011 (Geneva).




vExecutive Summary


both in terms of the level of employment and the quality of jobs that are generated. The
latter remains a common challenge for developing countries. The shares of working poor
remain high and most workers tend to be employed in vulnerable jobs in still expanding
informal sectors. Furthermore, youth unemployment and gender disparities in employ-
ment remain key social and economic concerns in many developing countries.


Poverty reduction and progress towards other MDGs may slow


The global slowdown and increased risks to the employment situation in developing coun-
tries will imply a much slower pace of poverty reduction and a narrowing of fiscal space
for investments in education, health, basic sanitation and other critical areas needed for
accelerating the progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
This holds true in particular for the least developed countries (LDCs); they remain highly
vulnerable to commodity price shocks and are receiving less external financing as official
development assistance (ODA) declines in the face of greater fiscal austerity in donor
countries.


Global trends in greenhouse gas emissions remain alarming


Helped by weaker global economic growth, greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by the
Annex I countries to the Kyoto Protocol are estimated to have fallen by about 2 per cent
per year during 2011-2012. This reverses the 3 per cent increase in GHG emissions by these
countries in 2010. Emissions fell by 6 per cent in 2009 with the fallout in gross domestic
product (GDP) growth caused by the Great Recession. With the more recent decline,
GHG emission reductions are back on the long-run downward trend. Given the further
moderation in global economic growth, emissions by Annex I countries are expected to
decline further during 2013-2014. As a group, Annex I countries have already achieved
the target of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions by at least 5 per cent from 1990 levels
during the 2008-2012 commitment period.


At the same time, however, GHG emissions in many developing countries
are increasing at a rapid pace, and, in all, the world is far from being on track to reduce
emissions to the extent considered necessary for keeping carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent
concentrations to less than 450 parts per million (consistent with the target of stabilizing
global warming at a temperature increase of 2° C or less as compared to pre-industrial lev-
els). To avoid exceeding this limit, GHG emissions would need to drop by 80 per cent by
mid-century. At current trends and even with the extension of the Kyoto Protocol, this is
an unachievable target. “Greener” growth pathways need to be created now. Despite their
large investment costs, they would also provide opportunities for more robust short-term
recovery and global rebalancing.


Inflation remains subdued in most developed economies….


Inflation rates remain subdued in most developed economies. Continuing large output
gaps and downward pressure on wages in many countries are keeping inflationary expec-
tations low. Inflation in the United States moderated over 2012, down to about 2.0 per
cent from 3.1 per cent in 2011. A further moderation in headline inflation is expected
in the outlook for 2013. In the euro area, headline inflation continues to be above the
central banks’ target of 2 per cent. Core inflation, which does not include price changes
in volatile items such as energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, has been much lower, at about




vi World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


1.5 per cent, with no evidence of upward pressures. In the outlook, inflation is expected to
drift down slowly. Inflation in the new EU members is also expected to lessen. Deflation
continues to prevail in Japan, although the central bank has raised its inflation target to
boost inflation expectations.


..and is receding in most but not all developing countries


Inflation receded in a majority of developing countries during 2012, but remains stub-
bornly high in some. In the outlook, anticipated increases in world food prices provoked
by droughts in various producer regions, persistently high oil prices and some country-spe-
cific supply-side constraints may continue to put some pressures on inflation in developing
countries in 2013 and into 2014. In Africa, while inflation moderated in many economies,
the rate of inflation is still above 10 per cent in Angola, Nigeria, and elsewhere. Inflation is
expected to remain subdued in most of East Asia, but is still a concern for most countries
in South Asia, where inflation rates were over 11 per cent in 2012, on average, and are
forecast to remain above or near 10 per cent in 2013 and 2014. Inflation remains low in
most economies in West Asia, although it is still high (above 10 per cent) in Yemen and
very high (30 per cent) in the Syrian Arab Republic. The inflation rate in Latin America
and the Caribbean is expected to stay at about 6 per cent.


International trade and commodity prices
The expansion of world merchandise trade is decelerating sharply


Growth of world trade decelerated sharply for the second year in a row, dropping from 12.6
per cent in 2010 to 6.4 per cent in 2011 and 3.2 per cent in 2012. Feeble global economic
growth, especially in Europe and other developed economies, is the major factor behind
the deceleration. In the baseline outlook, world trade growth will pick up moderately in
2013 and return to near its long-term average growth rate of 5 per cent in 2014. However,
developing countries were more resilient to the renewed slowdown and their importance
in world trade continues to increase, along with their integration in global value chains.


Commodity prices remain high and volatile


For many commodities, the high price level reached in 2011 extended in 2012 with some
significant bouts of volatility. After peaking during the first quarter of the year in the wake
of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) long-term refinancing operations having nurtured
misperceptions about a rapid economic recovery, most commodity prices declined slightly
during the second quarter. Prices of food and oil remained elevated in the third quarter,
however, as a result of adverse weather conditions in many countries and renewed strategic
risk in the Middle East. By contrast, a grim global economic outlook further depressed
prices of minerals, metals and ores. In the outlook, commodity exporters that have ben-
efited from improved terms of trade over the last few years remain exposed to downward
price pressures. Financial speculation and the development of new commodity-backed fi-
nancial products may further amplify commodity price volatility in a context of abundant
liquidity. Food prices are expected to moderate somewhat with slowing global demand
and assuming favourable weather conditions. However, given that markets are very tight
and stock-to-use ratios for most staple foods are very low, even relatively minor supply
shocks may easily cause new price spikes.




viiExecutive Summary


Expanding trade in services is increasing global greenhouse gas emissions


The strong recovery of trade in services experienced across all regions and groups of coun-
tries in 2010 began faltering during the last quarter of 2011. While the financial sector
has contracted in some developed countries, the carbon emission-intensive transport and
travel sectors keep expanding in developing countries. Freight transport services continue
to grow along with the expansion of trade through global value chains. While increasingly
important as a source of foreign-exchange earnings, especially for developing countries,
expanding freight transport is also significantly contributing to global CO2 emissions (fig-
ure O.3). Policymakers worldwide need to pay greater attention to this negative externality
arising from the environmentally suboptimal organization of production through global
value chains.


International financing for development
Private capital flows remain volatile


Since the crisis, international private capital flows to emerging and developing countries
have remained extremely volatile. While some stability appeared in international currency
and capital markets during the early months of 2012, there was renewed volatility later,
owing in part to growing fears among portfolio investors about the sustainability of public
finances in Europe that prompted a “flight to safety”. In addition, many European banks
continue to face deleveraging pressures, which has led to cutbacks in lending to developing
and transition economies. Signs of an economic slowdown in Brazil, China and India have
reduced flows to these countries.


Figure 0.3
CO2 emissions from transport and share of trade in world gross product move in tandem


100


120


140


160


180


200


220


240


260


19
71


19
73


19
75


19
77


19
79


19
81


19
83


19
85


19
87


19
89


19
91


19
93


19
95


19
97


19
99


20
01


20
03


20
05


20
07


20
09


20
11


20


25


30


35


40


45


50


55Global CO2 emissions from
transport (million metric tons,
1971=100, left-hand scale)


International trade as a share
of global GDP (percentage,
right-hand scale)


Source: World Bank.




viii World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


International reserves accumulation moderated


The pace of reserve accumulation by developing countries and economies in transition
moderated somewhat in 2012, influenced by weaker capital inflows. Yet, the continued
accumulation of international reserve holdings is reflective of continued concerns with
global economic uncertainties and a perceived need for “self-insurance” against external
shocks. The increased monetary reserves held in currencies of the major developed coun-
tries by far outweigh capital inflows and, as a result, developing countries and economies
in transition continue to make substantial net financial transfers to developed countries.
In 2012, these net outflows amounted to an estimated $845 billion, down from $1 trillion
in 2011. LDCs, however, received positive net transfers of an estimated $17 billion in 2012
(figure O.4).


Official development assistance is falling


Net ODA flows from member countries of the Development Assistance Committee of
the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reached $133.5
billion in 2011, up from $128.5 billion in 2010. In real terms, however, this represents a
fall of 3 per cent, widening the delivery gap in meeting internationally agreed aid targets
to $167 billion. Preliminary results from the OECD survey of donors’ forward spending
plans indicate that Country Programmable Aid (CPA)—a core subset of aid that includes
programmes and projects that have predicted trends in total aid—is expected to increase
by about 6 per cent in 2012, mainly on account of expected increases in outflows of
soft loans from multilateral agencies that had benefited from earlier fund replenishments.
However, CPA is expected to stagnate from 2013 to 2015, reflecting the delayed impact of
the global economic crisis and fiscal policy responses on donor country aid budgets.


Figure 0.4
Continued net financial transfers from developing to developed countries


-1000.0


-800.0


-600.0


-400.0


-200.0


0.0


200.0


20
00


20
01


20
02


20
03


20
04


20
05


20
06


20
07


20
08


20
09


20
10


20
11


20
12


b


Developing
countries


Economies in
transition


LDCs


Billions of US dollars


Source: UN/DESA.
Note: Figures for 2012 are


partly estimated.




ixExecutive Summary


Uncertainties and risks
A worsening of the euro area crisis, the “fiscal cliff” in the United States and
a hard landing in China could combine to cause a new global recession


The baseline outlook is subject to major uncertainties and risks, mostly on the downside.
First, the economic crisis in the euro area could continue to worsen and be-


come more disruptive. The ongoing perilous dynamics between sovereign debt distress
and banking sector fragility are deteriorating the balance sheets of both Governments and
commercial banks. The fiscal austerity responses are exacerbating the economic downturn,
inspiring self-defeating efforts at fiscal consolidation and pushing up debt ratios, thereby
triggering further budget cuts. The situation could worsen significantly with delayed im-
plementation of the Outright Monetary Transactions programme and other supports for
those members in need. Such delays could come as a result of political difficulties in reach-
ing agreement between the countries in need of assistance and the troika of EU, ECB and
IMF, and/or much larger detrimental effects of the fiscal austerity programmes and more
difficulties in structural adjustments than anticipated. In such a scenario, as simulated
through the United Nations World Economic Forecasting Model, the euro area could
suffer an additional cumulative output loss of more than 3 per cent during 2013-2015 and
the world as a whole of more than 1 per cent (see figure O.5).


Second, the United States could fail to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. A political
gridlock preventing Congress from reaching a new budget agreement would put automatic
fiscal cuts in place, including a drop in government spending by about $98 billion and
tax increases of $450 billion in 2013; taken over 2013-2015, the automatic fiscal austerity
would amount to about 4 per cent of GDP. In the fiscal cliff scenario, world economic
growth would be halved to 1.2 per cent in 2013 and by 2015 global output would be 2.5
per cent lower than in the baseline projection. The output loss for developing countries
would be about 1 per cent.


Figure 0.5
Impact of downside risks on world economy will be substantial


-6.0


-5.0


-4.0


-3.0


-2.0


-1.0


0.0


World United
States of
America


European Developing
economies


Deeper euro area crisis


US fiscal cliff
Hard landing in China


Union


Output loss in 2013-2015 (percentage deviation from baseline)


Source: UN/DESA, based
on simulations with World
Economic Forecasting Model.




x World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


A third downside risk is the possibility of a hard landing of the economies of
one or more of the large developing countries, including China. Growth slowed notice-
ably during 2012 in a number of large developing economies, such as Brazil, China and
India, that had enjoyed a long period of rapid growth prior to the global financial crisis
and managed to recover quickly at a robust pace in 2010 after the Great Recession. Given
the uncertainties about their external demand and various domestic growth challenges,
risks of further and larger-than-expected declines in the growth of these economies are
not trivial. In the case of China, for instance, exports continued to slow during 2012,
owing to weak demand in major developed economies. Meanwhile, growth in investment,
which contributed to more than 50 per cent of GDP growth in the past decade, has been
decelerating. The reasons for this are tighter housing market policies, greater caution re-
garding fiscal stimulus measures, and financing constraints faced by local governments in
implementing new projects. Because of these factors, there are substantial risks for much
lower GDP growth in China. If economic growth in China would slow to about 5 per cent
per year (caused by a further deceleration in investment growth, continued tightening of
the housing market and absence of new fiscal stimulus), developing countries as a group
could suffer a cumulative output loss of about 3 per cent during 2013-2015 and the world
as a whole of about 1.5 per cent.


Policy challenges


Present policy stances fall short of what is needed for economic recovery
and addressing the jobs crisis


Weakening economic growth and policy uncertainties cast a shadow over the global eco-
nomic outlook. As indicated, most developed countries have adopted a combination of fis-
cal austerity and expansionary monetary policies aimed at reducing public debt and lower
debt refinancing costs in order to break away from the vicious dynamics between sovereign
debt and banking sector fragility. Hopes are that this will calm financial markets and
restore consumer and investor confidence. Together with structural reforms to entitlement
programmes, labour markets and business regulation, such an improved environment
should help restore economic growth and reduce unemployment. However, controlling
debt stocks is proving to be much more challenging than policymakers expected.


An additional problem is that fiscal consolidation efforts of most developed
countries rely more on spending retrenchment than improving revenue collection. The for-
mer tends to be more detrimental to economic growth in the short run, particularly when
the economy is in a downward cycle. In many developed countries, public investment is
being cut more severely than any other item, which may also prove costly to medium-term
growth. In most cases, spending cuts also involve entitlement reforms, which immediately
weaken automatic stabilizers in the short run by curtailing pension benefits, shortening the
length of unemployment benefit schemes and/or shifting more of the burden of healthcare
costs to households. Moreover, the fiscal austerity measures induce greater inequality in
the short run, which could reduce social mobility and productivity growth in the long run.


Most developing countries and economies in transition have relatively stronger
fiscal positions. Some have opted to put fiscal consolidation on hold in the face of global
economic weakening. Fiscal deficits may rise in most low-income countries with slowing




xiExecutive Summary


government revenue from commodity exports and the growing weight of food and energy
subsidies. Concerns are also mounting in developing countries about the possible adverse
effects of quantitative easing (QE) on the financial and macroeconomic stability of their
economies as it may increase volatility in the international prices of commodities, capital
flows and exchange rates.


Current policy stances seem to fall well short of what is needed to prevent the
global economy from slipping into another recession.


More forceful and concerted actions are needed to generate
growth and create jobs


The sobering outlook for the world economy and the enhanced downside risks call for
much more forceful action. Those efforts will be challenging. At the same time, however,
they will provide opportunities to better align policy actions addressing the immediate
challenges with long-term sustainable development objectives.


Addressing policy uncertainties


A first challenge will be to reduce the high degree of policy uncertainty associated with
the three key risks discussed in the downward scenario. These risks must be addressed
immediately through shifts in policy approach and greater consideration of international
spillover effects of national policies. In the euro area, the piecemeal approach to dealing
with the debt crises of individual countries of the past two years should be replaced by
a more comprehensive and integrated approach so as to address the systemic crisis of the
monetary union. Policymakers in the United States should prevent a sudden and severe
contraction in fiscal policy and overcome the political gridlock that was still present at
the end of 2012. The major developing countries facing the risk of hard landings of their
economies should engage in stronger countercyclical policy stances aligned with measures
to address structural problems over the medium term. China, for instance, possesses ample
policy space for a much stronger push to rebalance its economy towards domestic demand,
including through increased government spending on public services such as health care,
education and social security.


Making fiscal policy more countercyclical, more supportive
of jobs creation and more equitable


In addition, fiscal policy should become more countercyclical, more supportive of jobs
creation and more equitable. The present focus on fiscal consolidation in the short run, es-
pecially among developed countries, has proven to be counterproductive and to cause more
protracted debt adjustment. The focus needs to shift in a number of different directions.
A first priority of fiscal adjustment should be to provide more direct support to output
and employment growth by boosting aggregate demand and, at the same time, spread out
plans for achieving fiscal sustainability over the medium-to-long term. Moreover, fiscal
multipliers tend to be more forceful during a downturn, but can be strengthened further
by shifting budget priorities to growth-enhancing spending, undoing cuts in public in-
vestment and expanding subsidies on hiring. In addition, the distributional consequences
of fiscal policies should be duly considered, not only for equity reasons, but also because
of their implications for growth and employment generation. Finally, economic recovery
can be strengthened in the short and longer run by promoting green growth through fiscal
incentives and investments in infrastructure and new technologies.




xii World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Global financial market instability needs to be attacked at its root causes


Global financial market instability needs to be attacked where it originates. This challenge
is twofold. First, greater synergy must be found between monetary and fiscal stimulus.
Continuation of expansionary monetary policies among developed countries will be
needed, but negative spillover effects into capital-flow and exchange-rate volatility must
be contained. This will require reaching agreement at the international level on the
magnitude, speed and timing of QE policies within a broader framework of targets to
redress global imbalances. The second part of the challenge is to accelerate regulatory
reforms of the financial sector at large, including shadow banking. This will be essential
in order to avoid the systemic risks and excessive risk-taking that have led to the low-
growth trap and financial fragility in developed countries and high capital flow volatility
for developing countries.


Sufficient resources need to be made available to developing countries


Sufficient resources must be available to developing countries, especially those possessing
limited fiscal space and facing large development needs. These resources will be needed to
accelerate progress towards the achievement of the MDGs and for investments in sustain-
able and resilient growth, especially for the LDCs. Fiscal austerity among donor countries
has also affected aid budgets, as seen in the decline of ODA in real terms in 2011. Further
declines are expected in the outlook. Apart from delivering on existing aid commitments,
donor countries should consider mechanisms to delink aid flows from their business cycles
so as to prevent delivery shortfalls in times of crisis when the need for development aid is
most urgent.


A scenario of concerted policies for more sustainable growth
and jobs recovery is feasible


A jobs creation and green growth-oriented agenda as outlined above is compatible with
medium-term reduction of public debt ratios and benign global rebalancing, according to
a policy scenario analysis using the United Nations Global Policy Model. With continued
existing policies, but assuming no major deepening of the euro crisis, growth of WGP
would average, at best, about 3 per cent per year, far from sufficient to deal with the jobs
crisis or bring down public debt ratios. The alternative scenario, based on the agenda
outlined above, would support an acceleration of world economic growth to 4.5 per cent
per year between 2013 and 2017, while public debt-to-GDP ratios would stabilize and
start falling in 2016 or earlier. Employment levels in major developed countries would
gradually increase and return to pre-crisis levels in absolute terms by 2014, and by 2017
after accounting for labour force growth. The employment recovery would thus come
much sooner than in the baseline, although remaining protracted even with the suggested
internationally concerted strategy for growth and jobs. An additional 33 million jobs per
year on average would be created in developing and transition economies between 2013
and 2017.




xiii


Contents
Executive Summary ................................................................................................................................................................ iii
Contents ......................................................................................................................................................................................... xiii
Explanatory Notes .................................................................................................................................................................... xvii


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


Prospects for the world economy in 2013-2014....................................................................................................................... 1
Risk of a synchronized global downturn ................................................................................................................... 1
Lower greenhouse gas emissions, but far cry from “low-carbon” growth ............................................ 9
Job crisis continues .............................................................................................................................................................. 9
Inflation receding worldwide, but still a concern in some developing countries ........................ 11


Outlook for global commodity and financial markets .......................................................................................................... 12
Sharp slowdown of world trade ................................................................................................................................... 12
Oil prices soften but risk premium remains ........................................................................................................ 13
Rising food prices .................................................................................................................................................................... 13
Softening non-food commodity prices ............................................................................................................... 15
Continued volatility of capital flows to emerging markets .......................................................................... 16
Continued exchange-rate volatility ............................................................................................................................. 18
No benign global rebalancing ......................................................................................................................................... 19


Uncertainties and risks............................................................................................................................................................................... 22
Risk of a deeper crisis in the euro area ....................................................................................................................... 22
Uncertainties about the “fiscal cliff” in the United States ............................................................................... 25
A hard landing of some large developing economies ................................................................................... 26
Risk of a double-dip global recession ......................................................................................................................... 27


Policy challenges ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 29
Current macroeconomic policy stances .................................................................................................................... 29
The need for more forceful and concerted actions ............................................................................................ 30


Appendix ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 35


II International trade ........................................................................................................................... 37


Sharp slowdown of world merchandise trade ........................................................................................................................ 37
Regional trade patterns ........................................................................................................................................................................... 41
Primary commodity markets ................................................................................................................................................................. 43


Food and agricultural commodities ............................................................................................................................. 44
Minerals, ores and metals .................................................................................................................................................... 46
The oil market ............................................................................................................................................................................. 49


Volatile terms of trade ................................................................................................................................................................................ 52
Growing trade in services ........................................................................................................................................................................ 54
Trade policy developments .................................................................................................................................................................... 60


The Doha Round ...................................................................................................................................................................... 60
Preferential trade agreements .......................................................................................................................................... 61
Protectionist pressures ........................................................................................................................................................ 64




xiv World Economic and Social Survey 2012


III International finance for development ......................................................................................... 67


Trends in private capital and other private flows...................................................................................................................... 67
Portfolio flows and cross-border bank lending ..................................................................................................... 69
Foreign direct investment .................................................................................................................................................. 70
Remittances ................................................................................................................................................................................. 70


Shortening maturities ................................................................................................................................................................................ 71
Management of volatile cross-border capital flows ................................................................................................................ 72
International reserve accumulation and global imbalances ............................................................................................. 74
International financial reform ................................................................................................................................................................ 77


Progress in implementing Basel III ................................................................................................................................. 80
Global systemically important financial institutions .......................................................................................... 82
Reforms in compensation and incentives ................................................................................................................ 83
Global risks of shadow banking ...................................................................................................................................... 84
Progress in regulating shadow banking .................................................................................................................... 87


Other international financial stability issues ................................................................................................................................ 88
Global financial safety net................................................................................................................................................... 88
Multilateral and financial sector surveillance ........................................................................................................ 89


International development cooperation and official flows ............................................................................................... 90
Official development assistance ..................................................................................................................................... 90
South-South cooperation ................................................................................................................................................... 94
Innovative sources of international financing for development ................................................................ 95
Debt relief and sustainability ............................................................................................................................................ 98


Financing for long-term sustainable global development ............................................................................................... 98


IV Regional developments and outlook ............................................................................................ 101


Developed market economies ............................................................................................................................................................. 101
North America ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 101


United States: protracted and anaemic growth ................................................................................................... 101
Canada: economy losing momentum ........................................................................................................................ 104


Developed Asia and the Pacific .......................................................................................................................................................... 104
Japan: economy back in recession ................................................................................................................................ 104
Australia: recovering from the worst flooding in history ................................................................................. 106
New Zealand: earthquake reconstruction boosts growth ............................................................................ 107


Europe .................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 107
Western Europe: the debt crisis and its reverberations continue to depress the region ............ 107
The new EU members: “muddling through” continues .................................................................................... 111


Economies in transition ............................................................................................................................................................................ 113
South-Eastern Europe: countries face another year of economic stagnation ................................... 113
The Commonwealth of Independent States: growth slows down .......................................................... 115


Developing economies ............................................................................................................................................................................. 119
Africa: solid growth expected with a more favourable risk profile ............................................................ 120
East Asia: slowdown in China and recession in Europe weigh on regional growth ....................... 125
South Asia: internal and external headwinds further weaken economic activity .......................... 128
Western Asia: economic growth diverges between oil and non-oil economies ............................. 131
Latin America and the Caribbean: a modest acceleration in growth is expected .......................... 135




xvContents


Statistical annex
Country classification ................................................................................................................................................................................. 143
Annex tables .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 153


Boxes
I. 1 Major assumptions for the baseline forecast ................................................................................................................................ 4
I. 2 Prospects for the least developed countries ................................................................................................................................ 6
I. 3 An internationally coordinated strategy for jobs and growth ........................................................................................... 33
II. 1 Global production chains, freight transport and climate change ................................................................................. 39
II. 2 Financial investment and physical commodity holdings ................................................................................................... 47
II. 3 International tourism .................................................................................................................................................................................. 58
II. 4 Import tariffs and South-South trade ................................................................................................................................................ 63
II. 5 Measuring trade in value added .......................................................................................................................................................... 65
III. 1 What is shadow banking? ....................................................................................................................................................................... 79
III. 2 Capital arbitrage since the crisis: trade finance securitization .......................................................................................... 82
III. 3 SDRs for development finance? ........................................................................................................................................................... 97
IV. 1 The economic effects of the Russian Federation’s accession to the World Trade Organization ................... 115
IV. 2 New oil discoveries and the implications for growth in Africa .......................................................................................... 121
IV. 3 The economic impact of the Syrian crisis ...................................................................................................................................... 132
IV. 4 The effects of the global downturn on Latin American exports ...................................................................................... 138


Figures
0. 1 Weakening and highly uncertain outlook for the world economy ................................................................................ iii
0. 2 Jobs crisis continues in Europe and the United States and recovery will be protracted ................................ iv
0. 3 CO2 emissions from transport and share of trade in world gross product move in tandem ....................... vii
0. 4 Continued net financial transfers from developing to developed countries .......................................................... viii
0. 5 Impact of downside risks on world economy will be substantial ................................................................................... ix
I. 1 Growth of world gross product, 2006-2014 .................................................................................................................................. 3
I. 2 Growth of GDP per capita by level of development, 2000-2014 ..................................................................................... 3
I. 3a The vicious cycle of developed economies .................................................................................................................................. 7
I. 3b Feeble policy efforts to break the vicious cycle .......................................................................................................................... 7
I. 4 Post-recession employment recovery in the United States, euro area and
developed economies, 2007 (Q1)-2011 (Q2) and projections for 2012 (Q3)-2016 (Q4) .................................... 10
I. 5 World merchandise exports volume, January 2006-August 2012.................................................................................. 12
I. 6 Brent oil price, January 2000-October 2012 ................................................................................................................................. 14
I. 7 Daily grain prices, January 2007-October 2012 .......................................................................................................................... 14
I. 8 Non-oil commodity prices, 2000-2014 ............................................................................................................................................. 15
I. 9 Net capital flows to emerging markets ............................................................................................................................................ 16
I. 10 Daily yield spreads on emerging market bonds, January 2007-October 2012 ...................................................... 17
I. 11 Exchange rates of major currencies vis-à-vis the United States dollar,
January 2002-October 2012 ................................................................................................................................................................... 18
I. 12 Exchange rates of selected developing country currencies vis-à-vis
the United States dollar, January 2002-October 2012 ........................................................................................................... 19




xvi World Economic and Social Survey 2012


I. 13 Global imbalances, 1997-2014 .............................................................................................................................................................. 20
I. 14 Net international investment position in the United States ............................................................................................... 22
I. 15 Yields on two-year government bonds of selected euro area countries,
January 2010-October 2012 ................................................................................................................................................................... 24
II. 1 Synchronized slowdown of world merchandise trade and output, 2002-2014 ..................................................... 37
II. 2 Imports of developed and developing countries, 2000-2014 ........................................................................................... 38
II. 3 Import volume growth by groups of countries, 2010-2012 ............................................................................................... 42
II. 4 Import volume growth in selected regions, 2010-2012 ........................................................................................................ 43
II. 5 Agricultural commodities price indices, January 2000-September 2012 ................................................................... 44
II. 6 Price indices of selected metals, January 2008-September 2012 ................................................................................... 46
II. 7 Increasing volatility of the Brent oil price,1987-2012 .............................................................................................................. 50
II. 8 Brent price and open interest in daily volumes for ICE Brent crude futures,
January 2010-November 2012 .............................................................................................................................................................. 51
II. 9 Barter terms of trade of selected groups of countries by export structure, 2000-2014 .................................... 53
II. 10a Trade shocks by main geographic regions and country groupings, 2001-2014 .................................................... 53
II. 10b Trade shocks by country groupings according to export specialization, 2001-2014 ......................................... 54
II. 11 Services exports by major country groupings, 2007-2011 .................................................................................................. 55
II. 12 Services imports by major country groupings, 2007-2011 ................................................................................................. 55
III. 1 Ratio of reserves to GDP, 1991-2012 .................................................................................................................................................. 74
III. 2 Net transfers of fi nancial resources to developing economies
and economies in transition, 2000-2012 ......................................................................................................................................... 76
III. 3 Assets of shadow banking entities worldwide, 2002-2011 ................................................................................................. 84
III. 4 Share of total fi nancial assets, 2002-2011 ....................................................................................................................................... 85
III. 5 ODA from Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries as a percentage
of donor-country gross national income and in United States dollars, 1960-2011 ............................................. 91
III. 6 Low-income countries: concessional fi nancing, 2003-2016 ............................................................................................. 93
IV. 1 United States: Post-recession recovery of employment over fi ve decades ............................................................. 103
IV. 2 Japan: Contribution of major expenditure categories to the growth of GDP ......................................................... 105
IV. 3 Confi dence in the euro area and selected 10-year bond yields ....................................................................................... 108
IV. 4 Net domestic credit in selected new EU member States, 2008-2011 .......................................................................... 112
IV. 5 Crude oil price and the infl ow of remittances into small economies of the CIS .................................................... 118
IV. 6 GDP growth rates for selected African economies, 2012-2013 ........................................................................................ 120
IV. 7 Current-account balances of selected East Asian economies, 2000-2012 ................................................................ 127
IV. 8 Consumer price infl ation in selected South Asian countries, January 2010-October 2012 ............................ 129
IV. 9 GDP growth in Western Asia ................................................................................................................................................................... 131
IV. 10 GDP growth forecasts in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2013 .................................................................................. 136


Tables
I. 1 Growth of world output, 2006-2014 ................................................................................................................................................. 2
I. 2 Downside scenarios for the world economy ............................................................................................................................... 28
II. 1 Shares and rankings of top regions and countries in trade in services........................................................................ 56
III. 1 Net fi nancial fl ows to developing countries and economies in transition, 1999-2013 ..................................... 68
III. 2 A snapshot of the new regulatory initiatives ................................................................................................................................ 78




xviiContents


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, 2012/13.


- Use of a hyphen between years, for example, 2012–2013, 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.


For country classifications, see statistical annex.


Data presented in this publication incorporate information available as at 30 November 2012.




xviii World Economic and Social Survey 2012


The following abbreviations have been used:


AMFm Affordable Medicines Facility–malaria


AMIS Agricultural Market Information Systemn


ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations


AUM assets under management


BCBS Basel Committee for Banking Supervision


BIS Bank for International Settlements


BoJ Bank of Japan


CER certified emissions reduction


CIS Commonwealth of Independent States


CO2 carbon dioxide


COP Conference of the Parties of the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change


DAC Development Assistance Committee (of the
Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development)


DCF Development Cooperation Forum
(of the United Nations)


ECB European Central Bank


EDP Excessive Deficit Procedure


EEDI Energy Efficiency Design Index


EFSF European Financial Stability Facility


EMU Economic and Monetary Union


ESM European Stability Mechanism


ETFs exchange-traded funds


ETPs exchange-traded products


EU European Union


FAO Food and Agricultural Organization
of the United Nations


FDI foreign direct investment


Fed Federal Reserve of the United States


FHFA Federal Housing Finance Agency


FSB Financial Stability Board


G-SIFIs global systemically important financial institutions


G20 Group of Twenty


GCC Gulf Cooperation Council


GDP gross domestic product


GHG greenhouse gas


GNI gross national income


GPM Global Policy Model of the United Nations


Gt gigatons


HICP Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices


HIPC heavily indebted poor countries


IFFIm International Finance Facility for Immunisation


ILO International Labour Organization


IMO International Maritime Organization


ISA International Services Agreement


LDCs least developed countries


LME London Metal Exchange


LTROs long-term refinancing operations


mbd million barrels per day


MDGs Millennium Development Goals


MFN most favoured nation


MMFs money market funds


MNCs multinational corporations


ODA official development assistance


OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development


OMT outright monetary transactions


OPEC Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries


pb per barrel


PBC People’s Bank of China


PPP purchasing power parity


QE quantitative easing


RBI Reserve Bank of India


REER real effective exchange rate


RTAs regional trade agreements


SBP State Bank of Pakistan


SDRs special drawing rights


SEC United States Securities and Exchange
Commission


SMEs small- and medium-sized enterprises


TPP Trans-Pacific Partnership


UNCSD United Nations Conference on
Sustainable Development


UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade
and Development


UN/DESA Department of Economic and Social Affairs of
the United Nations Secretariat


UNFCC United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change


WEF World Economic Forum


WEFM World Economic Forecasting Model
(of the United Nations)


WEVUM World Economic Vulnerability Monitor (of the
United Nations)


WGP world gross product


WTO World Trade Organization




1


Chapter 1
Global economic outlook


Prospects for the world economy in 2013-2014


Risk of a synchronized global downturn


Four years after the eruption of the global financial crisis, the world economy is still strug-
gling to recover. During 2012, global economic growth has weakened further. A growing
number of developed economies have fallen into a double-dip recession. Those in severe
sovereign debt distress moved even deeper into recession, caught in the downward spiral-
ling dynamics from high unemployment, weak aggregate demand compounded by fiscal
austerity, high public debt burdens, and financial sector fragility. Growth in the major
developing countries and economies in transition has also decelerated notably, reflecting
both external vulnerabilities and domestic challenges. Most low-income countries have
held up relatively well so far, but now face intensified adverse spillover effects from the
slowdown in both developed and major middle-income countries. The prospects for the
next two years continue to be challenging, fraught with major uncertainties and risks
slanted towards the downside.


Conditioned on a set of assumptions in the United Nations baseline forecast
(box I.1), growth of world gross product (WGP) is expected to reach 2.2 per cent in 2012
and is forecast to remain well below potential at 2.4 per cent in 2013 and 3.2 per cent in
2014 (table I.1 and figure I.1). At this moderate pace, many economies will continue to
operate below potential and will not recover the jobs lost during the Great Recession.


The slowdown is synchronized across countries of different levels of develop-
ment (figure I.2). For many developing countries, the global slowdown will imply a much
slower pace of poverty reduction and narrowing of fiscal space for investments in educa-
tion, health, basic sanitation and other critical areas needed for accelerating the progress
to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This holds true in particular
for the least developed countries (LDCs); they remain highly vulnerable to commod-
ity price shocks and are receiving less external financing as official development assis-
tance (ODA) declines in the face of greater fiscal austerity in donor countries (see below).
Conditions vary greatly across LDCs, however. At one end of the spectrum, countries that
went through political turmoil and transition, like Sudan and Yemen, experienced major
economic adversity during 2010 and 2011, while strong growth performances continued
in Bangladesh and a fair number of African LDCs (box I.2).


Weaknesses in the major developed economies are at the root of continued
global economic woes. Most of them, but particularly those in Europe, are dragged into a
downward spiral as high unemployment, continued deleveraging by firms and households,
continued banking fragility, heightened sovereign risks, fiscal tightening, and slower
growth viciously feed into one another (figure I.3a).


Several European economies are already in recession. In Germany, output
has also slowed significantly, while France’s economy is stagnating. A number of new


The world economy
continues to struggle with
post-crisis adjustments


The global slowdown will
put additional strains on
developing countries


Weakness in developed
economies underpins the
global slowdown




2 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table I.1
Growth of world output, 2006-2014


Annual percentage change


Change from June
2012 forecastd


2006-2009a 2010 2011b 2012c 2013c 2014c 2012 2013


World 1.1 4.0 2.7 2.2 2.4 3.2 -0.3 -0.7


Developed economies -0.4 2.6 1.4 1.1 1.1 2.0 -0.1 -0.7
United States of America -0.5 2.4 1.8 2.1 1.7 2.7 0.0 -0.6
Japan -1.5 4.5 -0.7 1.5 0.6 0.8 -0.2 -1.5
European Union -0.3 2.1 1.5 -0.3 0.6 1.7 -0.3 -0.6


EU-15 -0.5 2.1 1.4 -0.4 0.5 1.6 -0.3 -0.6
New EU members 2.1 2.3 3.1 1.2 2.0 2.9 -0.5 -0.8
Euro area -0.4 2.1 1.5 -0.5 0.3 1.4 -0.2 -0.6


Other European countries 0.9 1.9 1.7 1.7 1.5 1.9 0.6 0.2
Other developed countries 1.2 2.8 2.4 2.3 2.0 3.0 0.0 -0.6


Economies in transition 2.2 4.4 4.5 3.5 3.6 4.2 -0.5 -0.6
South-Eastern Europe 1.6 0.4 1.1 -0.6 1.2 2.6 -1.2 -0.6
Commonwealth of Independent States and Georgia 2.2 4.8 4.8 3.8 3.8 4.4 -0.5 -0.6


Russian Federation 1.7 4.3 4.3 3.7 3.6 4.2 -0.7 -0.8
Developing economies 5.2 7.7 5.7 4.7 5.1 5.6 -0.6 -0.7


Africa 4.7 4.7 1.1 5.0 4.8 5.1 0.8 0.0
North Africa 4.2 4.1 -6.0 7.5 4.4 4.9 3.1 0.0
Sub-Saharan Africa 5.0 5.0 4.5 3.9 5.0 5.2 -0.2 0.0


Nigeria 6.6 7.8 7.4 6.4 6.8 7.2 0.1 0.0
South Africa 2.5 2.9 3.1 2.5 3.1 3.8 -0.3 -0.4
Others 6.3 5.5 4.4 3.9 5.5 5.3 -0.3 0.1


East and South Asia 7.1 9.0 6.8 5.5 6.0 6.3 -0.8 -0.8
East Asia 7.2 9.2 7.1 5.8 6.2 6.5 -0.7 -0.7


China 11.0 10.3 9.2 7.7 7.9 8.0 -0.6 -0.6
South Asia 6.4 8.3 5.8 4.4 5.0 5.7 -1.2 -1.1


India 7.3 9.6 6.9 5.5 6.1 6.5 -1.2 -1.1
Western Asia 2.3 6.7 6.7 3.3 3.3 4.1 -0.7 -1.1
Latin America and the Caribbean 2.5 6.0 4.3 3.1 3.9 4.4 -0.5 -0.3


South America 3.9 6.5 4.5 2.7 4.0 4.4 -0.9 -0.4
Brazil 3.6 7.5 2.7 1.3 4.0 4.4 -2.0 -0.5


Mexico and Central America -0.1 5.4 4.0 4.0 3.9 4.6 0.6 0.0
Mexico -0.6 5.5 3.9 3.9 3.8 4.6 0.5 -0.1


Caribbean 3.6 3.5 2.7 2.9 3.7 3.8 -0.4 -0.3


By level of development
High-income countries -0.2 2.9 1.6 1.2 1.3 2.2
Upper middle income countries 5.3 7.4 5.8 5.1 5.4 5.8
Lower middle income countries 5.8 7.4 5.6 4.4 5.5 6.0
Low-income countries 5.9 6.6 6.0 5.7 5.9 5.9
Least developed countries 7.2 5.8 3.7 3.7 5.7 5.5 -0.4 0.0


Memorandum items


World tradee -0.3 13.3 7.0 3.3 4.3 4.9 -0.8 -1.2
World output growth with PPP-based weights 2.3 5.0 3.7 3.0 3.3 4.0 -0.4 -0.7


Source: UN/DESA.
a Average percentage change.
b Actual or most recent estimates.
c Forecast, based in part on Project LINK and baseline projections of the UN/DESA World Economic Forecasting Model.
d See United Nations, World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2012 (E/2012/72).
e Includes goods and services.




3Global economic outlook


Figure I.1: Growth of world gross product, 2006-2014a


Percentage change


4.1 4.1


1.4


-2.1


4.0


2.7


2.4


3.2


0.2


1.1


2.2


3.8


4.5


-3


-2


-1


0


1


2


3


4


5


2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014


Baseline


Policy scenario


Downside scenario
Source: UN/DESA.
a Growth rate for 2012 is
partially estimated. Estimates
for 2013 and 2014 are
forecasts. See “Uncertainties
and risks” section for a
discussion of the downside
scenario and box I.3 for a
discussion of the policy
scenario.


Figure I.1
Growth of world gross product, 2006-2014a


Figure I.2: Growth of GDP per capita, by level of development, 2000-2014


-6


-4


-2


0


2


4


6


8


10


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012a2013b2014b


High-income countries
Upper-middle income countries
Lower-middle income countries
Low-income countries
Least developed countries


Source: UN/DESA.
a Estimates.
b United Nations
forecasts.


Figure I.2
Growth of GDP per capita by level of development, 2000-2014




4 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Major assumptions for the baseline forecast


The forecast presented in the text is based on estimates calculated using the United Nations World
Economic Forecasting Model (WEFM) and is informed by country-specific economic outlooks pro-
vided by participants in Project LINK, a network of institutions and researchers supported by the
Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations. The provisional individual country
forecasts submitted by country experts are adjusted based on harmonized global assumptions and
the imposition of global consistency rules (especially for trade flows, measured in both volume and
value) set by the WEFM. The main global assumptions are discussed below and form the core of the
baseline forecast—the scenario that is assigned the highest probability of occurrence. Alternative
scenarios are presented in the sections on “Uncertainties and risks” and “Policy challenges”. Those
scenarios are normally assigned lower probability than the baseline forecast.


Monetary policy
The Federal Reserve of the United States (Fed) is assumed to keep the federal funds interest rate at
the current low level of between 0.00 and 0.25 per cent until mid-2015. It is assumed that the Fed
will purchase agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month until the end
of 2014, and will also continue its programme to extend the average maturity of its securities hold-
ings through the end of 2012, as well as reinvest principal payments from its holdings of agency
debt and agency mortgage-backed securities. The European Central Bank (ECB) is assumed to cut
the minimum bid and marginal lending facility rates by another 25 basis points, leaving the deposit
rate at 0 per cent. It is also assumed that the ECB will start to implement the announced new policy
initiative, Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT), to purchase the government bonds of Spain and a
few selected members of the euro area. The Bank of Japan (BoJ) will keep the policy interest rate at
the current level (0.0-0.1 per cent) and implement the Asset Purchase Program, with a ceiling of ¥91
trillion, as announced. With regard to major emerging economies, the People’s Bank of China (PBC) is
expected to reduce reserve requirement rates twice in 2013 and reduce interest rates one more time
in the same period.


Fiscal policy
In the United States, it is assumed that the 2 per cent payroll tax cut and emergency unemployment
insurance benefits are extended for 2013, to be phased out gradually over several years. It is also
assumed that the automatic spending cuts now scheduled to begin in January 2013 will be delayed,
giving more time for the new Congress and president to produce a package of spending cuts and tax
increases effective in 2014. The Bush tax cuts are assumed to be extended for 2013-2014. As a result,
real federal government spending on goods and services will fall about 3.0 per cent in 2013 and 2014,
after a fall of about 2.5 per cent in the previous two years.


In the euro area, fiscal policy is assumed to be focused on reducing fiscal imbalances.
The majority of countries remain subject to the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) under which they
must submit plans to bring their fiscal deficits close to balance within a specified time frame. Typically,
a minimum correction of 0.5 per cent per annum is expected, and the time frames range from 2012 to
2014. The time periods for achieving these targets will be extended in the most difficult cases. It is also
assumed that in the event that tensions increase in sovereign debt markets, affected euro area countries
will seek assistance from the rescue fund, thus activating the new OMT programme of the ECB. It is
assumed that this will allow increases in bond yields to be contained and that the policy conditional-
ity attached to the use of OMT finance will not entail additional fiscal austerity; rather, Governments
requesting funds will be pressed to fully implement already announced fiscal consolidation measures.


In Japan, the newly ratified bill to increase the consumption tax rate from its current
level of 5 per cent to 8 per cent by April 2014 and to 10 per cent by October 2015 will be implemented.
Real government expenditure, including investment, is assumed to decline by a small proportion in
2013-2014, mainly owing to phasing out of reconstruction spending.


In China, the Government is assumed to maintain a proactive fiscal policy stance, with
an increase in public investment spending on infrastructure in 2013.


Box I.1




5Global economic outlook


policy initiatives were taken by the euro area authorities in 2012, including the Outright
Monetary Transactions (OMT) programme and steps towards greater fiscal integration
and coordinated financial supervision and regulation. These measures address some of
the deficiencies in the original design of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).
Significant as they may be, however, these measures are still being counteracted by other
policy stances, fiscal austerity in particular, and are not sufficient to break economies
out of the vicious circle and restore output and employment growth in the short run
(figure I.3b). In the baseline outlook for the euro area, GDP is expected to grow by only
0.3 per cent in 2013 and 1.4 per cent in 2014, a feeble recovery from a decline of 0.5 per
cent in 2012. Because of the dynamics of the vicious circle, the risk for a much worse
scenario remains high. Economic growth in the new European Union (EU) members
also decelerated during 2012, with some, including the Czech Republic, Hungary and
Slovenia, falling back into recession. Worsening external conditions are compounded by
fiscal austerity measures, aggravating short-term growth prospects. In the outlook, GDP
growth in these economies is expected to remain subdued at 2.0 per cent in 2013 and 2.9
per cent in 2014, but risks are high for a much worse performance if the situation in the
euro area deteriorates further.


The United States economy weakened notably during 2012, and growth pros-
pects for 2013 and 2014 remain sluggish. On the up side, the beleaguered housing sector is
showing some nascent signs of recovery. Further support is expected from the new round
of quantitative easing (QE) recently launched by the United States Federal Reserve (Fed)
whereby monetary authorities will continue to purchase mortgage-backed securities until
the employment situation improves substantially. On the down side, the lingering uncer-
tainties about the fiscal stance continue to restrain growth of business investment. External
demand is also expected to remain weak. In the baseline outlook, gross domestic product
(GDP) growth in the United States is forecast to decelerate to 1.7 per cent in 2013 from
an already anaemic pace of 2.1 per cent in 2012. Risks remain high for a much bleaker
scenario, emanating from the “fiscal cliff” which would entail a drop in aggregate demand
of as much as 4 per cent of GDP during 2013 and 2014 (see “Uncertainties and risks” sec-
tion). Adding to the already sombre scenario are anticipated spillover effects from possible
intensification of the euro area crisis, a “hard landing” of the Chinese economy and greater
weakening of other major developing economies.


Economic growth in Japan in 2012 was up from a year ago, mainly driven
by reconstruction works and recovery from the earthquake-related disasters of 2011. The
Government also took measures to stimulate private consumption. Exports faced strong
headwinds from the slowdown in global demand and appreciation of the yen. In the outlook,


Growth in the United States
will slow, with significant
downside risks


The need for fiscal
consolidation will reduce
growth in Japan


Exchange rates among major currencies
It is assumed that during the forecasting period of 2013-2014, the euro will fluctuate about $1.28 per
euro. The Japanese yen is assumed to average about ¥80 per United States dollar, and the renminbi


will average CNY6.23 per United States dollar.


Oil prices
Oil prices (Brent) are assumed to average about $105 per barrel (pb) in 2013-2014, compared to
$110 pb in 2012.


Box I.1 (cont’d)




6 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Japan’s economy is expected to slow given the phasing out of private consumption incentives
combined with a new measure increasing taxes on consumption, anticipated reductions in
pension benefits, and government spending cuts. These measures responded to concerns
about the extremely high level of public indebtedness. The impact of the greater fiscal auster-
ity will be mitigated by reconstruction investments, which will continue but at a slower pace.
GDP is forecast to grow at 0.6 per cent in 2013 and 0.8 per cent in 2014, down from 1.5 per
cent in 2012.


The economic woes of the developed countries are spilling over to develop-
ing countries and economies in transition through weaker demand for their exports and
heightened volatility in capital flows and commodity prices. Their problems are also
home-grown, however; growth in investment spending has slowed significantly, presaging
a continued deceleration of future output growth if not counteracted by additional policy


Spillover effects from
developed countries
and domestic issues


dampen growth in
developing countries


Prospects for the least developed countries


The economies of the least developed countries (LDCs) are expected to rebound in 2013. GDP growth
is projected to average 5.7 per cent in 2013, up from 3.7 per cent in 2012. However, most of the rebound
is expected to come from improvements in economic conditions in Yemen and Sudan, following no-
table contractions of both economies in the face of political instability during 2010 and 2011.


In per capita terms, GDP growth for LDCs is expected to accelerate from 1.3 per cent
in 2012 to 3.3 per cent in 2013. While an improvement, at this rate welfare progress will remain well
below the pace of 5.0 per cent per annum experienced during much of the 2000s, prior to the world
economic and financial crisis.


Economic performance varies greatly among LDCs, however. Numerous oil exporters
such as Angola and Guinea will benefit from continued solid oil prices, propelling GDP growth to
more than 7 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively, in 2013. LDCs with a predominant agricultural
sector have seen volatile economic conditions. In Gambia, for example, where agriculture provides
about one third of total output, poor crop conditions caused GDP to contract by 1.0 per cent in 2012.
Much better harvests are expected to propel GDP growth to 6.2 per cent. Such sharp swings in the
overall economic performance create multiple problems for policymakers. The inherent uncertainty
not only complicates the planning and design of economic policies, especially those of a longer-term
nature, but it also threatens the implementation of existing policy plans owing to sudden dramatic
changes in economic parameters. In addition, unforeseen crises create needs—in the form of short-
term assistance to farmers, for example—which divert scarce financial and institutional resources
away from more structurally oriented policy areas. On the other hand, Ethiopia’s robust growth of the
past few years is expected to come down slightly but remain strong, partly owing to its programme
of developing the agricultural sector.


A number of LDCs have also seen solid investment and consumption, supported by
sustained inflows of worker remittances. This applies, for example, to Bangladesh, whose growth
rate will continue to exceed 6.0 per cent in 2013 and 2014 despite a marked slowdown in external
demand. Growth of remittance inflows to Bangladesh picked up to about 20 per cent year on year in
the second half of 2012, following a strong rise in overseas employment earlier in the year.


The outlook for LDCs entails several downside risks. A more pronounced deterioration
in the global economic environment would negatively affect primary commodity exporters through
falling terms of trade, while others may be affected by falling worker remittances. Falling aid flows are
expected to limit external financing options for LDCs in the outlook.


Box I.2




7Global economic outlook


Figure I.3a
Developed economic vicious cycle


High
unemployment


Fiscal austerity
& sovereign


debt risk


Low-growth
trap


Deleveraging
by rms &


households


Financial
sector


fragility


Figure I.3a
The vicious cycle of developed economies


Source: UN/DESA.


Figure I.3b
Feeble policy efforts to break out of vicious cycle


High
unemployment


Fiscal austerity
& sovereign


debt risk


Low-growth
trap


Deleveraging
by rms &


households


Financial
sector


fragility


Continued
EU austerity


Debt
dynamics


Fed
quantitative


easing


ECB
outright


monetary
transactions


Figure I.3b
Feeble policy efforts to break the vicious cycle


Source: UN/DESA.




8 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


measures. Several of the major developing economies that have seen fast growth in recent
decades are starting to face structural bottlenecks, including financing constraints faced
by local governments regarding investment projects in some sectors of the economy, and
overinvestment leading to excess production capacity in others, as in the case of China (see
“Uncertainties and risks” section).


On average, economies in Africa are forecast to see a slight moderation in out-
put growth in 2013 to 4.8 per cent, down from 5.0 per cent in 2012. Major factors under-
pinning this continued growth trajectory include the strong performance of oil-exporting
countries, continued fiscal spending in infrastructure projects, and expanding economic
ties with Asian economies. However, Africa remains plagued by numerous challenges,
including armed conflicts in various parts of the region. Growth of income per capita
will continue, but at a pace considered insufficient to achieve substantial poverty reduc-
tion. Infrastructure shortfalls are among the major obstacles to more dynamic economic
development in most economies of the region.


The economies in developing Asia have weakened considerably during 2012 as
the region’s growth engines, China and India, both shifted into lower gear. While a sig-
nificant deceleration in exports has been a key factor for the slowdown, the effects of policy
tightening in the previous two years also linger. Domestic investment has softened mark-
edly. Both China and India face a number of structural challenges hampering growth (see
below). India’s space for more policy stimulus seems limited. China and other countries in
the region possess greater space for additional stimulus, but thus far have refrained from
using it. In the outlook, growth for East Asia is forecast to pick up mildly to 6.2 per cent
in 2013, from 5.8 per cent estimated for 2012. GDP growth in South Asia is expected to
average 5.0 per cent in 2013, up from 4.4 per cent of 2012, but still well below potential.


Contrasting trends are found in Western Asia. Most oil-exporting countries ex-
perienced robust growth supported by record-high oil revenues and government spending.
By contrast, economic activity weakened in oil-importing countries, burdened by higher
import bills, declining external demand and shrinking policy space. As a result, oil-export-
ing and oil-importing economies are facing a dual track growth outlook. Meanwhile, social
unrest and political instability, notably in the Syrian Arab Republic, continue to elevate the
risk assessment for the entire region. On average, GDP growth in the region is expected to
decelerate to 3.3 per cent in 2012 and 2013, from 6.7 per cent in 2011.


GDP growth in Latin America and the Caribbean decelerated notably dur-
ing 2012, led by weaker export demand. In the outlook, subject to the risks of a further
downturn, the baseline projection is for a return to moderate economic growth rates, led
by stronger economic performance in Brazil. For the region as whole, GDP growth is
forecast to average 3.9 per cent in the baseline for 2013, compared to 3.1 per cent in 2012.


Among economies in transition, growth in the economies of the Commonwealth
of Independent States (CIS) has continued in 2012, although it moderated in the second
half of the year. Firm commodity prices, especially those of oil and natural gas, held
up growth among energy-exporting economies, including Kazakhstan and the Russian
Federation. In contrast, growth in the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine was adversely
affected by the economic crisis in the euro area. The economies of small energy-importing
countries in the CIS were supported by private remittances. In the outlook, GDP for the
CIS is expected to grow by 3.8 per cent in 2013, the same as in 2012. The prospects for
most transition economies in South-Eastern Europe in the short run remain challenging,
owing to their close ties with the euro area through trade and finance. In these economies,




9Global economic outlook


GDP growth is expected to average 1.2 per cent in 2013, a mild rebound from the reces-
sion of 2012 when economies in the subregion shrank by 0.6 per cent.


Lower greenhouse gas emissions, but far cry from
“low-carbon” growth


Helped by weaker global economic growth, greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by the
Annex I countries to the Kyoto Protocol are estimated to have fallen by about 2 per cent
per year during 2011-2012 (see annex table A.22). This reverses the 3 per cent increase in
GHG emissions by these countries in 2010. Emissions fell by 6 per cent in 2009 along
with the fallout in GDP growth associated with the Great Recession. With the more recent
decline, GHG emission reductions among Annex I countries are back on the long-run
downward trend. Given the further moderation in global economic growth, emissions by
these countries are expected to decline further during 2013-2014.1 As a group, Annex I
countries have already achieved the target of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions by
at least 5 per cent from 1990 levels during the 2008-2012 commitment period. Several
important individual countries, however, such as the United States and Canada, are still
to meet their own national targets. At the same time, GHG emissions in many developing
countries are increasing at a rapid pace, such that globally, emissions continue to climb.


In all, the world is far from being on track to reduce emissions to the extent
considered necessary for keeping carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent concentrations to less
than 450 parts per million (consistent with the target of stabilizing global warming at
a 2°C temperature increase, or less, from pre-industrial levels).2 To avoid exceeding this
limit, GHG emissions would need to drop by 80 per cent by mid-century. Given current
trends and even with the extension of the Kyoto Protocol, this is an unachievable target.
“Greener” growth pathways need to be created now, and despite large investment costs,
they would also provide opportunities for more robust short-term recovery and global re-
balancing (see “Policy challenges” and chapter II on the environmental costs of expanding
trade through global value chains).


Job crisis continues


Unemployment remains elevated in many developed economies, with the situation in Europe
being the most challenging. A double-dip recession in several European economies has taken
a heavy toll on labour markets. The unemployment rate continued to climb to a record high
in the euro area during 2012, up by more than one percentage point from one year ago.
Conditions are worse in Spain and Greece, where more than a quarter of the working popula-
tion is without a job and more than half of the youth is unemployed. Only a few economies


1 Projections are based on past trends in GDP growth and GHG emissions, accounting implicitly
for the effects over time of policies aimed at decoupling (see notes to annex table A.22 for a
description of the methodology). As far as the longer-term trends are concerned, the impact of
more recent energy policy changes may not be adequately reflected.


2 A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers notes that “since 2000, the rate of decarbonisation has
averaged 0.8% globally, a fraction of the required reduction. From 2010 to 2011, global carbon
intensity continued this trend, falling by just 0.7%. Because of this slow start, global carbon
intensity now needs to be cut by an average of 5.1% a year from now to 2050…. This rate of
reduction has not been achieved in any of the past 50 years”. (See PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP,
“Too late for two degrees? Low carbon economy index 2012”, November 2012, pp. 2-3, available
from http://preview.thenewsmarket.com/Previews/PWC/DocumentAssets/261179_v2.pdf ).


The world remains far from
achieving its target for CO


2


equivalent concentrations


Unemployment remains
high in developed
economies




10 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


in the region, such as Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, register low
unemployment rates of about 5 per cent. Unemployment rates in Central and Eastern Europe
also edged up slightly in 2012, partly resulting from fiscal austerity. Japan’s unemployment
rate retreated to below 5 per cent. In the United States, the unemployment rate stayed above
8 per cent for the most part of 2012, but dropped to just below that level from September
onwards. However, the labour participation rate is at a record low, while the shares of long-
term unemployment reached historic highs of 40.6 per cent (jobless for 6 months or longer)
and 31.4 per cent (one year or longer). Long-term unemployment is also severe in the EU and
Japan, where four of each ten of the unemployed have been without a job for more than one
year. For the group of developed countries as a whole, the incidence of long-term unemploy-
ment (over one year) stood at more than 35 per cent by July 2012, affecting about 17 million
workers. Such a prolonged duration of unemployment tends to have significant, long-lasting
detrimental impacts on both the individuals who have lost their jobs and on the economy as a
whole. The skills of unemployed workers deteriorate commensurate with the duration of their
unemployment, most likely leading to lower earnings for those individuals who are eventually
able to find new jobs. At the aggregate level, the higher the proportion of workers trapped in
protracted unemployment, the greater the adverse impact on the productivity of the economy
in the medium to long run.


Adequate job creation should be a key policy priority in developed economies.
If economic growth stays as anaemic in developed countries as projected in the base-
line forecast, employment rates will not return to pre-crisis levels until far beyond 2016
(figure I.4).


The employment situation varies significantly across developing countries, but


the common challenges are to improve the quality of employment and reduce vulnerable
employment as well as confront structural unemployment issues such as high youth unem-
ployment and gender disparities in employment—all of which are key social and economic
concerns in many developing countries.


Among developing countries, the unemployment rates in most economies in


The employment
situation varies across
developing countries


Figure I.4
Post-recession employment recovery in the United States, euro area and
developed economies, 2007 (Q1)-2011 (Q2) and projections for 2012 (Q3)-2016 (Q4)


Source: UN/DESA, based on
data from ILO and IMF.
Note: The chart shows


percentage changes of total
employment (as a moving


average) with respect to pre-
recession peaks. Projections


(dashed lines) are based
on estimates of the output


elasticity of employment
(Okun’s law), following a


similar methodology to that
of ILO, World of Work Report


2011 (Geneva).


Figure I.4: Post-recession employment recovery in the United States,
euro area and developed economies, 2007 (Q1) - 2011 (Q2) and projections
for 2012 (Q3) - 2016 (Q4)


Percentage change


-6


-5


-4


-3


-2


-1


0


1


20
07


Q
1


20
07


Q
3


20
08


Q
1


20
08


Q
3


20
09


Q
1


20
09


Q
3


20
10


Q
1


20
10


Q
3


20
11


Q
1


20
11


Q
3


20
12


Q
1


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Q
3


20
13


Q
1


20
13


Q
3


20
14


Q
1


20
14


Q
3


20
15


Q
1


20
15


Q
3


20
16


Q
1


20
16


Q
3


USA
Euro area (16)
Advanced economies (21)




11Global economic outlook


East Asia and Latin America have already retreated to, or dropped below, levels seen prior
to the global financial crisis. The growth moderation in late 2011 and 2012 has so far not
led to a discernible rise in the unemployment rate in these two regions—a positive sign,
with the caveat that a rise in the unemployment rate would usually lag in an economic
downturn. If the growth slowdown continues, the unemployment rate could be expected
to increase significantly. In Africa, despite relatively strong GDP growth, the employment
situation remains a major problem across the region, both in terms of the level of employ-
ment and the quality of jobs that are generated. Labour conflicts also constitute a major
downside risk to the economic performance of the region. Gender disparity in employ-
ment remains acute in Africa as well as in South Asia. Women are facing unemployment
rates at least double those of men in some African countries, and the female labour force
participation rate in India and Pakistan is much lower than that of males. Social unrest
in North Africa and West Asia has been caused in part by high unemployment, especially
among youth. The related disruptions in economic activity, in turn, have further pushed
up unemployment rates in some countries. Among economies in transition, the unemploy-
ment rate in the Russian Federation declined to a record low of 5.2 per cent in August
2012, partly as a result of increased public spending, but also because of a shrinking
active population. Notable job creation has also been recorded in Kazakhstan, but the
unemployment rate has increased in Ukraine as a result of tighter fiscal policy and weaker
external sector.


Inflation receding worldwide, but still a concern in some
developing countries


Inflation rates remain subdued in most developed economies. Continuing large output
gaps and downward pressure on wages in many countries are keeping inflationary expecta-
tions low. Inflation in the United States moderated over 2012, down to about 2 per cent
from 3.1 per cent in 2011. A further moderation in headline inflation is expected in the
outlook for 2013. In the euro area, headline inflation, as measured by the Harmonized
Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), continues to be above the central bank’s target of 2 per
cent. Core inflation, which does not include price changes in volatile items such as energy,
food, alcohol and tobacco, has been much lower at around 1.5 per cent, with no evidence
of upward pressures. In the outlook, inflation is expected to drift down slowly. Inflation
in the new EU members is also expected to lessen. Deflation continues to prevail in Japan,
although the central bank has raised its inflation target to boost inflation expectations.


Inflation receded in a majority of developing countries during 2012, but re-
mains stubbornly high in some. In the outlook, higher oil prices and some country-specific
supply-side constraints may continue to put upward pressure on inflation in developing
countries in 2013 and into 2014. In Africa, while inflation moderated in many economies,
the rate of inflation is still above 10 per cent in Angola, Nigeria and elsewhere. Inflation is
expected to remain subdued in most of East Asia, but is still a concern for most countries
in South Asia where inflation rates were, on average, over 11 per cent in 2012 and are
forecast to remain above or near 10 per cent in 2013 and 2014. Inflation remains low in
most economies in West Asia, though it is still high (above 10 per cent) in Yemen and very
high (30 per cent) in the Syrian Arab Republic. The inflation rate in Latin America and
the Caribbean is expected to stay at about 6 per cent.


Inflation remains subdued
in most developed
economies...


... and is receding in most
developing countries,
although still high in some




12 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Outlook for global commodity and financial markets
World trade slowed notably during 2012, along with weaker global output. The sovereign
debt crisis and economic recession in the euro area and continued financial deleverag-
ing in most developed economies affected capital flows to emerging markets and other
developing countries, adding to uncertainty about economic prospects and enhancing
market volatility. These factors, combined with spillover effects of expansionary monetary
policies in developed economies, have also fueled volatility in primary commodity prices
and exchange rates. Global imbalances, characterized by large savings surpluses in some
economies and deficits in others, have narrowed markedly in the aftermath of the global fi-
nancial crisis. However, the rebalancing has hardly been a benign process, having resulted
mainly from demand deflation and weaker trade flows.


Sharp slowdown of world trade


After plunging by more than 10 per cent in the Great Recession of 2009, world trade re-
bounded strongly in 2010. Since 2011, the recovery of the volume of world exports has lost
momentum (figure I.5). Growth of world trade decelerated sharply during 2012, mainly
owing to declining import demand in Europe, as the region entered into its second recession
in three years, and anaemic aggregate demand in the United States and Japan. Developing
countries and economies in transition have seen demand for their exports weaken as a result.


Declining import demand
in Europe dampened world


trade growth in 2012


Figure I.5: World merchandise exports volume, January 2006 – August 2012


80


90


100


110


120


130


140


150


160


Ja
n-


20
06


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l-2


00
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l-2


01
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20
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l-2


01
2


Index: January 2006 = 100


Emerging economies


World


Developed economies


Figure I.5
World merchan ise exports volume, January 2006-August 2 12


Source: CPB Netherlands
Bureau for Economic


Policy Analysis, rebased
by UN/DESA.




13Global economic outlook


The monthly trade data of different regions and countries showed a clear se-
quence of the weakening demand that originated in the euro area transmitting to the
rest of the world. Import demand in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain started to decline
in late 2011 and fell further during 2012, but the weakness in trade activity has spread
further to the rest of Europe as well, including France and Germany. In tandem, im-
ports of the United States and Japan also slowed significantly in the second half of 2012.
East Asian economies that trade significantly with the major developed countries have
experienced commensurate declines in exports. For example, the Republic of Korea, and
Taiwan Province of China registered considerable drops in exports during 2012. China’s
exports also decelerated notably. Further down the global value chain, energy and other
primary-exporting economies have seen demand for their exports weaken as well. Brazil
and the Russian Federation, for instance, all registered export declines in varying degrees
in the second half of 2012. Lower export earnings, compounded by domestic demand con-
straints have also pushed down GDP growth in many developing countries and economies
in transition during 2012. This has led to flagging import demand from these economies,
further slowing trade of developed countries.


At the same time, a rise in international protectionism, albeit modest, and the
protracted impasse in the world multilateral trade negotiations, have also adversely affected
international trade flows.3 In the outlook for 2013 and 2014, the continued weak global
growth outlook and heightened uncertainties lead to expectations that world trade will con-
tinue to expand at a rather tepid pace of 4.3 per cent in volume terms in 2013 and 4.9 per
cent in 2014, compared to 3.3 per cent in 2012 and 6.8 per cent during 2005-2008.


Oil prices soften but risk premium remains


The price of oil fluctuated during 2012 (figure I.6); weaker global demand tended to push
prices down, while heightened geopolitical risks in several oil-producing countries put
upward pressure on prices. Global oil demand decelerated somewhat to 0.9 per cent in
2012. Global supply was affected by sanctions imposed by the EU and the United States
on Syrian and Iranian oil exports. This was compensated to a large extent, however, by
the preventive increase in oil production in Saudi Arabia, the resumption of production in
Libya and higher-than-expected output in North America, Latin America and the Russian
Federation. Yet, spare capacity dropped to 2.8 million barrels per day (mbd), down from
an average of about 4 mbd during 2006-2011.


In the outlook, world oil demand is expected to remain subdued during 2013 and
2014. Supply is expected to further expand in several oil-producing areas, including North
America, the Russian Federation and Brazil, partially offset by declines in the North Sea and
Central Asia. Saudi Arabia is expected to lower production, thereby increasing spare capacity.
Continued geopolitical tensions in the Middle East will likely continue to put a risk premium
on prices, however. As a result, Brent oil prices are forecast to decline somewhat and fluctuate
around $105 per barrel (pb) in 2013-2014, down from an average of $110 pb in 2012.


Rising food prices


Despite slowing global demand, food prices jumped to a record high in July 2012
(figure I.7). Global cereal production in 2012 is expected to fall by 2.7 per cent from previous


3 See MDG Gap Task Force Report 2012: The Global Partnership for Development—Making Rhetoric a
Reality (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.12.I.5).


Oil prices fluctuated in
2012, with weaker demand
offsetting geopolitical risks


Food prices increased to
a record high, but will
moderate in 2013




14 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Source: International
Grains Council.


Figure I.7 Daily grain prices, January 2007 - October 2012


Index, January 2000 = 100Index: January 2000 = 100


100


150


200


250


300


350


400


450


500


Jan-
2007


Jul-
2007


Jan-
2008


Jul-
2008


Jan-
2009


Jul-
2009


Jan-
2010


Jul-
2010


Jan-
2011


Jul-
2011


Jan-
2012


Jul-
2012


Wheat Maize


Soybean Rice


Composite index


Figure I.7
Daily grain prices, January 2007-October 2012


Dollars per barrel


Figure I.6 Brent oil price, January 2000 - October 2012


0


20


40


60


80


100


120


140


Ja
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00
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0


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n-


20
11


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l-2


01
1


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n-


20
12


Ju
l-2


01
2


Source: UN/DESA.


Figure I.6
Brent oil price, January 2000-October 2012




15Global economic outlook


year’s record crop. The overall decrease reflects a 5.5 per cent reduction in wheat, and a 2.5 per
cent decline in coarse grains, while the global rice crop is seen to grow by 0.7 per cent above
last season’s record. Severe droughts and poor weather this year in the United States, the
Russian Federation, Ukraine and Kazakhstan have been the main cause of the reduced maize
and wheat crops. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the decline
would also reduce the world cereal stock-to-use ratio from 22.6 per cent in 2012 to 20.6
per cent in 2013, which compares with the low of 19.2 per cent registered in 2007-2008.4
The situation is not yet considered a threat to global food security, however. In the outlook,
food prices will likely moderate somewhat with slowing global demand. However, given that
markets are very tight, even relatively minor supply shocks may easily cause new price spikes.


Softening non-food commodity prices


The prices of non-oil, non-food commodities started to decline in the second quarter of
2012 as a result of the slowdown in global demand (figure I.8). The appreciation of the
United States dollar has also contributed to the weakness in the prices of non-food com-
modities, as these prices are dollar-denominated. Prices of base metals and ores continued
their downward trend until mid-2012, before rebounding somewhat towards the end of the
year, mainly influenced by financial factors (see chapter II). Global demand remained weak,
while new mining projects implemented over the past decade have increased global supply.


4 Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, “World cereal production in 2012
down 2.7 percent from the 2011 record”, FAO Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, 8 November 2012,
available from http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/wfs-home/csdb/en/.


Metal and ore prices will
remain weak as a result of
subdued demand


Figure I.8 Non-oil commodity prices, 2000-2014


50


100


150


200


250


300


350


400


2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014


All food
Agricultural raw materials
Minerals, ores and metals


Index: 2000 = 100


Source: UN/DESA.


Figure I.8
Non-oil commodity prices, 2000-2014




16 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


The prices of metals and ores are likely to remain weak, as global demand is not expected
to pick up quickly during 2013. Market conditions are likely to remain volatile, however.
New rounds of monetary easing by major developed economies in a context of continued
financial fragility, for instance, would likely induce more speculative financial flows into
commodity markets, thereby keeping prices up and bringing more volatility into the market.


Continued volatility of capital flows to emerging markets


Global financial vulnerabilities remain unabatedly high. Bank lending has remained slug-
gish across developed economies. Financial conditions are likely to remain very fragile over
the near term because of the time it will take to implement a solution to the euro area crisis
and the shadow being cast over the recovery of the United States economy by the fiscal
cliff. Most emerging markets are likely to continue experiencing volatile capital flows as
they have over the past few years, strongly influenced by fragility in financial markets and
QE policies in developed countries (figure I.9).


For the year 2012, net private capital inflows to emerging markets —that is,
selected developing countries and economies in transition—are estimated to reach about
$1 trillion, down by about 10 per cent from the previous year.5 Next to ongoing deleverag-
ing in developed countries, domestic factors specific to emerging market economies added
to the downward pressure on net capital inflows in the first half of 2012. Slower growth in
China and a few other Asian economies has lowered exchange-rate adjusted rate-of-return
expectations of international investors. In North Africa and the Middle East, uncertainties


5 Institute of International Finance, “Capital flows to emerging market economies”, IIF Research
Note, 13 October 2012. Data referring to private capital flows in this section cover about 30
emerging market economies and discuss net capital inflows separate from net outflows. In this
sense the data differ from those presented in chapter III, which cover all developing and transition
economies and apply the “net net flow” concept, that is net inflows less net outflows.


Emerging markets will
continue to experience


volatile capital flows


Figure I.9 Net capital flows to emerging markets


Billions of dollars


-20


-15


-10


-5


0


5


10


15


20


25


30


20
10


M
1


20
10


M
4


20
10


M
7


20
10


M
10


20
11


M
1


20
11


M
4


20
11


M
7


20
11


M
10


20
12


M
1


20
12


M
4


20
12


M
7


Greek crisis
Irish crisis


First ECB
LRTO


Figure I.9
Net capital flows to emerging markets


Source: IMF, WEO database,
October 2012.




17Global economic outlook


remain in the wake of political transformations and, in some cases, ongoing conflicts,
creating an adverse environment for stronger capital inflows. Several Latin American coun-
tries, such as Brazil, have introduced more rigorous capital account regulation to limit
short-term capital inflows and mitigate capital-flow and exchange-rate volatility.


The costs of external borrowing financing increased for developing countries
and economies in transition when the crisis in the euro area escalated in mid-2012, but
have since decreased and remain low in general (figure I.10).


Net private capital inflows to emerging markets are not expected to increase
by much on average in 2013, although volatility in markets would persist. New rounds of
monetary easing announced by the central banks of developed countries are expected to
provide some stabilizing impact on financial markets, which may help reduce risk aversion
among investors. In view of the interest rate and growth differentials, investors are expected
to retain interests in developing countries. At the same time, however, the continued need
for deleveraging the bank system in developed countries keeps the risk of capital reversals
high for emerging markets. Furthermore, uncertainties surround future growth prospects
for some large developing economies (see “Uncertainties and risks” section), which could
temper appetite for foreign investments in emerging markets.


Volatile capital inflows continue to be accompanied by large-scale capital out-
flows from emerging markets. Emerging market economies invested $1.3 trillion abroad
in 2012, mostly associated with further increases in foreign exchange reserve holdings.
Even though the degree of reserve accumulation was slightly less than in 2011, it signals
continued concerns in emerging and developing country economies regarding world com-
modity and capital market volatility. While providing buffers against shocks and policy
space to mitigate exchange-rate volatility, the massive reserve accumulation is also further
weakening global demand.6


6 See, for example, the discussion in World Economic and Social Survey 2010: Retooling Global
Development (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.10.II.C.1), chap V.


Capital inflows continue to
be accompanied by large
scale capital outflows from
emerging markets


Source: JPMorgan Chase.


Figure I.10
Daily yield spreads on emerging market bonds, January 2007-October 2012


Figure I.10
Exchange rates of major currencies vis-à-vis the United States dollar:
January 2002-October 2012


Index, January 2000 = 100


0


2


4


6


8


10


Ja
n-


20
07


Ju
l-2


00
7


Ja
n-


20
08


Ju
l-2


00
8


Ja
n-


20
09


Ju
l-2


00
9


Ja
n-


20
10


Ju
l-2


01
0


Ja
n-


20
11


Ju
l-2


01
1


Ja
n-


20
12


Ju
l-2


01
2


Perc ntage points


Africa


Asia


Latin America


Europe




18 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Net ODA flows from member countries of the Development Assistance
Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) reached $133.5 billion in 2011, up from $128.5 billion in 2010. In real terms, how-
ever, this represented a fall of 3 per cent, widening the delivery gap in meeting internationally
agreed aid targets to $167 billion.7 Preliminary results from the OECD survey of donors’ for-
ward spending plans indicate that Country Programmable Aid (CPA)—a core subset of aid
that includes programmes and projects, which have predicted trends in total aid—is expected
to increase by about 6 per cent in 2012, mainly on account of expected increases in outflows
of soft loans from multilateral agencies that had benefited from earlier fund replenishments.
However, CPA is expected to stagnate from 2013 to 2015, reflecting the delayed impact of
the global economic crisis on donor country fiscal budgets.


Continued exchange-rate volatility


A large depreciation of the euro vis-à-vis other major currencies was the defining trend
in global foreign exchange markets for the first half of 2012 (figure I.11), driven by the
escalation of the debt crisis in the euro area. The euro rebounded somewhat in the second
half of the year after the European authorities announced some new initiatives, including
the OMT programme. The exchange rates between major currencies remained relatively
calm in response to announcements of the OMT and further QE by the European Central
Bank (ECB) and the Fed. In the outlook, given announced monetary policies in major
developed economies and their generally weak growth prospects, it is difficult to ascertain
a clear trend in the exchange rates among the major currencies.


7 MDG Gap Task Force Report 2012, op. cit.


Exchange rates between
major currencies remained
relatively calm in response


to QE measures


Source: UN/DESA, based on
data from JPMorgan Chase.


Figure I.11
Exchange rates of major currencies vis-à-vis the United States dollar,
January 2002-October 2012


Index, January 2000 = 100Index: 2 J 2 100


Figure I.11 Exchange rates of major currencies vis-à-vis the United States dollar,
January 2002–October 0212


50


100


150


200


250


Ja
n-


20
02


Ju
l-2


00
2


Ja
n-


20
03


Ju
l-2


00
3


Ja
n-


20
04


Ju
l-2


00
4


Ja
n-


20
05


Ju
l-2


00
5


Ja
n-


20
06


Ju
l-2


00
6


Ja
n-


20
07


Ju
l-2


00
7


Ja
n-


20
08


Ju
l-2


00
8


Ja
n-


20
09


Ju
l-2


00
9


Ja
n-


20
10


Ju
l-2


01
0


Ja
n-


20
11


Ju
l-2


01
1


Ja
n-


20
12


Ju
l-2


01
2


Euro


Japanese yen


Swiss franc




19Global economic outlook


After a precipitous fall in late 2011, the first half of 2012 saw currencies in
most developing countries and the economies in transition depreciating further against
the United States dollar (figure I.12). This trend was driven by two main factors: the
reduction in capital inflows to these countries and the weaker growth prospects for these
economies. Since mid-2012, the exchange rates of most of these currencies have stabilized,
and some of them started to rebound after the launches of the new QE in major developed
countries. In the outlook, continued implementation of the open-ended QE in major de-
veloped countries will likely increase the volatility in the exchange rates of the currencies
of developing countries and the economies in transition.


No benign global rebalancing


Global imbalances, which refers to the current-account imbalances across major econo-
mies, have narrowed significantly in the aftermath of the global crisis. Even if widening
slightly during 2012, they remain much smaller than in the years leading up to the crisis
(figure I.13). Unfortunately, this trend cannot be seen as a sign of greater global financial
stability and more balanced growth. External imbalances have fallen as a result of overall
weakness in global demand and the synchronized downturn in international trade rather
than through more structural shifts in savings rates and demand patterns.


The United States remained the largest deficit economy, with an estimated
external deficit of about $467 billion (3.1 per cent of GDP) in 2012, down substantially


External imbalances have
fallen as a result of overall
weakness in global demand


Source: UN/DESA, based on
data from JPMorgan Chase.


Figure I.12
Exchange rates of selected developing country currencies vis-à-vis
the United States dollar, January 2002-October 2012


Index, January 2000 = 100Index: 2 J 2 100


50


100


150


200


250


Ja
n-


20
02


Ju
l-2


00
2


Ja
n-


20
03


Ju
l-2


00
3


Ja
n-


20
04


Ju
l-2


00
4


Ja
n-


20
05


Ju
l-2


00
5


Ja
n-


20
06


Ju
l-2


00
6


Ja
n-


20
07


Ju
l-2


00
7


Ja
n-


20
08


Ju
l-2


00
8


Ja
n-


20
09


Ju
l-2


00
9


Ja
n-


20
10


Ju
l-2


01
0


Ja
n-


20
11


Ju
l-2


01
1


Ja
n-


20
12


Ju
l-2


01
2


Brazilian real
Korean won
South African rand


Figure I.12 Exchange rates of selected developing country currencies vis-à-vis
the United States dollar: January 2002 - October 0212




20 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


from the peak of $800 billion (6 per cent of GDP) registered in 2006. In mirror image, the
external surpluses in China, Germany, Japan and a group of fuel-exporting countries have
narrowed, albeit to varying degrees. China recorded an estimated surplus of slightly over
2 per cent of GDP in 2012, a sharp decline from a high of 10 per cent of GDP in 2007.
Japan is expected to register a surplus of 4 per cent of GDP in 2012, also a significant
reduction from its peak level of 5.0 per cent of GDP reached in 2007. While Germany’s
surplus declined only slightly, remaining above 5 per cent of GDP, the current account for
the euro area as a whole turned from a deficit into a surplus of 1 per cent of GDP. Large
surpluses relative to GDP are still present in oil-exporting countries, reaching 20 per cent
of GDP or more in some of those in Western Asia.


The larger part of the adjustment reflects demand deflation in the global econ-
omy. In the United States, following several years of rebounding exports, both export and
import demand weakened markedly in 2012. The corresponding narrowing of the saving-
investment gap reflects a small decline in the savings rate and significant moderation in
investment demand. The household saving rate, which increased from about 2.0 per cent
of disposable household income before the financial crisis to about 5.0 per cent in the past
few years, has started to fall again to about 3.8 per cent. The investment rate fell from 19.2
per cent in 2007 to 16.4 per cent of GDP in 2012. The government budget deficit dropped
from 10.1 per cent of GDP in 2011 to 8.7 per cent in 2012, mainly as a result of further
cuts in government spending, not increased government revenue. In the outlook, a further
narrowing of the current-account deficit is expected in the United States in 2013 as a result
of weakness caused by similar adjustments.


In the surplus countries, the decline in the external surplus of China has
mainly been driven by a significant drop in the growth of its exports caused by the weaker
global economy, rather than a strengthening of imports pushed by domestic rebalancing.
Both exports and imports in China decelerated substantially in 2012, even as China’s


The decline in the external
surplus of China was driven
by a drop in export growth


Source: IMF World Economic
Outlook database, October


2012 for historical data,
and Project LINK for the


2012-2014 forecasts.


Figure I.13
Global imbalances, 1997-2014


Index, January 2000 = 100Current-account balances as a percentage of world gross product


Figure I.13 Global imbalances, 1997-2014


-3


-2


-1


0


1


2


3


1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013


USA
Rest of the world


Oil exporters
Germany and Japan


European Union less Germany


East Asia less China
China




21Global economic outlook


exchange-rate policy has become more flexible. The Government has stepped up meas-
ures aiming to boost household consumption and rebalance the structure of the economy
towards greater reliance on domestic demand, but thus far this has not resulted in any
visible increase in the share consumption in GDP. The corresponding narrowing of the
saving-investment ratio in China came mainly from a notable slowdown in the growth of
investment, rather than a reduction in saving brought on by increased consumption.


In Japan, the narrowing of its external surplus has, to some extent, reflected
the strengthening of its domestic demand —including increased imports of oil related to
reconstruction in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake—but also a significant
slowdown in exports.


The surpluses in oil-exporting countries are of quite a different nature as these
countries will need to share the wealth generated by the endowment of oil with future gen-
erations through a continued accumulation of surpluses in the foreseeable future. Yet, some
studies warn of a slowdown in oil exports for the Russian Federation in the medium run.8


In the euro area, the current-account deficits of member States in the periphery
fell dramatically as a result of fiscal austerity and the severe contraction of private invest-
ment and consumption demand. Smaller current-account deficits were accompanied by
large financial outflows triggered by panic in the banking sector of debt-distressed coun-
tries of the euro area. This reflects a stark reversal of the European economic integration
process of past decades, when capital flowed from the core members to the peripheral
members. In Germany, room remains for policies to stimulate more domestic demand so
as to further narrow its external surplus.


Global imbalances persist, inducing wide imbalances in net asset and liability
positions. The latest data show that the net external liability position of the United States
widened to a record $4 trillion (more than 25 per cent of GDP) in 2011, a significant
increase from $2.5 trillion in the previous year (figure I.14). The foreign assets owned by the
United States totalled about $21 trillion by the end of 2011, while assets in the United States
owned by the rest of the world totalled about $25 trillion.9 Given the trends in global finan-
cial markets in 2012 and the current-account deficit trends discussed above, the net external
liability position of the United States is estimated to have increased further during 2012.


Given current trends, the global imbalances are not expected to widen by a
margin significant enough in the coming two years as to become an imminent threat to
the stability of the global economy. However, the large net liability position of the United
States poses a continued risk to the medium-term stability of exchange rates among major
currencies, as investors and monetary authorities holding large dollar-reserve holdings
may fear a strong depreciation of the dollar over time and which would accelerate such a
process in possible disorderly fashion. Should the global economy fall into another reces-
sion, the imbalances could narrow further through demand deflation. It would thus seem


8 See Ernst & Young, “The future of Russian oil exploration: Beyond 2025”, available from http://
www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/Perspectives-of-Oil-and-Gas-explorations-2011-EN/$FILE/
Perspectives-of-Oil-and-Gas-explorations-2011-EN.pdf.


9 The United States acquisitions of foreign assets increased by about $484 billion during the year,
but valuation adjustments lowered the value of foreign assets owned by the United States by $702
billion, mostly from decreases in prices of foreign stocks. On the other hand, foreign acquisitions of
the assets in the United States increased by about $1 trillion, and valuation adjustments raised the
value of foreign-owned assets in the United States by $353 billion, mostly from price increases of
the United States Treasury bonds. In short, the large increase in the net external liability position of
the United States during 2011 mainly reflected a substantial change in the valuation of the assets
and liability, with net flows accounting for a smaller part.


Persistent global
imbalances have induced
wide imbalances in net
asset and liability positions




22 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


that international policy coordination should not have the rebalancing of current-account
positions as its primary focus in the short term, but rather should give priority to concerted
efforts to reinvigorate the global recovery, job creation and greater policy coherence to
break out of the vicious circles.


Uncertainties and risks
The baseline outlook presented above is subject to major uncertainties and risks, mostly on
the downside. The economic crisis in the euro area could continue to worsen and become
more disruptive. The United States could fail to avert a fiscal cliff. The slowdown in a
number of large developing countries, including China, could well deteriorate further,
potentially ending in a “hard landing”. Geopolitical tensions in West Asia and elsewhere
in the world might spiral out of control. Given dangerously low stock-use ratios of basic
grains, world food prices may easily spike with any significant weather shock and take
a toll on the more vulnerable and poorest countries in the world. The discussion in this
section focuses on the likelihood of the occurrence of the first three of these risks and what
impact there would be on the global economy should they materialize.


Risk of a deeper crisis in the euro area


The crisis in the euro area continues to loom as the largest threat to global growth. The
economies in the euro area have been suffering from entanglement in a number of vicious
circles. The dangerous dynamics between sovereign debt distress and banking sector fragility
are deteriorating the balance sheets of both Governments and commercial banks. The fiscal


The euro area crisis
continues to be the biggest


threat to global growth


Source: UN/DESA, based
on United States Bureau of


Economic Analysis data.
Note: Data for 2009 and 2010


has been revised; data for
2011 is preliminary.


Figure I.14
Net international investment position in the United States


Index, January 2000 = 100Billions of doll s


Figure I.14 Net Internatio al Investment position of he United States


-4,500


-4,000


-3,500


-3,000


-2,500


-2,000


-1,500


-1,000


-500


0


500


1,000


19
76


19
78


19
80


19
82


19
84


19
86


19
88


19
90


19
92


19
94


19
96


19
98


20
00


20
02


20
04


20
06


20
08


20
10




23Global economic outlook


austerity responses are exacerbating the economic downturn, inspiring self-defeating efforts
at fiscal consolidation and pushing up debt ratios, thereby triggering further budget cuts.


As a result, the region has already fallen into another recession three years after
the global Great Recession of 2009, with unemployment rates rising to record highs since
the debut of the euro. The situation in Greece remains particularly dire, despite the fact that
fears of an imminent exit from the monetary union have eased and Greek government bond
yields have subsequently retreated from their peaks following the debt restructuring in early
2012. GDP continues to plunge, however, even after having already fallen by nearly 20 per
cent since 2007. Unless the troika of the EU, the ECB and the IMF relax the terms of condi-
tionality on the target and the time span of Greek fiscal adjustment, and also provide more
support, the economy will be unable to extricate itself from the present crisis any time soon.


The focus of attention shifted towards Spain in mid-2012. Spain is the fourth
largest economy of the euro area, with a GDP twice the size of Greece, Ireland and
Portugal combined. The country’s borrowing costs surged when the Government asked
for international financing to recapitalize the banks in early June 2012. Yields on 10-year
sovereign bonds peaked at 7.6 per cent in late July, surpassing the level Greece, Ireland
and Portugal faced when they were forced to ask for international assistance to address
debt distress. Financial market contagion spread to Italy, which also has seen significant
increases in sovereign borrowing costs.


These developments posed heightened systemic risks for the monetary union.
In response, the ECB announced a new OMT programme in September through which
it can make potentially unlimited purchases of sovereign bonds with a maturity of three
years or shorter issued by selected debt-distressed countries. The OMT programme aims
to reduce borrowing costs for these countries. However, the ECB can only purchase bonds
under the OMT programme if countries have applied for international assistance via both
the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the European Stability Mechanism
(ESM), which comes with policy conditionality attached.


After the announcement, sovereign yields of Spain and a few other countries
retreated substantially (figure I.15). In late September, Spanish authorities presented a budget
that aims to cut the projected 2013 deficit by €40 billion ($51.4 billion). Government spend-
ing is to be cut by 8.9 per cent, while public infrastructure spending is to drop from 1.3
per cent to 0.89 per cent of GDP, among other austerity measures. A recent bank stress test
showed a capital shortfall of €59.3 billion for Spanish banks. It will be feasible to repair this
with the €100 billion in European aid the Spanish Government has already requested for
recapitalization of its banks.


The OMT programme initiated by the ECB, if implemented as planned, po-
tentially could significantly reduce debt refinancing costs for Spain and debt-distressed
euro area countries. Uncertainties remain, however, on a number of issues unfolding in the
future. For example, the agreement made earlier by euro area leaders to directly recapital-
ize Spanish banks without increasing the country’s sovereign debt was considered to be a
key initiative to effectively short-circuit the vicious feedback between sovereign debt and
bank fragility. Subsequently, however, some euro area member countries have voiced a
somewhat different interpretation in that the direct bank recapitalization would work only
for banks getting into trouble in the future, not for those being rescued under the current
programme for Spain. If this interpretation would hold in practice, Spain’s government
deficit would be much higher than originally projected and could trigger severe additional
fiscal adjustment.


The OMT programme
of the ECB could
significantly reduce debt
refinancing costs, but
uncertainties remain




24 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Question remains as to whether Spain actually needs such deep budget cuts.
In contrast with Greece, some analysts argue that Spain’s woes started in the private sector
as the housing bubble burst, drastically reducing government tax revenue and prompting
a rescue of banks. Before that, the Government had relatively low debt levels and a modest
deficit. From this perspective, fiscal austerity would not address the root cause of the prob-
lem in Spain, but only exacerbate the economic downturn and cause more unemployment.


In any case, even if the policy initiatives announced to date are implemented
as planned, they seem to be insufficient to break the downward spiral many euro area
members face in the short run and inadequate to boost a solid growth in the medium run.
Given all the uncertainties and risks, a number of researchers have already studied the sce-
narios and economic ramifications of the possible exit of some euro area members.10 The
pessimistic scenario, discussed further below, does not assume any break-up of the euro
area or the exit of any of its members, however. The real implications of such an event are
extremely difficult to gauge because of the large amount of financial market uncertainty
that would arise and the complex, but as yet unknown, set of institutional rearrangements
that would result.


Instead, the downside scenario presented below looks at possibility of a much
deeper recession in the euro area than delineated in the baseline. The further downturn


10 Global Insight estimates that an exit of Greece would come with substantial international spillover
effects. It estimates that the simulated output loss for the United States could be as much as 2.5 per
cent, pushing the economy into recession in 2013. (See IHS Global Insight, “US Executive Summary”,
November 2012). Oxford Economics (“Central banks take out additional insurance”, Global Scenario
Service, September 2012) estimates that an exit of Greece in the third quarter of 2013 would lower
euro area GDP by 3.5 per cent and WGP would drop 1.3 per cent below the baseline for 2014.
In a fuller euro area break-up with Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Cyprus exiting in the
first quarter of 2014, Oxford Economics estimates output losses could be as high as 10 per cent
and those for the world as a whole would also be commensurately higher.


The announced policy
initiatives seem to be


insufficient to break the
downward spiral


Figure I.15
Yields on two-year government bonds of selected euro area countries,
January 2010-October 2012


Source: JPMorgan Chase.


Figure I.15 Yields on two-year government bonds of selected euro area countries,
January 2010-October 2012


0


4


8


12


16


20


24


28


32


Ja
n-


20
10


A
pr


-2
01


0


Ju
l-2


01
0


O
ct


-2
01


0


Ja
n-


20
11


A
pr


-2
01


1


Ju
l-2


01
1


O
ct


-2
01


1


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n-


20
12


A
pr


-2
01


2


Ju
l-2


01
2


O
ct


-2
01


2


0


20


40


60


80


100


120


140


160Germany


Ireland
Portugal
Spain


Greece (right-hand scale)


Percentage points




25Global economic outlook


could be caused by a delayed implementation of the OMT programme and other support
measures for those members in need. Delays could occur through political difficulties
in reaching agreement between the countries in need of assistance and the troika of EU,
ECB and IMF, and/or much larger detrimental effects of the fiscal austerity programmes
and more difficulties in structural adjustments than anticipated in the baseline forecast.11


Uncertainties about the “fiscal cliff” in the United States


Unless Congress can reach an agreement to avert it, the United States will face a sharp
change in its government spending and tax policy at the end of 2012. Because of the
potentially severe implications, it has been coined the “fiscal cliff”. The tax cuts endorsed
during the Administration of George W. Bush worth $280 billion per year (often referred
to as the “Bush tax cuts”), the 2 percentage point payroll tax reduction worth $125 billion,
and the emergency unemployment compensation worth $40 billion introduced during
the first term of the Obama Administration, were all designed to expire at the end of
2012. More specifically, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts would imply an increase in
income tax rates across all income levels by about 5 percentage points in 2013. Among the
other changes associated with the expiration of Bush tax cuts are the phasing out of the
reduction in the Federal Child Tax Credit and an increase in the maximum tax rate for
long-term capital gains by about 5 percentage points. The expiration of the 2-percentage-
point reduction in employee payroll taxes would imply a decline in aggregate disposable
income by about $125 billion. Moreover, the expiration of emergency unemployment
compensation, which was first passed into law in 2008 and has been extended in the past
four years, would imply a reduction in consumption spending by about $40 billion.12 On
the expenditure side, automatic budget cuts will be activated, cutting expenditure by $98
billion.13 Together these actions amount to a downward adjustment in aggregate demand
of no less than 4 per cent of GDP.


The risk was still clear and present in the immediate aftermath of the November
6 presidential and congressional elections in the United States. In the worst case, political
gridlock would prevent Congress from reaching any agreement, leading to a full-scale
drop in government spending by about $98 billion and substantial hikes in taxes amount-
ing to $450 billion in 2013. It is reasonable to assume that after realizing the costs to the
economy, policymakers will feel compelled to reach an agreement on reinstating those tax
reduction measures and on ceasing the automatic spending cuts in the second half of 2013.




11 More specifically, the scenario of a deeper euro crisis presented in table I.2 below assumes further
fiscal tightening in the debt-distressed countries and no use of the OMT programme. As a result,
bond yields and borrowing costs increase, while consumer and business confidence drop further,
affecting private consumption and investment demand.


12 For more details, see JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, “The US fiscal cliff: an update and a downgrade”,
Economic Research Note, 18 October 2012, available from https://mm.jpmorgan.com/EmailPubS
ervlet?h=c7s2j110&doc=GPS-965096-0.pdf; and Joseph Brusuelas, “Fiscal cliff”, Bloomberg Brief,
25 September 2012, available from http://www.bloombergbriefs.com/files/2012-9-25-Fiscal-Cliff-
Special-Issue.pdf.


13 These automatic cuts are specified in the Budget Control Act which was adopted as a result of the
failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the so-called “Supercommittee”) to
reach an agreement in 2011 as to how to bring the budget deficit down to sustainable levels over
the next ten years.


The United States may
see major changes in
government spending
and tax policy at the
end of 2012




26 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


A hard landing of some large developing economies


Growth slowed noticeably during 2012 in a number of large developing economies, such as
Brazil, China and India, which all enjoyed a long period of rapid growth prior to the global
financial crisis and managed to recover quickly at a robust pace in 2010. For example, growth
in Brazil dropped from a peak of 7.5 per cent in 2010 to an estimated 1.3 per cent in 2012;
in China, from 10.4 per cent to 7.7 per cent; and in India, from 8.9 per cent to 5.5 per cent.


Given the uncertainties about their external demand and various domestic
growth challenges, risks of further and larger-than-expected declines in the growth of
these economies are not trivial. In this section, China is used as an example to illustrate
such risks and their implications for these economies and for the rest of the world.


China’s exports continued to slow during 2012, owing to weak demand in
major developed economies. For 2012 as whole, real exports for China may register growth
of about 5-6 per cent, compared to an average growth of about 20 per cent in the past 10
years. Meanwhile, growth in investment, which contributed to more than 50 per cent of
GDP growth in the past decades, has been decelerating. Growth in nominal fixed invest-
ment has declined from 25 per cent a year ago to 20 per cent currently. As fixed investment
accounts for almost 50 per cent of GDP, this deceleration alone will reduce GDP growth
by 2.5 percentage points. Compared with 2009, when China’s exports dropped by more
than 10 per cent, it appears that the present deceleration in GDP growth comes mainly on
account of domestic demand.


The slowdown in investment growth in China has been driven primarily by
two factors. First, the Government has adopted policies to control the risk of asset price
bubbles in the housing sector, including requirements for larger down payments and limits
on the number of housing units people can buy. Real estate investment, which accounts
for about 25 per cent of total fixed investment, increased by 15 per cent in the first half of
2012, but the pace of growth was down from 33 per cent recorded a year ago. Acquisition
of land for home construction has been declining at an annualized pace of about 20 per
cent since the beginning of 2012. Because this is a key source of revenue for local govern-
ments in China, their fiscal space has been heavily reduced. Slower real estate investment
growth also has considerable damaging effects on supplying industries.


Second, the central Government has become more cautious about fiscal stimu-
lus. Most of the 2009-2010 large-scale fiscal stimulus package, costing about 4 trillion yuan,
was used for infrastructure investment and formed an important driver of economic growth
in those years. However, after it was phased out in 2011, increasing concerns have been
expressed in China over unintended side effects created by the stimulus and vast excess
production capacity emerging in some industrial sectors. The Government seems set to put
more effort into restructuring the economy, rather than trying to create more aggregate de-
mand stimulus. This is based on the assumption that a rebalancing of the economy through
an increase in the share of household consumption in GDP could compensate for a decline
in the investment rate and a slowdown in exports. It assumes that with such rebalancing
the economy could still grow at a robust pace of 7.5 per cent (which is the official growth
target for 2012). However, thus far it has proven difficult to boost consumption in the short
run and, moreover, industrial restructuring and future GDP growth would require making
substantial new investments today.


Furthermore, local governments have been facing financing constraints in the
implementation of new projects. Fixed investment projects managed by local governments
account for more than 90 per cent of total fixed investment in value terms. The financing


China has seen a slowdown
in exports and investment




27Global economic outlook


constraints have emerged because of less revenue from land sales and lack of bank lending
as the banks await positive signals from the central Government.


Because of these factors, there are substantial risks for much lower GDP growth
in China. The downside scenario presented below assumes a slowdown in growth to about
5 per cent per year, particularly if fixed investment growth decelerates further, subtracting
another 5-10 percentage points per year in 2013-2014. Other assumptions for this alterna-
tive scenario for the Chinese economy include the central Government maintaining the
tightening measures in the housing sector and no fiscal stimulus.


Risk of a double-dip global recession


Table I.2 summarizes the global economic consequences of the three scenarios discussed
above, based on simulations using the United Nations World Economic Forecasting
Model.


The euro crisis scenario focuses on the relatively high risk of deeper fiscal cuts
in the debt-distressed countries. For reasons mentioned above, the much worse case, but,
for now, less likely scenario of a break-up of the monetary union is not considered here.
More specifically, in this first scenario, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain are expected to
take further austerity measures in 2013, with deeper cuts than assumed in the baseline. As a
result, the estimated output losses in these economies would be between 1 and 2 percentage
points in 2013. The deeper recession is assumed to spread to other economies through trade
channels and, more importantly, through greater financial uncertainty as confidence in the
euro and prospects for recovery erodes further. As a result, the economy of the euro area
would shrink by 0.9 per cent compared with the baseline forecast for 2013, thus further
deepening the euro area recession that set in throughout 2012. During 2013-2015, the cu-
mulative output loss for the euro area as a whole would amount to 3.3 per cent. The further
weakening in the euro area would spill over to the rest of the world and the cumulative loss
of global output would amount to 1.1 percentage points. The other developed economies,
such as the United States and Japan, would all suffer notable losses. The deepening of the
euro crisis would cost developing countries about 0.5 per cent of GDP on average.


In the fiscal cliff scenario, world economic growth would slow to 1.2 per cent
in 2013, compared to 2.4 per cent in the baseline. The cumulative output loss between
2013 and 2015 would be 2.5 percentage points. The United States economy would enter
into recession and Japan and the EU would also be severely affected, with output losses
of about 2 percentage points during 2013-2015. Mexico and Central America would be
hardest hit among developing countries, losing about 3.0 percentage points owing to close
economic ties with the United States. East Asian economies would see cumulative output
losses of about 1.6 percentage points.


A hard landing of the Chinese economy, with GDP growth slowing to 5 per
cent in 2013, would also have a visible impact on the world economy. China accounts for
about 8 per cent of WGP and 10 per cent of world trade. Compared with the baseline
forecast, a 3 percentage point deceleration in the pace of growth of the Chinese economy
would cause a cumulative global output loss of 1.5 percentage points during 2013-2015.


Given its close economic ties with China, Japan would be most affected, suffer-
ing a GDP loss of 1.6 percentage points. GDP of the United States and the EU would drop
by 0.7 and 0.6 percentage points, respectively, over 2013-2015 compared with the baseline.
Much of their output losses would be caused by lower exports of capital goods to China.


In the downside scenario,
it is assumed that growth in
China would slow to about
5 per cent


A deepening of the euro
crisis would cause a loss of
global output of more than
9 per cent


The fiscal cliff would have
an even larger impact


A hard landing of the
Chinese economy would
also have a visible impact
on the world economy




28 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table I.2
Downside scenarios for the world economya


Percentage deviation from baseline GDP level


Output loss (-)


Deeper euro area
crisis


United States fiscal
cliff


Hardlanding in
China


Three scenarios
combined


2013 2014 2015 2013 2014 2015 2013 2014 2015 2013 2014 2015


World -0.3 -0.7 -1.1 -1.2 -2.1 -2.5 -0.4 -1.0 -1.5 -2.2 -4.3 -5.9


Developed economies -0.4 -0.9 -1.5 -1.7 -2.7 -3.2 -0.1 -0.4 -0.8 -2.5 -4.7 -6.4


United States of America -0.1 -0.4 -0.8 -3.8 -5.2 -5.3 -0.1 -0.3 -0.7 -4.1 -6.3 -7.3


Japan -0.2 -0.4 -0.6 -0.6 -1.2 -2.1 -0.4 -0.9 -1.6 -1.7 -3.5 -5.8


European Union -0.7 -1.8 -2.7 -0.5 -1.2 -1.9 -0.1 -0.3 -0.6 -1.6 -4.1 -6.5


EU-15 -0.7 -1.8 -2.8 -0.5 -1.2 -2.0 -0.1 -0.3 -0.6 -1.6 -4.2 -6.7


New EU members -0.6 -1.1 -1.3 -0.2 -0.6 -1.1 -0.1 -0.3 -0.6 -1.4 -2.8 -3.7


Euro area -0.9 -2.1 -3.3 -0.5 -1.2 -1.8 -0.1 -0.3 -0.6 -1.7 -4.6 -7.3


Other European countries -0.4 -0.9 -1.2 -0.2 -0.8 -1.4 -0.1 -0.3 -0.7 -1.1 -2.8 -4.2


Other developed economies -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 -0.6 -1.3 -1.7 -0.1 -0.3 -0.7 -0.8 -2.0 -3.0


Economies in transition -0.3 -0.5 -0.6 -0.2 -0.5 -0.7 -0.1 -0.3 -0.6 -0.9 -1.8 -2.4


South-Eastern Europe -0.5 -0.8 -0.9 -0.1 -0.4 -0.7 0.0 -0.2 -0.3 -1.1 -1.9 -2.4


Commonwealth of Independent
States and Georgia -0.3 -0.5 -0.6 -0.2 -0.5 -0.8 -0.1 -0.4 -0.7 -0.9 -1.8 -2.4


Russian Federation -0.3 -0.5 -0.6 -0.2 -0.5 -0.8 -0.1 -0.4 -0.7 -0.8 -1.8 -2.4


Developing economies -0.2 -0.3 -0.5 -0.3 -0.9 -1.3 -1.1 -2.3 -3.0 -1.7 -3.7 -5.1


Africa -0.5 -0.5 -0.6 -0.6 -1.0 -1.0 -0.4 -0.8 -1.1 -1.8 -2.5 -2.9


North Africa -0.9 -0.8 -0.9 -0.9 -1.2 -1.1 -0.2 -0.4 -0.7 -2.7 -2.9 -3.1


Sub-Saharan Africa -0.3 -0.3 -0.4 -0.5 -0.9 -0.9 -0.5 -0.9 -1.3 -1.5 -2.3 -2.8


Nigeria -0.4 -0.5 -0.7 -1.1 -1.8 -1.7 -0.1 -0.4 -0.7 -1.8 -3.0 -3.5


South Africa -0.3 -0.2 -0.3 -0.3 -0.5 -0.5 -1.1 -1.8 -2.3 -1.9 -2.6 -3.2


Others -0.3 -0.3 -0.4 -0.4 -0.7 -0.8 -0.2 -0.6 -0.9 -1.1 -1.8 -2.3


East and South Asia -0.1 -0.3 -0.5 -0.3 -0.9 -1.4 -1.6 -3.3 -4.2 -2.2 -4.8 -6.4


East Asia -0.2 -0.4 -0.6 -0.3 -1.0 -1.6 -2.0 -3.9 -4.9 -2.6 -5.6 -7.4


China -0.2 -0.4 -0.7 -0.4 -1.1 -1.8 -3.0 -5.7 -6.8 -3.7 -7.6 -9.6


South Asia -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 -0.1 -0.4 -0.5 -0.3 -0.8 -1.5 -0.6 -1.5 -2.5


India -0.1 -0.2 -0.2 -0.1 -0.4 -0.5 -0.1 -0.3 -0.5 -0.4 -0.9 -1.4


Western Asia -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 -0.2 -0.5 -0.7 -0.1 -0.3 -0.6 -0.6 -1.2 -1.9


Latin America and the Caribbean -0.2 -0.3 -0.4 -0.5 -1.2 -1.7 -0.4 -0.9 -1.5 -1.0 -2.5 -3.7


South America -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 -0.2 -0.6 -0.9 -0.4 -1.0 -1.6 -0.8 -2.0 -3.1


Brazil -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 -0.1 -0.4 -0.7 -0.4 -1.1 -1.7 -0.8 -1.9 -2.9


Mexico and Central America -0.3 -0.4 -0.6 -1.0 -2.6 -3.2 -0.5 -0.9 -1.4 -1.4 -3.7 -5.2


Mexico -0.3 -0.4 -0.6 -1.0 -2.7 -3.4 -0.5 -1.0 -1.5 -1.4 -3.9 -5.5


Caribbean -0.1 -0.2 -0.4 -0.5 -1.2 -1.6 0.0 -0.1 -0.3 -0.7 -1.7 -2.5


Least developed countries -0.2 -0.3 -0.4 -0.3 -0.6 -0.8 -0.2 -0.5 -0.7 -0.8 -1.6 -2.1


Source: UN/DESA.
a See section on "Uncertainties and risks" for assumptions for these scenarios.




29Global economic outlook


Developing Asia would also feel the consequences through trade channels, especially as
it experiences decreased demand for intermediate products in the context of global value
chains (see chapter II for further discussion). Economies in Latin America, Africa and
Western Asia would be most impacted by lower demand for primary commodities, losing
about 1 per cent of their aggregate income.


It is difficult to ascertain the probability of these three risks materializing si-
multaneously. However, considering the magnitude of the global consequences of each of
these events separately, if these events were to occur at the same time, thereby reinforcing
each other, the global economy would fall into another Great Recession.


Policy challenges


Current macroeconomic policy stances


Weakening economic growth and policy uncertainties cast a shadow over the global eco-
nomic outlook. As indicated, most developed countries have adopted a combination of fis-
cal austerity and expansionary monetary policies, aiming to reduce public debt and lower
debt refinancing costs in order to break away from the vicious dynamics between sovereign
debt and banking sector fragility. These policy measures were expected to calm financial
markets and restore consumer and investor confidence. Supported by structural reforms of
entitlement programmes, labour markets and business regulation, the improved environ-
ment is expected to help restore economic growth and reduce unemployment. However,
reducing debt stocks is proving to be much more challenging than policymakers expected.
Public debt rollover requirements remain very high and continue to expose fiscal balances
to the whims of financial markets. Helped by the QE policies of central banks, borrowing
costs have been contained and are elevated only for a subset of debt-distressed euro area
countries. While the QE programmes have helped lower long-term interest rates, their
impact on economic growth will be rather limited at this stage of the recovery.


An additional problem is that fiscal consolidation efforts of most developed
countries rely more on spending retrenchment than improving revenue collection. The
former tends to be more detrimental to economic growth in the short run, particularly
when the economy is in a downward cycle.14 In many developed countries, public in-
vestment is being cut more severely than any other item, which may also prove costly
to medium-term growth. In most cases, spending cuts also involve entitlement reforms,
which immediately weaken automatic stabilizers in the short run by curtailing pension
benefits, shortening the length of unemployment benefit schemes and/or shifting more of
the burden of healthcare costs to households. Moreover, the fiscal austerity measures have
been found to induce greater inequality in the short run.15 The impact tends to be stronger
when unemployment effects are higher, when there is no compensation for the cost of
entitlement reform to lower- and middle-income groups, and when revenue increases are
pursued through increases in sales or value-added tax rates. Rising inequality by itself
tends to weaken the recovery, as lower-income groups tend to have higher spending pro-


14 See World Economic Situation and Prospects 2012 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.12.
II.C.2), box I.3.


15 International Monetary Fund, Fiscal Monitor: Taking stock—A progress report on fiscal
adjustment (Washington, D.C., October 2012).


Most developed
countries have adopted
a combination of fiscal
austerity and expansionary
monetary policies




30 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


pensities. The distributional impact of spending and revenue measures thus should be a
concern to macroeconomic policymakers. In short, downside risks for developed countries
remain extremely high, because the present policy stances are, on balance, not supportive
of growth and job creation, and thus fail to definitively break out of the vicious circle.


Most developing countries and economies in transition have relatively stron-
ger fiscal positions. Some have opted to put fiscal consolidation on hold in the face of
global economic weakening. Fiscal deficits may rise in most low-income countries that
have slowing government revenue from commodity exports and the growing weight of
food and energy subsidies. Concerns are also mounting in developing countries about the
possible adverse effects of QE on the financial and macroeconomic stability of their econo-
mies through increased volatility in international prices of commodities, capital flows and
exchange rates. Such concerns underlie the further accumulation of reserves and justify
maintaining capital controls. Facing a slowdown in growth and inflation, central banks
in many developing countries and economies in transition have eased monetary policy
during 2012. In the outlook, further monetary easing will be likely in many of these
countries, except for those with persistently high inflation, such as South Asia and Africa.


The need for more forceful and concerted actions


Given the looming uncertainties and downside risks discussed in the previous section, current
policy stances seem to fall well short of what is needed to prevent the global economy from
slipping into another recession. More forceful and concerted actions should be considered.


First, the policy uncertainties associated with the three key risks discussed in
the downward scenario need to be addressed immediately through shifts in approach and
greater consideration of international spillover effects of national policies. In the euro area,
the piecemeal approach to dealing with the debt crises of individual countries of the past
two years should be replaced by a more comprehensive and integrated approach, so as to
address the systemic crisis of the monetary union and mitigate the key risks for the stabil-
ity of the global economy. While individual countries may still need to confront issues in
their domestic economic structures and institutions, crucial collective efforts are needed
to close the institutional gaps and mend the pervasive deficiencies of the EMU, including
through laying solid foundations for fiscal and banking unions. Although important steps
in this direction are being taken or considered, the present state of affairs requires much
swifter and more forceful action. Only when concrete actions are taken that will restore
confidence in the union can other more technical policy measures be put in place to deal
with such issues as how to resolve debt overhang and how to break the linkage between
sovereign risk and bank fragility. Policymakers in the United States should prevent a sud-
den and severe contraction in fiscal policy—the so-called fiscal cliff—and overcome the
political gridlock that was still present at the end of 2012. As holds for the EU, the global
ramifications of failing to do so should be considered. It is only feasible to work out the
current debt problems over the long run, and a fiscal consolidation plan will be credible
only when rooted in an explicit strategy of economic growth and jobs creation. The major
developing countries facing the risk of hard landings of their economies should engage in
stronger countercyclical policy stances aligned with measures to address structural prob-
lems over the medium term. China, for instance, possesses ample policy space for a much
stronger push to rebalance its economy towards domestic demand, including through
increased government spending on public services such as health care, education and


Policy uncertainties should
be addressed immediately


and a different approach
must be taken




31Global economic outlook


social security—all of which will help lower precautionary household savings and increase
consumption, thus reducing dependence on external demand.


Second, more specifically, fiscal policy should become more countercyclical,
more supportive of jobs creation and more equitable. The present focus on fiscal consoli-
dation in the short run, especially among developed countries, has proven to be counter-
productive and to cause more protracted debt adjustment. The focus needs to shift in a
number of different directions:


• As a starting point, a first priority of fiscal adjustment should be to provide
more direct support to output and employment growth by boosting aggre-
gate demand and, at the same time, spread out plans for achieving fiscal sus-
tainability over the medium-to-long term. Introducing cyclically adjusted or
structural budget targets will allow for keeping a countercyclical stance while
aiming for fiscal sustainability over the medium term.


• Fiscal multipliers tend to be more forceful during a downturn, but can be
strengthened further by shifting budget priorities to growth-enhancing spend-
ing, undoing cuts in public investment and expanding subsidies on hiring
(which may be targeted towards new labour entrants and the long unemployed)
as well as enhancing public work programmes and employment schemes. On
the tax side, reducing taxes on labour and changing tax codes to reduce labour
income tax wedges for youth, women, and older workers are options that pro-
vide short-term boosts to employment as well as labour supply.


• The distributional consequences of fiscal policies should be duly considered,
not only for equity reasons, but also because of their implications for growth
and employment generation. As indicated, rising inequality tends to have a
dampening effect on aggregate demand and hence on economic growth.
Shifting spending priorities to enhance employment effects will help avoid
such an outcome, as much as would maintaining an adequate degree of pro-
gressivity in taxation and access to social benefits. Many middle- and low-
income countries may wish to reconsider across-the-board subsidies on food
and fuel; these tend to come with a heavy fiscal cost, while the benefits may
accrue most to higher-income groups. Better targeting would provide more
effective income protection to the poor at potentially much lower fiscal cost.


• Economic recovery can be strengthened in the short and longer run by pro-
moting green growth through fiscal incentives and investments in infrastruc-
ture and new technologies. Lessons can be learned from several developing
countries, such as the Republic of Korea, which have successfully provided
economic stimulus through green infrastructure investment and energy-saving
incentives. This has been found to generate strong employment effects, suggest-
ing that investing in green growth can be a win-win solution. Moreover, these
measures are imperative to substantially accelerating reductions in greenhouse
gas emissions—an essential step in combating climate change. Developing
countries also stand to gain, provided they obtain technological and financial
support to adopt the still higher-cost clean energy technologies without jeop-
ardizing economic development prospects.
Third, global financial market instability needs to be attacked at its roots. This


challenge is twofold. First, greater synergy must be found between monetary and fiscal
stimulus. Continuation of expansionary monetary policies among developed countries


Fiscal policy should become
more countercyclical, more
supportive of jobs creation
and more equitable


Global financial market
instability needs to be
attacked at its root causes




32 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


will be needed, but negative spillover effects into capital-flow and exchange-rate volatility
must be contained. This will require reaching agreement at the international level on the
magnitude, speed and timing of QE policies within a broader framework of targets to
redress the global imbalances. The second part of the challenge is to accelerate regula-
tory reforms of the financial sector. This will be essential in order to avoid the systemic
risks and excessive risk-taking that have led to the low-growth trap and financial fragility
in developed countries and high capital flow volatility for developing countries. Steps
have been proposed in some national jurisdictions, but implementation is lagging be-
hind. Moreover, insufficient coordination between national bodies appears to result in a
regulatory patchwork. Global financial stability is unlikely to be achieved in the absence
of a comprehensive, binding and internationally coordinated framework. This is needed
to limit regulatory arbitrage, which includes shifting high-risk activities from more to
less strictly regulated environments. Among other measures, such a framework should
include strict limits on positions that financial investors can take in commodity futures
and derivatives markets—measures that may also help stem volatility in capital flows and
commodity prices.


Fourth, sufficient resources must be available to developing countries, espe-
cially those possessing limited fiscal space and facing large development needs. These
resources will be needed to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the MDGs
and for investments in sustainable and resilient growth, especially for the LDCs. Fiscal
austerity among donor countries has also affected aid budgets, as seen in the decline of
ODA in real terms in 2011. Further declines may be expected in the outlook. Apart from
delivering on existing aid commitments, donor countries should consider mechanisms to
delink aid flows from their business cycles so as to prevent delivery shortfalls in times of
crisis when the need for development aid is most urgent. In this regard, internationally
agreed taxes (such as airline levies, currency transaction taxes or carbon taxes), along with
the possibility of leveraging idle special drawing rights (SDRs) for development finance
could be considered, as suggested in a recent United Nations report.16


A jobs creation and green growth-oriented agenda as outlined above is com-
patible with medium-term reduction of public debt ratios and benign global rebalancing,
as shown in a scenario of internationally concerted policies simulated using the United
Nations Global Policy Model (GPM).17 With continued existing policies, but assuming
no major deepening of the euro crisis, growth of WGP would average, at best, about 3
per cent per year on average, far from sufficient to deal with the jobs crisis or bring down
public debt ratios. The alternative scenario, based on the agenda outlined above, includes
a shift in fiscal policies away from austerity and towards more job creation through, inter
alia, more spending on infrastructure; energy efficiency, social programmes and tax and
subsidy measures to stimulate private investment projects in these areas; continued expan-
sionary monetary policies aligned with stronger capital account regulation to stem capital
flow volatility; and enhanced development assistance to the poorest nations. The GPM
simulations show that under such a policy scenario, WGP would grow at an average rate
of 4.5 per cent between 2013 and 2017, public debt-to-GDP ratios would stabilize and


16 World Economic and Social Survey 2012: In Search of New Development Finance (United
Nations publication, Sales No. E.12.II.C.1).


17 The scenario is an update of the ones presented in World Economic Situation and Prospects
2012, op. cit., pp. 33-36; and United Nations Economic and Social Council, “World economic
situation and prospects as of mid-2012 (E/2012/72).


Sufficient resources need
to be made available to


developing countries




33Global economic outlook


start falling from 2016 or earlier. Employment levels in major developed countries would
gradually increase and return to pre-crises levels in absolute terms by 2014 and by 2017
after accounting for labour force growth. The employment recovery thus would come
much sooner than in the baseline, although remaining protracted even with the suggested
internationally concerted strategy for growth and jobs. An additional 33 million jobs per
year on average would be created in developing and transition economies between 2013
and 2017 (see box I.3).


An internationally coordinated strategy for jobs and growth


An alternative policy scenario based on the recommendations in this chapter has been created using
the United Nations Global Policy Model (GPM). The key finding is that such a scenario would avoid
a widespread double-dip recession; instead, it would allow for a benign rebalancing of the global
economy. Job losses caused by the global financial crisis would see recovery and a shift towards
more sustainable fiscal balances and debt levels would begin, setting the global economy on a more
sustained (and sustainable) path to growth.


The key differences with the baseline policy assumptions are that:
y Policies, especially those in developed economies, shift away from premature fiscal


austerity and towards a more countercyclical stance, thereby supporting aggregate
demand in the short run. This is done cautiously, however. Public spending is allowed
to grow, but more slowly than GDP. As tax revenues grow in response to overall income
growth, budget deficits narrow and debt-to-GDP ratios decline over time.


y In all countries, Governments enhance public spending on social and physical infra-
structure and public investment as well as expanding fiscal incentives for private
investors promoting “green” growth (including through greater energy efficiency and
clean energy generation). This also applies to developing countries where most addi-
tional public spending is directed to infrastructure investment, including capacity in
sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. Green growth investments are generally
perceived to have greater job creation effects than existing “brown” technologies. This is
also assumed to be the case in the GPM.


y Industrial policy incentives implemented by developing countries are assumed to
be supportive of economic diversification and reduced dependence on commodity
exports.


y Central banks and other financial regulators in developed countries further step up
action to prevent soaring interest rates on sovereign bonds and accelerate regulatory
action that reduces bank fragility and helps commercial lending to grow again.


y The policy scenario further assumes that these national policies are part of an inter-
nationally concerted strategy. Policy coordination would ensure that there is sufficient
aggregate fiscal stimulus in the short run, while differentiating stimulus across countries
in accordance with available fiscal and other macroeconomic policy space (based on
initial levels of indebtedness, sovereign borrowing costs and size of external surplus).
Furthermore, it is assumed that monetary policy action is better coordinated inter-
nationally to prevent the strategy underlying the alternative scenario from being dis-
rupted by excessive exchange-rate and capital flow volatility. Through concerted efforts,
developing countries (low-income countries, in particular), are provided with adequate
access to official development assistance and other external financing to complement
domestic resources for financing new investments in infrastructure and sustainable
energy and agriculture.


Box I.3




34 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Under these assumptions, growth of world gross product would accelerate to about
4.5 per cent per year, with both developed and developing economies accelerating output growth
by between 1 and 2 percentage points compared with the baseline (see figures A and B). Shortly after
the new policies are in place, the jobs deficit caused by the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 would
start to close, especially in the developed countries. Employment levels in major developed coun-
tries would gradually increase and return to pre-crisis levels in absolute terms by 2014, and by 2017
after accounting for labour force growth. The employment recovery would thus come much sooner
than in the baseline, although it would remain protracted, even with the suggested internationally
concerted strategy for growth and jobs. An additional 33 million jobs per year on average would be
created in developing and transition economies between 2013 and 2017.


The simulation also shows that more rapid recovery of growth and employment helps
to stabilize public debts. After an initial increase, government deficits would quickly decrease, stabiliz-
ing public debt ratios in the medium term and reducing them thereafter (see Appendix table). As
countries with an external surplus apply more fiscal stimulus, private investment and consumption
would increase, leading to higher imports and a reduction of global current account imbalances.
With investments targeting higher energy efficiency and production of renewable energy, world
energy prices would stabilize on lower levels over the medium run. Meanwhile, investment in sustain-
able agricultural production would allow meeting a growing demand for food and stabilize world
food prices.


Box I.3 (cont’d)


Figure A
Index: 2008=100


(c) Transition and developing
economies


90


95


100


105


110


115


120


China and India


CIS, and other
developing


(a) Europe, Japan and other
developed economies


90


95


100


105


110


115


120
(b) United States


90


95


100


105


110


115


120


Baseline Coordinated strategy for jobs and growth


20
08


20
09


20
10


20
11


20
12


20
13


20
14


20
15


20
16


20
17


20
08


20
09


20
10


20
11


20
12


20
13


20
14


20
15


20
16


20
17


20
08


20
09


20
10


20
11


20
12


20
13


20
14


20
15


20
16


20
17


Figure B


Percentage


Baseline Coordinated strategy for jobs and growth


-6


-4


-2


0


2
4


6


8


10


12


-6


-4


-2


0


2


4


6


8


10


12
China and India


CIS and other developing


-6


-4


-2


0


2
4


6


8


10


12


(a) Europe, Japan and other
developed economies (b) United States


(c) Transition and developing
economies


20
09


20
10


20
11


20
12


20
13


20
14


20
15


20
16


20
17


20
09


20
10


20
11


20
12


20
13


20
14


20
15


20
16


20
17


20
09


20
10


20
11


20
12


20
13


20
14


20
15


20
16


20
17


Figure A: Employment levels of selected countries or country groups


Figure B: GDP growth rates of selected countries or country groups


Source: UN/DESA Global
Policy Model ( http://


www.un.org/esa/policy/
publications/ungpm.html).




35Global economic outlook


Appendix

An internationally coordinated strategy for jobs and growth, 2012-2017


2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017


GDP Growth (percentage)


United States 2.1 3.1 3.8 4.0 4.0 3.9


Europe -0.2 2.9 3.8 3.7 3.6 3.7
Japan and other developed countries 2.0 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.6 2.7
China and India 7.3 9.0 9.3 9.0 8.3 8.5
CIS and Western Asia (major oil exporters) 3.7 3.3 3.6 3.5 3.7 3.8
Other developing countries 3.3 4.7 5.6 5.5 5.5 5.6


Employment created above the baseline (millions)


United States 0.0 2.1 3.8 5.0 6.3 5.7
Europe 0.0 3.0 4.9 5.1 5.2 4.8
Japan and other developed countries 0.0 1.1 1.7 2.0 2.4 2.6
China and India 0.0 11.3 15.0 18.3 21.7 10.8
CIS and Western Asia (major oil exporters) 0.0 2.3 3.9 5.4 6.8 6.5
Other developing countries 0.0 7.9 13.2 17.7 21.7 2.5


Growth of government spending (constant prices, percentage per annum)


United States -2.4 -0.7 2.1 4.2 4.2 3.5
Europe -1.6 1.6 1.6 0.7 0.9 1.6
Japan and other developed countries 0.9 1.7 2.2 -0.6 2.6 2.9
China and India 8.5 9.0 8.9 8.9 8.9 8.9
CIS and Western Asia (major oil exporters) 4.0 4.9 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6
Other developing countries 4.8 6.8 6.8 6.8 6.7 6.7


Growth of private investment (constant prices, percentage per annum)


United States 5.2 11.2 11.6 10.5 10.0 6.3
Europe -0.7 4.0 7.2 6.4 5.8 6.8
Japan and other developed countries 2.6 4.6 3.3 3.1 3.4 2.8
China and India 5.3 8.6 8.1 7.6 5.6 5.4
CIS and Western Asia (major oil exporters) 8.5 3.5 3.2 1.8 3.9 3.8
Other developing countries 4.7 5.0 6.4 6.9 7.6 7.8


Net government financial surplus (percentage of GDP)


United States -11.0 -8.5 -6.9 -6.0 -5.4 -4.9
Europe -7.2 -6.0 -4.9 -3.8 -2.9 -2.3
Japan and other developed countries -7.9 -7.1 -6.6 -5.5 -5.3 -5.1
China and India -3.3 -2.5 -1.8 -1.3 -1.2 -1.2
CIS and Western Asia (major oil exporters) 0.1 -0.1 -0.2 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1
Other developing countries -3.1 -2.4 -1.7 -1.3 -1.0 -0.8


Net private sector financial surplus (percentage of GDP)


United States 8.5 5.7 3.8 2.5 1.6 0.8
Europe 8.3 7.5 6.6 5.5 4.6 3.9
Japan and other developed countries 7.1 6.5 6.3 5.7 5.7 6.0
China and India 4.0 2.8 2.2 1.9 2.3 2.5
CIS and Western Asia (major oil exporters) 5.4 4.8 3.9 3.5 2.9 2.6
Other developing countries 2.4 2.0 1.5 1.3 1.1 1.0




36 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Appendix (cont’d)


2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017


Current account deficit (percentage of GDP)


United States -2.6 -2.9 -3.1 -3.5 -3.9 -4.1
Europe 1.1 1.5 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7
Japan and other developed countries -0.8 -0.6 -0.2 0.1 0.5 0.8
China and India 0.6 0.3 0.4 0.6 1.1 1.4
CIS and Western Asia (major oil exporters) 5.4 4.8 3.7 3.4 2.8 2.4
Other developing countries -0.7 -0.4 -0.2 0.0 0.1 0.2


Government debt (percentage of GDP)


United States 76.4 75.9 73.6 70.6 67.0 63.1
Europe 74.5 73.6 72.1 70.5 67.4 64.9
Japan and other developed countries 138.3 136.0 133.0 129.7 127.0 125.1
China and India 23.8 22.5 20.1 18.0 17.3 16.9
CIS and Western Asia (major oil exporters) 40.5 42.8 45.5 47.4 49.1 50.2
Other developing countries 36.6 36.6 36.3 36.0 35.9 35.9


Memo:


Growth of Gross World Product at market
rate (percentage) 2.3 3.8 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.6
Growth of Gross World Product at ppp rate
(percentage) 3.1 4.6 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.2
Global creation of employment above
baseline (millions) 0.0 27.8 42.6 53.6 64.1 32.9
Average employment creation in developing
countries above baseline (millions) 0.0 21.5 32.2 41.4 50.3 19.8
Growth of exports of good and
services (percentage) 3.2 5.9 5.6 6.0 5.0 5.0
Real world price of energy (index) 1.4 1.5 1.4 1.5 1.5 1.5
Real world price of food & primary
commodities (index) 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.3 1.4 1.4
Real world price of manufactures (index) 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
Source: UN/DESA Global Policy Model, available from http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/policy/publications/un_gpm.shtml.




37


Chapter 2
International trade


Sharp slowdown of world merchandise trade
The vigorous recovery in world trade in the immediate aftermath of the Great Recession
has quickly lost its momentum. Growth of world trade, as measured in the volume of
world imports and exports, moderated sharply for the second year in a row, dropping
from 12.6 per cent in 2010 to 6.4 per cent in 2011 and 3.2 per cent in 2012 (figure II.1).
The deceleration of world trade has been closely associated with the weakening of global
demand, resulting mainly from stalling economic activity in Europe and anaemic ag-
gregate demand in the United States of America and Japan. Developing countries and
the economies in transition are increasingly feeling the effects of the slowdown through
integrated global networks of production and trade. As a result, global output and trade
have slowed in tandem.


In the euro area, import demand in countries such as Italy, Greece, Portugal and
Spain started to contract in late 2011, as austerity measures combined with the woes of debt
distress and bank fragility to cause a drop in aggregate demand. Import demand of these
countries contracted by more than 6 per cent in real terms in 2012, and declined by more
than 20 per cent in nominal terms1 during several months of the year. By the first quarter


1 Nominal terms are in United States dollars.


Weak demand has spread
through global networks of
production and trade


Source: UN/DESA.
a Partly estimated.
b Projections.


Figure II.1
Synchronized slowdown of world merchandise trade and output, 2002-2014
Fig II.1: Synchronized slowdown of world merchandise trade and output, 2002-2014


-15


0


15


2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012a 2013b 2014b


World trade volume
growth


WGP growth


Annual percentage growth rates




38 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


of 2012, weak demand had spread to the rest of Europe. Imports by France and Germany
plummeted by more than 10 per cent in nominal terms (annualized rate) during the second
quarter of the year, but expanded modestly in real terms over the year. As intraregional trade
accounts for about 70 per cent of total European Union (EU) trade, this was also reflected
in commensurate export declines in most European countries. Import demand also slowed
significantly in the United States and Japan, especially during the second half of 2012.


As a result, East Asian countries, such as the Republic of Korea, Singapore and
Taiwan Province of China that have strong trade ties with the major developed countries,
saw their exports decline during most of 2012. China’s export volume growth also deceler-
ated and came to a halt in mid-2012, along with other emerging countries such as Brazil
and India. Further down the global value chain, primary commodity-exporting countries
followed suit, with many registering export declines in the second half of 2012. In turn,
weaker exports and GDP growth have depressed import demand in developing countries,
further softening trade with developed economies.


Four years after the start of the Great Recession, external demand, as measured
by the volume of world imports, is still far below pre-crisis trend levels, which now appear
unsustainable, especially for developed countries. In the baseline outlook (see chapter I),
global economic activity is expected to remain weak in 2013 before picking up modestly
in 2014. As a result, international trade will likely continue drifting further below trend
levels in both developed and, to a lesser extent, in developing countries (figure II.2). In
2009, the import volume of developed countries dropped 26 per cent below the pre-crisis
trend level. The gap narrowed slightly in 2010-2011, but widened again in 2012. In the
baseline scenario, the gap is expected to remain as large as 25 per cent in 2014. The import
volume of developing countries also fell well below the trend (about 17 per cent) in 2009,
but recovered more strongly during 2010-2011, reducing the gap to 7 per cent. As the
global economic recovery is expected to remain elusive, however, the gap is also expected
to widen further to 9 per cent for developing countries in 2014.


Import demand is
drifting further below


pre-crisis trends


Source: UN/DESA.
a Partly estimated.


b Projections.


Figure II.2
Imports of developed and developing countries, 2000-2014Fig II.2: Imports of developed and developing countries remain below trend


100


150


200


250


300


350


2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014


Import level developed countries (2001=100)
Import trend developed countries (2001-2007)
Import level developing countries (2001=100)
Import trend developing countries (2001-2007)




39International trade


Nonetheless, as their economies and export sectors continue to show greater
resilience, the share of developing countries in world trade has increased by 6 percentage
points over the last five years, reaching 42 per cent in 2012. Furthermore, developing coun-
try import growth currently contributes to about half of world import demand growth,
compared to 43 per cent before the crisis. Trade in developing countries—with their high
potential growth and increasing integration into global supply chains—is expected to
grow faster than in developed economies. However, the potential economic gains for these
countries may be accompanied by increasing contributions to the already steadily ris-
ing global carbon emissions (box II.1). Global economic woes could further complicate


Global production chains, freight transport
and climate change


International trade is a driver of economic growth in many countries and a pillar of globalization.
Simultaneously, the transport of traded goods, intensified by the rise of global production chains and
multinational corporations (MNCs) that generate growing flows of trade in tasks and intrafirm trade,
produces significant carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This negative externality associated with the
environmentally suboptimal organization of global production chains and international trade flows
is, by and large, ignored by policymakers.


Currently, about 90 per cent of merchandise trade (excluding intra-EU trade) is shipped
by sea. As maritime shipping only accounts for 2.7 per cent of global CO2 emissions,


a the signifi-
cance of trade-related emissions is sometimes downplayed.b The picture changes drastically, how-
ever, when considering intra-EU trade and transport of goods from ports to their destination using
emission-intensive modes of transportation. Internationally traded goods are estimated to generate
on average 50 per cent more CO2 emissions than locally traded goods. The estimate is much higher
for traded manufactured goods, especially for electronics and machinery, which represent a signifi-
cant share of intrafirm trade.c As traded goods embody about 21 per cent of global CO2 emissions,


d
transport associated with merchandise trade alone may thus contribute to more than 7 per cent of
global CO2 emissions.


e
Over the past four decades, the volume of merchandise trade has grown at an annual


rate of 5 per cent, about 2 per cent faster than global economic growth. Rapid trade growth partly
stems from the globalization of consumption and, more importantly, of production. The latter is
supported by the rise in global production chains’ integration of capital and advanced technologies
from developed countries and cheap labour from developing countries. While efficient and profit-
able from the point of view of MNCs, this restructuring of production processes has given rise to a
vast expansion of intrafirm trade, which currently accounts for almost 50 per cent of imports in the
United States and probably about one third of total international trade.f


Expanding world trade is bound to come with greater environmental costs if left
unabated. In the absence of counteracting policies (see below) and if both the trade volume and
trade-related CO2 emissions would continue to grow at an annual rate of 5 per cent, both would
double within 15 years. The share of trade in world gross product (WGP) would continue to increase,
fostering the expansion of transport and CO2 emissions (figure). Trade volume would increase from
more than 10 billions tons (Bt) in 2011 to over 20 Bt in 2026 and trade-related CO2 emissions would
rise from 2.2 gigatons (Gt) to 4.4 Gt during the same period. Faced with these trends that move away
from climate change mitigation targets, policymakers are actively promoting measures that are to
reduce emissions generated by freight transport. Thus far, however, the approach is focused only
on the transport sector without taking into account the broader implications of the environmentally
damaging organization of global production chains and steadily increasing trade flows.


Box II.1


a International Maritime
Organization, “Second
IMO GHG Study 2009”,
available from http://
www.imo.org/blast/
blastDataHelper.asp?data_
id=27795&filename=
GHGStudyFINAL.pdf.


b See World Trade
Organization, “The impact
of trade opening on climate
change”, available from
http://www.wto.org/english/
tratop_e/envir_e/climate_
impact_e.htm.
c Anca D. Cristea and
others, “Trade and the
greenhouse gas emissions
from international freight
transport”, NBER Working
Paper, No. 17117 (Cambridge,
Massachusetts: National
Bureau of Economic Research,
June 2011).
d Glen P. Peters and Edgar
G. Hertwich, “CO2 embodied
in international trade with
implications for global climate
policy”, Environmental Science
& Technology, vol. 42, No. 5 (1
March 2008), pp. 1401-1407.
e See Stern Review on
the Economics of Climate
Change, available from http://
webarchive.nationalarchives.
gov.uk/+/http://www.hm-
treasury.gov.uk/independent_
reviews/stern_review_
economics_climate_change/
sternreview_index.cfm.
f Rainer Lanz and Sébastien
Miroudo, “Intra-firm trade:
patterns, determinants and
policy implications”, OECD
Trade Policy Paper, No. 114
(24 June 2011).




40 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Promoting sustainability in freight transport
About 80 per cent of merchandise trade (including intra-EU trade) is shipped by sea. This is a relatively
energy-efficient mode of transport that has expanded at an average annual rate of 3 per cent over
the last 30 years. If seaborne trade would continue to grow at this pace without any global action
being taken to reduce CO2 emissions in that sector, seaborne trade and related CO2 emissions would
double by 2035.


The International Maritime Organization (IMO) asserts that measures affecting ship
and fuel technology could improve energy efficiency and reduce the emission intensity (CO2/ton-
mile) by 25 to 75 per cent below current levels. As mandated under the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), IMO adopted in 2011 a set of global rules to control CO2
emissions from international shipping. The package included technical and operational measures in
the form of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management
Plan (SEEMP). These measures will enter into force in 2013 and apply to all ships of 400 gross tonnage
and above. However, the EEDI will only apply to new ships. Given the long life cycle of ships and the
relatively young average age of the current fleet, emission reduction due to EEDI will not materialize
in the near future.


The shipping industry is also taking action. This year, for instance, SinoPacific Shipbuilding
Group launched a new generation of fuel-saving and environmentally friendly bulk carriers, which re-
duce fuel consumption by 13 per cent compared to the equivalent size bulk carriers currently operating.


Various opportunities have further emerged for improving environmental sustainability
in ports, such as: enhanced port infrastructure and efficient terminal layout designs that reduce time
and processes required to move cargo; switching to greener modes of transport for hinterland ac-
cess, such as by rail or inland waterways; the adoption of energy efficiency programmes; and the use
of renewable energy. By implementing such measures, the Rotterdam Shortsea Terminal reduced its
CO2 emission by nearly 70 per cent.


g
Efforts to achieve sustainability in maritime transport demand an integral approach,


as international trade is carried through multimodal transportation systems. CO2 emissions largely
emanate from land modes, in particular haulage by road, which is projected to expand significantly in


Fig II.1: CO2 emissions from transport and share of trade in world gross product move in tandem


100


120


140


160


180


200


220


240


260


19
71


19
73


19
75


19
77


19
79


19
81


19
83


19
85


19
87


19
89


19
91


19
93


19
95


19
97


19
99


20
01


20
03


20
05


20
07


20
09


20
11


20


25


30


35


40


45


50


55Global CO2 emissions from
transport (million metric tons,
1971=100, left-hand scale)


International trade as a share
of global GDP (percentage,
right-hand scale)


CO
2
emissions from transport and share of international trade in


world gross product move in tandem


Source: World Bank.


g Harry Geerlings and Ron
van Duin, “A new method


for assessing CO2-emissions
from container terminals: a


promising approach applied
in Rotterdam”, Journal of


Cleaner Production, vol. 19,
Issues 6-7 (April-May 2011),


pp. 657-666.


Box II.1 (cont’d)




41International trade


reaching an agreement in the climate negotiations, illustrated by the inadequate progress
in setting sufficiently ambitious binding carbon targets for all countries at the Eighteenth
Conference of Parties (COP-18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC).


Regional trade patterns
Import demand declined across all groups of countries and regions in 2012, except Africa
(figures II.3 and II.4). Although trade flows remained robust in most regions during the
first half of the year, the contagion of downward-spiralling demand progressively spread
from Europe and other developed economies to the rest of the world during the second
half of 2012.


As its economy fell back into recession, import volume in the euro area con-
tracted by 0.1 per cent in 2012, after having increased by 4.8 per cent in the previous year.
Subdued growth in import volume in core euro area countries did not completely offset
sharp declines in periphery countries that had been weakened by hard-hitting austerity
measures. Export volume growth decelerated from 6.9 per cent in 2011 to 2.8 per cent in
2012, and remained positive, even in the debt-distressed countries. Unlike in the euro area,
import demand slightly increased in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland, despite severe fiscal austerity measures. Exports from the United Kingdom de-
clined, however, contributing to the economic downturn. Growth in the volume of exports
from the EU at large (all 27 members) decelerated to 2.3 per cent in 2012, but remained
positive, helped by comparatively stronger demand from other regions and a weaker euro.


In North America, import volume growth decelerated from 5.2 per cent in
2011 to 3.1 per cent in 2012. Exports remained a driver of economic activity, despite a


developing countries in the next decades. The rate of surface freight activity worldwide—including
rail, medium-duty truck and heavy truck (in trillions of ton-kilometres)—is expected to increase by
an average annual rate of 2.3 per cent and double within the next thirty years.h With these trends,
trade-driven economic growth and environmental sustainability will remain incompatible objectives,
unless emissions from land freight transport are more effectively addressed.


There are ways to improve sustainability in land freight transport and logistics through a
comprehensive and integrated approach, but this may require trading off energy efficiency gains with
transport costs and, potentially, the speed and reliability of services. This entails, inter alia, optimizing
the performance of multimodal logistics chains, improving the competitiveness of environmentally
friendly modes of transport, leveraging technologies capable of improving energy efficiency, logisti-
cal efficiency, and reducing emissions, as well as creating integrated transport networks and dedi-
cated freight corridors that are efficient and environmentally friendly.


Initiatives are being developed at the industry level to improve energy efficiency in
vehicles and expand the use of ICT-driven applications to optimize operations. By reducing fuel con-
sumption, kilometres driven, and frequency of vehicles travelling empty or partially loaded, the latter
could help achieve a 16 per cent global reduction in land freight transport emissions by 2020.i


Current efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from freight transport are, however, insufficient
to achieve the energy and environmental sustainability required by internationally agreed climate
targets. Greater efforts are needed to reach more integrated approaches that encompass all modes
of transportation. Multilateral approaches that jointly address economic and environmental chal-
lenges are required to ensure the coherence between international trade, transport and environ-
mental policies.


h World Business Council for
Sustainable Development,
“Mobility 2030: Meeting the
Challenges to Sustainability”,
The Sustainable Mobility
Project (Geneva, July 2004),
available from http://
www.wbcsd.org/web/
publications/mobility/
mobility-full.pdf.
i The Climate Group, “Smart
2020: Enabling the low
carbon economy in the
information age”, a report by
The Climate Group on behalf
of the Global eSustainability
Initiative, 2008, available
from http://www.smart2020.
org/_assets/files/02_
Smart2020Report.pdf.


Box II.1 (cont’d)




42 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


drop in volume growth from 6.3 per cent in 2011 to 3.7 per cent in 2012. Japan’s exports
rebounded weakly by 0.8 per cent in 2012. As its economy recovered from the destruction
inflicted by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters, import volume growth
stood at a steady 5 per cent, despite turning negative for several months in the second half
of 2012.


In East and South Asia, the growth of import demand slowed more than in
other developing country regions in 2012. Nonetheless, these two populous subregions re-
main key drivers of trade growth, especially among developing regions, including through
their mediating role in global value chains. In most East Asian countries, export growth
decelerated slightly more than import growth in 2012, leading to smaller trade surpluses.
Weaker demand from developed countries and China was transmitted through global
production networks and lowered prices of primary commodities, such as rubber and
copper, leading to a deceleration of Asian export growth from 6.9 per cent in 2011 to 3.4
per cent in 2012. Chinese export and import volumes have expanded at an annual rate of
about 6 per cent in 2012, much lower than the average annual rate of above 20 per cent
during the 2000s. Import demand growth stalled sharply in South Asia, dropping from
18.3 per cent in 2011 to 3.8 per cent in 2012, partly as a consequence of currency deprecia-
tions in the region. Export volumes also declined significantly, especially in the Islamic
Republic of Iran as a consequence of international sanctions.


As oil prices reached a record yearly average in 2012, oil-exporting coun-
tries in Western Asia registered unprecedented trade surpluses. Energy exporters in the
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) also kept up trade surpluses, despite the fact
that import demand increased faster than exports in 2012 (7.9 per cent and 3.8 per cent,
respectively). Exporters of non-energy commodities were more severely affected by declin-
ing prices, especially for metals, minerals and agricultural raw materials, reflecting dete-
riorating global growth prospects. Although weakening external demand affected exports


Import demand slows more
strongly in East and South


Asia than other developing
country regions


Source: UN/DESA.


Figure II.3
Import volume growth by groups of countries, 2010-2012


II.3
I rt v lu e growth by groups of countries, 2010-2012


-2.0


0.0


2.0


4.0


6.0


8.0


10.0


12.0


14.0


16.0


18.0


World Developed Euro area Economies Developing Least developed
economies in transition countries countries


2010


2011
2012


Annual percentage growth rates




43International trade


in several countries in South America, import demand growth in the Caribbean and Latin
America at large remained robust at over 5 per cent in 2012. In Africa, import and export
volume growth declined slightly in most countries in 2012. However, a small number of
significant outliers, such as Libya and Nigeria, experienced a spectacular rebound after
having faced steep export declines in 2011. Owing to these exceptional rebounds, Africa
was the only region which saw its growth rate of trade volume increase in 2012.


Primary commodity markets
Underpinned by initially strengthening industrial activity,2 strong demand from develop-
ing countries, and more optimistic market sentiment following the European Central
Bank’s (ECB) long-term refinancing operations (LTROs),3 the United Nations Conference
on Trade and Development price index4 rose significantly in the first quarter of 2012 for
three groups of commodities: all food;5 agricultural raw materials; and minerals, ores
and metals. From the second quarter on, however, prices fell as a result of the economic
slowdown in China and the intensification of sovereign debt crises in the euro area.


Prices of food and base metals and ores diverged in the third quarter. The food
market tightened because of supply disruptions created by adverse weather in the United
States, Australia and the Black Sea region. The surge in maize, wheat and soybean prices
put a strain on the food market. By contrast, the prices of many important base metals


2 World Bank, Global Economic Prospects: Managing Growth in a Volatile World, vol. 5 (Washington,
D.C., June 2012).


3 See United Nations, Economic and Social Council, World economic situation and prospects as of
mid-2012 (E/2012/72).


4 Unless otherwise stated, all indices used in this section are United Nations Conference on Trade
and Development (UNCTAD) price indices, measured in United States dollars.


5 The category of all food includes food, tropical beverages, and vegetable oilseeds and oils.


Monetary easing heightens
commodity price volatility


Adverse weather pushed
up food prices


Source: UN/DESA.


Figure II.4
Import volume growth in selected regions, 2010-2012


i II.4
I ort volume growth in selected regions, 2010-2012


East Asia South Asia Western Asia Latin America North Africa Sub-Saharan
& the Caribbean Africa


-5.0


0.0


5.0


10.0


15.0


20.0


25.0
2010
2011
2012


Annual percentage growth rates




44 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


and ores continued their downward trend in July and August of 2012 as global economic
prospects remained gloomy. Copper prices declined significantly compared with 2011. At
the same time, productive investment in aluminium, nickel and zinc markets over the last
decade have increased supply, exerting long-term downward pressure on prices.


In September, several major central banks engaged in further unconventional
monetary policies to revive their economies. While the full impact of these policies on
employment generation and economic growth remains unclear, commodity markets re-
sponded quickly, with the prices of gold and key base metals rising significantly.6


Food and agricultural commodities


During the first nine months of 2012, the food price index remained high, despite short-
term price fluctuations. Led by high prices of maize, wheat and soybeans, the price index
rose sharply to 283 points in July 2012, an increase of 11 per cent from January 2012.
However, the price pattern differed within various commodity sub-groups.


During the first quarter of 2012, the food price index rose by around 7 per
cent. Prices stabilized in the following three months before jumping to a record high in
July, mainly resulting from tight maize and wheat supply and low stock levels. In the
United States, severe drought in the corn belt reduced yield prospects and drove the price
of maize to an all-time high in July. Poor weather also adversely affected the outlook for


6 In September 2012, the average gold price surged to $1,744 an ounce, 1.6 per cent lower than its
historical peak in September 2011. The prices of copper, aluminium, nickel, lead, zinc and tin also
rose considerably compared to August 2012.


Food prices surged
throughout 2012


Maize and wheat stocks fell
to four-to-six-year lows


Source: UNCTAD.


Figure II.5
Agricultural commodities price indices, January 2000-September 2012


Fig II.5
Agricultural commodities price indices, January 2000-September 2012


0


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Agricultural raw materials


Vegetable oilseeds and oils


Tropical beverages


Food


Index: January 2000 = 100




45International trade


wheat production in Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Global stocks for
maize and wheat are expected to fall to six- and four-year lows, respectively, by the end of
2012/2013.7


The price of rice continued to be relatively stable, however, as stock levels re-
main high and supply and demand are broadly in balance. The rice-pledging programme in
Thailand—which subsidizes farmers by setting a fixed price for their rice harvests—signifi-
cantly reduced the country’s rice exports in 2011. To date, the impact of this government
policy on the global rice market is limited thanks to adequate rice stocks and stable supply
from other major exporting countries such as India and Viet Nam. However, the dynamics
of the world rice market might change quickly if other exporting countries also intervene
in the market through policy measures, such as subsidies or export bans/restrictions.


The spike in major cereal prices has raised concerns that another food crisis
may be in the offing. The countries of the Group of Twenty (G20) are closely monitor-
ing global food markets through the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS)
launched in June 2011. While increased transparency may contribute to a better alignment
of spot prices with fundamentals in physical markets, it does not address the instability
caused by financial speculation in derivatives markets, and may thus limit the effectiveness
of this initiative.8


High maize prices have also revived the debate on using grains as feedstock
to produce biofuels. Under increasing calls for adjustments in the EU and United States
biofuel policies, the European Commission has proposed to cap crop-based biofuels to 5
per cent of transport fuel until 2020.9


The vegetable oilseeds and oils price index soared by 10 per cent during the
four months to April 2012. The index jumped again in the third quarter, mainly driven
by soybean prices, which reached a record high of $684 per ton, an increase of 21 per cent
from June 2012. A combination of factors contributed to the price surge: concerns about
reduced United States supply caused by adverse weather conditions, robust demand from
Asia, and tight stocks.


During the first half of 2012, the tropical beverages price index continued its
downward trend, which started in May 2011, with only a slight recovery in the third quar-
ter of 2012. Coffee prices fell by 33 per cent from their peak of $2.13 in April 2011 down
to $1.42 per pound in June 2012.10 In July, coffee prices rebounded to $1.52 a pound,
owing to concerns over the impact of heavy rainfall on Brazil’s coffee supply.


The price of cocoa beans fluctuated between $1.03 and $1.07 per pound dur-
ing the 7 months to July 2012. The relatively stable prices resulted from the offsetting
effects of an expected production decline in West Africa, caused by erratic weather, as
well as a sharp fall in cocoa grindings in Europe and North America—both affected by
the economic crisis—versus resilient demand growth in emerging markets.11 In August


7 International Grains Council, Grain Market Report, GMR No. 427, 25 October 2012.
8 See UNCTAD, Price Formation in Financialized Commodity Markets: The Role of Information


(United Nations publication, UNCTAD/GDS/2011/1).


9 See Barbara Lewis and Michele Kambas, “EU Commission to cap food-based biofuels in major
shift”, Reuters, 17 September 2012, available from http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/17/
us-eu-biofuel-idUSBRE88G0IL20120917.


10 The coffee prices refer to coffee composite indicator prices which consist of the prices for Arabica
and Robusta coffee.


11 In August 2012, the International Cocoa Organization forecast that world cocoa bean production
would decline by 8.1 per cent during the 2011/2012 cocoa season compared to the previous
season, and reach 3.962 million tons.


The Group of Twenty fosters
transparency in physical
food markets, but stops
short of interfering with
derivatives markets




46 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


and September, prices increased based on uncertainties surrounding the supply from Côte
d’Ivoire, which started to reform its cocoa marketing system in early 2012.


The agricultural raw materials price index recovered briefly during the first two
months of 2012 before declining steadily in the subsequent six months. In September, the
price index rebounded slightly after reaching a 33-month low in August. Cotton prices
exhibited a similar trend. Various factors contributed to the bearish market, including
the expected surge in global stocks, a supply surplus, renewed concerns over the euro area
economy and the strengthening of the United States dollar.12


Minerals, ores and metals


The minerals, ores and metals price index rebounded in 2012 in the wake of the LTRO,
before declining in the second quarter, mainly owing to worsening global economic pros-
pects, reaching a two-year low in July. Following monetary easing in major developed
economies, the price index rose again in September. (See box II.2 for an assessment of the
influence of financial factors on markets for minerals and metals in particular.)


Copper prices fluctuated as a result of volatile world economic prospects. In
the first quarter, the average London Metal Exchange (LME) cash price surged to $8,307
per ton, up 11 per cent from its level in the fourth quarter of 2011. The surge was driven by
abundant liquidity in financial markets, as well as by strong demand from China (partly
for stockpiling). The average LME cash price decreased by 5 per cent during the second
quarter. Though copper prices rebounded in the third quarter, they were still 14 per cent
below levels reached in the same period in 2011.


12 According to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) press release of 1 June 2012,
global cotton stocks would represent 61 per cent of global consumption by the end of July 2013,
the highest stocks-to-use ratio reached since 1998/99.


Prices of metals proved
to be sensitive to


monetary easing, while
being depressed by the


weakening global economy


Source: UNCTAD.
a Gold is not included in the
UNCTAD minerals, ores and


metals price index.


Figure II.6
Price indices of selected metals, January 2008-September 2012a
Fig II.6
Price indices of selected metals, January 2008 - September 201210


0


20


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01
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Minerals, ores and metals index Aluminium
Copper Nickel
Lead Zinc
Gold ($/troy ounce)


Index: January 2008 = 100




47International trade


Prices of nickel, aluminium, lead and zinc climbed in early 2012, driven by
strong demand and the then prevailing optimism about global economic prospects. Since
March, however, sluggish demand, coupled with oversupply, has pushed prices down-
ward. The price of nickel, a crucial raw material in the production of stainless steel, hit a
38-month low in August 2012. Chronic oversupply, high stocks and weakened demand
have driven the average aluminium cash price on the LME down to $1,838 per ton, the
lowest level since October 2009. In June and August 2012, the prices of lead and zinc hit
their lowest levels since August 2010.13 In September, however, the prices of these metals
surged sharply at the announcement of further monetary easing by the central banks of
several developed economies.


13 According to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group, supply exceeded demand by 49,000
tons (about 0.8 per cent of demand) and 135,000 tons (about 1.9 per cent of demand), respectively,
in the global refined lead and zinc metal market during the first seven months of 2012.


Financial investment and physical commodity holdings


Financial investors continue venturing into commodity markets. Commodity assets under manage-
ment (AUM) increased almost fortyfold between 2001 and April 2011, when they reached a record
of $458 billion. Assets declined sharply thereafter but rebounded to reach $439 billion in September
2012, 11 per cent above their level at the beginning of the year.a Since mid-2008, financial investors
have been looking for new ways to access commodities as an asset class. They became less interested
in traditional broad-based passive index investment instruments, which only allow betting on ris-
ing prices. Instead, to optimize investment strategies in unstable markets, financial investors have
increasingly opted for more active instruments, allowing bets on both rising and declining prices.b
As a result, index investment as a share of total commodity AUM declined from 65-85 per cent in
2005-2007 to 32 per cent in September 2012.c


Exchange-traded products (ETPs), particularly futures-based exchange-traded funds
(ETFs), have become the largest investment vehicles in commodity markets (figure). ETFs issue shares
which are traded like equities on a securities exchange. Physically-backed ETFs have also become
increasingly attractive for financial investors, because they offer the advantage of establishing a di-
rect link between financial investment and physical inventories and thereby give investors direct
exposure to commodity spot prices. This avoids uncertainty related to possible differences between
spot prices and prices of futures contracts, to which traditional index funds and futures-based ETFs
are exposed.


Until recently, physically-backed ETFs were confined to precious metals. In 2010, how-
ever, some European banks started to offer such vehicles related to industrial metals, especially
copper. While accumulated investment has remained limited, this situation could change rapidly. At
the time of writing in November 2012, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
was deliberating whether to approve two requests to list and trade physically-backed copper ETFs.d
Opponents of the approval, which include large industrial firms, have expressed concern that the
resulting large purchase of physical copper holdings would cause rising prices and reduced avail-
ability of physical copper. Such concerns are related to recent events in aluminium markets where
the arrival of investment banks was followed by a record-level surge of the premium that consumers
pay for metal—surpassing the benchmark price set at the London Metal Exchange (LME), the world’s
leading exchange for non-ferrous metals.e This surge led to fears that allowing financial investors to
accumulate and store physical copper holdings could lead to inflated prices that would destabilize
the market and, ultimately, disrupt metal supply and industrial production. Sizeable effects could
indeed occur, given that the two planned ETFs combined would absorb more than 180,000 metric


Box II.2


a Barclays, The Commodity
Investor, October 2012.
b UNCTAD, Trade and
Development Report 2011:
Post-crisis policy challenges in
the world economy (United
Nations publication, Sales
No. E.11.II.D.3), chap. V.
c Barclays, The Commodity
Investor, op. cit.
d See Securities and
Exchange Commission
Release No. 34–67965; SR–
NYCEArca-2012-28,
2 October 2012,
available from http://
www.sec.gov/rules/sro/
nysearca/2012/34-67965.pdf.
e Jack Farchy, “Banks force
aluminium market shake-
up”, Financial Times, 12
September 2012, available
from http://www.ft.com/
intl/cms/s/0/c3b3e02e-fcf3-
11e1-a4f2-00144feabdc0.
html#axzz2DXWwGjEH.




48 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


After reaching $1,743 per ounce in February 2012, gold prices retreated in
the following months, owing to weaker demand from the jewellery industry and from
investors. The price of gold quickly recovered and hit a 12-month high in September as ex-
pansionary monetary policies in major developed economies renewed inflation concerns.


tons of copper,f which corresponds to about 80 per cent of recorded copper inventories held at the
LME global network of warehouses in mid-September 2012.g


But even if the Securities and Exchange Commission eventually rejects approval of
these two ETFs, the physical commodity operations of financial investors are likely to continue af-
fecting prices through other mechanisms. Ownership of warehouses or storage tanks, for instance,
allow banks to realize certain profits based on so-called contango financing. “Contango” indicates
situations in which prices of futures contracts with more distant delivery dates exceed those of near-
term contracts. When markets are well supplied, producers would normally reduce their activities
to support prices. However, banks may encourage producers to maintain their level of activity by
accepting their inventory as collateral for secured financing. The encumbered collateral, which would
be kept off market and hedged through derivatives, would not only generate inventory fee revenues,
but also end up yielding a positive return on derivatives for banks because of the forward contango
structure.h The fact that banks can modulate the level of stored physical commodities independently
of market fundamentals tends to add to price volatility. More generally, the fact that these inventories
typically remain unreported creates information asymmetry in the market and makes it impossible
for commercial market participants to determine the price that would solely reflect supply and
demand fundamentals. Ultimately, banks’ efforts to expand their business activities to include the
management of physical commodity inventories create information asymmetries and increase the
risk of the emergence of conflicts of interest and perverse incentives detrimental to other market
participants. Considering all of the above elements together raises doubts on the social value of
these new financial instruments and practices.


Box II.2 (cont’d)


Source: Barclays.
f Josephine Mason, “Copper
users attack ETF plans ahead


of SEC ruling”, Reuters,
20 July 2012, available
from http://in.reuters.


com/article/2012/07/19/
copper-etf-jpmorgan-


idINL2E8IJF7P20120719.
See also Vandenburg &


Feliu LLP, “Comments of
Vandenberg & Feliu LPP on


proposed rule change to
list and trade shares of the


JPM XF Physical Copper
Trust pursuant to NYSE Arca


equities rule 8.201”, 9 May
2012, available from http://
www.sec.gov/comments/


sr-nysearca-2012-28/
nysearca201228-1.pdf.
g Chris Kelly and Silvia
Antonioli, “Copper hits
new 4-1/2 month top,


demand worries resurface”,
Reuters, 19 September


2012, available from
http://af.reuters.com/


article/metalsNews/
idAFL5E8KJA2W20120919.


h Izabella Kaminska, “Outing
the aluminum squeeze,


Deripaska style”, Financial
Times, 13 September
2012, available from


http://ftalphaville.ft.com/
blog/2012/09/13/1159071/


outing-the-aluminum-
squeeze-deripaska-style/.


Exchange traded commodity products gaining market share after the
global nancial crisis


0


50


100


150


200


250


300


350


400


450


500


Ap
r-


06


O
ct


-0
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Ap
r-


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ct


-0
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ct


-0
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ct


-1
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Ap
r-


11


O
ct


-1
1


Ap
r-


12


Institutional and retail commodity assets under management ($bn)


Commodity medium term notes


Exchange traded commodity products


Commodity index swaps


Exchange traded commodity products gaining market share after the
global financial crisis




49International trade


The first four months of 2012 saw little movement in iron ore prices, with spot
prices in Brazil fluctuating about $144 per dry metric ton.14 Since May 2012, however,
prices dropped sharply and hit a 34-month low in September. The plunge was caused in
large part by the shrinking demand for steel from China’s construction and manufactur-
ing industries, high levels of Chinese stocks, and sufficient iron ore supply. The financial
turbulence in the euro area and slowdown of other emerging economies, such as Brazil,
also contributed to the price decline.


The oil market


Global oil demand continued to increase at an annual rate of about 1 per cent in 2012, mir-
roring the global economic slowdown. Anaemic growth in developed economies has led to
a 0.6 per cent decline in oil demand from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) countries. Weakening economic growth in emerging economies,
particularly China and India, capped oil demand growth from non-OECD countries at
2.8 per cent. Global oil production, in contrast, increased by 3 per cent to an average of
90.8 million barrels per day (mbd) during the first nine months of the year, thereby gener-
ating excess supply of more than 1 mbd on average during that period. This rare situation
mainly resulted from the substantial production increase of 6 per cent in the Organization
of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The sanctions-induced decline in Iranian
oil output by 0.8 mbd was more than compensated for by the 1.3 mbd of Libyan crude
that returned to international markets in early January, and by the activation of almost 2
mbd of Saudi spare capacity since the beginning of the Arab Spring. As a consequence, oil
stocks in the OECD countries and major emerging countries increased slightly over the
first half of 2012.


During the first three quarters of 2012, the average price of oil remained almost
unchanged with respect to last year. Brent, for instance, averaged $112 per barrel (pb),
compared with $111 for 2011 as a whole, and the average spread between Western Texas
Intermediate and Brent crudes stayed around $16. Prices remained volatile, however, with
Brent fluctuating within a band of $40, and one out of every five trading days ending with
a price change in excess of $2, excluding intraday volatility (figure II.7). Quantitative eas-
ing measures, the imposition of sanctions on Iranian oil exports, and certain declarations
by political leaders in the Middle East punctuated most of the significant turnarounds in
the oil market.


Following the first LTRO of the ECB on 21 December 2011, stock markets
surged in January. The year thus started with abundant liquidity in financial markets and
misperceptions about a rapid economic recovery. A portion of the liquidity injected into
the financial system ended up being invested in commodity derivatives markets. Daily vol-
umes for monthly Brent crude futures contracts increased by 49 per cent in the six months
following the first LTRO (figure II.8). In a context of near-zero interest rates, the rising
risk premium on oil prices associated with growing tensions in the Middle East attracted
further speculative trading in derivatives markets, increasing hedging costs for physical


14 The pricing mechanisms of iron ore have experienced a fundamental change in recent years. In
2010, a quarterly index-based pricing mechanism was substituted for a decades-long annual
benchmark pricing system. With shorter pricing cycles, the price volatility has increased and
promoted the rapid expansion of iron ore derivative markets in the past two years. Currently,
there are a large number of published iron ore prices and indices, such as The Steel Index (TSI),
Metal Bulletin and Platts. In this section, iron ore prices for Brazil (IMF estimates) were used as a
reference.


Average oil prices reached
record highs despite weak
demand growth and
excess supply


Abundant financial market
liquidity and geopolitical
tensions are keeping prices
high and volatile




50 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


traders. As futures prices are used by many traders as a reference to price transactions in
the spot market,15 the Brent spot price rose, hovering above $120 from mid-February to
mid-April. The possibility of a Hormuz Strait blockade, trapping 20 per cent of global
oil supply (or 17 mbd) and a significant share of world liquefied natural gas supply in
the Gulf region, also strengthened incentives for preventive hoarding by physical traders.
Despite oversupply reaching 0.9 mbd during the first quarter, Brent price peaked at $128
in mid-March.


At the end of March, Saudi officials intervened in the hope of shaping expecta-
tions and declared they would “correct the myth that there is, or could be, a shortage”.16 As
Saudi spare capacity is insufficient to compensate for a supply shortage of such magnitude,


15 See the evidence presented in UNCTAD, Trade and Development Report 2011: Post-crisis policy
challenges in the world economy (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.11.II.D.3), chap. V and
Price Formation in Financialized Commodity Markets, op. cit. A number of studies also stress the
growing financialization of commodity markets, that is, the growing correlation existing between
commodity and other financial markets as a consequence of the diminishing influence of physical
traders and the rising influence of money managers devising trading strategies based on high-
frequency trading. See David Bicchetti and Nicolas Maystre, “The synchronized and long-lasting
structural change on commodity markets: evidence from high frequency data”, UNCTAD Discussion
Paper, No. 208 (UNCTAD/OSG/DP/2012/2); Michael Greenberger, “The relationship of unregulated
excessive speculation to oil market price volatility”, paper prepared for the International Energy
Forum, (The University of Maryland, Center for Health & Homeland Security, 15 January 2012);
Robert A. Kaufmann, “The role of market fundamentals and speculation in recent price changes
for crude oil,” Energy Policy, vol. 39, No. 1 (January), pp. 105-115; Robert Pollin and James Heintz,
“How Wall Street speculation is driving up gasoline prices today”, PERI Research Brief (University
of Massachusetts Amherst, Political Economy Research Institute, June 2011); and Kenneth J.
Singleton, ”Investor flows and the 2008 boom/bust in oil prices”, 23 March 2011, available from
http://ssrn.com/abstract=1793449. For a summary of the controversy, see World Economic Situation
and Prospects 2010 (United Nations publications, Sales No. E.10.II.C.1), box II.1.


16 Ali Naimi, “Saudi Arabia will act to lower soaring oil prices”, Financial Times, 28 March 2012), available
from www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9e1ccb48-781c-11e1-b237-00144feab49a.html#axzz2DXWwGjEH.


Source: UN/DESA, based on
data from the United States
Energy Intelligence Agency.
Note: Volatility is measured


as a 40-day moving average
of the standard deviation of


the nominal oil price.


Figure II.7
Increasing volatility of the Brent oil price,1987-2012
i II.7


I r t oil price,1987-2012


0


20


40


60


80


100


120


140


160


180


200


19
87


19
88


19
89


19
90


19
91


19
92


19
93


19
94


19
95


19
96


19
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19
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99


20
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02


20
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20
04


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20
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20
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20
09


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10


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11


20
12


Spot price (in $ per barrel)
Volatility index (rebased)


Daily price in United States dollars and volatility index




51International trade


and additional output would itself be trapped in the Gulf region given that half of Saudi ex-
ports transit through the Hormuz Strait, these declarations seem to have had a limited effect.


At the end of April, dissent in the Israeli security establishment surfaced and
weakened fears for an imminent military strike at the time, causing a decline in the Brent
price. The fall accelerated as Saudi output increased in anticipation of the ban on Iranian
oil imports imposed by the EU and the United States that came into force on 28 June.
The Brent price continued to decline until the third week of June, bottoming below trend
at $88. In late June, the price of Brent jumped by 7 per cent at the announcement that a
bank recapitalization agreement had been reached in the euro area17 and then continued
rising to above $110 in August, hovering around its yearly average annual price during the
subsequent months.


To a lesser extent, other events also affected oil price developments. The ban
on Syrian crude oil exports imposed by the United States and the EU at the end of 2011,
South Sudan’s shut down of oil production in January 2012, supply outages in other coun-
tries, and rising demand in Japan all exerted upward pressures on oil prices. On balance,
however, market conditions were characterized by excess supply during the first three
quarters of the year, not warranting the record-high average oil price observed during that
period. It is therefore likely that abundant liquidity in financialized commodity markets
had a disproportionate and distorting effect on oil prices.


In the outlook, global oil demand is assumed to further expand by 1 per cent
in 2013, to 90.5 mbd, as declining demand from OECD countries partly offsets growing


17 See UNCTAD, “Don’t blame the physical markets: financialization is the root cause of oil and
commodity price volatility”, Policy Brief, No. 25 (September 2012).


Temporarily fading
geopolitical risks and use of
Saudi spare capacity cause
short-lived price plunge


Oil demand is expected to
remain subdued in 2013


Source: United States
Energy Intelligence Agency
and Intercontinental
Exchange (ICE).


Figure II.8
Brent price and open interest in daily volumes for ICE Brent crude futures,
January 2010-November 2012


Fig II.8
Brent price and open interest in daily volumes for ICE Brent crude futures
January 2010-November 2012


Brent spot price (left-hand scale) Total Open Interest (right-hand scale)


50


60


70


80


90


100


110


120


130


Jan
2010


Apr
2010


Jul
2010


Oct
2010


Jan
2011


Apr
2011


Jul
2011


Oct
2011


Jan
2012


Apr
2012


Jul
2012


Oct
2012


Do
lla


rs
pe


r b
ar


re
l


500,000


700,000


900,000


1,100,000


1,300,000


January 4, 2010 Mohamed
Bouazizi


self-immolation
No-y zone
over Libya


LTRO1
LTRO2


Israeli
dissent


Western
import


ban QE3


Vo
lu


m
e o


f t
ot


al
o


pe
n


in
te


re
st


Saudi
declarations




52 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


demand in emerging markets. On the supply side, non-OPEC countries are expected to
post an increase in output of 1.3 per cent in 2013, to 53.9 mbd, driven by expanding
output in Canada and the United States. Supply in non-OECD countries, which provide
about 55 per cent of non-OPEC output, is expected to rise by 0.4 percent as oil production
increases in Brazil and in countries of the former Soviet Union.


As a consequence, the Brent price is assumed to average $105 pb in 2013 in a
market in which prices continue to be strongly influenced by the risk premium associated
with geopolitical tensions, tight spare capacity among OPEC producers, and financial
market conditions. The outlook is subject to significant uncertainty. A blockade of the
Hormuz Strait could create major supply shortages and trigger unprecedented price surges.
Decreasing tensions in the Middle East or weaker-than-expected economic activity in de-
veloping countries, in contrast, would create significant downward pressure on oil prices.


Volatile terms of trade
Trade affects national income through two channels: the prices of exports and imports
and the volume of demand.18 Changes in the terms of trade, which is defined as the
ratio of export prices over import prices, provide a synthetic measure of international
price shocks associated with trade. Among developing countries, exporters of oil and
other minerals and mining products have enjoyed strong improvements in their terms
of trade since 2000. For exporters of agricultural products the terms of trade remained
fairly stable, while they deteriorated for countries exporting manufactures (figure II.9).
Non-agricultural commodity exporters saw the strongest declines in the terms of trade
during the height of the global financial crisis, but recovered rapidly thereafter. The swings
for exporters of agricultural commodities and manufactures were much less pronounced.


The magnitude of trade shocks resulting from changes in both prices and vol-
umes has varied greatly across regions and country groups with different export structures
(figures II.10a and II.10b).19 Across all regions, the negative trade shock in 2009 was
followed by a strong rebound in 2010-2011. The shock of 2009 resulted primarily from
the stark decline in global demand (more than 3 percent of WGP), as well as from falling
import and export prices in every region (for the world as a whole, the terms of trade
shocks are netted out). Economies in transition, Africa and Western Asia had to cope with
the largest trade shocks.


Energy exporters faced the sharpest price fluctuations over the last few years.
Mineral and agricultural exporters also faced strong swings in export prices, but in many
cases these were mitigated in terms of their impact on the trade balance by parallel swings
in energy prices on the import side. Least developed countries (LDCs) as a group do not
seem to have been affected as severely by terms-of-trade shocks, but this relatively milder
impact mainly reflects the large heterogeneity in export dependence within this group,
which is composed of energy and minerals exporters among a number of African LDCs,
agricultural exporters among other African LDCs, and agriculture and manufacturing ex-
porters in Asia. Individually, these countries tend to be highly vulnerable to trade shocks.


18 The effects of each of these factors can be quantified with some degree of accuracy by combining
information from COMTRADE (import and export structure), UNCTAD and other sources (international
prices), Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) and other sources (volume changes
of imports and exports). See the World Economic Vulnerability Monitor technical note available from
http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/policy/publications/wevm/monitor_note.pdf.


19 For more details about the estimation of trade shocks, see the World Economic Vulnerability
Monitor technical note, ibid.


Terms of trade improved for
mineral and oil exporters


Energy exporters face the
sharpest terms-of-trade


fluctuations


Non-oil commodity
exporters also faced sharp


price swings




53International trade


Source: UNCTAD and
UN/DESA World Economic
Vulnerability Monitor.


Figure II.9
Barter terms of trade of selected groups of countries by export structure, 2000-2014
Fig II.9


rt r t r s f trade of selected groups of countries, by export str cture, 200 –2014


60


80


100


120


140


160


180


200


220


240


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014


Oil exporters
Exporters of minerals
and other mining products
Exporters of agricultural products
Exporters of manufactures


Index: 2000 = 100


-15


-12


-9


-6


-3
0


3


6


9


12


1.3 0.6 5.8 1.6 3.7 4.4 2.0 1.1


0.6 -0.4 6.5 0.9 9.1 1.6 4.1 -1.2


-3.2 -2.7 -10.3 -2.2 -11.4 -2.1 -5.1 -0.4


3.3 2.1 6.2 3.5 6.7 6.8 3.4 2.8


0.9 0.6 3.8 1.1 2.7 0.9 0.8 -0.2


1.2 1.0 1.8 1.0 0.2 1.9 0.8 0.6


World
Developed
Economies EiT Latin Am. West Asia


East +
South Asia Africa LDCs


Fig II.10a
Shocks are more drastic for energy and mineral exporters


Percentage of GDP


2001-07


2008


2009


2010


2011-2012


2013-2014


15


Source: UN DESA World
Economic Vulnerability
Monitor (WEVUM),
available from http://www.
un.org/en/development/
desa/policy/publications/
wevm.shtml. Data for 2013
and 2014 are baseline United
Nations projections.


Figure II.10a
Trade shocks by main geographic regions and country groupings, 2001-2014




54 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Developing economies with greater export diversification have experienced
milder trade shocks and been able to keep import levels relatively stable. This, in turn, has
provided a more stable domestic policy environment, inter alia, because a large share of
imports is used as inputs for manufacturing industries.


In the outlook, trade shock projections in 2013-2014 appear to be relatively
mild. This reflects the fact that the estimated growth rates of trade volume per region
are moderately positive, together with the fact that most commodity prices are assumed
to experience a further correction from the spikes observed in 2010-2011. Under these
conditions, countries with greater degrees of diversification may continue to benefit from
relatively stable, albeit moderate, external demand.


Growing trade in services
Trade in services experienced a robust recovery following the Great Recession, especially
in developing countries. World services trade grew by almost 10 per cent in 2010, but
remained subdued in developed countries. In 2011, the value of trade in services further
increased by 10.6 per cent, surpassing its pre-crisis peak level by 8.0 per cent to reach
$4.2 trillion. Its rate of growth converged across developed and developing countries as
well as LDCs. Economies in transition registered growth rates close to 18 per cent in 2011,
driven by the continuing boom of travel services in countries such as Azerbaijan, Georgia
and Kazakhstan (figures II.11 and II.12).


Export diversification
reduces vulnerability to


trade shocks


The recovery of trade in
services started to falter in


the last quarter of 2011


15
12


9
6
3
0


-3
-6
-9


-12
-15


2001-07 1.3 5.6 3.5 1.1 1.0 1.7


2008 0.6 10.7 -1.4 -0.1 -0.4 1.7


2009 -3.2 -13.8 -2.7 -0.9 -2.1 -3.9


2010 3.3 8.0 8.7 3.4 2.8 3.4


2011-2012 0.9 3.6 1.1 0.8 0.7 0.4


2013-2014 1.0 1.1 1.5 1.1 1.2 0.8


World
Energy
(>40%) Diversif.


Fig II.10b
The world economy by sectors of export specialization


Minerals
(>40%)


Agriculture
(>40%)


Manufact.
(>50%)


Percentage of GDP


Source: UN DESA World
Economic Vulnerability


Monitor (WEVUM),
available from http://www.


un.org/en/development/
desa/policy/publications/


wevm.shtml. Data for 2013
and 2014 are baseline United


Nations projections.


Figure II.10b
Trade shocks by country groupings according to export specialization, 2001–2014




55International trade


Source: UNCTAD.


Fig II.11
Services exports by major country groupings, 2007-2011


-20


-10


0


10


20


30


40


2007 2008 2010 2011


World


Developed economies


Developing economies


Transition economies
Least developed countries


Annual percentage growth rates


2009


Figure II.11
r ic s rts y ajor country groupings, 20 7-2011


Source: UNCTAD.


Fig II.12
Services imports by major country groupings, 2007-2011


-20


-10


0


10


20


30


40


2007 2008 2010 2011


World


Developed economies


Developing economies


Transition economies
Least developed countries


Annual percentage growth rates


2009


Figure II.12
Services imports by major country groupings, 2007-2011




56 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


In the fourth quarter of 2011, world services exports rose by only 3 per cent
year-on-year, a drop of 8.5 per cent compared to the previous quarter. Expansion remained
sluggish in the first quarter of 2012 and came to a halt in the second quarter, decelerating
along with global output and merchandise trade.20


In 2011, the value of world services trade represented 12 per cent of WGP.
Merchandise trade, in contrast, represented more than 50 per cent. The share of develop-
ing countries in total world services trade remains well below their share in total world
merchandise trade, estimated at about 42 per cent. Over the last five years, however, the
market share of developing countries in total world services trade increased by 5 percent-
age points. In 2011, the market shares of developing countries in world services exports
and imports were 29.8 per cent and 36.3 per cent, respectively (table II.1). Developing
countries thus remain net importers of services. Economies in transition and LDCs ex-
perienced fast growth in their tradable services industries over the last 15 years, but their
share in world services trade has remained almost constant because of low initial levels.
Their trade in services balance remains in deficit as well.


Services sectors recovered unevenly in the wake of the global financial crisis.
High technology sectors, such as communication services and computer and information
services, recovered swiftly because these sectors are still in the early stages of development
in many developing countries and still have significant room for growth. Travel services
have also been at the core of trade in services growth worldwide. Transport has been a
leading sector in Africa and Latin America.


20 World trade estimates are aggregated from individual reporters’ quarterly balance-of-payments
statistics taken from the IMF and Eurostat, supplemented with estimates for missing data, as well
as national sources. Quarterly figures may not add up to annual figures published elsewhere in
World Trade Organization (WTO) or UNCTAD statistical publications or online databases, owing to
statistical discrepancies.


Developing countries see
increasing market shares in


world services trade


Table II.1
Shares and rankings of top regions and countries in trade in services


Exports


Share (percentage) World rank


2007 2011 2007 2011


Regions


Developed economies 71.7 67.3 1 1


Developing economies 25.7 29.8 2 2


Transition economies 2.6 2.9 3 3


Least developed countries 0.5 0.6 4 4


Top 10 exporters


United States 14.1 14.1 1 1


United Kingdom 8.3 6.5 2 2


Germany 6.4 6.1 3 3


China 3.5 4.3 7 4


France 4.3 4.0 4 5


Japan 3.7 3.4 5 6


Spain 3.7 3.3 6 7


India 2.5 3.2 11 8




57International trade


Table II.1 (cont’d)


Share (percentage) World rank


2007 2011 2007 2011


Netherlands 3.2 3.2 9 9


Singapore 2.4 3.0 12 10


Other top developing country exporters


Hong Kong SARa 2.4 2.9 13 11


Korea, Republic of 2.1 2.2 15 15


Russian Federation 1.1 1.3 25 22


Taiwan Province of China 1.0 1.1 26 24


Thailand 0.9 1.0 27 26


Macao SARa 0.4 0.9 40 27


Brazil 0.7 0.9 31 28


Turkey 0.8 0.9 29 29


Malaysia 0.8 0.8 28 32


Imports


Regions


Developed economies 66.4 60.1 1 1


Developing economies 30.4 36.3 2 2


Transition economies 3.2 3.6 3 3


Least developed countries 1.3 1.7 4 4


Top 10 importers


United States 11.3 10.5 1 1


Germany 7.9 7.1 2 2


China 4.0 5.8 5 3


United Kingdom 6.1 4.3 3 4


Japan 4.6 4.1 4 5


France 3.9 3.5 6 6


India 2.2 3.1 14 7


Netherlands 3.0 2.9 8 8


Italy 3.7 2.8 7 9


Ireland 2.9 2.8 10 10


Other top developing country importers


Singapore 2.3 2.8 13 11


Korea, Republic of 2.6 2.4 11 13


Russian Federation 1.8 2.2 17 15


Saudi Arabia 1.9 1.9 16 18


Brazil 1.1 1.9 26 19


China, Hong Kong SAR 1.3 1.4 20 21


Thailand 1.2 1.3 24 23


United Arab Emirates 1.0 1.2 28 24


Source: UNCTAD.
a Special Administrative Region of China.




58 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


International tourism


International tourism growth remains robust amid global slowdown
Despite persistent economic turbulence, international tourist arrivals expanded by 4 per cent during
the first eight months of 2012 compared to the same period last year, reaching a record of 705 million
overnight visitors. As a result, the milestone of one billion tourists should be reached by the end of
the year. While still robust, growth of international tourist arrivals slightly decelerated over the last
two years, from 6.6 per cent in 2010 to 5.0 per cent in 2011.


As tourists tend to cut more on spending than on travel in difficult times, international
tourism receipts grew more modestly by 4 per cent in 2011, but nevertheless reached a record of $1
trillion. With revenues from international passenger transport estimated at $203 billion in 2011, total
tourism receipts that registered as services exports in the balance of payments amounted to $1.2
trillion in 2011.


The export value of travel and passenger transport account for 30 per cent of the world’s
exports of commercial services and 5.5 per cent of overall exports of goods and services (figure A). As
a worldwide export category, tourism ranks fifth after fuel, chemicals, food and automotive products.


During the first eight months of 2012, tourist arrivals increased by 7 per cent in Asia
and the Pacific, boosted by rebounding Japanese inbound and outbound tourism as well as by the
continued strong performance of other major source markets in South and South-East Asia. Growth
of tourist arrivals in Europe declined from 6 per cent in 2011 to 3 per cent in 2012, with stronger
performance in Central and Eastern Europe. Stalling tourism activity in Southern and Mediterranean
Europe was partly created by the recovery of destinations in North Africa, which grew by 10 per cent
following rebounding activity in Tunisia. In sub-Saharan Africa, tourist arrivals increased by 4 per cent,
bringing the continental average growth rate to 6 per cent. The return of tourists to Egypt limited
the decline of tourist arrivals in the Middle East to 1 per cent. The number of overnight visitors grew
by 4 per cent in the Americas. While it expanded robustly by 6 per cent on average in Latin America,
destinations in North America grew at 3 per cent, a relatively high rate for a mature subregion.


In terms of tourism expenditures abroad, demand from both emerging and advanced
economy source markets during the first six to nine months of 2012 remained steady. Among the
10 major source markets, spending on overseas tourism rose by 30 per cent in China, 15 per cent in


Box II.3


Source: UNWTO (estimates
based on data from 2010).


Note: International
tourism, including travel


and passenger transport.


Figure A: Tourism as a share of trade and trade in services by subregion


0


10


20


30


40


50


60


70


80


W
or


ld


N
or


th
er


n
Eu


ro
pe


W
es


te
rn


E
ur


op
e


Ce
nt


ra
l/E


as
te


rn
E


u.


So
ut


he
rn


/M
ed


ite
r.


Eu
.


N
or


th
-E


as
t A


si
a


So
ut


h-
Ea


st
A


si
a


O
ce


an
ia


So
ut


h
As


ia


N
or


th
A


m
er


ic
a


Ca
rib


be
an


Ce
nt


ra
l A


m
er


ic
a


So
ut


h
Am


er
ic


a


N
or


th
A


fr
ic


a


Su
b-


Sa
ha


ra
n


Af
ric


a


M
id


dl
e


Ea
st


Percentage of total trade
Percentage of trade in services


Percentage


Figure A: Tourism as a share of trade and trade in services by subregion




59International trade


the Russian Federation, but also by 9 per cent in the United States, 7 per cent in Japan, 6 per cent in
Canada, 5 per cent in Germany and 4 per cent in Australia.


According to the latest survey of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Panel
of Experts, prospects for international tourism expansion are weakening, but remain positive.
International tourism is expected to grow by 3 per cent to 4 per cent in 2012, before declining
slightly in 2013.


Sustainable tourism
Travel and tourism are both victim and vector of climate change. Because climate so directly defines
the length and quality of tourism seasons, affects tourism operations, and influences environmental
conditions that both attract and deter visitors, the sector is considered to be highly climate sensitive.
The effects of climate change therefore can have a significant impact on tourism business and desti-
nations, particularly in the vulnerable small island developing States and least developed countries.


At the same time, travel and tourism help feed climate change by accounting for ap-
proximately 5 per cent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which are the main contributor to
the greenhouse gas effect and global warming (see also box II.1).a Transport accounts for 75 per cent
of CO2 emissions by the tourism sector. Air travel emissions make up about 40 per cent of the total
and are expanding at an average annual rate of 3.2 per cent. While slower than the growth in the
number of air travel passengers and tourist arrivals, the trend keeps adding to CO2 emissions (figure B).


The G20 recently recognized the role of travel and tourism as “a vehicle for job creation,
economic growth and development” and made the commitment to “work towards developing travel
facilitation initiatives in support of job creation, quality work, poverty reduction and global growth”.b


In efforts to curb emissions in the coming decades, the tourism industry continues to de-
velop mitigation and adaptation strategies. In this regard, “The future we want”, c the outcome document
of the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, also known as “Rio+20”),
emphasized the significant contribution that well-designed and well-managed tourism can make to
advancing the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental.


The shift towards sustainable tourism can create jobs and reduce poverty, while also
improving environmental outcomes. With tourism expected to expand in the coming decades, the
challenge of cutting back emissions is even larger. Investing in the greening of tourism can reduce
the costs related to energy, water and waste and enhance the value of biodiversity, ecosystems and
cultural heritage, while at the same time curbing the expansion of tourism-related CO2 emissions.
Under a green growth scenario based on optimistic assumptions,d CO2 emissions generated by
tourism in 2050 would only be half compared to a business-as-usual scenario and they would have
returned to their current level after an initial increase.


Sources: World Bank and
International Transport
Forum.


a World Tourism
Organization and United
Nations Environment
Programme, Climate Change
and Tourism: Responding to
Global Challenges (Madrid,
World Tourism Organization,
2008), available from http://
www.unwto.org/sdt/news/
en/pdf/climate2008.pdf.
b See the G20 Los Cabos
Leaders Declaration of 19
June 2012, available from
http://www.g20.utoronto.
ca/2012/2012-0619-
loscabos.html.
c See General Assembly
resolution 66/288 of 27 July
2012, paras. 130 and 131,
available from http://www.
un.org/ga/search/view_doc.
asp?symbol=%20A/
RES/66/288.
d For a description of the
optimistic assumptions
and the green growth
scenario, see United Nations
Environment Programme,
Green Economy Report,
Part II: Investing in energy
and resource efficiency:
Tourism”, annex 3, available
from http://www.unep.org/
greeneconomy/Portals/88/
documents/ger/11.0_
Tourism.pdf.


Box II.3 (cont’d)


Figure B: CO
2
emissions from air transport, passenger carried and tourist arrivals


move in tandem


Figure B: CO2 emissions from air transport, passenger carried
and tourist arrivals m ve up in tandem


80
90


100
110
120
130
140
150
160
170
180


1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008


CO2 emissions from international aviation
(Mt, 1995=100)


International tourism, number of arrivals
(series starting in1995=100)


Air transport, passengers carried (1995=100)




60 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Recovery of service activities directly affected by the global financial crisis was
more sluggish. Financial services were the most severely affected by the global financial
turmoil. Construction services were hit by the bursting of the housing bubble in developed
economies and transportation services growth stalled because of the weak rebound of
global trade. International tourism receipts increased by 4 per cent in real terms in 2011 as
it continued to recover from the losses incurred during the global crisis.


Developing and transition economies further improved their ranking among
the world’s top 10 exporters and importers of services during 2007-2011 (table II.1). China
moved from the seventh to the fourth position in world exports, and from the fifth to the
third position of world imports. China is a major contributor to Asian predominance (81
per cent) in total developing country services trade. In the top 10 developing countries and
economies in transition, 6 of the top exporters also rank among the top 10 importers.


Trade policy developments


The Doha Round


The Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations of the World Trade Organization
(WTO), launched in November 2001, continues to be at a complete stalemate with no
clear prospects for the foreseeable future. As requested at the Eighth WTO Ministerial
Conference in December 2011, participants have been exploring the possibility of focusing
on a limited number of negotiating areas as part of a likely “smaller package” to complete
negotiations, probably by the time of the next WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali,
Indonesia, at the end of 2013. The G20 Summit at Los Cabos in June 2012 also supported
such a partial approach.


A smaller package could potentially reflect results of negotiations on trade
facilitation—focused on strengthening multilateral rules and procedures to streamline
the movement, release and clearance of goods at the border and in transit—where some
tangible progress has been achieved. However, progress in negotiations is still challenged
by many developing countries for whom trade facilitation efforts entail high implementa-
tion costs without any of their key trade and development concerns being addressed. An
outcome on trade facilitation would therefore also require agreement on support measures,
including financial and technical assistance, in order for developing countries to meet
implementation costs. Such agreement is yet to be negotiated.


A smaller package would also cover results of negotiations on a plurilateral
International Services Agreement (ISA), which has been contemplated by a group of about
20 countries. Some of them intend to negotiate the ISA as a closed agreement in which
benefits will not be extended to all WTO members on a most favoured nation (MFN)
basis. Although still in a consultation phase, such an approach, if implemented, would
mean a critical departure from the “single undertaking” concept of the WTO, involving
risks for the multilateral trading system based on the unconditional MFN treatment.


Therefore, completing the Round with a smaller package will be difficult. To
be balanced and attractive for developing countries, LDCs in particular, any such package
would need to be supplemented by meaningful provisions that are of interest to them, such
as giving full duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all LDCs, and
elimination of developed-country subsidies on agricultural exports and cotton production.


Even negotiations for
a smaller Doha Round


package remain in a
stalemate




61International trade


Another important obstacle to the negotiation process is the perception—per-
haps not wholly justified but yet increasingly widespread—that the Doha Round would be
about an outdated set of twentieth century issues. As such, it would contribute too little,
too late to the aspirations of globalizing businesses today and be inadequate to provide the
enabling policy environment needed to support the inclusive and sustainable growth and
development pathways called for by the G20 and numerous United Nations summits and
high level conferences, including the Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
and UNCTAD XIII.


The failure to complete the Doha Round is not only detrimental to the cred-
ibility of the multilateral trading system, but is also deterring progress in building con-
sensus on other complex multilateral issues, such as the sustainable development agenda.
More generally, the incapacity to reach comprehensive and balanced results in the Round
for more than a decade reflects wider global governance deficits and eventually may call
multilateralism itself into question as the preferred approach to solving global issues.


Apart from trade negotiations, there were several trade policy developments,
mostly related to the accessions of countries still outside the WTO, including Montenegro,
Samoa and Vanuatu. The accession of the Russian Federation on 22 August 2012 marked the
completion of an 18-year-long negotiating process. With Russia’s membership, the WTO
now covers approximately 97 per cent of world trade and is closer to universal membership.
The Russian Federation took on an array of commitments and obligations, ranging from
binding import tariffs on agricultural and manufactured goods below currently applied
rates to improved market access for foreign services providers in a number of sectors, such as
telecommunications, transportation, financial and distribution services.


In general, Russia’s accession package offers new trade opportunities for WTO
members, particularly developing countries. It also contains an extensive set of systemic
obligations serving as a multilateral basis for Russia’s further integration into the world
economy. On the other hand, the effects of WTO membership on Russia’s domestic econ-
omy are not straightforward, particularly with regards to agriculture and several industrial
sectors, and were subject to an intensive but inconclusive internal discussion prior to the
ratification of the accession terms (see box IV.1 in chapter IV).


New guidelines on accessions of LDCs to the WTO were agreed to in July
2012. These guidelines are expected to streamline and facilitate accession of LDCs by
offering them some additional policy space and flexibility. For example, acceding LDCs
will be required to bind all their agricultural tariff lines at an overall average rate of 50 per
cent, and 95 per cent of their non-agricultural tariff lines at an overall average rate of 35
per cent, while 5 per cent of their industrial tariff lines could be left unbound.


Preferential trade agreements


Against the deadlock in the Doha Round, the uncoordinated process of negotiating pref-
erential bilateral and regional trade agreements (RTAs) has gained further momentum.
According to recent WTO estimates, there are now almost 400 preferential trade agree-
ments in force, with each WTO member belonging, on average, to 13 separate agree-
ments. The expanding number of such agreements further adds to an already complex
system of trade preferences with often substantially different regulatory frameworks across
agreements. Despite expected overall benefits to their parties, the effects of RTAs in regard
to trade relationships with third countries are often less positive. One issue of particular
importance for small- and medium-sized enterprises is that the fragmentation of trade


The Russian Federation
joins the WTO


New guidelines facilitate
accession of LDCs to
the WTO


Fragmentation of trade
rules undermines the
consistency of the
multilateral trading system




62 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


rules brought by RTAs has the effect of increasing compliance costs for their participants.
Multinational corporations (MNCs), by contrast, are in a better position to handle and
exploit the regulatory maze. In more general terms, preferential trade agreements have also
had the effect of weakening the multilateral trading system by including “WTO-plus” and
“WTO-extra” rules with their own dispute settlement mechanisms.


Fragmentation of trade rules and regulations is more evident in regard
to North-South agreements. While RTAs comprised of high-income markets are largely
related to “deep” integration, often based on sophisticated regulatory frameworks of major
developed markets, South-South RTAs more often reflect the dynamics and priorities of
regional integration among developing countries. They are still focused on traditional
market access issues like the reduction of tariffs, which remain relatively higher as com-
pared to those in North-South trade (box II.4). Deeper integration is still an open issue in
many South-South RTAs as it will require additional rule-making in the trade regulatory
framework, especially with regard to non-tariff measures.


The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is probably the most actively negotiated
North-South RTA today. The TPP is being negotiated among 11 developed and develop-
ing countries21 and is presented as a comprehensive and high-standard RTA aimed at
almost full liberalization of trade in goods and services and establishing commitments
that reach beyond multilateral rules under the WTO. It is also viewed by some as an
alternative to the stalled Doha Round as a twenty-first century agreement that addresses
new and cross-cutting issues reflecting the needs of an increasingly globalized economy
and evolving global production and supply chains.


Apart from market access in goods and services, TPP negotiations are focused
on setting rules that extend beyond those in the WTO and cover such areas as intel-
lectual property rights, services, government procurement, investment, rules of origin,
competition policy, labour and environmental standards. In addition, for the first time,
rule-making is sought in completely new areas like state-owned enterprises, regulatory
coherence and supply chain competitiveness.


One of the most controversial issues that the TPP negotiations are trying to
address relates to the scope and depth of provisions on labour standards and worker rights.
According to some reports, TPP would require its participants to adopt and enforce the
four internationally accepted labour rights that are contained in the 1998 International
Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work:
the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargain-
ing; the elimination of all forms of compulsory or forced labour; the effective abolition of
child labour; and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupa-
tion. These provisions would be enforceable under the TPP dispute settlement mechanism,
while violations could be subject to potential trade sanctions.


Attempts to enforce labour standards through trade agreements have a long
history. This linkage has traditionally been strongly opposed by many developing coun-
tries on the grounds that it may serve to artificially increase production costs of domestic
businesses and operations of MNCs, thus undermining their comparative advantage.
However, at the same time they do strengthen human rights of workers in developing
countries and may help increase the labour share of national income, which is exceedingly
low in many of these countries. Providing these rights would appear to be consistent with
the internationally agreed upon goal of promoting decent work. Nevertheless, developing


21 These are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru,
Singapore, United States, and Viet Nam. Thailand will also join TPP trade talks.


Twenty-first century
agreements increasingly


address the aspirations of
globalizing businesses


Provisions on labour
standards remain


controversial




63International trade


Import tariffs and South-South trade


Many developing countries have substantially reduced effective trade tariffs starting in the 1990s.
The general trend of lowering tariffs in developing countries is likely to continue, especially with re-
gard to South-South trade (both intraregional and interregional trade). In 2011, imports by developed
countries were subject to an average tariff of about 1.2 per cent (see table). Imports entering develop-
ing countries and economies in transition were subject to an average tariff ranging from about 2.2
per cent for the economies in transition to about 7.8 per cent for developing countries in South Asia.
Tariffs still represent an important obstacle to South-South trade, especially in regions where the
regional integration process has been slower. Intraregional trade faces relatively low tariffs within the
economies in transition, Latin America and the Caribbean and East Asia largely owing to the existing
preferential trade agreements. On the other hand, tariffs are still an important policy issue for most of
the other regions of Asia as well as for Africa. The average tariff applied to intraregional trade in South
Asia is about 4 per cent, while that of sub-Saharan Africa is 3.5 per cent. Because very few South-
South RTAs span different developing country regions, interregional trade is generally subject to
higher tariffs than intraregional trade. Thus, higher tariffs are imposed by countries in South Asia and
sub-Saharan Africa (especially on products originating from East Asia) and by countries in the regions
comprising Northern Africa, Western Asia and Central Asia (especially versus products originating
from Latin America and the Caribbean).


Box II.4


Source: UNCTAD
TRAINS database.


Effective trade-weighted tariffs by main regions and country groupings in 2011
(Changes from 2005 through 2011 are indicated in parentheses)


Percentage


Importer


Exporting region


High-
income


countries
Economies


in transition East Asia South Asia


Northern
Africa,


Western
Asia and


Central Asia


Latin
America
and the


Caribbean


Sub-
Saharan


Africa


Average
tariff


imposed
on imports


High-income countries
0.9 0.4 2.2 2.8 0.5 0.7 0.8 1.2


-(0.1) -(0.4) -(0.3) -(0.5) -(0.2) -(0.4) (0.2) -(0.1)


Economies in transition
2.3 0.7 4.1 4.6 2.8 2.0 0.5 2.2


(0.0) -(1.3) -(0.4) -(0.9) (0.0) -(0.7) -(1.4) -(0.3)


East Asia
4.6 2.4 2.1 1.8 0.5 1.5 0.4 3.6


-(0.7) -(2.0) -(2.0) -(1.2) -(0.6) -(1.5) -(1.7) -(1.2)


South Asia
7.9 7.0 13.1 4.0 2.5 2.1 3.3 7.8


-(5.2) -(6.8) -(5.0) -(5.9) -(9.0) -(19.2) -(10.6) -(6.1)


Northern Africa, Western
Asia and Central Asia


4.6 4.7 7.1 5.0 3.5 9.8 3.7 5.1


-(0.3) (1.4) -(1.5) -(0.2) -(0.3) -(0.4) -(1.3) -(0.1)


Latin America
and the Caribbean


4.0 3.2 7.7 7.6 4.0 1.1 1.3 4.0


-(0.2) -(1.7) -(0.9) -(2.3) (0.9) -(0.8) -(0.9) -(0.2)


Sub-Saharan Africa
6.5 4.3 10.5 6.3 8.4 8.7 3.5 6.9


-(0.1) -(2.3) -(1.5) -(0.6) (0.3) -(1.0) -(1.0) -(0.2)


Average tariff
faced by exports


2.1 1.0 3.2 3.2 1.2 1.2 1.3


-(0.1) -(0.6) -(0.1) -(0.8) -(0.3) -(0.5) -(0.5)




64 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


countries’ market access could be made less predictable under the threat of trade sanc-
tions. It is often alleged that the linkage between trade and labour standards is a disguise
for protectionism in developed countries. However, it is also alleged that the concern for
developing countries’ comparative advantage is a disguise for protecting the economic
rents of the elites in the developing economies. Recently, provisions related to the enforce-
ment of labour standards have been included in several bilateral preferential North-South
agreements, reflecting developed countries’ negotiating priorities that mostly stem from
domestic concerns about losing jobs to low-wage countries.


Protectionist pressures


The joint WTO-OECD-UNCTAD monitoring report on G20 trade and investment
measures of 31 October 2012 showed a certain slowdown of trade-restrictive measures
with 71 new import restrictions taken in mid-May through mid-October of 2012, af-
fecting around 0.4 per cent of total G20 merchandise imports, or 0.3 per cent of world
imports. These involved mostly non-tariff measures, including trade remedy actions (like
anti-dumping and countervailing measures), import licensing and customs controls. There
are growing concerns about the proliferation of non-tariff measures implemented through
technical requirements, like standards and sanitary and phytosanitary regulations. The
sectors most heavily affected in terms of trade coverage were electrical machinery, mineral
fuels and oils, fertilizers, chemical products, machinery and mechanical appliances, and
plastics.22 On the other hand, the number of new export restrictions had declined signifi-
cantly from that reported in previous monitoring reports.


The trend of slow removal of existing measures continued, in compliance with
G20 commitments. Yet, only 21 per cent of trade restrictions introduced since the start of
the crisis in October 2008 have been eliminated. Those measures related to the termina-
tion of trade remedy actions and phasing out temporary tariff increases. Overall, the trade
coverage of the remaining restrictive measures put in place beginning in October 2008 is
about 3.5 per cent of world merchandise imports.23


With government budget cuts, persistent high unemployment and expected
slowing global output growth, the threat of protectionist pressures is likely to increase.
This trend is also supported by what is appearing as an escalation of trade frictions and
disputes between major trading countries. To a large extent, such disputes are fuelled by
traditional bilateral trade imbalance concerns and accusations of unfair trade practices
that are linked to job losses in importing countries. However, these traditional arguments
neither recognize the growing importance of global value and supply chains, which are
increasingly shaping the flows of international trade and foreign direct investment, nor do
they show awareness of the related environmental challenges. In this regard, the recogni-
tion of the role of such chains in fostering economic growth, employment and development
by Leaders at the G20 Summit at Los Cabos is significant. The G20 also emphasized the


22 It was estimated that if the trade restrictive measures were implemented in all advanced
economies, the developing economies in Asia and the Pacific could experience an export loss
of over $27 billion. In this case, least developed countries, land-locked developing countries and
small island developing States could face a significant contraction in their exports to the advanced
economies as compared to the baseline scenario. See Sudip Ranjan Basu and others, “Euro zone
debt crisis: scenario analysis and implications for developing Asia-Pacific”, MPDD Working paper,
No. WP/12/03 (UNCTAD, Macroeconomic Policy and Development Division).


23 See Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), UNCTAD and WTO,
“Reports on G20 Trade and Investment Measures (mid-May to mid-October 2012)”, 31 October
2012, available from http://www.oecd.org/daf/internationalinvestment/8thG20report.pdf.


Existing trade restrictions
are removed, but slowly


The G20 recognizes
the role of global value
chains, but unchecked


growth of intrafirm
trade is environmentally


suboptimal




65International trade


need to enhance the participation of developing countries in such chains. Measuring the
precise contribution of global value chains to growth of world trade and output remains
a challenge (box II.5).24 This also hampers assessment of environmental implications of
expanding trade and production through global value chains (see box II.1). Unchecked
growth of trade in intermediate goods and intrafirm trade is environmentally detrimental,
inter alia, because freight transport is a major contributor to global CO2 emissions and,
hence, to climate change. The prevailing sectoral policy approach to climate change miti-
gation further hinders a precise assessment of CO2 emissions along global value chains.
The rapid growth of global supply chains will require a different, more integral approach if
policymakers are to adequately identify and address trade-offs between the economic and
environmental costs and benefits associated with international trade.


24 See the G20 Los Cabos Summit Leaders Declaration of 19 June 2012, para. 29: “We value the
discussion held by our Trade Ministers in Puerto Vallarta on the relevance of regional and global
value chains to world trade, recognizing their role in fostering economic growth, employment and
development and emphasizing the need to enhance the participation of developing countries
in such value chains. We encourage a deepening of these discussions in the WTO, UNCTAD and
OECD within their respective mandates, and we call on them to accelerate their work on analyzing
the functioning of global value chains and their relationship with trade and investment flows,
development and jobs, as well as on how to measure trade flows, to better understand how our
actions affect our countries and others, and to report on progress under Russia’s Presidency.”
Available from http://www.g20.utoronto.ca/2012/2012-0619-loscabos.html.


Measuring trade in value added


Recently, economists and statisticians have been paying increasing attention to measuring the value
added of international trade and the implications for economic analysis.a Conventional international
trade statistics record trade flows between countries on the basis of the gross value of traded goods
and services. However, as a result of the rapid expansion of global production chains, an exported
final product usually contains a significant share of imported intermediate goods, such as parts and
components, which may have crossed borders many times. Hence, conventional trade statistics likely
overestimate the true contribution of international trade flows to economic activity. An iPhone ex-
ported from China to the United States, for instance, is adding $200 to the record of Chinese exports,
whereas only about $10 of value added is generated in China where it is assembled. The remaining
value stems from immediate parts and components imported from Japan, the Republic of Korea and
other countries.


In general, along with the increasing geographical fragmentation of global manufac-
turing processes, intrafirm trade and trade in intermediate goods have been growing rapidly, ac-
counting for nearly 50 per cent of total international merchandise trade. Conventional trade statistics
may thus provide an inaccurate picture of actual trade linkages between countries and be a highly
imperfect guide for trade, macroeconomic and development policies.


In response to these challenges, work coordinated through the United Nations Statistical
Commission and various research institutes, as well a WTO-OECD joint initiative,b are under way to
formulate a new metric that identifies trade in value added. Under this approach, trade flows across
countries are measured on a net basis, that is, obtaining the domestically generated value added
of exported goods by subtracting the value of imported intermediates from the total export value.


Measuring trade in terms of value added provides a substantially different picture of
bilateral trade patterns. For instance, by conventional measures, China records a large bilateral trade
surplus with the United States of around $200 billion per year. In value added terms, however, China’s
surplus with the United States would be 40 per cent smaller. In contrast, the bilateral trade surplus of
the Republic of Korea and Japan with the United States would be about 40 per cent larger, because
those two countries are large exporters of intermediate products. Furthermore, China’s trade surplus
with Japan would turn into a deficit.


Box II.5


a For example, World Trade
Organization and Institute
of Developing Economies-
JETRO, “Trade patterns and
global value chains in East
Asia: from trade in goods
to trade in tasks” (Geneva,
2011), available from http://
www.wto.org/english/
res_e/booksp_e/stat_
tradepat_globvalchains_e.
pdf; and Robert Koopman,
Zhi Wang, and Shang-Jin
Wei, “Estimating domestic
value added in exports
when processing trade
is prevalent,” Journal of
Development Economics,
forthcoming. Available from
http://www.ecb.europa.
eu/home/pdf/research/
compnet/DEVEC_1670.pdf?
57a5265fab96f74f6f7a2ab0
464575d3.
b See OECD, “Measuring
Trade in Value-Added:
An OECD-WTO joint
initiative”, available from
http://www.oecd.org/sti/
industryandglobalisation/
measuringtradeinvalue-
addedanoecd-
wtojointinitiative.htm.




66 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Measuring bilateral trade in terms of value added would better identify the degree to
which countries are connected through trade. If charted out through the full global value chain, such
measuring would provide a more accurate basis to assess the transmission of changes in economic
conditions from one country to another that occurs through trade channels. It would potentially also
alter assessments of policy spillover effects, such as exchange rate adjustments. Many large-scale
econometric models of the world economy, such as the United Nations World Economic Forecasting
Model, contain a bilateral trade matrix linking individual country models together. The parameters
of this matrix are key for the analysis of policy studies and significantly influence outcomes of the
alternative scenarios simulated using the model. If this matrix is re-estimated using new data on trade
in value added, the resulting policy analysis and model simulations could be significantly different,
altering our understanding of the spillover effects of national policies.


New trade statistics would also affect other important measures guiding macroeco-
nomic policymaking. The real effective exchange rate (REER), for instance, is used as a proxy measure
of international competitiveness. It is measured using bilateral trade shares as weights for shifts in the
value of the national currency against that of major trading partners. Using shares of trade in value
added as weights could thus shed a different light on a country’s competitiveness with its various
trading partners, especially if its exports contain significant amounts of imported inputs. By the same
token, the revealed comparative advantage of individual countries, as measured by the share of a
sector in the country’s total exports relative to the world average share of this sector, would also be
more accurately estimated.


However, because the new trade statistics only redistributes net bilateral trade flows by
adjusting both the exports and imports of individual trading partners, each country’s overall current-
account balance and, thus, global imbalances would remain unchanged. Nonetheless, it would not
be immaterial to policymakers, however, as the effects of rebalancing policy actions can be quantita-
tively different from that anticipated when using conventional trade statistics. For example, a policy
to stimulate consumption in China, along with a revaluation of the renminbi against the United States
dollar, would be expected to lead to a substantial reduction in the current-account deficit of the
United States on the basis of the large bilateral trade imbalance between these two economies (as
measured conventionally). Based on the new approach, however, China has a smaller bilateral trade
surplus with the United States and a deficit instead of a surplus with Japan. So the same policy action
would be expected to lead to a much more muted narrowing of the trade deficit of the United States
with China, while it would widen China’s deficit with Japan.


Box II.5 (cont’d)




67


Chapter 3
International finance for
development


There is increasing awareness that substantial financing will be needed to meet global de-
velopment challenges, such as mitigating the effects of climate change and achieving the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Given the scope of the financing needs, both pri-
vate and public sector funds will be necessary, underscoring the importance of having sound
financial sectors capable of providing stable long-term financing for sustainable development.


Yet, four years after the crisis began, the international financial system contin-
ues to be plagued by vulnerabilities. The sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the uneven
global recovery have led to heightened risk aversion and increased volatility of private
capital flows (see chapter I). Deleveraging of financial institutions continues, particularly
in Europe, where many banks hold large amounts of sovereign bonds from debt-distressed
countries on their balance sheets. In recipient countries, flows of official development
assistance (ODA) also tend to be highly volatile. In 2011, total ODA flows, net of debt
cancellation, fell in real terms for the first time since 1997, owing to greater fiscal austerity
and sovereign debt problems in developed countries. At the same time, institutional inves-
tors appear to have become increasingly oriented to the short term, with fewer resources
dedicated to long-term investments since the crisis.


The international community has taken steps to address some of these vulner-
abilities by strengthening the banking system through regulatory reforms. Although these
reforms represent important steps forward, they are being phased in only gradually, are
not comprehensive, and are not adequately focused on the underlying goal of the financial
system to effectively allocate credit for long-term sustainable development. This chapter
discusses the underlying risks in the international financial system and its possible impact
on financing for sustainable development.


Trends in private capital and other private flows
In 2012, net international private capital flows to developing countries and economies
in transition fell by more than 50 per cent, from $425 billion in 2011 to an estimated
$206 billion in 2012 (table III.1). More broadly, private capital flows have been highly
volatile since 2008. Net private capital inflows collapsed during the crisis, surged in 2010
to approximately $525 billion, and declined again in the latter part of 2011. While some
stability seemed to return to international currency and capital markets in early 2012, new
turmoil surfaced later in the year.


This heightened volatility can be attributed to several factors. An increase in
global risk aversion, caused in part by growing fears about the sustainability of public
finances in Europe, is leading portfolio investors to a general flight to safety. In addition,
many European banks continue to face deleveraging pressures, which has led to cutbacks
in lending to developing and transition economies. There is a risk that deleveraging pres-
sures will worsen if the European crisis accelerates, which could in turn trigger significant
portfolio outflows from emerging economies. A tightening in lending standards by inter-
national banks in response to Basel III might also force further deleveraging, although


Four years after the crisis,
the global financial system
remains volatile


International private
capital flows to emerging
and developing countries
remain extremely volatile




68 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


such an effect is likely to be rather muted because of the long phase-in period of some
of its elements. In addition, signs of an economic slowdown in some leading developing
economies (like Brazil, China and India) have reduced flows to these countries.


At the same time, other factors have encouraged increased inflows into devel-
oping countries. Weaknesses in developed economies have led some investors to diversify
out of troubled advanced economy markets and into developing country markets.1 In
addition, extremely high global liquidity brought on by the exceptional monetary policy
measures imposed in response to the crisis—such as the third round of quantitative easing
in the United States—has depressed yields in some developed countries to close to zero.
As a result, a search for better yields has led to an increase in short-term investments in
countries with higher interest rates (often referred to as the carry trade).


This diverse set of pressures has created increased volatility and impacted dif-
ferent types of flows in different ways. Overall, given that much of the positive inflows
are driven by a search for short-term yields resulting from low interest rates in developed
countries, fixed-income investments have experienced more positive trends than equity
portfolio investment and foreign direct investment (FDI).


1 International Monetary Fund (IMF), Global Financial Stability Report: Restoring Confidence and
Progressing on Reforms, October 2012.


Table III.1
Net financial flows to developing countries and economies in transition, 1999-2013


Average annual flow


2009 2010 2011 2012a 2013b
1999
-2002


2003
-2008


Developing countries


Net private capital flows 59.1 200.2 450.2 525.4 424.7 206.1 300.0
Net direct investment 151.9 251.7 253.1 332.1 435.9 374.4 371.7
Net portfolio investmentc -31.7 -39.5 36.6 91.0 33.7 50.1 59.2
Other net investmentd -61.1 -12.0 160.5 102.4 -44.8 -218.4 -130.9


Net official flows -9.3 -88.6 8.1 32.6 -94.3 -36.4 -64.7
Total net flows 49.8 111.6 458.3 558.0 330.4 169.7 235.3
Change in reservese -121.7 -630.2 -706.5 -914.8 -777.1 -558.8 -636.9


Africa


Net private capital flows 7.3 16.6 31.2 0.0 14.3 36.2 47.3
Net direct investment 14.9 32.4 49.1 34.6 45.4 44.6 52.4
Net portfolio investmentc -1.9 -4.9 -15.7 1.8 -11.0 2.6 6.8
Other net investmentd -5.8 -10.9 -2.2 -36.5 -20.1 -11.0 -11.9


Net official flows -1.4 -8.7 20.1 30.0 22.1 27.1 28.3
Total net flows 5.9 7.9 51.3 29.9 36.5 63.3 75.6
Change in reservese -8.9 -58.5 1.2 -27.4 -32.8 -35.9 -43.1


East and South Asia


Net private capital flows 17.0 99.6 301.0 387.2 208.8 10.7 94.6
Net direct investment 62.3 123.4 79.4 193.2 224.4 171.2 158.1
Net portfolio investmentc -17.9 -31.3 27.2 50.9 -7.1 -10.3 2.5
Other net investmentd -27.5 7.5 194.5 143.0 -8.6 -150.2 -65.9


Net official flows -1.5 -6.5 19.3 15.8 9.2 2.0 3.2
Total net flows 15.5 93.1 320.4 403.0 218.0 12.6 97.7
Change in reservese -105.1 -425.6 -664.2 -689.9 -525.5 -254.5 -373.6




69International finance for development


Portfolio flows and cross-border bank lending


The recent decline in international capital inflows has been mainly on account of a collapse
in cross-border interbank flows (referenced under “net private flows” in table III.1), as well
as a drop in equity portfolio flows.2 Although commercial bank lending to developing
countries had been following a path of gradual recovery in many countries, deleveraging
pressures continue to be felt, especially from European banks. The impact of declining
cross-border bank lending has been greatest in emerging Europe and Central Asia, which


2 Bank for International Settlements (BIS), “International Banking and Financial Market
Developments”, BIS Quarterly Review, June 2012.


Emerging Europe and
Central Asia are most
affected by declining cross-
border bank lending…


Table III.1 (cont’d)


Average annual flow


2009 2010 2011 2012a 2013b
1999
-2002


2003
-2008


Western Asia


Net private capital flows -5.8 53.3 96.0 74.6 52.7 45.1 55.0
Net direct investment 6.2 35.7 56.1 29.7 39.1 37.9 42.0
Net portfolio investmentc -5.2 6.3 42.2 39.2 37.8 56.1 47.5
Other net investmentd -6.9 11.4 -2.3 5.8 -24.2 -48.8 -34.5


Net official flows -11.5 -67.3 -66.8 -56.5 -153.9 -126.1 -149.7
Total net flows -17.3 -13.9 29.1 18.2 -101.2 -81.0 -94.7
Change in reservese -7.5 -91.1 6.5 -92.8 -99.4 -198.6 -166.1


Latin America and the Caribbean


Net private capital flows 40.7 30.7 22.0 63.6 148.9 114.2 103.1
Net direct investment 68.4 60.3 68.5 74.6 126.9 120.7 119.3
Net portfolio investmentc -6.7 -9.6 -17.0 -1.0 14.0 1.9 2.5
Other net investmentd -21.0 -20.0 -29.5 -10.0 8.0 -8.4 -18.6


Net official flows 5.0 -6.1 35.5 43.2 28.3 60.6 53.6
Total net flows 45.7 24.6 57.5 106.9 177.1 174.8 156.7
Change in reservese -0.2 -55.0 -50.0 -104.7 -119.4 -69.8 -54.1


Economies in transition


Net private capital flows -2.6 38.8 -49.8 -19.9 -56.2 -55.5 -31.8
Net direct investment 5.9 29.1 23.1 13.0 19.8 9.9 13.9
Net portfolio investmentc 0.8 0.6 -10.2 9.6 -28.9 -6.5 -3.8
Other net investmentd -9.3 9.0 -62.7 -42.5 -47.1 -58.9 -41.8


Net official flows -3.5 -14.2 46.4 1.6 -17.8 -21.7 -27.8
Total net flows -6.2 24.6 -3.4 -18.3 -74.0 -77.2 -59.6
Change in reservese -15.4 -74.8 -11.7 -51.2 -27.5 -26.6 -17.6


Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Economic Outlook database, October 2012.
Note: The composition of developing countries above is based on the country classification located in the
statistical annex, which differs from the classification used in the World Economic Outlook. See also footnote 5 in
Chapter I.


a Preliminary.
b Forecasts.
c Including portfolio debt and equity investment.
d Including short- and long-term bank lending, and possibly including some official flows owing to data


limitations.


e Negative values denote increases in reserves.




70 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


have the most direct exposures to banks in the European Union (EU).3 There is evidence
that deleveraging in the European banking sector has especially affected trade financing,4
which in many countries comprises a large share of short-term borrowing. Trade-oriented
small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from lower-income countries, in particular,
have faced a sharp shortfall in funding.


In contrast, developing country fixed-income instruments have become more
attractive to investors in recent months. Sovereign bond spreads on emerging market ex-
ternal debt tightened in the second half of 2012 from over 400 basis points at the begin-
ning of June to about 290 basis points in late-November, after widening for much of 2011,
indicating an increase in demand (see chapter I, figure I.10). Similarly, more capital has
moved towards domestic bond markets of developing countries.5 There is also evidence
that investors chose to hedge currency risk selectively rather than withdraw from the de-
veloping country bond markets—which limit portfolio bond outflows during spells of
heightened risk aversion6—although this could reflect illiquidity in some domestic bond
markets, not sustained demand for the products.


Foreign direct investment


FDI tends to be more stable than portfolio investment and bank lending (although the
volatility of FDI flows increased somewhat in recent years, as discussed below). FDI re-
mains a major component of private capital flows to developing countries. While FDI
rose sharply in 2011, reaching approximately $436 billion, it fell in the latter part of the
year, as well as in 2012. Furthermore, FDI remains concentrated in a few regions and
countries. Most FDI flowing to developing countries is going to Asia and Latin America.
Only 10 per cent of inward FDI goes to Africa. Furthermore, the distribution of FDI
flows within Africa remains uneven, with more than 80 per cent of the capital going
to natural resource-rich economies. Nonetheless, FDI comprises the dominant share of
private capital flows to LDCs.


Outward FDI from developing and transition economies has become increas-
ingly significant, with a large proportion directed towards other developing and transition
economies. However, their share in global FDI outflows declined from 31 per cent in 2010
to 26 per cent in 2011, mainly owing to a significant decline in outward FDI from Latin
America and the Caribbean as foreign affiliates of some Latin American transnational
companies repaid loans to their parent firms. Nevertheless, the overall levels of FDI flow-
ing from developing and transition economies remained high from a historical perspective.


Remittances


Remittances from workers abroad have continued increasing and for many developing
countries have become a critical source of foreign-exchange earnings. Income from worker
remittances as recorded in balance-of-payments statistics totalled $406 billion in 2012,
representing a year-on-year increase of about 6.5 per cent.7 For some countries, it is a


3 World Bank, Global Economic Prospects: Maintaining progress amid turmoil, January 2012.
4 This could be partly owing to Basel III regulations on trade finance, as may be inferred from data


presented in World Bank, Global Economic Prospects: Managing growth in a volatile world,
June 2012, Finance annex, pp. 43-51.


5 IMF, Global Financial Stability Report, op. cit.
6 World Bank, Global Economic Prospects: Managing growth in a volatile world, op. cit.
7 The real size of remittances, though, is probably larger, given that many remittances are channelled


through informal mechanisms that are not recorded.


...with trade finance in
low-income countries
particularly impacted


FDI fell in 2012


Remittances are estimated
to increase by 6.5 per cent


in 2012




71International finance for development


main source of income. For instance, remittances were as high as 47 per cent of GDP
in Tajikistan, 27 per cent in Lesotho, and around 20 per cent of gross domestic product
(GDP) in the Republic of Moldova, Samoa and Kosovo.8


The total volume of remittance flows to developing countries moderated some-
what during the initial years of the global economic and financial crisis, but the decline
was not as sharp as in the case of private capital inflows. In general, remittance flows
tend to be less volatile than most forms of cross-border financial flows. Yet, the economic
slowdown and rise in unemployment in Europe disproportionately affects migrant work-
ers, especially in Italy and Spain. This in turn has had a strongly adverse impact on remit-
tance flows to Eastern European countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland and
Romania, as well as countries in the Middle East and North Africa,9 and some in Latin
America, like Ecuador and, to a lesser extent, Colombia.


The total volume of worker remittance flows to developing countries was
more than three times the size of ODA. Remittances should not be seen as an immedi-
ate substitute for ODA, however. ODA represents financial flows in support of interna-
tional development cooperation and is mainly channelled through government budgets.
Remittances flow directly to private households, who mainly use the additional income
for consumption. A number of Governments and international organizations have taken
initiatives providing incentives for using remittance income for investment purposes. For
example, the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank of-
fers supplementary grants if remittances are channelled towards investments in housing
and other forms of capital formation, education, entrepreneurship training, and research
and knowledge dissemination. This way, remittances can become an important and rela-
tively stable form for financing development.


Shortening maturities
The high volatility of most types of cross-border capital flows is indicative of the short-term
behaviour of investors. Whereas greenfield direct investment tends to have longer-term
investment horizons, and be attracted by factors such as high growth rates, cheap asset
prices, rule of law and strong macroeconomic fundamentals, most forms of portfolio in-
vestment and cross-border interbank lending tend to be attracted to developing countries
because of high relative short-term interest rates, which often outweigh longer-term funda-
mentals. A range of incentives drive this investor behaviour, including the compensation
packages of hedge fund managers and other investment managers, who are paid annually,
based on short-term performance, as well as financial management strategies that focus
on the short-term share price.10 In addition, risk models used by the financial industry
(such as the “value at risk” model) exacerbate the problem, since they are generally based
on short-term indicators and do not consider longer-term factors like tail risks (that is, the
risk of rare but costly events).


The recent crisis, however, appears to have strengthened this short-term behav-
iour. The sum of professionally managed assets across the globe totalled about $65 trillion
in 2009, of which about $27 trillion was owned by institutional investors such as pension


8 World Bank, “Remittances to developing countries will surpass $400 billion in 2012”, Migration
and Development Brief, No. 19 (20 November 2012).


9 Ibid.
10 Joseph E. Stiglitz, “The financial crisis of 2007-8 and its macroeconomic consequences”, in Time for


a Visible Hand, Stephany Griffith-Jones, José Antonio Ocampo and Joseph E. Stiglitz, eds. (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 2010).


The global financial crisis
has increased short-term
behaviour of investors




72 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


funds. Constraints faced by these investors allowed only a quarter of their assets to be
used for long-term ventures.11 According to analysis undertaken by the World Economic
Forum (WEF), a number of institutional investors experienced difficulty refinancing li-
abilities during the crisis, which led them to reassess the extent to which they should
undertake long-term investments. This, in combination with other factors—including a
move towards “mark-to-market” accounting, which requires that long-term illiquid port-
folios be evaluated relative to a public market benchmark, stricter capital requirements
and the existing structure of staff evaluation, compensation schemes and internal decision-
making—is argued to have restricted the proportion of assets employed by these inves-
tors for long-term investing.12 The WEF study foresees a continuing decline in long-term
investing, which will only be partly offset by increasing activity of other investors, such
as endowments and foundations, which were also under stress following margin calls on
levered investment during the financial crisis.


In light of these trends, there may be a need for policymakers to reconsider the
impact of regulatory actions, including mark-to-market accounting, on long-term invest-
ment decisions. It also seems important to have a regulatory framework that better man-
ages global liquidity and is conducive to long-term investments, as discussed below. At the
same time, institutional investors should develop appropriate liquidity management tools,
performance measurement and staff evaluation/compensation mechanisms that provide
greater incentives to taking a longer investment horizon.


A further concern is that FDI is becoming more short term-oriented and that
its changing composition could be making it more volatile.13 The shift in the composition
of FDI from equity to debt components has made it easier for investors to move resourc-
es between host and home countries.14 Where a significant portion of FDI comprises
intracompany debt, as opposed to greenfield direct investments, the parent company can
recall this debt on short notice. In this respect, the proportion of short-term and volatile
flows in FDI has increased.15 Part of the growth in FDI flows during the past two years
may have been made for the purpose of short-term gains. It is important that policymak-
ers are cognizant of the growing proportion of short-term investments contained within
FDI, which could reverse more quickly than expected in an uncertain economic and
financial climate.


Management of volatile cross-border capital flows
The volatility associated with short-term capital flows has given greater attention to the
issue of how countries should manage cross-border risks. Capital account management has
gained greater acceptance as a prudent policy measure by the international community.


11 World Economic Forum, “Measurement, governance and long-term investing”, available from
http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_IV_MeasurementGovernanceLongtermInvesting_
Report_2012.pdf.


12 World Economic Forum, “The future of long-term investing”, available from http://www3.weforum.
org/docs/WEF_FutureLongTermInvesting_Report_2011.pdf.


13 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), World Investment Report 2011:
Non-equity Modes of International Production and Development (United Nations publication,
Sales No. E.11.II.D.2).


14 Jonathan D. Ostry and others, “Managing capital inflows: what tools to use”, IMF Staff Discussion
Note, No. SDN11/06 (Washington, D.C., April 2011).


15 UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2011, op. cit.


Even FDI shows signs of
becoming increasingly


short-term oriented


Macroprudential measures
and capital account


management have gained
importance




73International finance for development


Indeed, over the past several years a number of developing countries (including Brazil,
Indonesia, Peru, the Republic of Korea and Thailand) have introduced capital-account
regulatory measures to contain volatile short-term capital flows, as reported in the World
Economic Situation and Prospects 2012.


Conventional approaches to managing capital inflows focus on macroeco-
nomic policies, such as the exchange-rate adjustment, manipulating policy interest rates
and fiscal aggregate demand management, to enhance an economy’s capacity to absorb
capital inflows. However, these policies are generally not sufficiently targeted to stabilize
financial flows and may have undesired side effects. Letting the exchange rate appreciate,
for instance, would penalize export-oriented sectors, thus impacting growth and develop-
ment. Fiscal cuts to lower aggregate demand can be costly to economic growth and the
slow speed of fiscal decision-making makes it a less effective policy tool for dealing with
short-term volatile capital inflows. Attempts by policymakers to counteract the expansion-
ary impact of excessive capital inflows through tightening monetary policies could be
partly self-defeating as the higher interest rates may induce additional capital inflows, thus
exacerbating upward pressure on the exchange rate.


To stem capital inflows and excessive credit growth, countries can implement
macroprudential measures including the maintenance of sound lending standards, coun-
tercyclical capital requirements to slow down credit expansion, and balance sheet restric-
tions such as limiting the foreign exchange positions of banks. While these measures
appear to have lengthened the composition of capital inflows in some countries (Croatia,
Peru and the Republic of Korea, for example), the effect on total net flows was limited.
In Peru, where there is a large amount of dollarization in the economy mediated through
the banking system, macroprudential measures, such as limits on foreign-exchange mis-
matches, have been relatively effective at reducing risks. In the Republic of Korea, a pack-
age of macroprudential measures was introduced during 2009-2010 that appears to have
brought about the intended deceleration in banks’ foreign borrowing, but it did not stem
the overall level of capital inflows.


Other countries, like Brazil and Indonesia, have opted to use more direct forms
of capital-account regulation. Most available studies find that capital controls have been
effective in changing the composition of inflows away from short-term debt. The impact
on total flows is more ambiguous, with regulations appearing to have been more successful
in some cases than in others.16 More broadly, the effectiveness of measures depends on the
specific circumstances of a country, including the quality of the existing regulatory frame-
work and regulatory capacity, the structure and persistence of inflows, and the design
and implementation of capital flow management measures. In particular, capital-account
regulation may be particularly difficult to implement in countries where there is a large
derivatives market, since speculators can often circumvent the restrictions through this
market. For this reason, some countries, like Brazil, have implemented restrictions directly
in the derivatives market to test the market, albeit at an initial low rate. Overall, there is no
simple recipe for effectively managing cross-border capital flows. Macroeconomic policies,
macroprudential tools and capital-account regulations should probably come in a balanced
package of measures and be tailored to the specific circumstances of individual countries.


As discussed above, one of the drivers of recent surges in international capital
flows has been monetary easing in developed countries. Given the cross-border spillo-
ver effect of monetary policy decisions, measures that incentivize investors in developed
countries to invest at home would help monetary authorities respond to slowdowns in


16 See, for example, Jonathan D. Ostry and others, “Capital inflows: the role of controls”, IMF Staff
Position Note, No. SPN10/04 (Washington, D.C., February 2010).


Macroprudential measures
might be most effective
in highly dollarized
economies




74 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


developed countries and also help allay pressures for asset bubbles in developing countries.
Thus, there is a need for capital-account management in developed as well as developing
countries. To this end, central banks may need to step up their international dialogue and
cooperation on managing global liquidity. Better management of global liquidity would
also have the effect of helping to correct global imbalances.


International reserve accumulation
and global imbalances


Bouts of excessive international liquidity have been part and parcel of the build-up in
global imbalances, with surges and withdrawals of international capital flows correlated
with the build-up of reserves by developing countries (although trade balances also play
a role in some countries). Reserve holdings of developing and emerging countries as a
proportion of national output more than doubled between 1999 and 2008, a period of
high global liquidity. The accumulation of vast dollar reserves over this period allowed the
United States to borrow cheaply from abroad, keeping long-term interest rates low, which
in turn has induced greater leverage in the system. Reserve accumulation peaked at $1.2
trillion in 2007 prior to the crisis, but fell as a percentage of GDP in the years since (with
the exception of 2010), following trends in capital flows. In 2012, reserve accumulation
fell to an estimated $559 billion, down from $777 billion in 2011, mirroring the decline in
capital inflows (see table III.1 for the change in reserve holdings and figure III.1 for stocks
as a share of GDP).


Reserve accumulation by developing countries has fallen along with the mod-
eration in global imbalances, although as pointed out in Chapter I, this trend is related to
overall weakness in global demand rather than to long-term structural adjustments (see


Reserve accumulation fell
sharply in the wake of the


crisis


Figure III.1
Ratio of reserves to GDP, 1991-2012a


Source: IMF, World Economic
Outlook database, April 2012.


Data not available on WEO
October 2012 database.


Notes: Regional groupings are
based on UN/DESA country
classification. No data from


1980–1989 on reserves
for newly industrialized


economies (Hong Kong SAR,
Rep. of Korea, Singapore,


Taiwan POC).
a Data for 2012 are WEO


forecasts.


Percentage


Western Asia


Latin
America


East and
South Asia


Africa


Emerging and
developing countries


20
11


20
09


20
07


20
05


20
03


20
01


19
99


19
97


19
95


19
93


19
91


45


40


35


30


25


15


20


10


5


0




75International finance for development


chapter I, figure I.13). Nonetheless, accumulated reserve holdings remain significant, par-
ticularly in South-East Asia, where they amount to almost 40 per cent of GDP (figure III.1).


The massive build-up of reserves by emerging and developing countries and
its effect on global stability has raised questions regarding the appropriate size of re-
serves. The build-up has been attributed to several factors. First, reserves serve as a form
of “self-insurance” against potential external shocks. Second, they facilitate interventions
in foreign-exchange markets to smooth exchange-rate or commodity price volatility and
mitigate bubbles associated with excessive inflows. Third, reserves can be a by-product of
export-led growth strategies that rely on interventions in the currency market to maintain
an undervalued currency—actions sometimes considered to be mercantilist.17


Perspectives on determining the adequate size of international reserves have
changed over time. In the 1980s and 1990s, reserves were insurance against trade shocks.
At that time, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) advised countries to hold reserves
large enough to cover three months of imports. However, the emerging market crises
in the mid-1990s, such as the Mexican “tequila crisis”, were triggered by difficulties in
refinancing short-term dollar-denominated debt, not unexpected trade account deficits.
This led to the view that reserves would need to be large enough to cover a country’s
short-term external debt refinancing needs. This approach did not consider, however, the
fact that the emerging market crises of the1990s were also triggered by reversals in short-
term capital portfolio flows and the unwinding of carry trades. By the end of the 1990s,
countries realized the importance of fuller self-insurance, not just against refinancing risks
of external debt, but also against volatility associated with international capital flows and
open capital accounts.


Empirical studies suggest that no single explanation can account for the be-
haviour of all countries at all times. A recent IMF study found that precautionary demand
and self-insurance motives both played a prominent role in the increase in international
reserves following the East Asian crisis, although mercantilism, in the form of an under-
valued real exchange rate, appears to have contributed in some cases.18 The study also
found a positive unexplained residual in more recent years, implying that reserves were
higher than what would be predicted by precautionary or mercantilist motives. This is
in keeping with the role of exchange-rate management in smoothing volatility in reserve
accumulation. There is some evidence of this, in that central banks have been using capital
management techniques to limit capital inflows rather than solely buying the inflows to
build reserves in cases when the currency is not undervalued. The goal is not to keep an
undervalued currency, but to stop the continued appreciation of an overvalued one while
limiting the build-up in reserves.


Clearly, holding large international reserves can be costly, and for a host of
reasons. First, most international reserves are held in United States treasuries, which are
considered safe but are low-yielding. Foreign-exchange reserves represent a form of con-
strained saving, since national savings that are allocated to reserves withhold funds that
could be invested elsewhere, possibly with greater social benefit. Second, accumulation of
foreign-exchange reserves tends to increase the domestic money supply because the central
bank buys foreign currency and sells local currency. Attempts to sterilize this increase in the
money supply generally involve issuing government bonds to absorb the excess liquidity,


17 Atish R. Ghosh, Jonathan D. Ostry and Charalambos G. Tsangarides, “Shifting motives: explaining
the build-up in official reserves in emerging markets since the 1980s”, IMF Working Paper, No.
WP/12/34 (Washington, D.C., January 2012).


18 Ibid.


Holding reserves is costly,
and can harm long-term
investments




76 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


which leads to higher domestic interest rates and thereby raises borrowing costs. Further,
the increased bond issuance can lead to a worsening in the domestic public debt burden.
The result is that foreign currency inflows end up being held as reserves which in turn are
invested in United States Treasury bonds, while the developing country increases its debt
burden to finance domestic investment, counteracting the benefit of foreign investment.


That a large share of international reserves is invested in government bonds and
similar assets abroad implies a net transfer of resources from poorer countries to wealthier
ones. Accumulation of major reserve currencies in developing countries is a major element
in the net transfer of financial resources from developing countries to the major economies
issuing the reserve currencies (table III.2 and figure III.2). Although net transfers de-
creased somewhat in 2012 in line with the lower accumulation of reserves, they remained
negative, with the exception of the LDCs, which continue to receive net positive transfers.


Finally, precautionary reserve accumulation, while sensible at the national
level, generates fallacy of composition effects at the global level, further adding to global
imbalances and a less stable international financial architecture as discussed above. The
Commission of Experts of the President of the United Nations General Assembly has rec-
ommended that the international reserve system make greater use of IMF Special Drawing
Rights (SDRs) as these provide a low-cost alternative to accumulation of international
reserves.19 SDRs could reduce the need for precautionary reserve accumulation by provid-
ing access to foreign currency liquidity when a country’s capital account is under pressure.
In other words, the greater use of SDRs could reduce the need for self-insurance by many
developing countries.


There have also been recommendations for mechanisms to use SDR allocations
as a potential source of innovative financing for development, although care needs to be
taken to preserve the role of SDRs as a monetary instrument, as discussed further below.


19 United Nations, “Report of the Commission of Experts of the President of the United Nations
General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System”, 21 September
2009.


Constrained investment
induced by reserve


accumulation could be
reduced by the greater use


of SDRs


Figure III.2
Net transfers of financial resources to developing economies
and economies in transition, 2000-2012


-1000


-800


-600


-400


-200


0


200


20
00


20
01


20
02


20
03


20
04


20
05


20
06


20
07


20
08


20
09


20
10


20
11


20
12


b


Africa


Sub-Saharan Africa
(excluding Nigeria
and South Africa)


East and
South Asia


Western Asia


transition


Least developed


Economies in


countriesa


Latin America


Developing
economies


Billions of dollars


Source: UN/DESA, based on
IMF, World Economic Outlook
Database, October 2012; and


IMF, Balance of Payments
Statistics.


a Cape Verde graduated
in December 2007,


hence excluded from the
calculations.


b Partly estimated.




77International finance for development


The Group of Twenty (G20) is considering enhancing the SDR basket to include addi-
tional currencies and possibly increasing allocations of SDRs. There is, however, political
resistance and legal barrier to broadening the scope of SDRs. For example, the IMF Articles
would need to be amended to change the way SDRs are allocated, and an 85 per cent
majority is needed for agreement regarding new allocations. Instead, international reforms
have been more narrowly focused on reducing systemic risks created by the banking sector.


International financial reform
There are several regulatory reforms underway, which are designed to reduce the risk of
future financial sector crises (table III.2). The current approach to international financial
reform has been focused on ensuring the safety and soundness of the financial system,
focused primarily on the banking sector through Basel III. This is supplemented by na-
tional rule-setting (such as, the “Volcker rule” in the United States of America and the
Vickers Commission proposals in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland) that partially separate the banking sector from shadow banking (box III.2). In
addition, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) has proposed a number of measures: reforms
for oversight of the shadow banking system; recovery and resolution planning for systemi-
cally important institutions; reform of the over-the-counter derivatives market; uniform
global accounting standards; reduction in the reliance on credit rating agencies; improved
consumer protection; reform of some compensation practices; and the establishment of
macroprudential regulatory frameworks. Taken together, these reforms are steps in the
right direction. However, significant gaps remain. Indeed, a recent study by the IMF
found that the structure of financial intermediation remains more or less the same as it was
before the crisis, with excessive reliance on wholesale funding (which tends to be riskier
than financing through deposits), and on trading, commission and fee income rather than
on lending and credit intermediation.20


Broadly speaking, the objectives of financial sector regulation are fivefold:
(i) to secure the safety and soundness of financial institutions and the financial system
at large; (ii) to ensure competition; (iii) to protect consumers; (iv) to promote access to
finance and financial services for all; and (v) to make certain that the financial sector
promotes macroeconomic stability and long-term sustainable growth.21 In addition, a key
lesson from the crisis is that rules need to address systemically important institutions and
should be comprehensive—in other words, incorporate all facets of credit intermediation.


To date, the reform agenda has not focused sufficiently on all of the objectives.
The primary focus has been on safety and soundness. There have been some efforts to
improve consumer protection by the FSB, in addition to steps taken on the national level,
such as the Consumer Protection Agency in the United States, although these efforts are
facing some implementation difficulties. However, the new regulatory framework might
have the effect of weakening some of the other principal objectives. For example, the
global crisis led to increased consolidation of commercial banks. There is some concern
that the new regulatory framework will lead to even greater consolidation to accommodate
the need for economies of scale, further limiting competition in the sector as well as
exacerbating problems inherent in having “too big to fail” institutions. Furthermore, by
raising the cost of riskier lending, capital adequacy rules might have the effect of limiting


20 IMF, Global Financial Stability Report, op. cit.
21 Presentation given by Joseph E. Stiglitz at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Financial Markets


Reform Task Force Meeting, 25-27 July 2006, Manchester, United Kingdom.


The current approach to
international financial
reform remains primarily
focused on enhancing the
stability of the banking
sector


Regulatory reform should
take a more integral
approach




78 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table III.2
A snapshot of the new regulatory initiatives


Key reforms Elements Timeline


Banks


Global reforms
Basel III capital standards Changes to the definition of capital Completion 2019
Basel III capital charges Better valuation of risk Completion 2019


Incremental risk charge for trading-book activity Completion 2019
Higher capital charges for counterparty exposures in derivatives, repo
trading


Completion 2019


Additional capital conservation and countercyclical buffers Completion 2019
Additional capital surcharge for G-SIFIs Completion 2019
Capital charge assessed on (clearing member) banks’ central
counterparty default fund exposures


Completion 2019


G-SIFI surcharge Additional amount of common equity for systemically important
banks


Completion 2019


Basel III liquidity requirements Liquidity coverage ratio: requires high-quality liquid assets sufficient
to meet 30 days’ outflows


Completion 2019


Net stable funding ratio: requires better maturity matching of assets
and liabilities


Completion 2018


Basel III leverage ratio Sets a ceiling on the measure of exposures (regardless of risk
weighting) against capital (3 percent Tier 1 capital over total
exposures)


Completion 2019


FSB compensation guidelines Responsibility of boards for compensation policies Implemented
Compensation should be aligned with risks and time horizons
Supervisors should monitor compensation policies


Corporate governance Emphasis on robust corporate governance, including the role of
banks’ boards


Resolution of G-SIFIs Reduce the likelihood that institutions will need to use public funds
when they fail


National reforms


Volcker rule (Dodd-Frank Act) Deposit-taking institutions restricted from trading activities,
ownership of private equity and hedge funds


Law passed, implementation
pending


Vickers report Ring-fencing of United Kingdom retail banks from investment
banking activities; additional capital for ring-fenced entity


Completion 2019


Markets


Global reforms
OTC derivatives Standardization of derivatives contracts Varied


Clearing of standardized derivatives contracts through central
counterparties (CCPs)
Trading of standardized derivatives contracts on exchanges or
electronic trading platforms where appropriate
Reporting of contracts to trade repositories
Higher capital and margin requirements for derivatives that are not
centrally cleared




79International finance for development


Table III.2 (cont’d)


Key reforms Elements Timeline


Nonbanks


Global reforms
Shadow banking Monitoring of shadow banking and evaluation of risks


Registration of hedge funds; improved standards for securitization
Future regulatory reforms include enhancements to indirect
regulation (regulation of shadow banks through their interaction
with banks); increased liquidity and valuation rules for money market
funds; rules governing repos and securities lending


Other initiatives


Credit ratings Registration and regulation of credit rating agencies; regulation
includes further transparency on rating methodologies, on the
performance of ratings, and raw data


Implementation ongoing


Reduction of regulatory reliance on ratings; in the United States,
this has triggered removal of references to credit ratings in laws and
regulations


Implementation ongoing


Source: IMF, Global Financial Stability Report, October 2012, table 3.2.
Note: No entry for timeline means that the reforms are still being developed. FSB = Financial Stability Board; G-SIFIs = global systemically important
financial institutions.


What is shadow banking?


The Financial Stability Board defines shadow banking as “credit intermediation involving entities and
activities outside the regular banking system.” a Shadow banking entities are those that create lever-
age or that engage in maturity and liquidity transformation.


The shadow banking sector is markedly different in developed than in developing
countries. In developed countries, non-bank financial intermediation is mainly conducted by money
market funds, structured finance vehicles, other investment funds including hedge, investment, and
exchange-traded funds, finance companies, insurance companies, and securities brokers and dealers.
These entities engage in credit intermediation through activities and instruments including securiti-
zation, securities lending, derivatives, repurchase agreements and loans, thus partly competing with
banks that are relatively more strictly regulated and supervised.


The share of the United States in global shadow banking declined from 44 per cent in
2005 to 35 per cent in 2011, but its shadow banking sector remains the largest worldwide, at over 50
per cent of credit intermediation.b In the euro area, shadow banking represented less than 30 per
cent of credit intermediation in 2010.c Important differences remain across countries, however. The
Netherlands, Luxembourg, France and Ireland account for around three quarters of shadow banking
activity in the euro area.d


Currently, shadow banking is of much less concern in developing economies, though it
could become more of an issue if it continues to grow or engages in products without proper regula-
tions. In developing countries, funding is currently channelled from investors to creditors, bypassing
banks through entities such as finance, leasing and factoring companies, investment and equity
funds, insurance companies, pawn shops and other entities such as text and mobile phone banking.


These market participants engage in diverse credit intermediation activities that in-
volve certain risks, including credit, counterparty or collateral risks, but do not as yet involve long,
complex, opaque intermediation chains that create linkages between the banking and shadow


Box III.1


a Financial Stability
Board, “Shadow banking:
strengthening oversight
and regulation”, 27 October
2011, available from http://
www.financialstabilityboard.
org/publications/r_111027a.
pdf.
b Tobias Adrian and Adam
B. Ashcraft, “Shadow
banking: a review of
literature”, Federal Reserve
Bank of New York Staff
Reports, No. 580 (October
2012), available from http://
www.newyorkfed.org/
research/staff_reports/
sr580.pdf.
c Klára Bakk-Simon and
others,“Shadow banking in
the Euro area: an overview”,
European Central Bank
Occasional Paper, No. 133
(April 2012), available from
http://www.ecb.europa.
eu/pub/pdf/scpops/
ecbocp133.pdf.
d Ibid.




80 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


access to finance, since smaller entities, such as micro-enterprises and SMEs, have higher
capital costs. The role of regulatory regimes in macroeconomic stability and long-term
sustainable growth has not been sufficiently addressed. Basel III includes a countercyclical
buffer, although it is limited.


Achieving these goals presents a complex challenge for policymakers since
there can be trade-offs between ensuring stability and providing necessary access to credit.
However, finding an appropriate balance is imperative if the financial sector is to fulfill its
role of allocating credit effectively for long-term sustainable growth.


Progress in implementing Basel III


The agreed deadline for initiating implementation of Basel III is 1 January 2013.
According to the Basel Committee, the adoption of the Basel III rules under national law
was planned or under way in all 27 member jurisdictions of the Basel Committee in 2012,
with some members facing significant challenges to meeting the deadline. The framework
is also expected to be implemented to some extent in many non-member countries of the
Basel Committee. Judging from past experience, implementing the framework within the
agreed schedule indeed represents a challenge. As of 2012, the previous frameworks of
Basel II and Basel II.5 (expected to come into force in end-2006 and end-2011, respec-
tively) have not been implemented as yet by all Basel Committee Members.22 Moreover,
some elements of Basel III will be fully phased in as late as 2018 or 2019.23 Monetary and
financial supervision authorities might consider accelerating regulatory reforms, or at least
ensuring that critical elements of the reform package can enter into force sooner.


Basel III reforms—which include higher and better quality capital require-
ments, liquidity buffers and leverage rules—are designed to impose higher costs on risky


22 Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, “Report to G20 Leaders on Basel III implementation”
(Bank for International Settlements, June 2012).


23 The capital conservation and countercyclical buffers will be gradually phased in from January
2016 to January 2019; the leverage ratio is intended to be implemented in January 2018, following
a parallel run; the liquidity buffers will be implemented in January 2015 (30 day liquidity) and
January 2018 (longer-term liquidity).


Implementation of Basel III
will be phased in through


2019


banking sectors. One of the primary risks from shadow banking in developing countries appears to
be from finance companies feeding credit booms without thorough credit screening. For example,
in Turkey, inappropriately regulated and aggressive commercial practices by finance companies of-
fering quick loan approval via text message or automated teller machinee nurtured an unsustainable
credit boom in 2011, which had to be curbed by interventions of the central bank and regulators.
Non-bank credit intermediation for corporations and financial institutions can take on many different
and less predatory forms, but it relies on the same fragile funding model. Nonetheless, the financial
markets of many developing countries are only partially integrated with global financial markets. As
a consequence, shadow banking in developing countries poses risks that are more traditional and
local than systemic.f


As in the developed world, the share of shadow banking in credit intermediation var-
ies by country. According to some estimates, shadow banking may represent between 35 per cent
and 40 per cent of the financial sector in the Philippines or Thailand, but only about 20 per cent in
Indonesia and Croatia, and only slightly above 10 per cent in China.g


e Landon Thomas, “Turkey
spends freely again, and


some analysts worry”, The
New York Times, 25 April


2011.
f Swati Ghosh, Ines


Gonzalez del Mazo and İnci
Ötker-Robe, “Chasing the
shadows: how significant


is shadow banking in
emerging markets?”, The


World Bank Economic
Premise, No. 88 (September
2012), available from http://


siteresources.worldbank.org/
EXTPREMNET/Resources/


EP88.pdf.
g Ibid.


Box III.1 (cont’d)




81International finance for development


activities of banks to internalize the costs of risky behaviour, in an attempt to incentivize
banks to reduce risky activities. As such, it should enhance the resilience of banks towards
future shocks. Nonetheless, it has been suggested that the measures may not be sufficient
to create a stable and well-capitalized financial system. Several studies have concluded that
capital requirements should be significantly higher than those envisaged by Basel III.24
Indeed, several countries, notably some with outsized financial sectors such as Switzerland
and the United Kingdom, have already phased in higher capital requirements for impor-
tant banks in their jurisdictions. It is also argued that the leverage ratio had been met
before the financial crisis by many banks that later faced distress.25


There are also concerns that tighter bank regulations, in conjunction with the
complexity of the Basel III framework, might trigger a new wave of regulatory arbitrage.
It is reported that new products are already being created to circumvent the new rules
(box III.3).26 In most countries the regulatory supervisory capacity is limited, making it
difficult for regulators to keep pace with these kinds of developments. It is thus crucial to
improve regulatory supervisory capacity through programmes geared towards education
of regulators as well as more competitive compensation. Nonetheless, financial markets
have been characterized by innovations and change, making it difficult for even well-
trained supervisors to be able to effectively oversee a complex regulatory system. More
generally, complex regulations can be difficult to administer and costly. This argues for
broad-based simple regulations, such as high capital ratios and low leverage ratios, with
simple countercyclical rules built in.27 Indeed, there are calls for greater regulatory sim-
plicity and transparency as a way to enhance accountability, avoid regulatory loopholes
and arbitrage, and facilitate implementation.28


There are trade-offs between safety and allocation of credit to risky, albeit
productive, activities. Basel rules, which have higher capital charges for riskier invest-
ments, could result in less lending to SMEs. The tighter capital and liquidity standards
in Basel III could also reduce the availability of long-term financing, with a particularly
negative impact on green investments, as well as on developing countries that have large
infrastructure needs. Overall lending to some developing countries (particularly to those
with sub-investment-grade credit ratings) is likely to be impacted, as the capital require-
ments under Basel III would imply higher borrowing costs and scarcity of credit in these
markets. In particular, and despite amendments to the Basel III framework,29 there are
continuing concerns over the implications of the new rules for trade finance (box III.2).
Similarly, very safe financial systems might also tend not to be inclusive in terms of offer-
ing financial services to the poor.


24 See World Economic Situation and Prospects 2012 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.12.
II.C.2).


25 Stephany Griffith-Jones, Shari Spiegel and Matthias Thiemann, “Recent developments in regulation
in the light of the global financial crisis: implications for developing countries”, IPD Working Paper
(Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, 2011).


26 IMF, Global Financial Stability Report, op. cit.
27 It may still be appropriate to have some specific regulations in particular areas, but only when they


are areas that are relatively self-contained and for which regulators have access to full information.


28 See “The dog and the frisbee”, speech by Andrew G. Haldane, Executive Director, Bank of England,
at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s 366th economic policy symposium, Jackson Hole,
Wyoming, 31 August 2012; and World Bank, Global Financial Development Report 2013:
Rethinking the Role of the State in Finance (Washington, D.C., September 2012).


29 Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, “Treatment of trade finance under the Basel capital
framework” (Bank for International Settlements, 2011).


Discrepancies in financial
reform between the
banking and shadow
banking sectors is likely
to induce more regulatory
arbitrage


Basel rules could result in
less lending to SMEs and
reduce availability of long-
term financing, particularly
in developing countries.




82 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Global systemically important financial institutions


During the global financial crisis, large financial institutions, in particular, were found
to have spread systemic risks. In response, G20 leaders agreed to strengthen the oversight
and regulation of global systemically important financial institutions (G-SIFIs), focused
on minimizing the adverse impacts their distress or failure might have on the financial
sector as well as on the broader economy. In 2011, the FSB identified an initial group of
29 G-SIFIs, nine of which are headquartered in jurisdictions that have not yet fully imple-
mented Basel II or II.5. A key element of the measures put forward by the FSB to address
the phenomenon of “too big to fail” is that G-SIFIs should have a loss-absorbing capacity
beyond the general standards of Basel III (that is, an additional capital requirement of
between 1.0 per cent and 3.5 per cent, to be phased in by 2019), although it is not clear


Global systemically
important financial


institutions will have to
raise their loss-absorbing


capacity


Capital arbitrage since the crisis: trade finance securitization


Despite a decline in securitization following the financial crisis, new financial products that appear to
circumvent regulatory rules are being created.a It has, however, been argued that not all of what has
come to be known as “regulatory arbitrage” (that is, using off-balance-sheet structures to circumvent
capital requirements) necessarily increases systemic risks. To the extent that regulators with limited
market information misprice risk, it is argued that these trades might have the effect of making the
market more efficient. An example where this might be the case is in trade financing. Many trade
finance instruments, such as letters of credit, are held off balance sheet. The leverage rule in Basel
III requires banks to set aside the capital equivalent of the value of off-balance-sheet items using a
credit-conversion factor that reflects the likelihood of a contingent off-balance sheet risk becoming
an on-balance sheet item. The Basel III credit conversion factor for trade finance is 100 per cent, five
times the 20 per cent figure generally used in Basel II. The implication is that the collateral used in
trade financing is not counted in the evaluation of the risk of the loan.


Aside from raising questions on whether such items should be held off balance sheet
to begin with, the underlying question is how to value the collateral in trade finance. The problem is
based on an informational asymmetry. From the regulator’s perspective, there is not enough data on
trade finance defaults available to reduce the risk weighting.b Banks, which believe they have a better
idea of the risks in the loan portfolios, argue that trade finance is less likely to default and that many,
although not all, trade finance deals are backed by strong collateral. Nonetheless, the regulatory
capital costs of the loans devalue the collateral. As a result, banks have created products to securitize
pools of trade financing loans, which are then sold to investors.


This securitization has allowed some banks to continue trade financing in developing
countries, and underscores the potential benefits that securitizations can have for financing for devel-
opment. There are, however, real risks associated with these products that need to be addressed. Many
structures incorporate bank guarantees that are not necessarily fully reported, despite the fact that
the banks still maintain some exposure to the underlying risks. At present this does not pose systemic
risks since the market is small and limited to investors with expertise in this area. However, if it were
to grow in size it would likely bring in investors with limited knowledge of trade finance, which could
result in severe mispricing, similar to what happened in the mortgage markets (although most likely
on a smaller scale). In addition, there is a risk associated with the loans being originated for the pur-
pose of securitization (referred to as the “originate to distribute” model), which often implies reduced
credit monitoring and screening. Ironically, this then justifies the higher risk ratings, but also leads to
increased risks for both borrowers and investors, as well as systemic risks created by credit bubbles.


There is a need to keep exposures, such as those implicit in guarantees or other mecha-
nisms, on balance sheet, transparent, and within the regulatory monitoring framework. In addition,
there is a need for regulators to monitor the growth of securitizations in different sectors across the
system in order to better track the build-up that creates bubbles with systemic implications.


Box III.2


a IMF, Global Financial
Stability Report: Restoring


Confidence and Progressing
on Reforms, October 2012.


b Basel Committee on
Banking Supervision,


“Treatment of trade finance
under the Basel capital


framework (Bank for
International Settlements,


2011).




83International finance for development


that this will be sufficient. A further concern is that the new regulations might exacerbate
this concentration of the financial sector in a few big banks, since absorbing the higher
costs may require economies of scale.30


The FSB has also recommended that G-SIFIs develop recovery and resolution
plans (also known as living wills), and that countries prioritize this in national regulatory
frameworks. Other related FSB recommendations include the establishment of crisis man-
agement groups for G-SIFIs, which would include regulators, supervisors, central banks,
and other authorities, as well as cross-border cooperation. The FSB is currently developing
standards for domestic regulators to follow in supervising G-SIFIs, and is working to ex-
tend the resolution planning framework to systemically important insurers and non-bank
G-SIFIs.


Most countries have been slow to implement the FSB recommendations. There
are some exceptions, however, such as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer
Protection Act in the United States, which incorporates living wills into its framework.
Altogether, the “too big to fail” problem remains largely unresolved. Measures to decrease
financial concentration should be explored, including steps to reduce the size of financial
conglomerates by separating different business lines and creating a more diversified bank-
ing system, with a greater role for cooperative and savings banks, for instance.


Reforms in compensation and incentives


Compensation practices encouraging excessive risk-taking were a key contrib-
uting factor to the global financial crisis. Many financial market participants are com-
pensated on the basis of annual performance, which can incentivize excessive short-term
risk-taking, without factoring in medium- or long-term risks. According to FSB surveys
of market participants, more than 80 per cent of respondents believe that compensation
packages contributed to the accumulation of risks that led to the crisis, with general agree-
ment that without changes in such incentives, other reforms are likely to be less effective.31


The dominant view among policymakers as represented by the FSB is that
“executive compensation is not simply a market wage, but an incentive system”.32 The
implication is that because compensation structures and incentive structures have an ef-
fect on risk-taking within financial institutions, they should fall under the regulatory
framework, whereas compensation levels, as such, need not. To this end, in 2009 the FSB
defined “principles and guidelines for sound compensation”, aimed at curbing excessive
risk-taking by financial institutions by improving the alignment of compensation with
risk-taking, as well as the governance and supervision of compensation practices. Many
countries have since taken steps to incorporate compensation structures into their supervi-
sory frameworks, but in general it is not clear that these will be strong enough to fully alter
incentives. In particular, the FSB rules define broad guidelines only and do not set clear
parameters on how they should be implemented. For example, in the United States, banks
with a global presence are required to identify employees whose incentive compensation
can influence risk-taking and to incorporate features into their compensation packages
that promote balanced risk-taking. The details vary, however, across jobs and businesses.


30 IMF, Global Financial Stability Report, op. cit.
31 Financial Stability Board (FSB), “Principles for sound compensation practices: Implementation


standards”, 25 September 2009, available from http://www.financialstabilityboard.org/
publications/r_090925c.pdf.


32 FSB, “Principles for sound compensation practices”, 2 April 2009, available from http://www.
financialstabilityboard.org/publications/r_0904b.pdf.


The “too big to fail”
problem continues to be
unresolved


Efforts to improve
compensation practices in
the financial sector remain
minimal




84 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


In 2012, JP Morgan Chase’s unexpected multibillion dollar loss in a group that was meant
to be hedging the bank’s positions—not engaged in risk-taking—shows how difficult such
identification and monitoring can be. Furthermore, the proposed measures apply to only
the banking sector, and in particular to G-SIFIs, and do not address shadow banking,
where risk-taking and compensation are highest.


Global risks of shadow banking


Another side effect of the new regulations is that risky activities that require higher capital
might shift from the regulated banking system to shadow banking practices. The value
of shadow banking assets rose from an estimated $26 trillion in 2002 to $62 trillion in
2007. Although shadow banking as a percentage of GDP declined after the crisis, assets
in the shadow banking sector remain significant, at $67 trillion in 2011 (figure III.3), or
24 per cent of assets held by the global financial system (figure III.4). Shadow banking
activities are particularly important in certain countries, such as the United States where
the sector harbours assets worth around $23 trillion33 and represents 53 per cent of credit
intermediation (down from 60 per cent in 2007).34


Credit intermediation in the shadow banking sector is performed by a wide
range of disparate entities with very different characteristics (box III.2) However, two
common elements exist among them: they are not subject to the banking sector regulatory
framework and, as such, they lack direct access to a liquidity backstop through a public
lender of last resort (although central banks have provided shadow banking entities with


33 FSB, “Shadow banking: strengthening oversight and regulation: recommendations of the
Financial Stability Board”, 27 October 2011, available from http://www.financialstabilityboard.org/
publications/r_111027a.pdf.


34 Tobias Adrian and Adam B. Ashcraft, “Shadow banking: a review of literature”, Federal Reserve
Bank of New York Staff Reports, No. 580 (October 2012), available from http://www.newyorkfed.
org/research/staff_reports/sr580.pdf.


Shadow banking assets
amount to 24 per cent of


the global financial system


Figure III.3
Assets of shadow banking entities worldwide, 2002-2011


Source: Financial Stability
Board, based on national


flow-of-funds data.
Note: Includes 20 jurisdictions


and the euro area. 20
02


20
03


20
04


20
05


20
06


20
07


20
08


20
09


20
10


20
11


In USD billions
(left-hand scale)


per cent of GDP
(right-hand scale)


120


110


100


90


80


130


140


65,000


70,000


60,000


55,000


50,000


45,000


40,000


35,000


30,000


25,000


20,000




85International finance for development


liquidity in crisis situations with systemic implications, as was the case with money
market funds in the United States, discussed below).35 As a result, shadow banking allows
greater risk-taking than traditional banking, as well as opportunities for capital, tax and
accounting arbitrage.


Both banking and non-banking credit intermediation involve risks, includ-
ing leverage, maturity and liquidity mismatches, procyclicality, and lack of transparency.
These risks become magnified in shadow banking entities, in large part because they are
outside of the banking regulatory framework. In addition, many shadow banking entities
have compensation schemes based on short-term performance that can lead to excessive
risk-taking, as discussed earlier.


Leverage ratios in shadow banking entities are often much higher than in
banks. Leverage ratios were close to 30 in many investment banks prior to the financial
crisis.36 Some hedge fund strategies are based on leveraging more than 50 to 100 times
the fund equity, and structured vehicles, or at least certain tranches, tend to be highly
leveraged by design. Shadow banking entities, such as hedge funds, pose systemic risks
through interlinkages with the banking system, such as leverage provided to hedge funds
by regulated banks and counterparty risks from trading activities. In the absence of clear
ring-fencing between banks and shadow banks, many leveraged shadow banking entities
remain affiliated with banks or directly owned by them. While moving activities off banks’
balance sheets may be consistent with the regulatory framework, the build-up of leverage
in shadow banking entities with linkages to banks jeopardizes financial stability. Although
some regulation, like the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
in the United States, attempts to limit these linkages, many of the measures that may have
ensured a more solid ring-fencing were left out or diluted in the final agreement.


35 Ibid.
36 William Wright, “Investment banks and the death of leverage”, Financial News, 26 April 2011,


available from http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/2011-04-26/investment-banks-and-the-
death-of-leverage.


Weakly regulated shadow
banking magnifies
leverage, maturity and
liquidity mismatches,
procyclicality and lack of
transparency


Figure III.4
Share of total financial assets, 2002-2011


0.00


10.00


20.00


30.00


40.00


50.00


60.00


20
02


20
03


20
04


20
05


20
06


20
07


20
08


20
09


20
10


20
11


Source: Financial Stability
Board, based on national


flow-of-funds data.
Note: Includes 20 jurisdictions


and the euro area.


Banks


Shadow Banking
(a.k.a., other financial
intermediaries)


Insurance companies
and pension funds


Central banks


Public financial
institutions




86 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


In addition, many shadow banking entities use short-term wholesale funding
to finance long-term and illiquid assets, such as borrowing from money market funds or
by issuing short-term securities, which entail greater refinancing risks than traditional de-
posits. At the same time, shadow banking entities generally lack official access to a lender
of last resort, and are also outside government deposit insurance programmes, making
them more vulnerable to bank runs.37 For example, money market funds (MMFs) in the
United States experienced such a run during the crisis. MMFs hold short-term securities,
and pass the interest on to their investors. Consumers and investors often use these funds
as alternatives to bank accounts, and do not expect to lose their principal investment.
However, during the crisis, the value of the short-term securities held by the funds fell, so
that the net asset value of at least one MMF fell below 100 per cent. Within two days of
the announcement of “breaking the buck”, investors had withdrawn approximately $ 200
billion or 10 per cent of assets from the MMF market. The redemptions contributed to
a freezing of the United States commercial paper market, so that top-rated United States
firms were unable to refinance working capital loans, and to a spike in short-term United
States interest rates. Ultimately, the Government provided a guarantee and liquidity back-
stop to stop the run.38


Most shadow banking entities are also subject to mark-to-market accounting,
which amplifies procyclicality, especially in combination with secured (or collateralized)
financing. When asset values fall, additional collateral must be posted, which can force
entities into sell positions in order to meet collateral calls, further depressing asset prices.
This amplifies deleveraging during crises and, conversely, money creation in good times,
potentially weakening the countercyclical effectiveness of monetary policy.


These risks are compounded by the lack of transparency in many shadow
banking activities. Hedge funds are notoriously secretive about their strategies and posi-
tions, and many structured products are opaque. For example, prior to the crisis, banks
provided guarantees to off-balance-sheet structured investment vehicles (SIVs). In the
event of defaults above a specified threshold on the underlying loans, the SIVs would
transfer the non-performing loans to the bank’s balance sheet. These guarantees, which
were generally hidden from both regulators and shareholders, substantially increased the
riskiness of the banks.


In addition, many shadow banking entities are extremely complex and difficult
to understand, leading to systemic mispricing of securities, which can amplify boom and
bust cycles. This was particularly evident prior to the crisis with respect to securitization
and structured products, especially those that securitized sub-prime mortgages. Although
the sub-prime mortgage market was introduced in the United States in the 1980s, it did
not become sizeable until the late 1990s, growing from 83,000 mortgages in 1995 to more
than 1,600,000 in 2006.39 As such, there were only limited data on how these mortgages


37 Whereas deposits in banks are guaranteed by official insurance funds, such as the Federal
Insurance Deposit Corporation (FDIC) in the United States, shadow banking at best relies on
private guarantees, which often become unreliable in difficult times.


38 The direct extension of public guarantees to several shadow banking entities and markets
contributed to restoring some financial stability, but it also opened a debate about the legality
and legitimacy of using public funds to assist parts of the financial sector that were not entitled to
such assistance as well as shortcomings of existing governance mechanisms. See Levy Economics
Institute of Bard College, “Improving governance of the government safety net in financial crisis”,
April 2012, available from http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/rpr_gov_12_04.pdf.


39 Souphala Chomsisengphet and Anthony Pennington-Cross, “The evolution of the subprime
mortgage market”, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, vol. 88, No. 1 (January/February
2006), pp. 31-56.


Shadow banking’s excessive
reliance on short-term and
secured funding heightens


systemic risk


Many shadow banking
entities are prone to
mispricing securities


and misleading risk
management practices




87International finance for development


would perform in a severe economic slowdown. Given the limited historical data, rating
agencies used dubious assumptions about default rates and correlations that were plugged
into models designed to be overoptimistic. As a result, risks were systematically ignored
and not captured in available data. Ultimately, investors’ blind reliance on ratings led many
in the financial community to trade products they did not understand. While securitized
products can have benefits for lending, especially to underserved groups (box III.3 above),
it is crucial that they be effectively regulated in order to identify and reduce systemic risks.


Progress in regulating shadow banking


The build-up of systemic risk that occurred in shadow banking entities in the run-up to
the crisis highlights the need for a new approach to financial sector regulation—one that
encompasses monitoring and regulation of all mechanisms that intermediate credit. Most
efforts to reform shadow banking are being coordinated at the international level, but
progress has been slower than expected. At the November 2010 Seoul Summit, in view
of the completion of the agreement on new capital standards for banks in Basel III, the
G20 leaders requested that the FSB, in collaboration with other international standard-
setting bodies, develop recommendations to strengthen the oversight and regulation of the
shadow banking system by mid-2011.40


In October 2011, the FSB proposed an overall approach and formulated some
general principles and recommendations,41 focused on banks’ interactions with shadow
banking entities, MMFs, other shadow banking entities, securitization, and securities
lending and repos.42 The proposed approach and possible regulatory measures were
further refined and open for public consultation in November 2012.43 Those measures
include imposing concentration and exposure limits as well as stricter consolidation rules
to limit the vulnerability of banks to risks in the shadow banking sector, and to ensure
that bank guarantees are included on bank balance sheets. In the case of MMFs, the rules
being considered would require that MMFs move from constant to variable net asset value
accounting and accept the imposition of bank-like capital buffers. Proposed measures to
reduce risks in relation to securitization include improving information disclosure and im-
posing retention requirements, which require banks to maintain a portion of the security
on their balance sheet in order to increase their stake in credit evaluation and monitoring
of the portfolios. Proposed rules to temper the procyclicality of collateralized lending in-
clude providing better guidelines on collateral management, valuation and reuse. Finally,
the role of credit rating agencies should be reduced and the transparency and reporting of
information continually improved.


40 FSB, “Shadow banking: scoping the issues”, 12 April 2011, available from http://www.
financialstabilityboard.org/publications/r_110412a.pdf.


41 FSB, “Shadow banking: strengthening oversight and regulation”, op. cit.
42 FSB, “Strengthening the oversight and regulation of shadow banking: progress report to G20


Ministers and Governors, 16 April 2012, available from http://www.financialstabilityboard.org/
publications/r_120420c.pdf and “Progress of financial regulatory reforms”, 31 October 2012,
available from http://www.financialstabilityboard.org/publications/r_121105.pdf.


43 FSB, “Strengthening the oversight and regulation of shadow banking: an integrated overview of
policy recommendations”, 18 November 2012, available from http://www.financialstabilityboard.
org/publications/r_121118.pdf and “Strengthening the oversight and regulation of shadow
banking:a policy framework for strengthening oversight and regulation of shadow banking
entities”, 18 November 2012, available from http://www.financialstabilityboard.org/publications/
r_121118a.pdf.


Progress in coordinating
reform efforts to reduce
systemic risk in shadow
banking has been slow




88 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


To reduce risks in the derivatives market, the G20 has also agreed that OTC
derivatives that can be standardized should be traded on formal exchanges or electronic
platforms by the end of 2012. The United States, the EU and Japan have made progress
in implementing these reforms and are expected to have them fully implemented by the
end of 2012. The regulation and transparency of the over-the-counter derivatives mar-
ket should be improved through requirements for the reporting and central clearing of
transactions. Despite slow implementation, it is expected that the progress in terms of
infrastructure and legislation will allow at least the jurisdictions with the largest markets
in over-the-counter derivatives to comply with the deadline.44


At the domestic level, initiatives have been taken in some countries to improve
regulation in a limited number of areas.45 Information disclosure standards in debt se-
curitization, for instance, have been strengthened in several countries. However, recent
setbacks of regulatory proposals in the United States and slow progress in other developed
countries cast doubt over the possibility of reaching an international consensus that would
significantly reform and contain systemic risk generated in shadow banking. The contin-
ued existence of opportunities for capital, tax and accounting arbitrage, and the exclusion
of shadow banking from the debate on perverse compensation incentives and excessive
risk-taking, further hinder the possibility of decisively tackling systemic risks generated
by shadow banking.


At the global level, it is crucial to ensure that the implementation of regulations
is internationally coordinated and consistent. Although a regulatory framework needs to
ultimately be designed for the needs of the domestic economy, which can differ across
countries, regulatory arbitrage needs to be limited so that high-risk activities will not be
merely shifted from more to less strictly regulated sectors or jurisdictions. The establish-
ment of frameworks for monitoring implementation by the FSB and the Basel Committee
for Banking Supervision, which involve peer reviews, is a step in the right direction in this
regard. Nonetheless, the complexity of the proposed regulations could present new costs.
Ultimately, a simple, comprehensive regulatory structure might be more efficient.


Other international financial stability issues


Global financial safety net


The multilateral capacity to provide liquidity represents a crucial factor in safeguarding
global financial stability. A reliable global financial safety net would also reduce the incen-
tive for countries to accumulate reserves in order to cope with adverse shocks. In the wake
of the financial crisis, steps have been taken to strengthen the global financial safety net.


In 2012, resources available to the IMF for crisis prevention and resolution
were significantly reinforced. A number of countries committed themselves to provide
an additional $461 billion for this purpose, almost doubling the Fund’s lending capacity.
These resources will be in addition to quota increases under the IMF 2010 quota review
and previously enhanced borrowing arrangements of the Fund with member countries


44 FSB, “Overview of progress in the implementation of the G20 recommendations for strengthening
financial stability”, 19 June 2012, available from http://www.financialstabilityboard.org/
publications/r_120619a.pdf.


45 For a snapshot of the status of various financial reform initiatives, see IMF, Global Financial
Stability Report, op. cit., table 3.8.


Opportunities for capital,
tax and accounting


arbitrage remain abundant


IMF resources were sharply
increased in 2012




89International finance for development


and central banks. The IMF also continued to reform its liquidity and emergency lending
facilities. In 2011, the Precautionary Credit Line was replaced by the Precautionary and
Liquidity Line, which is designed to more flexibly meet the liquidity needs of member
countries with sound economic fundamentals. In addition, the Fund’s instruments for
emergency assistance were consolidated under the new Rapid Financing Instrument,
which may be used to support a range of urgent balance-of-payments needs.


Altogether, the international financial safety net has continued to evolve to-
wards a multilayered structure comprising global, regional and bilateral components.46
The overall size of the collective safety net, however, remains small in comparison to re-
serves accumulated by national central banks. Moreover, there continues to be a lack of
a global mechanism ensuring the swift and sufficient availability of substantial resources
to stabilize market conditions in times of systemic liquidity crises. Efforts to further
strengthen crisis-lending facilities should therefore focus on enhancing the different lay-
ers of the financial safety net as well as strengthening the coordination and consistency
between the mechanisms at different levels.


The G20 Principles for Cooperation between the IMF and Regional Financing
Arrangements, endorsed at the Cannes Summit, recognized that enhanced cooperation
between IMF and regional financial arrangements would be a step towards better crisis
prevention and resolution. The financial and operational capacity of mechanisms in some
regions has been reinforced, as in Europe or in East Asia. In the euro area, the European
Stability Mechanism was introduced, which provides rescue funds of €500 billion (about
$628 billion). In May 2012, the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
plus China, Japan and the Republic of Korea under the Chiang Mai Initiative agreed
to double the size of their emergency liquidity programme to $240 billion and make it
more readily available.47 In Latin America, the Inter-American Development Bank and
the Andean Development Bank are playing increasingly important roles, but these act
as development banks rather than as monetary funds. In Africa, there is no appropriate
institution that can step in to provide regional liquidity.


In terms of the relative size of the different components of the global financial
safety net, it is important to note that the bulk of liquidity needed to ease funding pres-
sures has been provided by key central banks. For instance, the volume of Long-Term
Refinancing Operations offered by the European Central Bank in late 2011 and early 2012
alone amounted to over €1 trillion. The involvement of major central banks will therefore
remain pivotal for a functioning and sufficient global financial safety net. The creation
of a more permanent framework of liquidity lines between key central banks should be
given consideration. The existence of such agreements, even in times of limited usage, is
considered to have a stabilizing effect on markets.


Multilateral and financial sector surveillance


Surveillance of the global economy for early warnings on economic and financial risks
is another key element in taming the boom-bust cycles of international finance. In the
run-up to the global crisis, the build-up of such risks was not properly captured by IMF


46 See, for instance, Pradumna B. Rana, “The evolving multi-layered global financial safety net: role
of Asia”, RSIS Working Paper, No. 238 (S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore, 16
May 2012).


47 See “Reforming international financial safety nets”, statement by Naoyuki Shinohara, IMF Deputy
Managing Director, to the Asian Development Bank 45th Annual Meeting, Manila, Philippines, 5
May 2012, available from imf.org/external/np/speeches/2012/050512.htm.


More efforts are needed
for improving global safety
nets


Comprehensive and timely
risk identification should be
the priority for multilateral
financial surveillance




90 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


surveillance. In particular, shortcomings in the surveillance approach were identified
with regard to cross-border and cross-sectoral linkages. The ability to assess the impact
of policies and shocks in major economies on other countries and regions and determine
the linkages between the financial sector and the real economy are central to effective
surveillance. Efforts of the IMF have continued to strengthen the capacity of multilateral
surveillance to identify risks to global financial and economic stability in a timely and
comprehensive manner. It has also taken a number of steps to strengthen the quality and
coverage of its surveillance activities.


In 2011, the Fund prepared its first spillover reports for the world’s five largest
economies (China, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the euro area) to
better reflect interconnections between the world’s economies. The reports assessed the
impact of policies in those economies on partner economies and stressed the importance of
financial channels for transmitting global shocks. Implementing the recommendations of
its 2011 Triennial Surveillance Review and the related Managing Director’s Action Plan,
the Fund has furthermore continued to reform and broaden its surveillance approach,
through better integration of bilateral and multilateral surveillance, for instance. The
monitoring of global stability risks emanating from financial sectors has been strength-
ened by the decision to make financial stability assessments at five-year intervals a manda-
tory part of surveillance for the 25 jurisdictions with systemically important financial
sectors. Under the revamped IMF/World Bank Financial Sector Assessment Programme,
several systemically important financial sectors have been assessed in 2012. Furthermore,
a new IMF Financial Surveillance Strategy was adopted in September 2012, which aims
to strengthen the analytical underpinnings of risk assessments and policy advice, upgrade
the instruments and products of financial surveillance, and engage more actively with
stakeholders in order to improve the traction and impact of financial surveillance.


International development cooperation
and official flows


Official development assistance


International public financing represents a form of global collective action for financing of
global social, economic and environmental goals, which are often not financed by the pri-
vate sector. In addition, official financing can be used to leverage private finance in areas
that promote social goals, such as climate financing. However, similar to private finance,
official financing to countries has been subject to instability and unpredictability. After
reaching a peak in 2010, ODA from member countries of the Development Assistance
Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) fell 2.7 per cent in real terms to $25 billion in 2011, equivalent to 0.31 of gross
national income (GNI) of DAC members. This represents the first significant fall in ODA,
excluding years of exceptional debt relief, since 1997 (figure III.5). Net ODA fell in 16
countries, including the largest donors, such as the United States and the EU countries,
which reduced their shares of ODA in GNI from 0.21 per cent to 0.20 per cent and from
0.44 per cent to 0.42 per cent, respectively. Steep declines were observed in Greece and Spain
(more than 33 per cent) and Austria, Belgium and Japan (more than 10 per cent). Moreover,
expected tight aid budgets in DAC member countries are expected in the coming years.


In 2011, ODA fell for the
first time in fifteen years




91International finance for development


Bilateral ODA to the least developed countries (LDCs) fell by about 2.0 per
cent in real terms in 2011, even though donors renewed their commitment to provide at
least 0.15 per cent of their GNI as aid to LDCs by 2015 at the Fourth United Nations
Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC IV) in May 2011. The Programme
of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020 set a target that at
least half of the LDCs should be eligible for graduation from the category by 2020.


The fall in ODA widens the gap on aid delivery between global aid and the
0.7 per cent agreed United Nations target by $4 billion, from 0.38 per cent of donor GNI
in 2010 to 0.39 per cent. Total ODA would have to more than double to about $300
billion in 2011 dollars to reach the target.48 As of 2011, only Denmark, Luxembourg,
the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden exceeded the United Nations ODA target. More
recently, however, the Netherlands announced plans to cut its aid budget by €1 billion by
2017, which will bring its contribution well below 0.7 per cent.


Declining ODA thus endangers the prospect of achieving the international
targets adopted by donors at major international fora49 during the past decade. This was
already apparent in 2010 in the failure to reach the G20 Gleneagles summit pledge of
reaching 0.36 percent level of the combined GNI of the DAC members, which was, in
turn, regarded as an intermediate objective toward meeting the long-standing United
Nations ODA target of 0.7 per cent. In addition, the commitment made in Gleneagles to
increase aid to Africa by $25 billion in 2010 was not met either.


An OECD Development Centre Study, published in April 2012,50 estimates a
$120 billion additional resources gap to achieving the MDGs, while the current flows of


48 See MDG Gap Task Force Report 2012: The Global Partnership for Development—Making
Rhetoric a Reality (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.12.I.5), p 9.


49 Including the Monterrey (2002) and Doha (2008) conferences on financing for development, the
Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least
Developed Countries in Istanbul (2011), in particular, the G20 Gleneagles summit pledges.


50 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), “Achieving the Millennium
Development Goals: more money or better policies (or both)?”, Issue Paper, available from http://
www.oecd.org/social/povertyreductionandsocialdevelopment/50463407.pdf.


Figure III.5
ODA from Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries as a percentage of
donor-country gross national income and in United States dollars, 1960-2011


-


19
60


19
63


19
66


19
69


19
72


19
75


19
78


19
81


19
84


19
87


19
90


19
93


19
96


19
99


20
02


20
05


20
08


20
11


-


U
S$


b
ill


io
ns


in
2


01
0


pr
ic


es


Pe
rc


en
ta


ge


ODA (percentage of DAC
donor-country GNI)


ODA (billions of dollars)


140


120


100


80


60


40


20


0.7


0.6


0.5


0.4


0.3


0.2


0.1 Source: OECD online
database, available at
http://www.oecd-ilibrary.
org/statistics (accessed 16
November 2012).




92 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


country-programmable aid from OECD countries stand at roughly half this figure. More
than half of it is needed in 20 low-income countries with per capita income lower than
$1,000 and, in the absence of expeditious action, about 35 countries will fall short of the
goal of halving the number of people living in absolute poverty. Urgent action is required
for these pledges to regain credibility and the necessary political traction.


Following the shortfall in the EU target for ODA delivery, the Foreign Affairs
Council of the European Union took a decision on the proposed “Agenda for Change” by
the EU Commission, in which it reaffirmed its commitment to achieve all their develop-
ment aid targets—including the collective 0.7 per cent ODA to GNI target—by 2015.51
Furthermore, the Council reiterated its commitment to policy coherence for development
and identified key strategic priorities. The Council’s focus is on governance and inclusive
sustainable growth as the two over-arching pillars of development cooperation, and it will
follow a more differentiated approach to countries at varying levels of development and
concentrate on a maximum of three sectors per country. The mix and level of aid would
be adapted according to needs, capacity and impact, as well as the progress made in com-
mitments to—and the record on—human rights, democracy and rule of law, reforms
implementation and meeting the needs of the people.


Before the Council approved the “Agenda for Change”, the April 2012 DAC
Review of the Development Cooperation Policies and Programmes of the European Union
noted that more progress was needed. The Review made a number of recommendations,52
including strengthening its differentiated international cooperation strategy with ap-
propriate funding within the 2014-2020 financial framework, simplifying its complex
budgetary and administrative processes, while aligning with member country policies and
devolving more authority to its staff in the field.


Recently, the European Parliament development committee adopted a set
of amendments that will be the basis of the negotiations with the Council on the new
Development Cooperation Instrument regulation that will come into effect when the cur-
rent one expires (after December 2013). The September 2012 proposed amendments53
include a renewed focus on inequality, since the proposed Agenda for Change selection
implied that middle-income countries would lose EU bilateral aid, based mostly on per
capita income. Other important aspects are the call for a smoother transition when phas-
ing out aid, more democratic oversight, and making climate change-related aid additional
to the 0.7 per cent contribution that member states have to provide as ODA.


DAC members approved a Recommendation on Good Pledging Practice to en-
sure credible and feasible pledges with enhanced accountability and transparency in 2011.
Now, donor countries, who are in a position to do so, need to set progressive quantitative
aid targets based on recipients’ needs assessments. Furthermore, LDCs need more access
to highly concessional funds and grants if they are to meet their essential spending needs
and also respond in a countercyclical way to the global economic crisis without falling
back into debt distress. This is particularly true for those LDCs facing fragile situations
resulting from institutions being weakened by the risk that their share of ODA allocation
will be lowered based on performance.


51 Council of the European Union, “Council conclusions: increasing the impact of EU development
policy—an agenda for change”, issued at the 3166th Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, 14
May 2012.


52 OECD, “EU development co-operation: improving but still cumbersome”, available from http://
www.oecd.org/newsroom/eudevelopmentco-operationimprovingbutstillcumbersome.htm.


53 See, “EU development aid must take social inequalities into account, say MEPs”, European
Parliament News, 18 September 2012, available from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/
en/pressroom/content/20120917IPR51498/html/EU-development-aid-must-take-social-
inequalities-into-account-say-MEPs.




93International finance for development


There is also evidence that along with the drop in ODA, the profile of ODA has
shifted, particularly for low-income country recipients. As shown in figure III.6, budget
support has fallen and project support has grown, along with the decline in aid. This could
be indicative of an effort by donors to make aid allocation more results orientated, believ-
ing that this increases aid efficiency. “Measurable outputs” are important from the donors’
perspective, as programmes that have a clear results focus tend to more readily receive
parliamentary approval in donor countries. Nonetheless, the explosion in the number of
individual aid projects by multiple donors has been widely criticized for not only exac-
erbating the fragmentation of aid architecture, but also imposing high transaction costs
on recipient governments with scarce resources, failing to align with countries’ national
priorities and development strategies, and undermining country ownership—which is at
the core of the Paris Principles of on Aid Effectiveness. Recognition that the role of aid
lies in encouraging and supplementing national resource mobilization to meet national
development goals, including the MDGs, has led to calls for aid to be increasingly used
for budget support.


As a whole, the objectives of the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness
set for 2010 have not been fully implemented, with only one out of 13 targets met.
Establishing mutual accountability mechanisms has been the indicator with the least
progress so far. While recipients have, in general, complied with this framework, donors
have not.54 As recognized in the Accra Agenda of Action, aid distribution across countries
remains insufficiently coordinated and the problem of aid “darlings” and “orphans”, as
well as “herding” behaviour by donors persists, with donor self-interest and geopolitical
factors often outweighing recipients’ needs and their ability to use aid effectively.


Although the proportion of official aid in total financing flows to developing
countries is diminishing, ODA remains critical for many countries. Many countries are in
need of increased assistance to meet emerging additional challenges such as climate change
and food price increases. The Global Partnership for Effective Development was launched


54 Ibid.


ODA is becoming more
fragmented


ODA remains a key
financing source for low-
income countries


Figure III.6
Low-income countries: concessional financing, 2003-2016


0.00


2.00


4.00


6.00


8.00


10.00


12.00


20
03


20
04


20
05


20
06


20
07


20
08


20
09


20
10


20
11


20
12


20
13


20
14


20
15


20
16


Project loans


Budget support loans


Project grants


Budget support grants


Percent of GDP


Source: IMF, World Economic
Outlook database, October
2012; and IMF, “Fiscal Monitor:
Taking stock—progress report
on fiscal adjustment”, October
2012, p.32.
Note: Average for low-income
countries and fragile states
of Africa, with oil producers
excluded.




94 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Korea in November-
December 2011. The principles of the Global Partnership for inclusive development need
to be translated into balanced, effective arrangements benefitting all.


There is scope to further improve collaboration and coordination among do-
nors and between donor and recipients at both global and national levels. Together with
fostering the Global Partnership, the Development Cooperation Forum of the United
Nations Economic and Social Council could be strengthened to ensure that the concept
of aid effectiveness—broadened to capture all aspects of development effectiveness—goes
beyond strengthening country ownership by aligning ODA with recipient country’s devel-
opment strategies and plans, and increasing the use of their own systems for procurement
and financial management.


South-South cooperation


The dynamism of South-South trade and financing is part of the explanation for the rela-
tive resilience of developing countries in the recent crisis. The estimated volume of South-
South cooperation financial flows was calculated to have reached 20 billion in 2010,55
and is expected to grow further. However, the full size of South-South cooperation is not
known, as many of the transactions are not fully reported. The knowledge gaps in South-
South cooperation need to be acknowledged and addressed by creating proper reporting
procedures that can solve the problem of fragmented and incomplete data.


Most of the resources in South-South flows are in the form of bilateral pro-
grammes of project funding. Unlike traditional aid, South-South cooperation tends to use
a multi-pronged development strategy, incorporating trade and investment along with aid
to support necessary infrastructure for the broader investment, generally without condi-
tionalities.56 South-South cooperation also extends to areas of knowledge-sharing, as a
tool for facilitating capacity development and innovation. Much South-South coopera-
tion, particularly from China, appears to be market driven (using market interest rates) in
the area of natural resources, with much of the lending collateralized.57 As such, it is not
an alternative to existing aid.


The Busan outcome document acknowledged the difference between South-
South cooperation and North-South cooperation in terms of nature, modalities and re-
sponsibilities.58 At Busan, countries agreed to form an integral part of a new and more
inclusive development agenda, in which actors participate on the basis of common goals,
shared principles and differential commitments. South-South cooperation can work in
concert with traditional forms of development aid which, in recent years, have tended to
focus more on humanitarian and social interventions, and increasingly, on climate adapta-
tion and mitigation.59 The complementarity of South-South flows, traditional ODA, and
other flows should be integrated to enhance the overall development architecture.


55 Sachin Chaturvedi, Thomas Fues and Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, Development Cooperation and
Emerging Powers: New partners or Old Patterns? (Zed Books, 2012), p. 255.


56 See United Nations, General Assembly, “Report of the Secretary-General on the state of South-
South cooperation” (A/66/229), para. 15.


57 Kevin P. Gallagher and Roberto Porzecanski, The Dragon in the Room: China and the Future of
Latin American Industrialization (Stanford University Press, 2010).


58 See “Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation”, Outcome document at the Fourth
High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in Busan, Republic Of Korea from 29 November-1
December 2011, paras. 2 and 14.


59 United Nations, General Assembly, “Report of the Secretary-General on the state of South-South
cooperation”, op. cit., para. 53.


South-South cooperation
continues to grow,


mirroring the increasing
global relevance of these


economies




95International finance for development


Innovative sources of international
financing for development


Nonetheless, shortfalls in traditional ODA and the need for additional and more predict-
able international public financing has led to a search for new funding sources in addition
to South-South cooperation and other flows— not as a substitute for aid, but as a comple-
ment to it. The G20 at the Cannes Summit on 4 November 2011 acknowledged the need
to tap new sources of funds for development and global public goods. The outcome docu-
ment of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), entitled
“The future we want”, also states: “We consider that innovative financing mechanisms
can make a positive contribution in assisting developing countries to mobilize additional
resources ... (s)uch financing should supplement and not be a substitute for traditional
sources of financing.”60


Estimating the amounts raised through innovative financing mechanisms is a
true challenge. There is no internationally agreed definition of innovative financing and
as a consequence there are no standardized reporting systems to monitor these flows. As a
result, estimates differ according to the mechanisms and sectors deemed as innovative fi-
nancing. Classification schemes such as those by the OECD and the World Bank differ in
their coverage, and so their estimates are not strictly comparable. The 2011 Report of the
Secretary-General on Innovative mechanisms of financing for development61 estimated
that funds raised through innovative financing mechanisms for the period 2002-2011
ranged between $37 billion and $60 billion.


A recent comprehensive study by the United Nations estimates that when re-
stricting the concept of innovative financing for development to include only mechanisms
involving public sector involvement linked to international development cooperation,
about $8.4 billion in resources are being channelled through innovative financing mecha-
nisms, at best, with only a few hundred million dollars in new, additional funding raised
annually.62 The innovative initiatives that have been launched during the past decade,63
such as the solidarity levy on airline tickets, Norway’s tax on CO2 emission from aviation
fuel, the Affordable Medicines Facility - malaria, the International Finance Facility for
Immunisation (IFFIm), and Debt2Health, share of proceeds from issuing new certified
emissions reduction units (CERs) have in large part been used to fund global health pro-
grammes and to finance climate change mitigation and adaptation. While these initiatives
have successfully provided immunizations and AIDS and tuberculosis treatments to mil-
lions of people in the developing world, they have not yielded significant additional fund-
ing on top of traditional development assistance. Most of the new mechanisms are not
designed to raise additional resources. Instead, they are designed to restructure existing
ODA to better match sources with needs. For example, the IFFIm brings forward future
ODA for present expenditure, without providing a net increase in funds. Initiatives such
as the GAVI Alliance, are designed to disburse financing.


60 See General Assembly resolution 66/288 of 27 July 2012, annex, para. 267.
61 The report concluded that in order to correctly record the scale of revenues raised, an international


agreement is needed on the precise definition and scope of the term. Such an agreed definition
would then provide the appropriate reference point for standardized reporting and accounting
frameworks, which can be set up for recording reliable and coherent data over time.


62 See World Economic and Social Survey 2012: In Search of New Development Finance (United
Nations publication, Sales No. E.12.II.C.1).


63 World Economic and Social Survey 2012, op. cit.


So far, only limited
resources have been raised
from existing innovative
sources of financing




96 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


As discussed in the World Economic and Social Survey 2012,64 concentrat-
ing external resources on particular diseases may skew health sector policies away from
national health priorities. There is a risk that the global focus on communicable diseases
does not coincide with national concerns about other diseases, the development of effec-
tive and equitable health systems, and efforts to deal with broader determinants of health
(such as food security, nutrition and diet, water and sanitation, and living and working
environments). The Leading Group Task Force on Innovative Financing for Health65
recommended following aid effectiveness principles of country ownership in identify-
ing health priorities within comprehensive national health strategies and plans, as well
as investigating on possibilities to support comprehensive national health strategies and
plans through resources raised by innovative financing mechanisms, channelled through
country systems where the conditions are in place.


The Finnish Presidency of the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for
Development announced in September 2012 that it is planning to work on clarifying and
seeking common understanding of the concept of innovative financing mechanisms and
its relationship to official development assistance, as part of the financing for develop-
ment agenda. 66 An internationally agreed definition will be an important step towards
a consistent reporting system that will deliver reliable data on the volume and scale of
innovative finance. An agreed definition will also be key in future evaluations of the
total volume of resources for development in terms of judging whether new funds are in
fact additional to existing ODA, and determining the contribution and effectiveness of
innovative financing to meet development objectives.


Innovative mechanisms with larger fundraising potential include interna-
tional taxes on financial transactions and on carbon emissions, and the use of IMF’s
Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). Around $400 billion to $450 billion per year could be
raised through a combination of mechanisms. For instance, the World Economic and
Social Survey 2012 estimates that a tiny tax of 0.005 per cent on major currency foreign-
exchange transactions (dollar, euro, yen and sterling) would generate $40 billion in ad-
ditional development resources annually, while broader taxes on financial transactions
such as trades, bonds and derivatives could yield between $15 billion and $75 billion. The
proposed EU financial transaction tax is estimated to raise $75 billion per year, although
little, if any, would be for development purposes. A tax of $25 per ton of CO2 emissions by
developed countries could raise $250 billion in revenues for international climate financ-
ing. Proposals for annual issuance of additional SDRs and/or leveraging idle SDRs could
yield at least $100 billion (Box III.4).67


Each of these options is technically feasible and economically sensible.
Realizing their potential, however, will require international agreement and political will.
As with existing mechanisms, efforts are needed to ensure that resources raised through
new mechanisms are stable, aligned to recipient countries’ development strategies, and
that delivery is consistent with recipient countries’ priorities and systems.


64 World Economic and Social Survey 2012, op. cit.
65 Leading Group, “Recommendations task force on innovative financing for health”, available from


http://leadinggroup.org/IMG/pdf/Recommendations_TFFIS_for_Madrid_En_.pdf.


66 Message of the Finnish Presidency to the Leading Group members, 28 September 2012, available
from http://leadinggroup.org/article1112.html (accessed on 9 October 2012).


67 World Economic and Social Survey 2012: In Search of New Development Finance, op. cit.,
table O.1.


International taxes on
financial transactions and


carbon, and the use of
Special Drawing Rights,


have large potential




97International finance for development


SDRs for development finance?


One potential innovative source of development finance is through the Special Drawing Rights
(SDRs) of the IMF. It is important to separate the possible development financing functions of SDRs
allocated to developed countries from their role in increasing the reserves of developing countries.
There are two types of proposals for using SDRs for development purposes, as presented in the World
Economic and Social Survey 2012.a The first is based on new annual issues, with the SDR allocations fa-
vouring developing countries. The proposed additional collective insurance would reduce the need
for developing countries to accumulate reserves from their own resources, thus potentially freeing
up space for enhanced developmental investments. Note that while this mechanism should help
increase global stability, it only indirectly contributes to enhancing existing pools of development
finance.


The second proposal leverages developed country allocations for development financ-
ing by floating bonds backed by SDRs, rather than by spending the SDRs directly. This more direct
channel would leverage the “idle” SDR allocations held by developed and emerging economies with
abundant official reserves. Idle SDRs jumped from approximately SDR13 billion to almost SDR200
billion ($320 billion) after the issuance of SDR250 billion in 2009 (figure). Using a conservative estimate,
around $150 billion of existing idle reserves could be utilized to purchase bonds.b If combined with
new allocations of between 150 billion and 250 billion in SDRs every year, amounts in that order may
be usable for financing long-term development on an annual basis.


An alternative would be to create “trust funds” to leverage SDRs. In this proposal, $100
billion in “SDR equity” could be used to back issuance of $1 trillion in bonds, using a leverage ratio
of 10 to 1. Assuming a 10-year maturity, this would provide $100 billion for development financing
per year. This could, for instance, meet the initially agreed needs for climate financing for the Green
Climate Fund. A high leverage ratio, however, exposes bond holders to greater risk, thus raising the
cost of borrowing. An additional argument against the use of such leverage is that it breaches the
original purpose of SDRs, which were created solely for transactions of a purely monetary nature.
Leveraging SDRs in such a way as to expose their holders to risks of illiquidity distorts the purpose
for which they were created. The viability of the proposal thus depends on how much risk would be
involved, and on designing the financial instrument for leveraging SDRs carefully enough to maintain
its function as a reserve mechanism. The risks are further limited to the extent that the proposal is
restricted to using idle SDRs, which is similar to the existing practice by a fair number of countries of
moving excess foreign currency reserves into sovereign wealth funds. These proposals are technically
feasible, but international agreements and political will are necessary.


Box III.3


a World Economic and Social
Survey 2012: In Search of
New Development Finance
(United Nations publication,
Sales No. E.12.II.C.1), pp.
31-35.


b Bilge Erten and José
Antonio Ocampo, “Building
a stable and equitable
global monetary system”,
DESA Working Paper, No.
ST/ESA/2012/DWP/118
(Department of Economic
and Social Affairs of the
United Nations Secretariat,
August 2012).


Millions of SDRs


-


50,000


100,000


150,000


200,000


19
70


19
72


19
74


19
76


19
78


19
80


19
82


19
84


19
86


19
88


19
90


19
92


19
94


19
96


19
98


20
00


20
02


20
04


20
06


20
08


20
10


Total net undrawn SDRs


Source: IMF International
Financial Statistics.




98 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Debt relief and sustainability


The current debt situation in developing countries does not pose a systemic problem, al-
though vulnerabilities remain in some regions and countries,68 particularly the Caribbean,
where two countries (Grenada and Haiti) were classified as in high risk of debt distress,
and four (Dominica, Guyana, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) were in
moderate risk of debt distress as of 9 August 2012.69 Six countries which had received ir-
revocable debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative are still
in high risk of debt distress, and there is a risk that continued global weakness will worsen
debt sustainability in additional countries. As HIPC and multilateral debt relief initiatives
are coming to a close, a new international framework for addressing future sovereign debt
crises needs to be on the policy agenda.


Gaps in the financial architecture for debt restructuring were manifested in
earlier sovereign debt crises in emerging markets and developing countries. For debtors,
solutions have often been accompanied by undue lags and, for the most part, have provided
too little relief, often leading to future debt restructurings, jeopardizing the resumption of
growth and prospects for keeping debt sustainable. Concerns remain that efforts to reform
the architecture have been insufficient and inadequate.


The euro area sovereign debt crisis has brought many of these issues to the fore
even more forcefully. The rescue packages by the official sector, including the IMF, are
unprecedented in history, putting considerable strains on the balance sheets of the public
sector. The incremental policy response has yet to ensure a definite and timely end for the
crisis, endangering the global economic recovery and the stability of the global financial
sector. Moreover, there are concerns that such actions may also generate moral hazard. In
debt restructurings this has been shown to lead to sovereign debtors deferring adjustments,
to international lenders inadequately pricing risk, and to negotiations leading to lower
debt write-offs, thereby postponing rather than solving the underlying problems of the
sovereign debtor.


Given these and related issues, it is time to consider alternatives to ad hoc
resolutions to sovereign debt crises. There are several options going forward with propos-
als ranging from those under the voluntary and contractual approach, such as ex ante
structures and frameworks for creditor committees, to a statutory approach, or in-between
solutions such as the setting up of a Sovereign Debt Forum, which would be a neutral
organization with broad participation from debtors, private creditors and multilateral
institutions. The lack of a mechanism to restructure sovereign debt in a fair and efficient
manner contributes to global risks, threatening financing for development and adding to
pressures on countries to build reserves, and thereby contributing to global imbalances.70


Financing for long-term sustainable
global development


In summary, the international financial system continues to be plagued by volatility and
incentives to short-term behaviour. Volatile capital flows may result in higher volatility of


68 MDG Gap Task Force Report 2012, op. cit.
69 IMF, “List of LIC DSAs for PGRT-Eligible Countries, as of 9 August 2012”.
70 See “Principles on sovereign lending and borrowing: UNCTAD kick starts endorsement


process”, UNCTAD Information Note, 23 April 2012, available from http://unctad.org/en/pages/
InformationNoteDetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=20.


The debt situation
has improved in


developing countries, but
vulnerabilities remain


New forms of managing
sovereign debt crises
should be considered




99International finance for development


consumption and boom and bust cycles, and the associated uncertainty may reduce invest-
ment and economic growth. In addition, capital account volatility has led to reserve ac-
cumulation as a form of self-insurance, exacerbating global imbalances, and holding back
resources for long-term development investment. The lack of coordination of monetary
policies among developed countries compounds this problem, as evident from continued
stop-and-go capital flows to emerging markets, which also has the effect of weakening
monetary policy responses in developed countries.


Proposals and reforms to financial regulation have been insufficient to address
the problems of volatility and short-termism, including insufficient attention to incen-
tives for excessive risk-taking in the banking and the shadow banking systems. Existing
proposals and reforms have been mostly focused on the safety and stability of the banking
system, with some attention to risks in the shadow banking system and risks associated
with G-SIFIs (although these have been insufficient).


While a focus on stability is important, the ultimate goal of the global finan-
cial system should be to effectively allocate finance to long-term sustainable development
in a stable manner. In particular, reforms to banking regulation need to take into account
any impact they may have on growth and access to credit, as well as on stability. This
is particularly important in developing countries, where access to credit for productive
investment may be more limited. Policymakers in developing countries can choose to
implement elements of Basel III and other regulations that best suit their needs, rather
than necessarily implementing the full package. For example, it might make sense to in-
tegrate several of the ideas underlying Basel III—such as countercyclical buffers, liquidity
ratios, increase in the quantity and, especially, the quality of core capital, adapted to local
circumstances—into national regulatory frameworks. Policymakers should also engage in
emergency planning to address the failure of large international banks operating in the
country. Requiring banks to have subsidiaries, rather than branches, in the local market
can help in this area. Alternative measures such as public development banks and directed
credit could also be employed to improve access to credit.


Reforms to the international financial system need to emphasize both stability
and effective allocation of credit for sustainable growth. To that end, reducing global risks
through a mechanism for resolving sovereign debt and strengthening the global safety net
are also key. Reforming and improving financial regulation in emerging economies and
developing countries is an important part of the global reform agenda to promote the mo-
bilization of resources, reduce risks and promote sustainable financing for development.


Global financial reform still
has significant challenges
ahead in promoting
adequate and stable
financing for long-term
sustainable development






101


Chapter 4
Regional developments
and outlook


Developed market economies
The economies of the developed countries still face strong headwinds in their struggle
to return to sustained growth. The Great Recession left a host of troublesome legacies:
continued deleveraging by households and firms, which is holding back consumption and
investment demand; still fragile banking sectors whose lending to the private sector is not
yet normalized; depressed housing markets that put additional strains on the banking
system and hold back consumer spending and construction investment; and substantially
deteriorated fiscal balances and rising public indebtedness that Governments are trying
to redress through fiscal austerity, but which, in already depressed economic situations, is
further pushing up unemployment rates and slowing economic recovery. Unemployment
rates remain high in most developed economies and in some cases have reached disturbing
levels, affecting a quarter or more of the work force. A large share of workers remains
without having had a job for a year or longer, a major social concern that threatens to
lower long-run economic growth. Slower growth in emerging market economies, which
had proved a strong support to global growth since the end of the Great Recession, started
to compound these difficulties in the course of 2012. Many of these factors have also led
to a tremendous drop in confidence by both firms and consumers, leading to postponed
investment and consumption decisions.


Most developed countries are responding to these problems by combining a mix
of highly accommodative monetary policy (keeping policy interest rates near zero coupled
with a wide variety of unconventional policies) with very tight fiscal policy in an attempt
to bring down budget deficits. Thus far, however, this policy mix has proven insufficient to
reinvigorate the recovery and bring down unemployment. Gross domestic product (GDP)
of developed economies as a group is expected to grow by a meagre 1.1 per cent in 2012 and
2013 and 2.0 per cent in 2014, well below the pace needed to recover the jobs lost during
the Great Recession.


North America


United States: protracted and anaemic growth


The economy of the United States continues to struggle to overcome the deep-rooted prob-
lems that surfaced with the sub-prime mortgage crisis of six years ago. Per capita income
and employment levels are still below those reached before the crisis. In early 2012, there
were signs of a more robust recovery. Business investment and exports were on the rise
and job creation was stronger than expected. However, those promising signs faded later
in the year with the further deepening of the sovereign debt crisis in the euro area and the




102 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


worldwide slowdown of economic activity. At home, increasing concerns over the looming
fiscal cliff cast a darkening shadow over the domestic economy (see chapter I). As these
factors continue to linger, growth prospects for the United States economy remain slug-
gish for 2013. Nascent signs of recovery of the beleaguered housing sector form a bright
spot between the darkening clouds. Also, additional policy support is expected to come in
the form of the new round of quantitative easing launched by the United States Federal
Reserve (Fed), which committed to continue purchasing mortgage-backed securities until
the employment situation improves substantially. In the United Nations baseline outlook,
GDP growth is forecast to be 1.7 per cent in 2013, lower than the already anaemic pace
of 2.1 per cent estimated for 2012 (see table I.1 and annex table A.1). Risks remain for an
even worse scenario in the short run, emanating from the possibilities of a fiscal cliff, fur-
ther eruption in the euro area debt crisis and a hard landing in large developing economies.


Assuming these downside risks can be averted, the economy of the United
States is expected to gain some strength in the medium term. The process of deleveraging
seen in the household and financial sectors over the past four years is expected to ease in
2014. This would help improved lending conditions and could underpin stronger invest-
ment and consumption spending.


Business investment was a key driver of the moderate recovery of the past
two years, growing at about 8.6 per cent for 2011 and 7.5 per cent for the first quarter
of 2012. However, as firms have become more risk averse amid the heightened economic
uncertainties at home and abroad, investment demand has weakened notably. Growth of
investments in business equipment and software is expected to slow from 11 per cent in
2011 to 7 per cent in 2012 and further to 6 per cent in 2013, while investment in business
structures is expected to slow to below 4 per cent in 2013.


After five years of slump, the housing sector is showing signs of recovery.
According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) price index, house prices are
estimated to increase by more than 4 per cent in 2012. Inventories of unsold homes are
falling and housing permits and starts are on an upward trend. Residential investment has
been on the rise in 2012 and is expected to continue growing in the following years, driven
by population growth and very low interest rates.


Nonetheless, consumer demand is expected to remain subdued in the short
run as households continue to face constraints, including the lingering need to reduce
debt burdens, persistent high unemployment, and uncertainties about possible shifts in
tax policy in the coming years. Payroll employment increased by slightly more than 1 per
cent in 2012, exceeding labour force growth, but not enough to make up much of the
job loss from the Great Recession (figure IV.1). The unemployment rate stayed above 8
per cent for most of 2012, but dropped below 8 per cent in the final months of the year.
The participation rate remains at a low of about 63 per cent, while the share of long-term
unemployed (those unemployed for more than six months) is at a historic high of about
40 percent, well above the peak of 25 per cent observed in previous post-war recessions. In
the outlook, employment is expected to continue growing at a moderate pace, keeping the
unemployment rate above 7 per cent by the end of 2013 (see annex table A.7).


Inflation, as measured by the headline consumer price index (CPI), moderated
in 2012 to about 2.0 per cent from 3.1 per cent in 2011 and is expected to retreat further
in 2013 to 1.3 per cent (see annex table A.4).


Exports were another driver of output growth over the past two years, reach-
ing about 11.0 per cent in 2010 and 6.7 per cent in 2011. However, it has moderated


Business investment is
hindered by heightened


risk factors


The housing sector is
recovering slowly and


residential investment is
picking up


Poor job market restrains
consumption




103Regional developments and outlook


significantly in 2012, slowing to 3.6 per cent for the year as a whole. Demand for United
States exports declined in Europe and slowed markedly in large developing countries.
Import growth has also decelerated at a similar pace. In the outlook for 2013, exports and
imports are both expected to grow by around 3.5 per cent. The current-account deficit in
the balance of payments fell to about 3 per cent of GDP in 2012 and is forecast to narrow
slightly in 2013.


The monetary policy stance remains very accommodative in the United States.
In September 2012, the Fed announced that it would keep the target range for the federal
funds rate between 0.0 and 0.25 per cent through mid-2015, providing an anchor for the
expectations of businesses and households. The Fed also decided to extend the average
maturity of its holdings of securities through 2012 and to maintain its existing policy of
reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-
backed securities. In addition, the Fed launched a new round of quantitative easing to
purchase agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month until the
labour market has improved substantially—meaning, technically, that such purchases will
most likely continue through mid-2014.


Fiscal policy, in contrast, is expected to tighten further in the outlook. Real
federal government spending on goods and services is expected to fall by about 3 per cent
in 2013 and 2014. Spending had already been curtailed by 2.5 per cent in the previous
two years. More importantly, significant uncertainty remains about how Congress will
decide on the key components of the stimulus measures of the past years, including the
expiration of the payroll tax cut and emergency unemployment insurance benefits. There is
equal uncertainty about the fate of the Bush tax cuts and the automatic spending cuts that
would come into effect in the absence of Congressional agreement (see the “Uncertainties
and risks” section in chapter I). In the baseline, it is assumed that the 2 per cent payroll
tax cut and emergency unemployment insurance benefits are extended for 2013, and then
phased out gradually in subsequent years. It is also assumed that the automatic spending


Monetary policy continues
to aggressively support
growth


The risk of a fiscal cliff was
a major cause of enhanced
uncertainty during 2012


Figure IV.1
United States: Post-recession recovery of employmenta over five decades


Percentage deviation of employment from the pre-recession peaks


-6


-5


-4


-3


-2


-1


0


1


0 6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48 54


1980 2001 1990


2007


1981


Months since the beginning of recession


1974


Figure 1: United States: Post-recession recovery of employment a over ve decades


Source: UN/DESA, based on
data from the United States
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
a Monthly seasonally adjusted
level of civilian employment.




104 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


cuts now scheduled to begin in January 2013 will be delayed, giving more time for the new
Congress and re-elected president to produce a package of spending cuts and tax increases,
including a combination of cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and increases
in income taxes, effective in 2014. The Bush tax cuts are assumed to be extended during
2013-2014.


Canada: economy losing momentum


The Canadian economy started 2012 on a positive note, but lost momentum during the
year, as its two drivers of growth, business investment and exports, weakened visibly. In
the outlook, declining government spending and residential construction investment will
continue to be a drag on economic activity in the short run. Weaker global economic
prospects will lower demand for Canadian exports. GDP is forecast to grow by 1.5 per cent
in 2013, down from an estimate of 1.8 per cent in 2012. Some strengthening is expected in
2014, as GDP is forecast to increase by 2.8 per cent. The rate of unemployment is expected
to stagnate at 7.4 per cent in 2013, the same level as in 2012. Inflation is forecast to stay
below 2 per cent.


The Bank of Canada is expected to maintain its interest-rate target at the cur-
rent level and only allow for a gradual increase from mid-2014. Government spending is
expected to be retrenched further as part of fiscal consolidation efforts that aim to yield
a budget surplus by 2015. Budget plans implemented in 2012 also include incentives for
investments in research and development and capital equipment, in efforts to buttress
productivity growth over the medium and long run.


Developed Asia and the Pacific


Japan: economy back in recession


In 2012, Japan’s economy made a rugged recovery from the 0.7 per cent decline in the
previous year. Growth was strong in the first quarter of 2012, but the momentum was lost
shortly thereafter and the economy fell back into recession, in the second half of the year.
GDP growth for 2012 as a whole is estimated at a meagre 1.5 per cent. In the outlook,
Japan’s economy is expected to climb out of the recession, but GDP growth will remain
very weak at 0.6 per cent in 2013 and 0.8 per cent in 2014 (see table I.1 and annex table
A.1). At this pace, it will likely be 2015 before Japan’s economy returns to its size preceding
the Great Recession in 2007.


A much weaker trade performance has had a strong, economy-wide impact.
Since 2011, GDP shrank during all four quarters against the backdrop of steep declines in
net exports (figure IV.2). The interruptions to industrial production caused by the earth-
quake and tsunami in March 2011 and the flooding in Thailand during the fourth quarter
critically influenced these trends. These adverse factors were compounded by weaker exter-
nal demand, the appreciation of the Japanese yen, and increased fuel imports for electric-
ity generation after the stoppage of nuclear power plants. In 2011, Japan’s trade balance
showed a deficit for the first time in 20 years. It is expected to remain in deficit in 2012 and
the outlook period. The current account of the balance of payments continued recording
a surplus, however, as a result of positive investment income earned on the country’s large


Deteriorating trade
seriously impacts the


entire economy




105Regional developments and outlook


stock of foreign assets. The external surplus stood at 1.5 per cent of GDP in 2012 and is
expected to remain at this level during 2013 and 2014, much smaller than the surpluses
recorded before the global economic crisis.


Private consumption grew by 1.9 per cent in 2012, helped by the post-disaster
reconstruction and boosted by government incentives to encourage the purchase of energy-
efficient automobiles. Consumer demand is expected to slow considerably, however, with
the broader economic slowdown, the end of the automobile subsidy programme, scheduled
cuts in pension benefits,1 and the planned increase in the consumption tax rate. Private
consumption is expected to grow at a meagre 0.1 per cent in 2013 and 0.2 per cent in 2014.


During 2012, reconstruction in the disaster-affected areas generated the
strongest investment growth in 15 years. In 2013 and 2014, however, fixed investment is
expected to decelerate sharply to 1.7 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively. After growing
by 1.3 per cent in 2012, government consumption is expected to decelerate to 0.4 per cent
in 2013 and 0.1 per cent in 2014. The fiscal tightening is the result of policymakers’ con-
cerns over the budget deficit and the phasing out of post-disaster reconstruction spending.


Although Japan was in recession in 2011, the open unemployment actually
declined to 4.6 per cent, down from 5.1 per cent in the previous year. A shrinking labour
force—now a long-term trend—is the main factor explaining the decline. Employment
is expected to grow only slowly over the forecast period and the unemployment rate is
expected to stay around 5.0 per cent over the outlook horizon (see annex table IV.7).


Nominal wages increased in 2010, but declined by 0.2 per cent in 2011 and
still further in 2012. After two years of continuous increase, real wages declined in 2012
as a result of the lower nominal wage and weakened deflation. Deflationary conditions
still prevail, although the decline in consumer prices moderated in both 2011 and 2012
as energy prices rose. Given the projections of tepid growth in the outlook, deflationary
pressure on core consumer price is expected to persist in 2013 and 2014, although it will be


1 Beginning in April 2013, the pension age in Japan will increase gradually from 60 to 65.


Despite the weak growth
outlook, unemployment
rates are expected to
remain stable


Deflation continues


-5


-4


-3


-2


-1


0


1


2


3


4


20
08


Q
1


Q
2


Q
3


Q
4


20
09


Q
1


Q
2


Q
3


Q
4


20
10


Q
1


Q
2


Q
3


Q
4


20
11


Q
1


Q
2


Q
3


Q
4


20
12


Q
1


Q
2


Q
3


Residual
Net exports
Gross investment
Government consumption
Private consumption
GDP


GDP


Quarter-over-quarter percentage change


Figure IV.2
Japan: Contribution of major expenditure categories to the growth of GDP


Source: UN/DESA, based on
data from Japan Economic
and Social Research Institute,
available from http://www.
esri.go.jp/index-e.html
(accessed on
13 November 2012).




106 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


less pronounced than during the 2000s as the output gap has narrowed with post-disaster
reconstruction. In 2014, headline consumer price inflation is expected to accelerate to 1.8
per cent, owing to the planned increase in the consumption tax rate (see annex table A.4).


In 2012, the Japanese parliament ratified a package of reforms of the social se-
curity and tax systems. The tax reforms include a change in the tax code that will enhance
the tax base, and the consumption tax rate will be increased from the current level of 5 per
cent to 8 per cent in April 2014, and further to 10 per cent in October 2015. The social
security reforms involve extension of the retirement age, requirements for firms to hire
workers older than 60, and cuts in pension benefits. According to Government estimates,
the tax increase and the other elements of the package would reduce the budget deficit by
more than 4 per cent of GDP over the medium run.


The Bank of Japan (BoJ) has kept its policy interest rate near zero for several
years already and is expected to continue to do so throughout the forecast period. It also
adopted the practice of inflation targeting on 14 February 2012, with the target currently
set at an annual change of 1 per cent in the CPI. In the baseline outlook, it is assumed that
the predicted acceleration in inflation resulting from the consumption tax increase during
2014 will not induce the BoJ to raise its policy rate. During the first ten months of 2012,
the BoJ further expanded its Asset Purchase Programme to ¥91 trillion and extended
the time frame for implementation from mid- to end-2013. The quantitative easing is
expected to lower long-term interest rates further. The BoJ also introduced a new element
of monetary easing. Under the new framework, depository institutions can ask the BoJ to
provide the full amount of the net increase in lending to the private sector. The cost of this
funding is initially set to the level of the overnight call rate, which is assumed to remain
between of 0.0-0.1 per cent for a few years.


Australia: recovering from the worst flooding in history


Australia suffered from devastating floods in 2010 and early 2011, which led to a sharp
decline in exports in 2011. Nevertheless, the gradual recovery of coal production and
investment for reconstruction and new production capacity more than compensated for
these losses, such that GDP increased by 2.3 per cent. Driven by a solid expansion in ex-
ports and robust private consumption spending, and given the trend of continuing popu-
lation growth, GDP growth rebounded further to 3.0 per cent in 2012 and is forecast to
sustain this pace at 2.6 per cent and 3.3 per cent for 2013 and 2014, respectively. In 2012,
exports grew by 5.4 per cent, facilitated by new production capacity in the mining sector.
However, with the global economic slowdown, export growth is expected to decelerate to
3.4 per cent and 3.6 per cent in the coming two years. Investment in the mining sector is
likely to expand at a robust pace, but will most likely remain tepid in other sectors.


In July 2012, a carbon tax was introduced in Australia, which temporarily
lifted inflation to an annualized rate of 2 per cent, the lower bound of the inflation target
zone set by the Reserve Bank of Australia. In November 2011, the central bank eased
monetary policies by lowering policy interest rates after two years of policy tightening.
Low inflation, the weak external environment and declining housing prices motivated the
policy shift.


Fiscal policy is targeted
to reduce deficit


Bank of Japan adopts
inflation targeting and


continues monetary easing




107Regional developments and outlook


New Zealand: earthquake reconstruction boosts growth


In 2011, New Zealand suffered from a severe earthquake in the Canterbury region for
the second time in recent years. The delayed reconstruction activity is expected to push
the average investment growth rate to around 7 per cent during 2012-2014. In mid-2012,
the Government was aiming to balance the budget by mid-2015, but was also expected
to allocate more funds for reconstruction in the short run. Exports from New Zealand to
developing Asia and Australia (mainly food and live animals) are expected to see moderate
growth in 2013 and 2014. Overall, GDP is expected to grow by 2.1 per cent in 2012 and
by 2.1 per cent and 2.7 per cent for 2013 and 2014, respectively.


Europe


Western Europe: the debt crisis and its reverberations
continue to depress the region


The euro area sovereign debt crisis and attendant fiscal austerity programmes remain the
dominant forces depressing growth in the region. Coupled with slowing external demand
and high oil prices, this portends bleak prospects in the outlook. The first quarter of 2012
saw a stabilization of economic activity in the euro area as a whole after the sharp drop in
activity experienced at the end of the previous year. In the remainder of 2012, however,
the euro area economy witnessed continuous deterioration, with negative quarterly rates of
growth in the second and third quarters—a technical recession—and an expected sharp
drop in GDP in the fourth quarter. For the year as a whole, GDP is expected to decline by
0.5 per cent in 2012 and, given the weak starting point and continuing negative pressures,
growth is expected to reach only 0.3 per cent in 2013 and strengthen marginally to 1.4 per
cent in 2014 (annex table A.1).


Business, consumer and financial market confidence has closely followed the
perceived policy successes and failures in moving the euro area sovereign debt crisis towards
resolution (figure IV.3). At the end of 2011 and in February 2012, the European Central
Bank (ECB) conducted two large-scale long-term refinancing operations (LTRO). These
operations were successful in halting the liquidity crisis in the banking system and, for
a few months, tensions abated and confidence improved. But tensions returned not long
after, with bond yields for the crisis countries surging upwards, and confidence resumed
its downward trend. Two policy initiatives were announced later in the year: the Outright
Monetary Transactions (OMT) of the ECB, under which it would make unlimited pur-
chases of the sovereign bonds of countries under stress, but with the stipulation that the
country formally request assistance; and an agreement by Heads of State that would allow
the use of the new rescue facility, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), to directly
recapitalize banks, thus breaking the link between bank recapitalization and government
debt—again, with the condition that a new banking supervision entity be created first.
These initiatives were successful at cooling tensions as bond yields for Italy and Spain
dropped significantly. The efforts have been undermined, however: in the case of OMT,
by reluctance to request formal assistance; and with the use of ESM for bank recapitaliza-
tions, by subsequent clarifications that legacy bank problems would not be covered, which
then meant that the link between banking problems and sovereign debt was not broken.


Confidence is severely
hit by the continuing
sovereign debt crisis




108 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


These issues, coupled with the increasing realization that an agreement on a banking un-
ion may take a considerable period of time (exacerbated by a dismal economic situation
with many countries in recession and unemployment rates in some cases at record highs),
have been further reasons for continued concerns.


Other measures taken during the year include agreement on a new Fiscal
Compact—essentially a beefed-up version of the Stability and Growth Pact—and the
final approval by all member states of the new rescue fund, the ESM, which is now op-
erational. Taken together, these policies address many of the defects in the original design
of the EMU by adding a lender of last resort, a banking union and a more credible Fiscal
Compact. But they do not address the key short-term issues of restoring growth in the
region or how to put the crisis countries on a more probable path to fiscal sustainability.


The confidence crisis has affected all countries in Western Europe and together
with trade effects and financial market contagion, it has reduced the growth divergence
previously in evidence. At least five economies are now in technical recession. Italy’s GDP
is expected to decline by 2.4 per cent in 2012 and 0.3 per cent in 2013 and Spain’s by 1.6
per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively. The other countries in recession are Cyprus, Greece
and Portugal. Not all economies are equally affected. Germany’s economy has slowed sub-
stantially and is expected to grow by only 0.8 per cent in 2012 after 3.0 per cent in 2011,
with only a marginal rise to 1.0 per cent in 2013. France narrowly averted recession with
a slight up-tick in GDP growth in the third quarter. Output growth is expected to reach
only 0.1 per cent for 2012 as a whole and 0.3 per cent in 2013. Outside of the euro area, the
economy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland exited recession
in the third quarter, boosted by the Olympic games, but nonetheless GDP is expected to
contract by 0.3 per cent for 2012. In the baseline forecast, only a slight rebound to 1.2 per
cent is expected for 2013, as exports pick up (aided by a depreciation of the currency) and
domestic demand solidifies.


Depressed confidence
provides another route


for crisis contagion across
Western Europe


-30


-25


-20


-15


-10


-5


0


5


10


2010M01 2010M05 2010M09 2011M01 2011M05 2011M09 2012M01 2012M05 2012M09
0.0


1.0


2.0


3.0


4.0


5.0


6.0


7.0


8.0


Industrial confidence indicator (left-hand scale) Consumer confidence indicator (left-hand scale)
Spanish 10-year government bond yield
(right-hand scale)


Italian 10-year government bond yield
(right-hand scale)


Figure IV.3 Confidence in the euro area and selected 10 year bond yields
Figure IV.3
Confidence in the euro area and selected 10-year bond yields


Source: European
Commission and JPMorgan


Chase.




109Regional developments and outlook


Consumption is expected to remain weak in the outlook, but with significant
differences across the region. Austerity programmes depress consumption but vary in inten-
sity across countries. The strength of labour markets is another key factor, in terms of both
employment and wages, and also varies significantly. The level of uncertainty stemming
from the ebbs and flows of the euro area crisis is having a more uniform impact across the
region, as consumer confidence, which had been improving earlier in the year, has since
declined sharply. For the euro area, consumption is expected to decline in both 2012 and
2013, but this is dominated by the large declines in only some countries, particularly those
in crisis, while other countries are expected to see some support from consumer spending.


Investment spending also remains weak in the region with little prospect for a
sustained upturn given weak demand, elevated uncertainty from the sovereign debt crisis,
and funding difficulties, particularly in the crisis countries. Fixed investment declined
sharply in the euro area in 2012, with only a slight rebound expected in 2013 and 2014.
Both domestic and foreign demand remains anaemic. Industrial confidence has been hit
badly by the sovereign debt crisis. Although rising in the early part of 2012, renewed ten-
sions from the crisis led to further sharp declines throughout the year. Capacity utilization
picked up slightly in the first quarter of 2012, but then dropped in the subsequent quar-
ters and remains low by historical standards. Bank lending to non-financial corporations
continued to decline in the third quarter, owing both to declining demand, as firms cut
back on investment spending, and to supply conditions. Despite better access to retail and
wholesale funding, banks tightened credit standards further in the third quarter and are
expected to do so again in the final quarter of the year, owing to a perceived increase in
risk.2 Funding conditions do vary across the region, however. In the crisis countries, con-
ditions are extremely tight as their banking systems remain under tremendous pressure,
but conditions are much easier in other countries. Housing investment remains a major
drag on activity in some countries, particularly those that experienced a housing bubble
and subsequent collapse, such as Spain and the United Kingdom.


Exports slowed noticeably during the year, given the extremely weak intrare-
gional import demand, compounded by weaker extraregional demand, particularly from
East Asia. The latter had been an important source of export growth for countries special-
izing in capital goods. In the euro area, some support to export performance (and muting
of imports) is coming from the depreciation of the euro, but lackluster demand is currently
the dominant force.


Meagre growth in some countries and recession in others has wreaked havoc
on labour markets. In the euro area the rate of unemployment climbed to 11.6 per cent in
September, up 1.3 percentage points from one year ago and another record for the EMU
era. Significant regional differences remain. In Greece and Spain, unemployment is above
25 per cent and in Portugal above 15.7 per cent—countries which have all been subject
to harsh austerity programmes. At the other extreme are Austria, Germany, Luxembourg
and the Netherlands where rates of unemployment are nearer to 5 per cent. Yet, given the
only marginal pick up in activity expected from mid-2013 and into 2014, all countries are
expected to see at least some increase in unemployment in 2013 before gradually coming
down, with an estimated average of 11.3 per cent in the euro area in 2012, 11.8 per cent in
2013 and 11.6 in 2014 (see annex table A.7).


Headline inflation, as measured by the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices
(HICP), has been above 2 per cent since December 2010 (the upper bound of the targeted


2 European Central Bank, “The Euro area bank lending survey: 3rd Quarter of 2012” (October).


Consumption is held back
by low confidence and
harsh fiscal austerity


Investment spending
stymied by a lack of
demand and heightened
uncertainty


Unemployment continues
to rise, in some cases to
EMU record levels




110 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


inflation rate set by ECB). It reached 2.5 per cent in October 2012, boosted in part by
high energy and other commodity prices as well as by administered prices (including rises
in VAT rates). Core inflation, which abstracts from energy, food, alcohol and tobacco to
measure underlying inflationary pressures, has been much lower, at about 1.5 per cent,
with no evidence of upward creep. In the outlook, headline inflation is expected to drift
down slowly, averaging 2.2 per cent in 2012, 2.0 per cent in 2013 and 1.9 per cent in 2014
(see annex table A.4). Given the poor outlook for growth, the output gap will remain large,
wage growth, while picking up modestly, will remain contained, and the assumptions on
oil and other commodity prices will yield little impact from these sources.


Fiscal policy in the region continues to be focused on reducing fiscal imbal-
ances. Government budget deficits of euro area members declined on average from 6.0 per
cent of GDP in 2010 to 4.1 per cent of GDP in 2011, and further in 2012 to near 3.0 per
cent. Most countries have been subject to Excessive Deficit Procedures (EDP) since the
end of the Great Recession, which typically requires a minimum of 0.5 per cent correction
in the deficit-to-GDP ratio per annum with a specified time frame for return to balance.
The situation in the crisis-affected countries is far more severe, with significantly higher
targeted annual consolidations and longer time periods of austerity necessary. Given that
these targets are established in terms of ratios to GDP, growth shortfalls have required
additional austerity measures, thereby adding pressure to the continued downward spiral,
especially in the debt-ridden crisis countries. In the outlook, it is assumed that existing
fiscal plans are implemented so that growth shortfalls will not be made up; rather, the time
periods for consolidation are lengthened.


Since the crisis erupted, the ECB has relied on unconventional policies, leaving
its main policy interest rate at 1 per cent. These policies included: refinancing operations
conducted at fixed rates with unlimited supplies of liquidity, at increasingly long ma-
turities and with reduced collateral requirements; provision of foreign currency liquidity;
purchases of covered bonds; and, more controversially, purchases of sovereign debt in sec-
ondary markets under the Securities Markets Programme (SMP). At the end of 2011 and
in February 2012, the ECB introduced a bold new policy, two large-scale LTROs. In July,
it returned to conventional policy, lowering all three of its policy rates by 25 basis points,
bringing its main refinancing rate to 0.75 per cent and the deposit rate to 0 per cent.
In September, the ECB announced a new policy initiative dubbed “Outright Monetary
Transactions” (OMT), whereby it would make potentially unlimited purchases of selected
country bonds and hold them for a potentially unlimited duration in order to reduce the
yields, but with the stipulation that the country must first formally request assistance and
accept conditionality (this now supersedes the SMP, which has ended).


In the outlook, given the backdrop of recessionary conditions throughout the
rest of 2012 and only very minor pick-up expected in 2013 and 2014, policy is expected
to remain highly accommodative. For conventional policy, it is assumed that the ECB
will cut the minimum bid rate by another 25 basis points, but hold the deposit rate at 0
per cent. It is also assumed that the new OMT will remain in place throughout the fore-
cast period, and will be activated if necessary to maintain appropriate bounds to selected
country bond yields.


Key risks to the forecast continue to be weighted to the downside. The sovereign
debt crisis could flare up significantly, impacting on bank solvency and depressing confi-
dence. Governments may be forced to make up for growth shortfalls by introducing new
austerity measures. Oil prices could surge again. On the positive side, external demand,


Fiscal austerity dominates
the macroeconomic


policy stance


The ECB continues to
be active in attempts to


combat the sovereign
debt crisis




111Regional developments and outlook


particularly from East Asia and perhaps the United States, may pick up earlier and with
more vigour than anticipated, giving a boost to exports and investment. Tensions may
subside in the region following more convincing implementation of already announced
packages of policy measures, which would boost confidence.


The new EU members: “muddling through” continues


The tenuous economic recovery that emerged in the new European Union (EU) member
States in 2010 has continued to weaken throughout 2012. Although some countries of the
region, such as the Baltic States and Poland, started the year with solid first quarter economic
results, the ongoing troubles in the euro area, which still remains the major export market
for the region and the biggest source of foreign direct investment (FDI), has led to a visible
deterioration of the region’s current economic prospects. Some of the new EU members,
such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia, saw negative annual economic growth.


The impact of the unfavourable trade environment in 2012 has been further
aggravated by the ongoing fiscal austerity measures and, consequently, by suppressed do-
mestic demand and weak labour markets. Most of the fiscal space the new EU members
possessed has been exhausted and some countries, such as Poland, face constitutional
limits on the size of public debt. The search for alternative markets by portfolio investors
has led to more favourable borrowing terms for the new EU members in 2012. However,
the commitment to fiscal discipline remains one of the prerequisites for the low sovereign
debt yields of those countries and further squeezes fiscal policy space.


New EU banking regulations compelled the parent EU-15 banks operating in
the region to improve their capital adequacy ratios. This led to continued deleveraging in
the new EU member States in 2012, partially mitigated by the actions of the ECB. A serious
distress in those parent banks could still lead to a severe credit crunch in Eastern Europe.
The new Vienna Initiative, agreed in early 2012 to prevent such a development, does not
contain the same commitments as the earlier initiative by the same name adopted in 2009.


The persistent weakness in external and domestic demand led to a slowdown in
GDP growth in 2012. Aggregate GDP of the new EU members expanded by 1.2 per cent
in 2012 and growth will accelerate to a still moderate rate of 2.0 per cent in 2013 amid
numerous uncertainties and risks.


Economic performance varied in the region in 2012. The biggest economy,
Poland, is relatively sheltered from the euro area troubles, having a smaller export-to-GDP
ratio compared with its regional peers and exhibiting extensive trade ties with the Russian
Federation. In 2012, the country benefited from the massive infrastructure spending re-
lated to the Euro 2012 Football Championship. However, cooling domestic demand and
the need for fiscal consolidation slowed the economy in the second half of the year, with
annual growth expected to be below 3 per cent in 2012 and in 2013. For other countries
in Central Europe, industrial output in 2012 was held back by faltering external demand.
The automotive industry slowed in the second half of 2012. Economic growth prospects
for those exporters in 2013 will largely depend on the developments in the euro area.
The economies of the Baltic States may grow at about 3 per cent in 2013. Bulgaria and
Romania may face additional risks as they have stronger trade, finance and investment
links with Greece and Italy.


Price pressures in the region that resurfaced in mid-2012, triggered by higher
oil and food prices, subsided later in the year. Although headline inflation rates in a number


Both external and internal
demand remain weak


The region exhibits
divergent trends in 2012




112 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


of cases overshot the respective central banks’ targets, this was mostly driven by external
shocks and increases in indirect taxes to meet fiscal revenue targets. Core inflation remained
weak, with the exception of the Baltic States and Poland. Provided that economic activity
picks up in 2013, inflationary pressures may strengthen, but headline inflation in 2013 is
likely to be lower because of the base effect of one-off price increases in 2012.


Fiscal policies have been following a consolidation path to reduce the budget
deficits in the medium term to the required benchmark of 3 per cent of GDP, as stipulated
by the EU Stability and Growth Pact. Lower than projected economic growth forced
fiscal authorities to revise their budgets in mid-2012, resorting to new revenue-enhancing
measures, such as additional increases in indirect and other taxes. Those policies improved
sentiment in international capital markets but are contractionary, at least in the short term.


By contrast, monetary policies remained expansionary during 2012. Benchmark
interest rates were cut in the Czech Republic, Hungary (where the central bank prioritized
growth over inflation), Latvia and Poland. Nevertheless, credit markets remain stagnant,
although banking sectors in some of the new EU members recorded profits in 2012 (figure
IV.4). Both demand for credit and credit supply remain weak, as households continue to
repay their debt, businesses are cautious, and banks, facing reduced access to cross-border
funding, clearly refrain from risky lending. Accommodative monetary policy may, how-
ever, support the region’s exports through weaker exchange rates.


Labour markets, which recovered in 2011 most notably in the Baltic States, suf-
fered some setbacks in 2012 as the unemployment rates slightly increased, partly reflecting
reductions in the size of the public sector. The ongoing fiscal consolidation is complicating
Governments’ efforts to address labour market issues, although public works programmes in
some countries, such as Hungary, created some employment for low-skilled workers. Much
of the unemployment in the region is long term, requiring much stronger policy action.


The impact of fiscal policy
is contractionary


Labour markets require
policy action


Figure IV.4
Net domestic credit in selected new EU member States, 2008-2011


Source: World Bank.


-20


-10


0


10


20


30


40


50


Czech
Republic


Estonia Latvia Lithuania Hungary Poland Slovenia


Figure IV.4: Net domestic credit (annual percentage change) in selected new EU member States


2008
2009
2010
2011


Annual percentage change




113Regional developments and outlook


In line with the deceleration in global trade growth, the expansion in exports
and imports of the new EU members weakened in 2012. External demand for manu-
factured goods softened most notably, which in turn weakened demand for imported
inputs by export industries. Import demand slowed further as a result of weaker domestic
demand. Nonetheless, volume growth rates of both exports and imports remained mostly
positive. Most export gains came from trade with non-EU partners such as the Russian
Federation and Ukraine. In 2012, the current account was in surplus in Hungary and
Slovakia and in deficit in other countries in the region, with a similar situation being
expected in 2013.


A protracted recession in the EU-15, which would delay the recovery of FDI,
remains the biggest risk faced by new EU members. Other downside risks include the
inability to prevent a sharp cut in cross-border lending and an excessively contractionary
impact of fiscal tightening.


Economies in transition
In the difficult global environment of 2012, the economies of the Commonwealth of
Independent States (CIS) and South-Eastern Europe exhibited divergent trends. The ag-
gregate GDP of both regions expanded by 3.5 per cent in 2012, but this figure masks
significant variations. While the economies of the CIS continued to grow, although at a
lower rate as compared with 2011, South-Eastern Europe saw another year of economic
stagnation with declining output in Croatia and Serbia. Commodity exports and robust
domestic demand supported growth in the key economies of the CIS, while worker remit-
tances, mainly from the Russian Federation, played an important role for the smaller
economies of that area. For the countries of South-Eastern Europe, both external demand,
hit by the crisis in the euro area, and internal demand, undermined by fiscal austerity
policies and stagnant labour markets, remained weak. Both country groups continue to
face serious economic challenges, such as diversification of output in the CIS and reindus-
trialization of South-Eastern Europe. In line with the expected mild recovery in the global
economy, growth in the aggregate GDP of transition economies is projected to accelerate
to 3.6 per cent in 2013, as economic activity in South-Eastern Europe improves.


South-Eastern Europe: countries face another year of
economic stagnation


Real economic activity in South-Eastern Europe in 2012 remained below that achieved in
2008 before the onset of the global financial crisis. After a very weak recovery in 2010 and
2011, the region’s growth turned negative in 2012 and is forecast to remain below trend
in 2013 owing to weakness in both external and internal demand. As a result, exceed-
ingly high rates of unemployment that plagued the region even before the global crisis
are expected to continue for at least several more years, if not longer. In 2012, spring
floods, summer droughts and forest fires destroyed crops, especially corn and potatoes,
and physical infrastructure throughout the region. The major risks to the forecast are to
the downside as the region’s strong financial, trade and remittance linkages with some of
the most troubled countries of the EU, such as Greece and Italy, make it quite vulnerable
should there be a further deterioration in the euro area. FDI inflows into these economies
remain depressed at about half their levels prior to the crisis. This decline in investment is


Trade of new EU members
weakened in 2012




114 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


an important factor in explaining not only the currently low growth and high unemploy-
ment rates, but also the fairly weak medium- to long-run growth prospects. Th e aggregate
GDP of South-Eastern Europe declined by 0.6 per cent in 2012 and is forecast to recover
only modestly to 1.2 per cent in 2013. In 2013, Croatia is set to join the EU. The country’s
admission to the Union should bring certain economic benefits, through the removal of
the last trade barriers and stronger FDI inflows, as well as larger financial assistance.


There has been considerable variation in the economic performance of
the South-Eastern European economies. Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia have both experienced solid growth since 2010, although it moderated signifi-
cantly in 2012 as growth in the EU declined. Among the other four economies, Bosnia
and Herzegovina and Montenegro recorded growth near 0 per cent in 2012, while Croatia
and Serbia experienced a recession.


Although the economies of South-Eastern Europe were quite negatively im-
pacted by the global crisis of 2008-2009, their unemployment rates did not increase ini-
tially as much as might have been expected. Likewise, their unemployment rates have not
declined appreciably with the recovery and are expected to stay elevated for many years. In
Bosnia and Herzegovina and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, unemployment
is above 30 per cent, while in Serbia, it is above 25 per cent.3 The unemployment in South-
Eastern Europe is mostly structural; active labour market policies, improved education
and training facilities, and more incentives for investment would be required—in addition
to aggregate demand policies—to reduce it.


Inflation has been moderate in the region, with rates in the 2 to 4 per cent
range, although in mid-2012, inflationary pressures intensified following a spike in food
and energy prices, or some one-off effects such as rises in VAT rates or increases in admin-
istratively controlled utility prices. As the impact of one-off factors tapers off, inflation in
the region in 2013 should be one half of a percentage point weaker.


Fiscal policies in 2013 will hardly be able to support growth, as most
Governments aim to consolidate public finances. Faced with lower-than-projected eco-
nomic growth in the first half of 2012 and lower-than-anticipated revenue intake, some
Governments in the region had to revise their annual budgets and introduce additional
measures to meet fiscal targets. For Bosnia and Herzegovina, which obtained a new stand-
by loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), fiscal policy should also meet the
conditions set by the Fund.


The conduct of monetary policy in South-Eastern Europe is constrained by
unilateral “euroization”, which is the case in Montenegro, or by formal or informal cur-
rency pegs. In the countries with flexible currencies, monetary easing continued in 2012 in
Albania, but interest rates in Serbia, where inflation moved beyond the central bank’s tol-
erance band, were raised several times. Monetary conditions in the region should remain
mostly accommodative in 2013, however, as private credit growth remains slow to pick up.


All South-Eastern European countries have run trade deficits in goods in 2012
and this is expected to continue in 2013. The tourism sector, on the other hand, performed
well in Croatia and in Montenegro. The current-account deficits in the region, despite the
inflows of workers remittances, again started to expand in 2010, as recovering domestic
demand spurred imports. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia have
relatively large current-account deficits, approaching or exceeding 10 per cent of GDP.


3 In some countries, there are substantial differences between monthly registered unemployment
rates and labour force surveys, which are only conducted on a yearly basis.


Unemployment is expected
to remain elevated


Fiscal stimulus is unlikely


Current-account deficits
remain a risk for the region




115Regional developments and outlook


The Commonwealth of Independent States:
growth slows down


Economic growth slowed down across the region in 2012.4 A tepid global recovery damp-
ened economic activity and constrained access to external financing. Economic perfor-
mance has weakened in most countries, including in the largest economy, the Russian
Federation, which remains a major influence on the others. Aggregate GDP in the region
rose by around 3.8 per cent in 2012. Growth is expected to remain at a similar level next
year, well below potential, as the world economy continues to provide a difficult back-
ground for the economies of the region. The recent accession of the Russian Federation
to the World Trade Organization (WTO) may generate some additional positive growth
impulses in the long term (box IV.1).


4 Georgia’s performance is also discussed in the context of this region for reasons of geographic
proximity and similarities in economic structure.


The economic effects of the Russian Federation’s accession
to the World Trade Organization


In August 2012, after 18 years of protracted negotiations, the Russian Federation eventually joined the
World Trade Organization (WTO). Following the accession of China in 2001, the Russian Federation
was the largest economy outside of the WTO framework. By joining the organization, the coun-
try undertook a number of serious commitments: to gradually reduce its average tariff bound to
about 8 per cent; to bring its national regulation of market access for services in line with the General
Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS); to soften its barriers on foreign direct investment; and to
reduce state interference into the economy. The country’s negotiating team, however, refused to
accept the commitment to allow foreign banks to establish their presence in the economy, except as
subsidiaries or representative offices.


On the global scale, the economic implications of the country’s WTO membership will
be very modest, compared with China’s accession in 2001. The admission of China to the WTO has
eventually led to a significant decline in the prices of manufactured goods, but in the case of the
Russian Federation, most of the exports currently consist of primary commodities, which are gener-
ally not subject to tariff barriers. For the Russian Federation itself, however, the membership and its
potential impact on economic diversification will have significant macroeconomic implications.


The Russian economy remains in dire need of diversification. Most of its exports (about
69 per cent in 2010) consist of oil, fuels and natural gas, and the economy is dependent on imports
of manufactured goods. The high volatility of global energy prices and the country’s dependence
on this sector has resulted in considerable macroeconomic volatility. As productivity growth in com-
modity sectors is generally below those in manufactures, this production structure has contributed
to slower long-term economic growth. Given population ageing and projected shortfalls in the pen-
sion system in the coming decades, this has significant implications for fiscal sustainability.


Despite limited manufactured exports, the Russian economy is currently running a
comfortable trade surplus and is diverting part of its hydrocarbon revenues to a national wealth fund.
However, in the longer run, the country may face serious challenges when it is eventually confronted
with significant declines in oil production and a tighter market for natural gas. Still, the Russian econ-
omy contains certain industrial sectors, such as aviation and engine production, which may find a
niche in global markets, if managed efficiently, and has a well-educated and professional labour force.
The Russian automotive sector, which attracted a significant amount of FDI and is benefiting from
booming car sales, is an example of a successfully upgraded industry, although it may need further
modernization to withstand the post-transition competitive environment.


Box IV.1




116 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Prior to the WTO accession, Russian policies aimed at industrial diversification were
not always friendly to the concept of free trade. To achieve import substitution, the Government
resorted to introducing export taxes, increasing import tariffs and requiring local content for manu-
factured products. Direct state intervention was quite common and the country routinely resorted
to protectionist policies. FDI into the Russian Federation was at least partially restricted in 42 sectors
designated to be “strategic”. Consequently, FDI flows into the Russian economy were more modest
compared with other emerging markets (see figure). Since domestic businesses, on the other hand,
often did not have adequate access to financing, investment rates remained low.


The immediate economic impact of the country’s WTO membership is expected to be
limited. Only about one third of tariff reductions will be applied immediately; for most other product
groups, a transition period of several years has been agreed upon. Some sectors, such as pig farming,
dairy production and pharmaceuticals, as well as production of trucks and buses, will come under
stiffer competition. The federal budget may lose about $6 billion in 2013 alone through reduced
import duties.


The long-run impact matters more though. Assessments of potential longer-term gains
or losses for the Russian economy vary, with both optimistic and pessimistic views. According to the
optimistic views,a which are contingent on much higher investment rates, significant inflows of FDI
(including into the services sector) and further financial deepening, the Russian economy will gain
about 10 per cent of GDP in the long term. Private consumption in the medium run will gain several
percentage points, improving the livelihoods of many households. As the Russian Federation already
enjoys a most favoured nation status with virtually all of its trading partners, most of those advan-
tages will not come from market access terms; rather, benefits will derive from the drastic increase in
productivity in the most competitive exporting sectors, a higher variety of imported inputs, a serious
technological upgrade, and the ability to use the WTO dispute settlement framework for resolving
anti-dumping cases. The Russian services sector (including finance, telecommunication and trans-
portation) is expected to gain in size and efficiency following strong FDI inflows.


The more pessimistic view, however, assumes low FDI inflows and little progress in
domestic modernization that will lead to negative effects on the economy at large, as many weak
industries would lose market shares and the Russian Federation could lose out in any trade dispute
because of inexperience in using WTO’s dispute settlement framework. Significantly reduced sup-
port for the agricultural sector will make it uncompetitive, while lower customs revenues will affect
the budget. The closing of unprofitable enterprises and loss of corporate income tax payments will
impact regional budgets. Some economists fear that agriculture and manufacturing sectors for con-
struction materials, consumer goods, food industries and machine building could lose as many as 2
million jobs or more in less than ten years, and that the accession will induce output losses, affect
household consumption and worsen income inequality.


Which one of those scenarios will materialize? Following China’s accession to the WTO,
which led to a more predictable business and dispute resolution environment, FDI inflows into China’s
manufacturing sector, with its abundant labour resources, surged, and export growth accelerated
further, to about 20 per cent a year. Such a scenario is unlikely in the case of the Russian Federation.
Therefore, the proponents of both views agree that the transition period should be used efficiently.
Since currently protected manufacturing sectors, oriented towards the domestic market, are likely
to shrink, the key to success would be to expand export-intensive industries and services. It will be
important, to the extent allowed by the WTO framework, to create incentives for exporters and to
attract FDI into those industries and services. Attracting FDI into high value-added sectors where the
entire vertical integration chain can be developed domestically will improve the access to know-how
and technology, and increase employment and the quality of human capital. Potential investors into
the Russian economy would benefit not only from exporting opportunities, but also from the sheer
size of the Russian domestic market and the free trade agreements in the CIS area.


According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2013 report, the Russian Federation ranked
112 out of 185 economies on ease of doing business. The Government aims to achieve a much better
ranking within several years, and drafted several road maps outlining ways to improve the investment


Box IV.1 (cont’d)


a See, for example,
Thomas Rutherford


and David Tarr, “Russia’s
WTO accession: What


are the macroeconomic,
sector, labor market


and household effects?”
available from http://


siteresources.worldbank.
org/INTRANETTRADE/


Resources/Topics/
Accession/Rutherford-


Tarr_russia-macro-effects.
pdf, accessed on


4 December 2012.




117Regional developments and outlook


Continued income growth, favourable labour market dynamics and declin-
ing inflation have provided impetus to domestic demand through the region. However,
persistent uncertainty regarding economic prospects and difficult international financing
conditions contributed to a slowdown in investment. While growth of retail lending sup-
ported private consumption in the Russian Federation, high shares of non-performing
loans in the banking system constrained new lending and thereby the expansion of do-
mestic demand in Kazakhstan. In Azerbaijan, the oil sector stabilized after last year’s
large fall in output, although the non-hydrocarbons economy remained the main source
of economic dynamism. In Ukraine, the poor performance of export-oriented industrial
branches was compounded by the problems of the agricultural sector. For the smaller, low-
income countries, the Russian economy provides an important source of revenue through
the remittances sent back home by workers from these countries (figure IV.5). Problems
in the gold sector, including a drastic fall in output caused by social protests and strikes,
resulted in a sharp economy-wide slowdown in the Kyrgyz Republic.


Domestic demand offsets
external weakness


climate both for domestic and foreign businesses, including reducing bureaucracy, achieving serious
progress in investor protection and fighting corruption. The quality of the business environment will
be an important factor influencing the eventual impact of WTO membership. The Government has
also to improve the institutional capacity to utilize the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.


The proponents of both views also agree that an efficient government-sponsored poli-
cy of mitigating the social costs of WTO membership, especially for unskilled workers, will be needed
for the transition period. Therefore, strengthening the social safety net and investing in retraining
should remain the focus of economic policymakers.


Box IV.1 (cont’d)


Source: World Bank.


Annual average FDI flows as a share of GDP, 1996–2010


0


1


2


3


4


5


6


ChinaBrazil Czech
Republic


Russian
Federation


India Poland


Percentage


Box Figure IV.1 FDI inflows as a share of GDP, per cent




118 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Sustained economic expansion has brought a reduction in unemployment in the
region, although there are some marked differences in the performance of labour markets
across countries. The unemployment rate reached historic lows in the Russian Federation, as
jobs growth was accompanied by a shrinking active population. By contrast, the economy
of Kazakhstan continued to generate employment at a rapid pace, but this was in line
with the growth of the labour force. For low-income countries, migration and remittances
remained a channel to alleviate labour market tensions and support domestic demand.


Inflation fell throughout the region in 2012. Following sharp increases in
food and fuel prices last year, inflation slowed down markedly in the non-energy export-
ers. Inflation accelerated again in the second half of the year, however. In the Russian
Federation, the implementation of postponed administrative price increases and a poor
grain harvest resulted in growing inflationary pressure in the last months of the year and
annual inflation is estimated to exceed 5 per cent. In other CIS economies, inflation rates
varied in 2012 from about 0.5 per cent in Georgia to over 60.0 per cent in Belarus, where
the currency drastically depreciated in the aftermath of a balance-of-payments crisis.
Except for Belarus, inflation is expected to stay up during 2013 as the disinflation process
will be counteracted by further increases in regulated prices across the CIS. Other factors
pushing prices up include expected nominal wage increases in energy-exporters and higher
foreign-exchange earnings pushing up money supply and domestic demand.


Despite the continued strength of domestic demand and, in some countries,
accelerating credit growth, benign inflationary trends created room for some monetary
loosening early in the year. However, renewed inflationary pressures put an end to the
monetary easing. In the Russian Federation, capital outflows tightened monetary condi-
tions, obviating the need for further increasing the policy interest rate. In Belarus, the
improvement of financial indicators after last year’s devaluation led to large cuts in the
refinancing rate, which were accompanied by rapid monetary growth in the presence of
still significant inflationary expectations. Despite low inflation, there was no strong move


Inflation declines, but
tensions re-emerge


Monetary policy loosening
comes to a standstill


0


20


40


60


80


100


120


2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
0


500


1,000


1,500


2,000


2,500


3,000


An
uu


al
in


flo
w


o
f r


em
itt


an
ce


s,
m


ill
io


ns
o


f d
ol


la
rsCrude oil price


Armenia
Georgia
Kyrgyz Republic
Republic of Moldova
Tajikistan


Figure IV.5 Crude oil price and the inflow of remittances into small economies of the CIS
Figure IV.5
Crude oil price and the inflow of remittances into small economies of the CIS


Source: World Bank.




119Regional developments and outlook


towards monetary easing in Ukraine, because of concerns regarding the stability of the na-
tional currency. Monetary authorities moved to support the currency by limiting domestic
and import demand through limits on the supply of credit after imposing stricter reserve
requirements for commercial banks. Despite a more complicated inflationary outlook,
further weakening of the CIS economies may require further monetary easing.


Sustained economic growth has boosted revenues, although non-energy ex-
porters have continued to face difficult fiscal positions. By contrast, the Russian Federation
and other oil- and natural gas-rich countries continue to enjoy the fiscal space required
to support their recoveries in the face of a difficult global environment. In Ukraine, after
a large adjustment in 2011, fiscal consolidation was undermined by rapid expenditure
growth in the run-up to the parliamentary elections and the negative impact of a slowing
economy on revenues. Delays in rising gas tariffs resulted in continued large financial
transfers to the state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz. Oil funds of several CIS
countries, which were partially depleted during the financial crisis, have been quickly
rebuilt, such as in Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation, in particular. By contrast, the
non-energy exporting countries continue to face fiscal tensions. In the Kyrgyz Republic,
for instance, slowing GDP growth owing to the problems in the gold sector and growing
pressures to increase agricultural subsidies sharply widened the fiscal deficit.


Export growth moderated throughout the region as a result of lower global de-
mand. While oil prices remained elevated, current-account surpluses shrank in most energy-
producing countries, including the Russian Federation, which makes the largest contribution
to the aggregate surplus balance in the region. By contrast, Belarus made some progress in
reducing its large current-account deficit, partly thanks to reduced energy import bills from
the Russian Federation. The deficit also fell in most small non-energy exporters, but the
gap is still very large and a major source of economic fragility in Armenia, Georgia and the
Republic of Moldova, in particular. Lower cotton prices contributed to a shrinking surplus
in Uzbekistan. The high cost of energy imports and falling steel prices kept the deficit large
in Ukraine, despite sharply declining growth.


The fragility of the world economy continues to weigh on the economic pros-
pects of the region, which remains exposed to a worsening of the global situation, par-
ticularly in Europe, the main economic partner. Any further deterioration in the external
environment will result in falling export demand, lower commodity prices and difficulties
in accessing finance. Growing expenditures in the Russian Federation have increased the
region’s vulnerability to a decline in oil prices, but the implementation of fiscal consolida-
tion plans and a lower dependence on capital inflows are expected to increase resilience.
In Ukraine, fragile fiscal and international reserve positions reduce the policy space for
addressing a further deterioration in the global environment. Other medium-term risks
emerge from a weak banking sector and a high share of non-performing loans, especially
in Kazakhstan and in a number of smaller CIS economies.


Developing economies
Developing economies saw a slowdown in their aggregate growth rate in 2012 to 4.7
per cent, compared with 5.7 per cent in 2011. There were two major outliers from this
performance: Africa, which registered a sharp increase in growth to 5.0 per cent in 2012
after a more pronounced slowdown in 2011 caused by the political changes in North
Africa; and Western Asia, where growth decreased markedly, mainly owing to the weaker
performance of the oil-importing countries in the subregion.


Economic growth has
boosted government
revenue


Risks for CIS economies
remain elevated




120 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


In the outlook, developing economies will register a moderate acceleration in
economic growth to 5.1 per cent in 2013 and 5.6 per cent in 2014. An outlier will again be
Africa, which will experience a modest slowdown in growth in 2013 stemming from the
vanishing base effect of the rebound in growth in North Africa. While these rates remain
below those achieved in the years before the economic crisis, they still set developing
economies apart from the much lower growth rates of developed economies. The reasons
for this include relatively greater policy space in a number of developing economies to
address weakening demand, expanding trade and finance ties between developing econo-
mies, as well as the still solid price levels for a number of export commodities.


Africa: solid growth expected with a more
favourable risk profile


Despite the global slowdown, Africa’s economic growth rate (excluding Libya) will see a vis-
ible rebound to 4.5 per cent in 2013 compared to 3.4 per cent in 2012 (figure IV.6). The
upward trend is expected to continue in 2014, with growth reaching 5.0 per cent. Key factors
underpinning Africa’s strong growth prospects include solid growth in oil-exporting coun-
tries, supported by increased oil production, and still elevated oil prices (box IV.2), as well as
increased fiscal expenditure, especially on infrastructure. At the same time, Africa’s increasing
trade and investment ties with emerging and developing economies are likely to mitigate the
impact of negative shocks emanating from the recession in Europe. Similarly, other growth
factors, such as increasing domestic demand associated with rising incomes and urbanization,
will help reduce vulnerability to external shocks. Increasing diversification into services, such
as telecommunication, construction and other non-primary commodity sectors, including
manufacturing, also contribute to Africa’s positive growth outlook in the medium term.


Egypt Tunisia


Nigeria


South
Africa


Eq. Guinea


Ethiopia


Gabon


Mozambique


Niger
Zambia


Zimbabwe


Morocco


Angola


Botswana
Cameroon


Côte d'Ivoire


Ghana


Kenya
Malawi


Rwanda


Senegal


United Republic of Tanzania


Uganda


Algeria


0.0


1.0


2.0


3.0


4.0


5.0


6.0


7.0


8.0


9.0


10.0


0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0
2012


20
13


Year-over-year percentage change


Figure IV.6 2012-2013 GDP Growth Rates for Selected African Economies (Oil Exporters in Bold)


Source: UN/DESA.
Note: Oil exporters in bold.


Figure IV.6
GDP growth rates for selected African economies, 2012–2013




121Regional developments and outlook


New oil discoveries and the implications for growth in Africa


Recent discoveries and key features
In 2012, Kenya became the latest frontier for new oil discoveries in Africa, following a series of previ-
ously announced discoveries, notably in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Uganda. Ghana’s Jubilee field, with
an estimated total reserve of 490 million barrels of high quality oil, is expected to yield government
revenues of $1 billion on average per year between 2011 and 2029, based on a long-run price as-
sumption of $75 per barrel. In Uganda, the Lake Albert Rift Basin is estimated to have oil reserves of
1.1 billion barrels, translating into 100,000 to 300,000 barrels of oil per day.a Oil production started in
Ghana in 2010 and there are plans to begin production in Uganda in the coming years. These discov-
eries potentially add to the nine existing major oil-exporting countries (Algeria, Angola, Cameroon,
Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya and Nigeria).b


Past performance of oil-exporting African countries
Examining the economic performance of the African countries already exporting oil shows that, in
general, oil exporters have tended to fare better in terms of average income growth than non-oil ex-
porters. However, one of the major issues is that the relatively high overall growth of oil exporters has
not delivered the expected benefits. The enormous revenues from oil have not measurably boosted
per capita incomes in many countries, and where they have, it has been unequally distributed. For
example, Nigeria has exported over $700 billion in oil between 1980 and 2010c (which breaks down to
almost 40 per cent of per capita income on a yearly basis), and yet the country’s per capita income is
barely above the average for Africa. As well, despite having one of the highest GDP per capita in Africa,
Equatorial Guinea is still only ranked 136 in the United Nations Human Development Index, whereas
Kenya, with a per capita income less than one tenth that of Equatorial Guinea, is ranked 143. This
points to either severe mismanagement of the revenue or significant concentration of the oil wealth.


Natural resource dependence of selected oil-exporting African countries, 2010
Resource exports


(percentage of
non-resource GDP)


Resource revenue
(percentage of
total revenue)


GDP per capita
(United States dollars)


Angola 110.6 75.9 4,423
Cameroon 10.5 26.6 1,143
Chad 60.2 67.6 676
Congo 224.1 79.0 2,943
Equatorial Guinea 171.6 88.1 19,998
Gabon 116.3 53.9 8,643
Nigeria 54.3 72.2 1,222
Source: IMF, Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, October 2012.


As a result of the oil wealth, the economies of a number of these oil-rich countries have
been distorted and they are now heavily dependent on the revenues from oil production (table). The
size of the oil revenues relative to the rest of the economy has resulted in real exchange-rate appre-
ciation and lack of economic diversification. The reliance on and ample availability of those revenues
has weakened governance and become a source of rent-seeking behaviour.d Evidence suggests that
countries that are fiscally dependent on oil experienced significantly higher volatility in exports, rev-
enue and non-oil GDP growth.e This is largely attributed to the high volatility in world market prices
of natural resources compared to other goods, which leads to higher volatility of budget revenues
and risks macroeconomic stability in fiscally dependent countries. In addition, the net barter terms
of trade have depended heavily on changes in oil prices, which declined in the 1980s, remained flat


Box IV.2


a Ernest Aryeetey
and others, “Foresight
Africa: The Continent’s
Greatest Challenges and
Opportunities for 2011”
(Africa Growth Initiative at
Brookings, January 2011),
pp. 22-24.
b Prior to the breakup,
Sudan would have been
included in this list. Given
recent conflicts between
Sudan and South Sudan, it
is difficult to estimate what
combined exports for the
two countries are likely to
be going forward.
c International Monetary
Fund, World Economic
Outlook database,
October 2012.
d Pedro Conceição, Ricardo
Fuentes and Sebastian
Levine, “Managing natural
resources for human
development in low-
income countries”, Working
Paper, No. 2011-002 (UNDP
Regional Bureau for Africa,
December 2011).
e International Monetary
Fund, Regional Economic
Outlook: Sub-Saharan
Africa—Sustaining Growth
amid Global Uncertainty
(Washington, D.C.,
October 2012).




122 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


in the 1990s and jumped up significantly in the last decade, particularly between 2004 and 2008
(figure). This implies that the countries with new oil discoveries will have to be well served by coun-
tercyclical macroeconomic policies, including through the use of oil stabilization funds, to smooth
use of the newly acquired wealth over time.


Policy options for African countries
The recent discoveries have occurred in countries with low levels of income per capita and high eco-
nomic and social inequalities. It is natural that expectations of their citizens would be raised and hopes
for improved conditions voiced. The track record of managing and redistributing oil wealth has been
less than stellar among most of the existing oil exporters in the region. Yet, if well-managed, new oil
discoveries could present unique opportunities for accelerated growth and development in Africa.
While it seems likely that the new oil discoveries will boost the GDP of these countries, the real ques-
tions are whether those gains are sustainable and how they are distributed. Achieving sustainability
and equitable distribution requires a mix of policy options that addresses short-term fiscal issues and
long-term investments and sustainability concerns. There are a few primary-exporting countries in the
region that have been moderately successful in meeting these goals, such as Botswana, through its
Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM). While CBNRM in Botswana was not based
on management of oil revenues, it is nonetheless a good example of establishing the appropriate re-
lationships between the communities directly affected by the extraction operations, the Government
and the resource extractors (or end users). There have also been relatively recent efforts by Angola
to establish an oil-financed sovereign wealth fund to aid in diversification of the economy through
investments in domestic agriculture, water, power and transportation projects. The planned creation
of Stabilization and Heritage Funds outlined in Ghana’s Petroleum Revenue Management Bill would
utilize oil revenues both to cushion against oil price volatility and to support future social programmes.


Box IV.2 (cont’d)


Source: World Bank.


Net barter terms of trade for selected African oil exporters


0


50


100


150


200


250


300


19
80


19
82


19
84


19
86


19
88


19
90


19
92


19
94


19
96


19
98


20
00


20
02


20
04


20
06


20
08


20
10


Algeria
Angola
Cameroon


Chad
Congo
Equatorial Guinea


Nigeria


Index 100=2000




123Regional developments and outlook


Economic growth in North Africa is forecast to rebound strongly in 2013
and 2014 in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, despite continued uncertainty. Egypt is
expected to grow at 3.2 per cent in 2013 as concerns over stability dissipate with increased
external support. Libya’s economy is expected to recover to its pre-crisis level, while growth
in Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Sudan will benefit from the end of the drought.
However, the protracted and unresolved euro area sovereign debt crisis still threatens the
economies of the subregion through the trade and tourism channels.


Central, Eastern, Southern and West Africa’s economies continue to see a gen-
erally vibrant development in domestic demand, based on strong investment in view of the
shortfall in infrastructure and the expansion of service sectors such as telecommunications
and construction. This applies, for example, to Kenya, which is expected to maintain
relatively robust growth of 5.4 per cent in 2013, with a rebound in domestic investment
helped further by lower interest rates.


South Africa will register accelerating growth of 3.1 per cent in 2013 in view
of a stabilizing international economic environment that is particularly relevant for its
resources and manufacturing sector. On the domestic side, however, growth will be held
back by continued high unemployment. In addition, further labour unrest and social ten-
sions emanating from pervasive inequalities continue to form a significant downside risk
to economic growth.


The oil-producing economies in Central, Southern and West Africa will benefit
from sustained strong demand for oil and elevated export prices. In Nigeria, growth is fore-
cast to accelerate to 6.8 per cent in 2013, with non-oil sectors such as telecommunications
and construction providing significant impetus to economic activity. The positive impact
of the oil and services sectors on growth is similar in Ghana, where solid agricultural
output and increasing production by gold mines are forecast to lend additional support to
the economic performance. Other economies that will benefit from conditions in the oil
market include Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. However, this
exposure to the international oil market also implies a major downside risk in the case of
a significant fall in oil prices that could be triggered, for example, by a more pronounced
global slowdown. Capacity-increasing investments in their mining sectors will be impor-
tant drivers of GDP growth in countries like United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia,
even though these mineral and metal exporting countries will also be vulnerable to volatile
commodity prices and slowing international demand, especially from China.


Despite the positive growth picture, the employment situation remains a major
problem across the region, both in terms of the level of employment as well as the quality
of jobs that are generated, especially in North Africa. Wide gender disparities in employ-
ment and earnings remain a major concern. Women face unemployment rates at least
double that of men in countries such as Algeria and Egypt. High youth unemployment is
a further concern. With the fast growth of the labour force, the solid rates of GDP growth
have proven far from sufficient to absorb all new labour market entrants, given the current
pattern of production and employment generation. The lack of economic diversification
away from the heavy dependence on resource extraction or agriculture is a key reason why
labour demand is not more dynamic. Continued growth in other sectors like telecom-
munications and construction in countries such as Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria is helping
to change this situation, however. At the same time, labour conflicts and social unrest
constitute a major downside risk to the economic performance of the region. In South
Africa, for example, a labour conflict in the mining sector caused the loss of numerous


North Africa is forecast to
see a strong recovery in the
wake of the Arab Spring


In the rest of Africa,
infrastructure investment
and expanding service
sectors drive domestic
demand


South Africa will see solid
growth that is tempered by
high unemployment
and inequality


Unemployment remains a
pressing problem




124 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


lives and major disruptions in a crucial sector of the economy in 2012. Strikes by public
sector workers also occurred in Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania, causing ma-
jor disruptions in the health and education sectors.


On average, inflation rates will recede moderately across the region in view
of the weakening international environment and the fading one-off impact of drought
conditions on harvest yields and domestic food prices. In South Africa, upward infla-
tion pressure from wage growth and higher regulated prices will increasingly be offset
by weakening commodity prices, resulting in an expected inflation rate of 4.2 per cent
in 2013. Côte d’Ivoire will register one of the lowest inflation rates in the region; a more
stable political situation and the normalization of trading activities on local markets will
keep price increases limited to 2.1 per cent in 2013. By contrast, some of the oil-exporting
economies are expected to see high inflation. In the case of Nigeria, government spending,
especially at the state level, will keep inflation above 10 per cent in 2013, while strong
domestic consumption will keep inflation in Angola and Ghana at about 10 per cent
and 8 per cent, respectively, in 2013. A number of countries will see a continuation of a
pronounced downward trend in inflation rates. In Kenya and Uganda, for example, the
high inflation rates of late 2011 and early 2012 have been brought down mainly through
decreases in food price inflation and by aggressive interest-rate policies which contained
currency depreciation in these countries. Barring a return of significant drought condi-
tions, inflation will continue to moderate and remain in single digits in 2013.


Fiscal budgets will remain under pressure on a number of fronts. The lack of
adequate infrastructure will require significant investments, while extremely low coverage
of social security and high unemployment levels will create continuing pressure to initiate
new spending to address at least some of the urgent welfare problems. At the same time,
generating sufficient revenues will remain challenging for a host of reasons: many countries
have only limited tax collection capabilities; oil prices will provide no additional boost to
fiscal revenues for oil-exporting countries; and official development assistance (ODA) is
also expected to remain under pressure, given the fiscal austerity measures among many
of the donor countries. In the forecast, fiscal policies will remain relatively loose in 2013,
with many economies running budget deficits, while some move towards consolidation is
expected in 2014.


Although Africa’s average current-account deficit narrowed to just 0.6 per cent
of GDP in 2012, oil-exporting countries recorded a surplus of 3.7 per cent compared to
a deficit of 6.9 per cent for oil-importing countries. Current-account deficits widened in
many countries because of large food and energy imports and dependence on imported
services. With increased pressure exerted by widening current-account deficits, domestic
currencies depreciated against the United States dollar in several oil-importing countries.
The pressure is forecast to continue in the medium term owing to increased demand for
imported capital goods in many countries and the knock-on effect of the recession in
Europe on demand for African exports.


Aid flows to Africa are expected to stabilize or even decline in 2013 and 2014
following the global economic slowdown and fiscal difficulties in many donor countries.
Africa’s external debt is expected to rise because of increased external financing needs of
some of the Arab Spring countries, such as Egypt and Tunisia, and borrowing in private
capital markets by countries such as Ghana, Senegal and South Africa.


The outlook is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. A more severe
and broader global economic slowdown encompassing emerging economies would hold the
potential to inflict significant damage on the region’s performance through a contraction


Inflation is moderating,
but remains high in


some countries


Fiscal budgets will have
to address multiple


policy challenges


The global economic
picture will put pressure


on ODA




125Regional developments and outlook


in trade, tourism and remittances. Moreover, the fiscal problems in developed economies
continue to create uncertainty regarding future ODA flows. In addition, unexpected ad-
verse weather conditions that would negatively affect harvest yields pose another downside
risk, given the significant role of the agricultural sector in many economies.


East Asia: slowdown in China and recession in Europe
weigh on regional growth


Sluggish demand in developed economies and a sharper-than-expected slowdown in
China have weighed on economic growth in East Asia over the past year. The region’s
aggregate gross domestic product expanded by 5.8 per cent in 2012, down from 7.1 per
cent in 2011 and 9.2 per cent in 2010 as export growth faltered and investment spending
in many economies slowed. Household consumption continued to grow at a robust pace
in most countries, supported by resilient labour markets and a decline in inflation. In the
outlook, GDP growth in the region is forecast to pick up to an average of 6.2 per cent in
2013 and 6.5 per cent in 2014, supported by a modest recovery in external demand and
more expansionary monetary and fiscal policy.


In China, the pace of economic expansion declined from 9.2 per cent in 2011
to 7.7 per cent in 2012, the lowest rate in more than a decade. Weaker export demand
and a sharp decline in investment growth, especially in the real estate sector, dampened
overall output growth. Because of more structural problems, there is a risk of a possible
hard landing of the Chinese economy (see chapter I), but it is not considered very high in
the immediate outlook. In 2013, consumption and investment demand in China will be
supported by the loosening of monetary and fiscal policy, with full-year growth projected
to pick up slightly to 7.9 per cent. Weaker domestic demand in China, along with the
recession in the euro area and subdued demand in Japan and the United States, weighed
heavily on activity in East Asia’s higher-income and export-dependent economies. Hong
Kong Special Administrative Region of China, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and
Taiwan Province of China saw a sharp drop-off in growth in 2012 as subdued demand
for exports led to lower capital spending. Along with a modest expected improvement in
global conditions, these economies are likely to see moderate recovery in 2013 and 2014,
but growth is projected to remain well below potential.


The slowdown in China and the higher-income economies of East Asia contrasts
with the solid growth momentum in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand,
where buoyant consumption and investment demand largely offset lower net exports. The
strong growth performance in the Philippines and Thailand was supported by significant
rises in public investment spending, but also reflects a base effect following weak growth in
2011. Growth in this group of countries is forecast to remain fairly stable in 2013.


Labour markets in East Asia have so far remained resilient to the slowdown in
growth, although unemployment rates edged up in some of the region’s export-dependent
economies in the course of 2012. In several countries, including Malaysia, the Republic
of Korea and Singapore, the unemployment rate continues to be close to historic lows as
robust domestic demand helped offset the impact of weaker exports and manufacturing
activity. In Indonesia, unemployment declined to 6.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2012,
about half the rate of 2006. As in other East Asian countries, most of the new jobs in
Indonesia have been created in the service sector, where productivity continues to be much
lower than in the manufacturing sector. As a result, the share of workers in vulnerable


Export-dependent
economies have seen the
largest drop-off in growth


Labour market conditions
have so far remained fairly
resilient to the slowdown




126 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


employment conditions remains high, ranging from about 20 per cent in Malaysia ac-
cording to International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates to 50 per cent in Thailand
and 60 per cent in Indonesia. Since labour markets tend to react with a lag to weakening
economic activity, employment growth in many countries is likely to slow in the quarters
ahead. Unemployment rates are expected to show little change in 2013 and 2014.


Inflation has declined significantly in East Asia over the past year as domestic
demand softened and many international commodity prices eased. For the region as a
whole, consumer price inflation averaged 2.9 per cent in 2012, well below the rate of 4.9 per
cent recorded in 2011. In most economies, including China, Indonesia and the Republic of
Korea, the current rate of inflation is firmly within the target ranges set by central banks.
The recent hikes in the international prices of several food commodities, notably corn,
soybeans and wheat, have not led to a significant increase in food price inflation across the
region. This can be attributed to the relatively small weight of these grains in consumer
price index baskets and the fact that prices of rice, East Asia’s staple food, have remained
stable. Looking forward, consumer price inflation across the region is projected to remain
relatively low as more moderate economic growth will not lead to significant demand-pull
pressures. In addition, the strength of regional currencies against the dollar and the euro is
expected to contain imported inflation. Regional inflation is projected to average 3.1 per
cent in 2013 and 3.5 per cent in 2014, in line with an expected gradual recovery in growth.
Upside risks to inflation include the re-emergence of strong capital inflows following the
new round of quantitative easing (QE) policies in developed economies, the impact of
planned subsidy reductions (for instance, in Indonesia and Malaysia) and strong nominal
wage growth, especially in China, Thailand and Viet Nam.


Against the backdrop of slowing economic activity and reduced inflationary
pressures, East Asia’s monetary authorities have shifted focus from containing inflation
to stimulating growth. After tightening monetary policy in 2010/11, many central banks
have cut interest rates over the past year to support domestic demand. The People’s Bank
of China (PBC) reduced the one-year benchmark deposit rate by a total of 50 basis points
to 3 per cent and the one-year benchmark loan rate by 56 basis points to 6 per cent. The
PBC also lowered the reserve requirement ratio for deposit-taking institutions and used
open-market operations to inject liquidity into the banking sector. Similarly, the central
banks in Indonesia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Thailand eased monetary
policy in the course of 2012. In contrast to the cautious approach taken by other monetary
authorities in the region, the State Bank of Viet Nam cut interest rates aggressively in the
first half of 2012 amid rapidly declining inflation and weakening growth. However, the re-
emergence of inflationary pressures in the third quarter reduced the scope for further mon-
etary easing in Viet Nam. The monetary authorities in Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region of China, Singapore and Taiwan Province of China have so far refrained from
loosening monetary policy despite markedly lower growth. In the quarters ahead, some
further monetary easing in East Asia may take place. However, unless the regional outlook
deteriorates significantly, most central banks will maintain their cautious approach.


Across East Asia, Governments adopted a more expansionary fiscal policy in
the course of 2012 as the economic slowdown became increasingly apparent. In Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Viet Nam, the authorities introduced low-
interest loans, cash transfers to low-income households, lower tax rates and tax breaks to fuel
private sector demand and mitigate the social impact of the slowdown. The Governments
in China, Indonesia and the Philippines also announced increases in public infrastructure
spending. The size of these fiscal injections is, however, small relative to the unprecedented


Inflationary pressures are
projected to remain low


Central banks have shifted
focus from inflation


to growth


Fiscal policy has become
more expansionary to


counter the slowdown




127Regional developments and outlook


policy responses in the wake of the global financial crisis. As a result of rising expenditures
and weaker revenue growth, fiscal balances deteriorated in 2012. Still, budget deficits
remained below 3 per cent of GDP in all East Asian economies, except Malaysia and Viet
Nam. Going forward, fiscal deficits are projected to narrow as a share of GDP in most
countries, as income growth and government revenues are expected to recover gradually
and authorities remain committed to long-term fiscal sustainability. While low deficit and
debt levels imply that most Governments have ample room for additional fiscal stimulus
measures, they are only expected to do so if growth prospects deteriorate more sharply.


Trade and current-account surpluses in most East Asian economies narrowed
in 2012 (figure IV.7) as exports decelerated more rapidly than imports. The weakness in
export earnings across the region reflects subdued import demand in developed econo-
mies, slowing demand in China and a decline in the prices of many export commodities,
such as rubber and copper. The region was particularly affected by the fall in EU demand
for machinery, transport equipment and other manufactures. Compared to 2011, the dol-
lar value of merchandise exports remained flat or declined slightly in most East Asian
economies, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan Province of
China. At the same time, import bills continued to grow in most countries, although much
more slowly than in the past two years. In Indonesia, however, import growth remained
robust owing to strong domestic demand, resulting in a sharp contraction of the trade
surplus and the first annual current-account deficit in 15 years. China’s external surplus, in
contrast, did not decline, as export earnings continued to grow in 2012. Although export
growth was weaker than in 2011, it outpaced import growth. In 2013, East Asia’s exports
and imports are projected to grow at a subdued pace given the continuing weakness in
global conditions. Trade and current-account balances are expected to improve slightly.


Even though economic fundamentals remain strong, risks to the region’s eco-
nomic outlook remain tilted to the downside. A further deterioration of the sovereign debt
crisis in Europe remains a major risk for East Asia’s economies since it would likely lead
to renewed turmoil on financial markets and a sharp contraction in global trade activity.


Current-account surpluses
decline owing to a slump
in exports


Euro area crisis and a
possible hard landing of
China’s economy remain
key risks


Source: UN/DESA based on
data from EIU and national
sources.
Note: Figures for 2012 are
partly estimated.


Figure IV.7
Current-account balances of selected East Asian economies, 2000-2012


-10


-5


0


5


10


15


20


2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012


China Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Hong Kong SAR


Percentage of GDP


Figure IV.7 Current Account Balances as Percentage of GDP in selected East Asian economies, 2000 - 2012




128 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


A sharp deceleration in the pace of growth in China would have a severe impact on eco-
nomic activity in the region, with Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China,
Singapore and Taiwan likely to suffer most from lower demand for their exports. Fiscal
policy uncertainty in the United States and continued geopolitical risks in oil-producing
areas represent additional risk factors for regional growth.


South Asia: internal and external headwinds further
weaken economic activity


Economic activity in South Asia slowed further in 2012 as internal and external headwinds
persisted. After growing by 5.8 per cent in 2011, the region’s gross domestic product expanded
by 4.4 per cent in 2012, the slowest pace in a decade. Persistent high inflation, political uncer-
tainties, and transport and energy constraints have weighed on household consumption and
business investment. At the same time, the exports of most countries in the region have been
affected by weakening global demand. In most countries, the scope for macroeconomic poli-
cies to support growth is limited. Central banks are trying to walk a fine line between support-
ing demand and curbing inflation, while Governments face pressures to bring down budget
deficits. Going forward, economic growth in the region is projected to accelerate moderately
to 5.0 per cent on average in 2013 and 5.7 per cent in 2014, led by a gradual recovery in India.


India’s economy, which accounts for almost three quarters of the region’s GDP,
has slowed markedly over the past two years. Annual growth declined from more than 9 per
cent in 2010 to 5.5 per cent in 2012, the slowest pace in 10 years. The slowdown primarily
reflects weaker consumption and investment demand as a result of persistent inflation, high
nominal interest rates, large fiscal deficits and political gridlock. These factors will likely
remain a drag on economic growth in the outlook period. Nonetheless, GDP growth is
forecast to accelerate moderately to 6.1 per cent in 2013, as a result of stronger growth of
exports and capital investment. Investment demand is expected to respond to the more
accommodative monetary policy stance and slightly improved business confidence.


Nepal and Pakistan continue to experience subdued growth as ongoing politi-
cal instability and security concerns weigh on domestic demand. In Pakistan, investment
has been in decline for four consecutive years, down to only 12.5 per cent of GDP in
2011/12. Economic activity in the Islamic Republic of Iran contracted in 2012 as interna-
tional sanctions led to a sharp decline in oil exports and a sharp fall in the value of the rial.
Economic prospects for Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, in contrast, remain largely favourable
despite a moderate slowdown in 2012. In both countries, the economic expansion is based
on strong growth in private investment and consumption, which is supported by a steady
increase in worker’s remittances.


Given the lack of sufficiently up-to-date labour market data in South Asia,
the employment impact of the recent economic slowdown is not yet clear. The fourteenth
report on employment changes in selected sectors, published by India’s Labour Bureau in
May 2012, indicates that employment growth in the country’s manufacturing sector had
slowed considerably during 2011/12. According to the survey, employment continued to
increase in India’s exporting firms, but declined in the non-exporting sector amid weaken-
ing domestic demand. Although open unemployment rates in the region are low—the ILO
projects an average unemployment rate for the region of only 3.8 per cent in 2012—there
are deep-rooted structural challenges in the labour market. These challenges include the
dominance of low-productivity jobs in the large informal sector, high shares of working


India’s economic growth
slows to a ten-year low


South Asia continues to
struggle with deep-rooted
structural challenges in its


labour market




129Regional developments and outlook


poor, low female participation rates and high youth unemployment. Recent labour market
reports for India and Pakistan illustrate the magnitude of these challenges. In India, less
than 20 per cent of persons are classified as wage earners, whereas about 80 per cent are
either self-employed or temporary workers. The female labour force participation rate in
India is estimated at 25.4 per cent, compared to 77.4 per cent for males. In Pakistan, three
quarters of employed women work in the agricultural sector, the large majority of them in
vulnerable employment conditions.


Inflationary pressures remained persistently high in most South Asian econo-
mies over the past year (figure IV.8). Consumer price inflation averaged 11.6 per cent in
the region in 2012, slightly up from 11.2 per cent in 2011. The renewed rise in inflation
can be attributed to several factors: droughts in parts of the region, higher world food
prices, significant depreciation of local currencies, and increases in administered fuel and
electricity prices. Deeply entrenched inflationary expectations and large fiscal deficits, par-
ticularly in India and Pakistan, further added to the price pressures. Year-on-year inflation
rose to about 25 per cent in the Islamic Republic of Iran in late 2012, as the removal of
government subsidies and the fall of the rial against the dollar drove up domestic prices.


Bangladesh and Pakistan, in contrast, experienced a moderate decline in inflation
over the course of 2012, partly owing to more subdued growth of private sector credit. In the
outlook, consumer price inflation is projected to decline slightly in most economies, averaging
10.6 per cent in 2013 and 9.9 per cent in 2014 for the region as a whole. More stable local cur-
rencies, lower global food prices and slower money supply growth are expected to reduce price
pressures. However, persistently high inflation expectations, severe supply bottlenecks and the
need to further raise administered energy prices will impede progress in reducing inflation.


Persistent inflationary pressures and large fiscal deficits continue to limit the
scope for monetary policy easing in response to slowing economic growth. The central


Inflation remains
persistently high


0


5


10


15


20


Jan-10 Jul-10 Jan-11 Jul-11 Jan-12 Jul-12


Percentage


Pakistan
Sri Lanka


India
Bangladesh


Figure IV.8 Consumer price inflation in selected South Asian countries,
January 2010 - October 2012 (year-on-year changes)


Figure IV.8
Consumer price inflation in selected South Asian countries, January 2010-October 2012
(year-on-year percentage change)


Source: UN/DESA, based on
data from national sources.
Notes: For India, inflation
in consumer price index
numbers for industrial
workers was used, provided
by the Labour Bureau of the
Government of India.




130 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


banks of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka raised policy rates in early 2012, but left the monetary
stance unchanged in the remainder of the year. Authorities of both countries are expected
to maintain the current policy stance unless growth slows more sharply than expected.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which had increased its benchmark repo rate 13 times
between March 2010 and October 2011, cut interest rates only slightly in 2012, even
though investment demand slumped. To boost liquidity in the banking system, the RBI
also reduced the cash reserve ratio for banks. While India’s monetary authorities remain
focused on containing inflation and anchoring inflation expectations, continued weakness
in private capital spending is expected to prompt further monetary easing in the quarters
ahead. Unlike the RBI, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has fully shifted its focus to
strengthening private investment, which has declined for four consecutive years, and sup-
porting domestic demand. The SBP cut its main policy rate from 12 per cent to 10 per
cent in 2012. If inflation continues to slow in the coming quarters, additional interest rate
reductions are likely.


Weakening growth of tax revenues, rising expenditures on energy, food and
fertilizer subsidies, and higher security spending have all put additional pressures on fiscal
balances in South Asia. In almost all countries, the deficit reduction targets for the past
fiscal year were missed by a considerable margin. Despite increased efforts to lower spend-
ing on subsidies, this trend is likely to continue as Governments face major fiscal chal-
lenges, including strong expenditure demands that will address energy shortages, enhance
welfare spending, and narrow tax bases. In India, the government deficit widened to 5.8
per cent of GDP in 2011/12, well above the target of 4.6 per cent. The shortfall can be
primarily attributed to lower-than-expected corporate tax revenues, following the marked
economic slowdown, and higher subsidy expenditure as food and fuel prices remained
elevated. Actual government deficits also exceeded initial targets in other South Asian
economies during the past fiscal year, accounting for 5.2 per cent of GDP in Bangladesh,
6.2 per cent in Sri Lanka and 6.3 per cent in Pakistan.


In most South Asian economies, trade and current-account deficits widened
significantly in 2012. Exports were hit hard by weakening demand in key markets, in-
cluding the EU, the United States and China. The annual value of merchandise exports
declined moderately in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, reflecting both lower volumes
and lower prices of major export commodities like rubber and cotton. In the Islamic
Republic of Iran, export earnings contracted by more than 25 per cent in 2012 following
the tightening of sanctions. In most South Asian countries, import spending growth also
declined sharply in 2012, although import bills continued to be pushed up by high oil
prices and still robust consumer spending. An important factor behind the slowdown in
import spending was the sharp depreciation of local currencies. The Indian rupee, for
example, lost more than 25 per cent of its value against the dollar between June 2011 and
June 2012. The weakness in the region’s currencies can be attributed to large and rising
current-account deficits as well as a sharp decline in portfolio inflows amid recurring
concerns over the regional and global outlook. Workers’ remittance flows to Bangladesh,
Pakistan and Sri Lanka continued to grow at a strong pace in 2012, partially offsetting the
large trade deficits. In the outlook period, South Asia’s economies will continue to record
large and partly widening current-account deficits.


Downside risks to the economic outlook for South Asia are related to the
continued weakness of the global macroeconomic environment and to regional or do-
mestic economic vulnerabilities. On the external side, a further economic downturn in


Slower growth and higher
subsidy bills weigh on


fiscal balances


Trade deficits widened
further as exports were hit


by the global slowdown




131Regional developments and outlook


the United States or Europe or a hard landing of China’s economy would further weaken
South Asia’s exports, while also reducing inflows from workers’ remittances. Widening
current-account deficits, coupled with lower portfolio capital inflows, could add pressure
on the balance of payments, possibly requiring contractionary policy adjustment. Political
instability and deteriorating security conditions represent downside risks for several coun-
tries, notably the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nepal and Pakistan.


Western Asia: economic growth diverges between oil
and non-oil economies


Economic performance in Western Asia strongly diverged in 2012, with most oil-export-
ing countries continuing to experience robust though decelerating growth, supported
by record-high oil revenues and government spending. By contrast, economic activity
weakened sharply in oil-importing countries, burdened by higher import bills, declining
external demand and shrinking policy space. The divergence is expected to continue in the
outlook for 2013, but there may be some convergence in 2014. On average, GDP growth
in the region is estimated to decline from 6.7 per cent in 2011 to 3.3 per cent in 2012
(figure IV.9). It is forecast to stagnate in 2013 before picking up to 4.1 per cent in 2014.


Most oil-exporting countries benefitted from record-high oil prices and rising
oil output in 2012, especially Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Strong growth in Saudi
Arabia was further underpinned by the expansion of domestic demand and a dynamic
real estate sector. Public and private investments bolstered growth in Qatar. Economic
activity grew more modestly in Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates as the
financial and real estate sectors gradually recovered. Political instability delayed any pos-
sible recovery in Yemen.


-10.0


-8.0


-6.0


-4.0


-2.0


0.0


2.0


4.0


6.0


8.0


Western Asia Oil exporters Israel TurkeyJordan, Lebanon and
the Syrian Arab Republic


2011
2012


Figure IV.9 GDP growth in Western Asia
Figure IV.9
GDP growth in Western Asia


Source: UN/DESA.




132 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Social unrest and political instability, notably the civil war in the Syrian Arab
Republic, weighed on risk perception in the entire region (box IV.3). Neighbouring Jordan
and Lebanon were further affected by subdued cross-border economic activities, including
trade, investment and tourism.


Negative spillover from
the Syrian crisis affected
neighbouring countries
and the region at large


The economic impact of the Syrian crisis


Lasting armed violence in the Syrian Arab Republic caused a humanitarian crisis and inflicted signifi-
cant economic damage, including the destruction of commercial and residential properties, infra-
structures and production facilities. In his address to the parliament on October 2, the Syrian Prime
Minister estimated the cost of total damages at 2000 billion Syrian pounds,a which amounts to 55 per
cent of the 2010 GDP after adjusting for inflation. Furthermore, at least one third of the 2010 capital
stock may have been destroyed as of October 2012. Despite the Government’s effort to increase
employment in the public sector, unemployment increased significantly from an annual average rate
of 8.6 per cent in 2010 to 14.9 per cent in 2011b and the situation worsened significantly in 2012 as a
growing number of workers became unemployed, underemployed, were deterred from reporting to
work, were displaced domestically or became political refugees abroad. Under these conditions, the
Syrian economy will need several years to recover after the internal armed conflict comes to an end.


Economic sanctions imposed by the United States, the EU and the League of Arab
States also negatively impacted the Syrian economy. The oil embargo caused an export revenue loss
of about $4 billion, cutting government revenue by about 25 per cent in 2012. Financial sanctions
further hampered trade by complicating trade financing and exerting pressures on the Syrian cur-
rency. In January, the central bank had to introduce a managed float of its exchange rate, allowing
the Syrian pound to devaluate by more than 30 per cent before stabilizing around SYP70/$. Although
imports of many essential goods were liberalized, trade of non-sanctioned goods, such as wheat
and pharmaceuticals, declined significantly. Despite the imposition of a profit ceiling on wholesalers,
prices kept rising rapidly, and in August 2012, the year-on-year consumer inflation rate reached 39.5
per cent. As a consequence of ongoing armed violence and sanctions, the number of tourists had
dropped by 76 per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2012 and investments from Gulf countries
in tourism infrastructure have been put off indefinitely.


The Syrian economy showed some signs of resilience, however, as the public and private
sectors both made efforts to maintain basic infrastructure and business activities during disastrous
economic, social and security conditions.


Spillover effects on neighbouring countries and intraregional trade
Political instability and precarious security conditions affected risk perception across the region,
especially regarding Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. Capital inflows and tourist arrivals, which were the
main drivers of the recent economic expansion in Jordan and Lebanon, came to a halt. As demand
for foreign currencies surged in the region, the Jordanian central bank had to raise interest rates and
sell foreign reserves to defend the Jordanian dinar, and the Iraqi dinar depreciated against the United
States dollar. Higher risk profiles and weak currencies kept funding costs elevated in those countries,
even as they declined in other parts of the region.


The Syrian crisis further affected intraregional trade (table). Bilateral trade flows between
the Syrian Arab Republic and neighbouring countries decreased substantially in the first half of 2012,
with the exception of Lebanon through which a rising share of Syrian imports transit to Damascus
and Southern regions. The transit of goods through Syrian territory almost came to a halt, diverting
to alternate routes, and new trading partnerships and networks are being formed. Turkey may have
benefitted most from the partial reshuffling of bilateral trade flows in the region. Iraqi exports to
Lebanon and Turkey expanded as well, whereas Jordanian exports, by contrast, appear to have suf-
fered from the precarious security conditions along its border with the Syrian Arab Republic. Bilateral
trade flows with Turkey nonetheless expanded, albeit from very low initial levels.


Box IV.3


a Syrian Arab News Agency
(SANA), “Premier al-Halqi:


Syria Paying for Its Stances”,
October 2, available
from http://sana.sy/


eng/21/2012/10/02/
444919.htm- (accessed


on 10 October 2012).


b Data from Syrian Arab
Republic Central Bureau


of Statistics, available from
http://www.cbssyr.org/


work/2011/compare/
TAB2.htm (accessed on 10


October 2012).




133Regional developments and outlook


The deteriorating external environment increasingly affected economic activity
in Israel, while weakening domestic demand contributed to a sharp decline in economic
growth in Turkey.


Social unrest associated with the Arab Spring surged in part because of the
weak absorption capacity of labour markets across the region, which generates underem-
ployment and unemployment. Low official unemployment rates disguise the true extent
of underutilization of labour because of low participation rates. Governments of the Gulf
Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have responded to social unrest by raising wages
and creating new jobs in the public sector, including by strengthening security forces.
Meanwhile, migrant labour represents about 90 per cent of the private sector work force
across GCC countries, as a consequence of uncompetitive compensation compared to the
public sector and poorly coordinated education and industrial policies that result in a skills
mismatch. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, the unemployment scheme created in the wake
of the Arab Spring, attracted more than a million unemployed workers, many of them
women not previously considered part of the labour force.


In Jordan, the unemployment rate declined by 0.9 percentage points to average
12.0 per cent over the first three quarters of 2012, but underemployment and vulnerable
employment is widespread. In Turkey, unemployment declined slightly to almost 9 per
cent in 2012. In Israel, new unemployment estimates (now aligned with OECD defini-
tions) showed an increase in the rate by more than one percentage point to almost 7 per
cent in 2012, contrasting with earlier estimates and thereby undermining claims that the
country would be coping with the global slowdown with relative ease.


Fiscal policy in Western Asia was durably affected by the Arab Spring.
Temporary and permanent increases in public expenditures will drag on public finances
in many countries in the years ahead. While medium-run fiscal balances remain strong in
many Gulf countries, the break-even price of oil for GCC countries as a whole is estimated


New unemployment
scheme in Saudi Arabia
reveals large hidden
unemployment


Budget deficits increased in
oil-importing countries


Prolonged armed violence is affecting sensitive social fabrics. While the ongoing de-
struction of physical and human capital in the Syrian Arab Republic will complicate efforts to rebuild
the country and create a new form of social cohesion, the Syrian crisis is also progressively dismantling
and reshaping trade and knowledge networks in the region with potentially long-lasting effects.


Year-on-year change in goods trade flow, January–July, 2011 and 2012


Percentage


From
Jordan From Lebanon


From Syrian
Arab Republic


From
Turkey


To Iraq -14.2 -3.2 N.A. 37.2
To Jordan 14.6 -51.6 30.2
To Lebanon -19.0 -14.4 17.1
To Syrian Arab Republic -17.6 28.5 -67.4
To Turkey 102.2 -35.3 -82.9
Sources: Jordan Department of Statistics, available from http://www.dos.gov.jo/dos_home_e/main/index.htm
(accessed on October 15, 2012); Lebanese Customs http://www.customs.gov.lb/customs/index.htm (accessed
on October 15, 2012); Turkish Statistical Institute, available from http://www.turkstat.gov.tr/Start.do (accessed on
October 15, 2012).


Box IV.3 (cont’d)




134 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


to have increased from $49 per barrel in 2008 to $79 in 2012, with Bahrain and Oman
being most vulnerable to a potential drop in oil price.


Oil-importing countries possessing limited policy buffers reacted more cautious-
ly to political unrest. Civil servant pay raises and energy subsidies widened the budget deficit
to over 6 per cent of GDP in Jordan. Lebanon’s fiscal stance remained neutral during the
first half of 2012, but a proposed public sector salary increase may widen the budget deficit.


In Israel, several recommendations of the Trajtenberg Committee, created in
2011 in the wake of social unrest, have been accepted by the Government, but the pro-
jected rise of the budget deficit to 3.4 per cent of GDP in 2012 is more directly related to
steady military spending, which amounted to more than 6 per cent of GDP. In Turkey,
slowing growth is expected to have increased the budget deficit from an estimated 1.4 per
cent of GDP in 2011 to more than 2.0 per cent in 2012. Fiscal balances in Turkey and
across the region are forecast to deteriorate next year.


Inflation declined across the region during the first three quarters of 2012 in
the context of high commodity prices but weakening external and domestic demand. In
GCC countries, inflation remained at about 3 per cent or below, except in Saudi Arabia.
The housing component of the consumer price index was negative in Bahrain, Qatar and
the United Arab Emirates, caused by excess supply and limited domestic demand pres-
sures. The pass-through effect of high food and energy prices may keep inflation above 10
per cent in Yemen. In Jordan and Lebanon, inflation is likely to remain above 4 per cent
in 2012, a slight decline compared to 2011.


In Israel, the consumer price index grew by 2.1 per cent during the first three
quarters of 2012 following high food and housing prices, about one percentage point lower
than last year. In Turkey, demand-led inflationary pressures progressively weakened dur-
ing the year, but higher food and energy prices as well as value-added tax increases pushed
up inflation, which may decelerate to 7 per cent at the end of the year. Barring a revival
of domestic and external demand pressures or a crisis that pushes up commodity prices,
inflation will likely decline further across the region in 2013.


Policies related to the use of conventional monetary instruments remained un-
changed in most countries of the region in 2012. Policy rates in GCC countries that have
their currencies pegged to the dollar remained constant, almost mirroring the stance of the
Fed. Growing money stock improved liquidity conditions, contributing to slightly lower
funding costs, which had increased in the wake of the Arab Spring. Meanwhile, Jordan
raised its policy rate by 50 basis points in February to defend the national currency, setting
the overnight repurchase agreement rate at 4.75 per cent.


The depreciating Turkish lira stabilized against the dollar at the end of 2011,
as the central bank tightened monetary policy by raising overnight lending rates and wid-
ening the interest rate corridor. In parallel, reserve requirement ratios were reduced in
order to prevent an undesirable tightening in liquidity conditions. In 2012, as the current-
account deficit progressively declined along with domestic demand, monetary authorities
continued to reduce the effective funding rate from 11 per cent in January to less than
7 per cent in September. Inflation remained above target. In Israel, weakening demand-
driven inflationary pressures led the central bank to loosen monetary policy three times
during the first half of the year, setting the interest rate at 2.25 per cent. As most countries
across the region tie their monetary policy to the stance of central banks in advanced
economies, the monetary loosening required to respond to the a grim growth perspective
may only occur in those countries with independent monetary policies in 2013.


High food and energy
prices spurred weak


inflationary pressures


Borrowing costs declined in
most countries




135Regional developments and outlook


The diverging economic performance in the region is also reflected in differing
trends in external imbalances. While record oil revenues boosted external surpluses in
oil-exporting countries, higher import bills burdened existing deficits in oil-importing
countries. In the GCC countries, current-account surpluses range from about 8 per cent
of GDP in the United Arab Emirates to more than 40 per cent in Kuwait. Oil production
outages caused by pipeline attacks in Yemen contributed to the external deficit.


Jordan’s and Lebanon’s current-account deficits widened as a result of high
commodity prices and related increases in import bills, weaker export demand and declin-
ing revenue from tourism. Foreign reserves dropped by 37 per cent in Jordan over the first
half of the year and reserve accumulation stalled in Lebanon.


The trade deficit also widened in Israel, putting the current-account balance
into deficit in 2012. Weakening external demand led to a drop in manufacturing exports,
including for high-tech goods. Turkish manufactures have started to penetrate markets in
Asia, making the country less dependent on exports to European markets. The current-ac-
count deficit is expected to remain high at about 7 per cent in 2010. While external imbal-
ances across the region are structural, their magnitude in the years ahead largely depends
on commodity price developments. The discovery of gas resources in the Mediterranean is
expected to generate external surpluses for Israel from 2014.


In the outlook, Western Asia faces three major downside risks. First, a more
pronounced jump in oil prices—owing, for example, to renewed domestic social unrest or
rising tensions around the Strait of Hormuz—could raise the oil-price risk premium and
exacerbate existing current-account and fiscal imbalances. Second, if the financial woes
and deeper fiscal austerity in developed countries were to trigger a global downturn, a
sustained drop in the oil price would negatively affect fiscal and, eventually, social stability
in oil-exporting countries. Finally, inaction in relation to the dire employment situation
and, more broadly, the failure to implement effective diversification strategies based on
a more inclusive development paradigm represent major risks to long-run stability and
prosperity in the region.


Latin America and the Caribbean: a modest acceleration
in growth is expected


Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to see a modest acceleration in growth to
3.9 per cent in 2013, up from 3.1 per cent in 2012. This continued solid growth trajectory
is closely tied to the performance of the Brazilian economy, which is expected to expand by
4.0 per cent in 2013. Mexico and Central America are forecast to average a growth rate of
3.9 per cent, similar to that of 2012, but vulnerable to economic conditions in the United
States. In line with the regional picture, the Caribbean countries will register an acceleration
in growth to 3.7 per cent in 2013, 0.8 percentage points higher than in 2012 (figure IV.10).


During 2012, economic conditions deteriorated as the stagnation in the devel-
oped world and the slowdown in China affected exports from the region. As a result, GDP
growth decelerated to 3.1 per cent in 2012, from 4.3 per cent in 2011 and 6.0 per cent in
2010. Economic growth in South American countries slowed to 2.7 per cent, with Brazil
and Argentina contributing greatly to the overall picture. Resilient domestic demand con-
tinues to drive growth in most of Latin America. Net export demand expanded in Mexico
and Central America, benefitting from the fragile recovery in the United States, while
South American economies were mainly affected by the economic slowdown in China


Record-high oil prices
widened external
imbalances in oil-exporting
and importing countries


Uncertain outlook for
oil prices weighs on risk
perceptions in the region




136 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Figure IV.10 GDP growth forecasts in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2013


1.0


1.7


2.2


2.3


2.5


3.2


3.5


3.5


3.7


3.7


3.8


3.9


3.9


4.0


4.0


4.2


4.2


4.4


4.4


4.5


4.6


4.7


4.7


5.1


5.8


6.9


7.0


7.5


0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0


Jamaica


Barbados


El Salvador


Trinidad and Tobago


Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of


Argentina


Cuba


Honduras


Guatemala


Caribbean


Mexico


Mexico and Central America


Latin America and the Caribbean


South America


Brazil


Nicaragua


Uruguay


Costa Rica


Ecuador


Colombia


Chile


Bolivia, Plurinational State of


Dominican Republic


Guyana


Peru


Paraguay


Haiti


Panama


Figure IV.10
GDP growth forecasts in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2013


Source: UN/DESA.




137Regional developments and outlook


and the euro area recession. Indeed, the trade sector constitutes the main impact channel
of the global downturn in the region (box IV.4). The dire economic situation in Europe is
further transmitted to the region through lower workers’ remittances, affecting Colombia
and Ecuador in particular.


Despite the 2012 slowdown, labour market indicators continued to show a
good performance, evidenced by continued increases in employment rates, higher real
wages, increased female participation rates and lower unemployment. For the region as a
whole, urban unemployment reached a historic low of 6.4 per cent in 2012. In the first half
of the year, it was less than 6 per cent in Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and Uruguay.
Improved employment conditions strengthened private consumption, a key driver of GDP
growth in recent years. During 2012, however, some signs of weakening emerged. Job
creation slowed in Argentina, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Paraguay and Peru.
Nonetheless, employment conditions are likely to remain steady without much further
improvement during 2013.


The outlook for inflation is fairly stable. The average annual inflation rate for
the region was 6.0 per cent in 2012, down by 0.9 percentage points from 2011, and is
expected to average 6.0 per cent in 2013. Increasing inflationary pressures might emerge
if the shifts towards more expansionary monetary policies are pushed much further, or if
there is a new surge in international food prices, especially for grains, which would affect
inflation in Central America and the Caribbean in particular. However, there is no clear
sign that core inflation is trending upward.


Most countries in the region still have monetary policy space to promote eco-
nomic activity should global or domestic economic conditions deteriorate in 2013. However,
given already robust private consumer demand, monetary expansion would need to be cau-
tious. About half of the economies in the region began providing more monetary stimulus
when the global downturn began to affect exports and economic growth. The most notable
case is Brazil, which started to reduce interest rates in August 2011. The central bank has
since reduced the reference rate by 525 basis points to a historic low of 7.25 per cent.
Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Paraguay also reduced policy rates.


The exchange rates remain at higher levels compared to those before the global
downturn, but there were diverging trends during 2012. Colombia, Chile and Peru have
experienced an appreciation of their domestic currencies, while Brazil and Argentina saw
theirs depreciate. The volatile behaviour of capital markets and exchange rates led many
central banks, for example those of Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and
Uruguay, to intervene actively in foreign-exchange markets. The tendency towards foreign-
exchange purchases suggests that central banks were more concerned about avoiding local
currency appreciation than depreciation. As a result, most countries increased their level of
international reserves in the last year. Looking ahead, the QE measures in developed econ-
omies will likely underpin further appreciation pressures, which might lead to additional
interventions. Some countries continued to implement other macroprudential policies, like
financial regulation reforms, changes to the reserve requirements and liquidity injections.
The Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, for example, implemented a tempo-
rary tax on dollar sales, amounting to 0.7 per cent of the transaction value.


Fiscal balances are expected to move towards further consolidation in 2013.
The budget deficit averaged 2.0 per cent of GDP for the region as a whole in 2012. The pri-
mary budget balance also showed a small deficit of 0.1 per cent of GDP. Nevertheless, fiscal
conditions vary widely across countries. Many have ample space to conduct countercyclical


Labour market indicators
will remain strong


Monetary policy has shifted
from targeting inflation
to promoting economic
activity


Many countries are well
positioned to implement
countercyclical
fiscal policies




138 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


fiscal policies. South American countries like Chile, Peru and the Plurinational State of
Bolivia have relatively more fiscal space. In addition, Chile, Ecuador and Peru recently
introduced tax reforms aimed at increasing the tax base. By contrast, chronic deficits in
Central America have become a concern, but recent tax and other fiscal reforms in El
Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama are expected to improve fiscal
balances in the coming years. Meanwhile, Caribbean public deficits also widened during
the crisis owing to increased spending. In most Caribbean countries, public debt as a
percentage of GDP remains very high.


Given the slowdown in exports, current-account balances in the region are
expected to deteriorate for the mineral exporters, in particular. For the region as a whole,
trade surplus declined in value terms in 2012, as export growth slowed to 2.0 per cent while
import growth accelerated to 7.5 per cent. The export growth slowdown is attributable
mainly to the fall in exports from South America to the EU and China, with Argentina,
Brazil and Chile being especially affected by the decline in exports to China (box IV.4). By
contrast, exports from Central America and Mexico to the EU still increased. In addition,
international prices for the region’s main export commodities showed declines in 2012, so
that the regional terms of trade also suffered a slight decline. Only the hydrocarbon-ex-
porting countries and exporters of food products, like Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay,
posted an increase in their terms of trade.


The major risks are tilted towards the downside of the baseline estimations.
A more pronounced slowdown or renewed financial turmoil in the euro area would have
a relatively modest effect in the region as a whole, but it would affect South America
more strongly. South American countries in particular, however, have policy space left to
respond with countercyclical measures. A worsening scenario in the United States would
most strongly affect the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico through export, tourism
and workers’ remittances channels. Additionally, a hard landing in China would strongly
affect the countries in South America that are heavily reliant on primary commodity
exports. Finally, there is also an increasing concern in relation to the QE measures im-
plemented in developed countries, particularly regarding the potential effects of capital
flow and exchange-rate volatility. Considering the current slowdown in regional exports,
further currency appreciation would provide a disincentive to economic diversification.


The region’s current-
account deficit is widening


Downside risks will affect
South America more


strongly


The effects of the global downturn on Latin American exports


Over the past decade, a main driver of growth in Latin America and the Caribbean has been the high-
er demand for its export products, most notably the primary goods exported by South American
countries. However, the current global economic slowdown reduced the region’s growth rate of
merchandise exports from 28 per cent in the first half of 2011 to a mere 4 per cent in the first half of
2012. This slowdown reflects less rapid growth in volumes and a fall in the prices of export goods.
The most significant decline has been seen in shipments to the EU, with export values falling by 4 per
cent during the period (table). While the average price of export goods decreased by 3.4 per cent, the
prices for mineral and metal exports declined more significantly by 9.1 per cent.


The global downturn has brought about a deceleration in growth across the board for
Latin American exports, but the severity of the impact varies considerably. South American countries
have been most adversely affected, largely owing to their heavy dependence on primary commodi-
ties as principal export products. The mineral and metal exporters (Chile, Peru), and Brazil have seen
the highest reduction in the value of their exports during the first half of 2012. Although this result


Box IV.4




139Regional developments and outlook


can partly be attributed to a deceleration in the growth of export volumes, it is predominantly owing
to a significant drop in the prices of the raw materials exported by these countries. In the first half
of 2012, prices of raw materials declined on average by 6 per cent from a year ago. A second factor
behind the fall in the value of South American exports is the relative importance of the EU as a
destination market. In fact, the most severe drop in exports for these countries in 2012 was registered
in their trade with the euro area. By contrast, South America’s energy exporters experienced a signifi-
cant increase in the export value, averaging 9.9 per cent in the first half of 2012. This can be attributed
to the sustained high price of oil and increased oil demand from European countries, following the
tightening of EU sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.


While Mexico and the Central American countries have also seen a significant slowdown
in export growth in 2012, these countries still continued to register a moderate increase compared to
the previous year. Costa Rica even saw a higher growth rate in the first half of 2012 compared to 2011,
rising from 8 per cent to 12 per cent. The relatively stronger performance of this subregion reflects
the greater share of manufactured goods in the export basket and the predominance of the United
States as trading partner. Over the past year, growth of import demand in the United States, while still
sluggish, outpaced that of other developed regions.


In sum, the global downturn has affected the economies of Latin America and the
Caribbean primarily through the export channel, with significant reductions in the prices of many
major export products. This slowdown in export growth not only affects GDP growth directly but
also indirectly through cutbacks or delays in investment. Indeed, many investment decisions in natu-
ral resource sectors in Latin America are mainly driven by the fluctuations of international commodity
prices. This situation highlights the prospective additional constraints that the current quantitative
easing measures in the developed world—through their potential effect on the region’s currencies—
might put on regional growth.


Latin America: year-on-year export changes, first half of 2012
Percentages


Region/Countries Value Volume Price


Value by destination


USA EU Asia
Latin


America
Latin America 4.1 7.5 -3.4 4.3 -4.0 7.5 3.1
Central America 4.2 7.4 -3.2 4.8 2.5 10.1 5.5
Exporters of
hydrocarbonsa 9.9 10.9 -1.0 -2.9 4.7 18.2 12.6
Exporters of minerals
& metalsb -1.0 8.1 -9.1 -3.1 -16.0 4.4 2.2
Exporters of foodc -0.6 2.6 -3.2 8.7 -17.0 -1.4 -0.6
Brazil -0.9 6.7 -7.6 17.4 -6.2 5.3 -7.9
Mexico 7.6 6.4 1.2 5.5 19.2 18.0 18.6
Source: UN/ECLAC.


a Plurinational State of Bolivia, Ecuador, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Colombia.
b Chile and Peru.
c Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay.


Box IV.4 (cont’d)






Statistical annex






143


Country classification
Data sources, country classifications
and aggregation methodology


The statistical annex contains a set of data that the World Economic Situation and Prospects
(WESP) employs to delineate trends in various dimensions of the world economy.


Data sources


The annex was prepared by the Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD) of
the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat (UN/
DESA). It is based on information obtained from the Statistics Division and the Population
Division of UN/DESA, as well as from the five United Nations regional commissions, the
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the
World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),
and national and private sources. Estimates for the most recent years were made by DPAD
in consultation with the regional commissions, UNCTAD, UNWTO and participants
in Project LINK, an international collaborative research group for econometric modelling
coordinated jointly by DPAD and the University of Toronto. Forecasts for 2013 and 2014
are primarily based on the World Economic Forecasting Model of DPAD, with support
from Project LINK.


Data presented in WESP may differ from those published by other organi-
zations for a series of reasons, including differences in timing, sample composition and
aggregation methods. Historical data may differ from those in previous editions of WESP
because of updating and changes in the availability of data for individual countries.


Country classifications


For analytical purposes, WESP classifies all countries of the world into one of three broad
categories: developed economies, economies in transition and developing economies. The
composition of these groupings, specified in tables A, B and C, is intended to reflect
basic economic country conditions. Several countries (in particular the economies in
transition) have characteristics that could place them in more than one category; however,
for purposes of analysis, the groupings have been made mutually exclusive. Within each
broad category, some subgroups are defined based either on geographical location or on
ad hoc criteria, such as the subgroup of “major developed economies”, which is based on
the membership of the Group of Seven. Geographical regions for developing economies
are as follows: Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, and Latin America and the
Caribbean.a


In parts of the analysis, a distinction is made between fuel exporters and fuel
importers from among the economies in transition and the developing countries. An
economy is classified as a fuel exporter if the share of fuel exports in its total merchandise


a Names and composition of geographical areas follow those specified in the statistical paper
entitled “Standard country or area codes for statistical use” (ST/ESA/STAT/SER.M/49/Rev. 4).




144 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


exports is greater than 20 per cent and the level of fuel exports is at least 20 per cent higher
than that of the country’s fuel imports. This criterion is drawn from the share of fuel
exports in the total value of world merchandise trade. Fuels include coal, oil and natural
gas (table D).


For other parts of the analysis, countries have been classified by their level of
development as measured by per capita gross national income (GNI). Accordingly, coun-
tries have been grouped as high-income, upper middle income, lower middle income and
low-income (table E). To maintain compatibility with similar classifications used else-
where, the threshold levels of GNI per capita are those established by the World Bank.
Countries with less than $1,025 GNI per capita are classified as low-income countries,
those with between $1,026 and $4,035 as lower middle income countries, those with be-
tween $4,036 and $12,475 as upper middle income countries, and those with incomes of
more than $12,476 as high-income countries. GNI per capita in dollar terms is estimated
using the World Bank Atlas method,b and the classification in table E is based on data for
2011.


The list of the least developed countries (LDCs) is decided upon by the United
Nations Economic and Social Council and, ultimately, by the General Assembly, on the
basis of recommendations made by the Committee for Development Policy. The basic
criteria for inclusion require that certain thresholds be met with regard to per capita GNI,
a human assets index and an economic vulnerability index.c As at 30 November 2012,
there were 48 LDCs (table F).


WESP also makes reference to the group of heavily indebted poor countries
(HIPCs), which are considered by the World Bank and IMF as part of their debt-relief
initiative (the Enhanced HIPC Initiative).d In September 2012, there were 39 HIPCs (see
table G).


Aggregation methodology


Aggregate data are either sums or weighted averages of individual country data. Unless
otherwise indicated, multi-year averages of growth rates are expressed as compound an-
nual percentage rates of change. The convention followed is to omit the base year in a
multi-year growth rate. For example, the 10-year average growth rate for the decade of the
2000s would be identified as the average annual growth rate for the period from 2001 to
2010.


WESP utilizes exchange-rate conversions of national data in order to aggregate
output of individual countries into regional and global totals. The growth of output in
each group of countries is calculated from the sum of gross domestic product (GDP)
of individual countries measured at 2005 prices and exchange rates. Data for GDP in
2005 in national currencies were converted into dollars (with selected adjustments) and
extended forwards and backwards in time using changes in real GDP for each country.
This method supplies a reasonable set of aggregate growth rates for a period of about 15
years, centred on 2005.


b See http://data.worldbank.org/about/country-classifications.
c Handbook on the Least Developed Country Category: Inclusion, Graduation and Special Support


Measures (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.07.II.A.9). Available from http://www.un.org/
esa/analysis/devplan/cdppublications/2008cdphandbook.pdf.


d IMF, Debt Relief Under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Available from http://
www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/pdf/hipc.pdf.




145Country classification


The exchange-rate based method differs from the one mainly applied by the
IMF and the World Bank for their estimates of world and regional economic growth,
which is based on purchasing power parity (PPP) weights. Over the past two decades, the
growth of world gross product (WGP) on the basis of the exchange-rate based approach
has been below that based on PPP weights. This is because developing countries, in the
aggregate, have seen significantly higher economic growth than the rest of the world in the
1990s and 2000s and the share in WGP of these countries is larger under PPP measure-
ments than under market exchange rates.


Table A
Developed economies


Europe


Other countries Major developed economies (G7)European Union Other Europe


EU-15


Austria
Belgium
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Ireland
Italy
Luxembourg
Netherlands
Portugal
Spain
Sweden
United Kingdom


New EU member States


Bulgaria
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Estonia
Hungary
Latvia
Lithuania
Malta
Poland
Romania
Slovakia
Slovenia


Iceland
Norway
Switzerland


Australia
Canada
Japan
New Zealand
United States


Canada
Japan
France
Germany
Italy
United Kingdom
United States




146 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table B
Economies in transition


South-Eastern Europe Commonwealth of Independent States and Georgiaa


Albania
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Croatia
Montenegro
Serbia
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia


Armenia
Azerbaijan
Belarus
Georgiaa


Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Republic of Moldova
Russian Federation
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Ukraine
Uzbekistan


a 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.




147Country classification


Table C
Developing economies by regiona


Africa Asia Latin America and the Caribbean


North Africa
Algeria
Egypt
Libyab


Morocco
Tunisia


Sub-Saharan Africa
Central Africa


Cameroon
Central African Republic
Chad
Congo
Equatorial Guinea
Gabon
Sao Tome and Prinicipe


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


Southern Africa
Angola
Botswana
Lesotho
Malawi
Mauritius
Mozambique
Namibia
South Africa
Zambia
Zimbabwe


East Asia
Brunei Darussalam
China
Hong Kong SARc


Indonesia
Malaysia
Myanmar
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
Republic of Korea
Singapore
Taiwan Province of China
Thailand
Viet Nam


South Asia
Bangladesh
India
Iran (Islamic Republic of )
Nepal
Pakistan
Sri Lanka


Western Asia
Bahrain
Iraq
Israel
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Syrian Arab Repuplic
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
Yemen


Caribbean
Barbados
Cuba
Dominican Republic
Guyana
Haiti
Jamaica
Trinidad and Tobago


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


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


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


a Economies systematically monitored by the Global Economic Monitoring Unit of DPAD.
b The name of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was officially changed to Libya on 16 September 2011.
c Special Administrative Region of China.




148 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table D
Fuel-exporting countries


Economies in
transition


Developing countries


Latin America
and the Caribbean Africa East Asia South Asia Western Asia


Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan
Russian Federation
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan


Bolivia
(Plurinational State of )
Colombia
Ecuador
Trinidad and Tobago
Venezuela
(Bolivarian Republic of )


Algeria
Angola
Cameroon
Chad
Congo
Côte d'Ivoire
Egypt
Equatorial Guinea
Gabon
Libya
Nigeria
Sudan


Brunei Darussalam
Indonesia
Viet Nam


Iran (Islamic
Republic of )


Bahrain
Iraq
Kuwait
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
United Arab
Emirates
Yemen




149Country classification


Table E
Economies by per capita GNI in 2011a


High-income Upper middle income Lower middle income Low-income


Australia
Austria
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Brunei Darussalam
Canada
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Equatorial Guinea
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong SARb


Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Kuwait
Montenegro
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Oman
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Republic of Korea
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan Province of
China
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States


Algeria
Angolac


Argentina
Azerbaijan
Belarus
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Bulgaria
Chile
China
Colombia
Costa Rica
Cuba
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Gabon
Iran (Islamic Republic of )
Jamaica
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Malaysia
Mauritius
Mexico
Namibia
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Romania
Russian Federation
Serbia
South Africa
Thailand
The former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistanc


Uruguay
Venezuela
(Bolivarian Republic of )


Albaniad


Armenia
Bolivia (Plurinational
State of )
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Congo
Côte d'Ivoire
Djibouti
Egypt
El Salvador
Georgia
Ghana
Guatemala
Guyana
Honduras
India
Indonesia
Iraq
Lesotho
Morocco
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Pakistan
Paraguay
Philippines
Republic of Moldova
Sao Tome and Prinicipe
Senegal
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syrian Arab Repuplic
Ukraine
Uzbekistan
Viet Nam
Yemen
Zambia


Bangladesh
Benin
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Central African Republic
Chad
Comoros
Democratic Republic of
the Congo
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gambia
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Haiti
Kenya
Kyrgyzstan
Liberia
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritaniad


Mozambique
Myanmar
Nepal
Niger
Rwanda
Sierra Leone
Somalia
Tajikistan
Togo
Uganda
United Republic of
Tanzania
Zimbabwe


a Economies systematically monitored for the World Economic Situation and Prospects report and included in the
United Nations’ global economic forecast.


b Special Administrative Region of China.
c Indicates the country has been shifted upward by one category from previous year’s classification.
d Indicates the country has been shifted downward by one category from previous year’s classification.




150 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table F
Least developed countries


As of November 2011


Africa East Asia South Asia Western Asia
Latin America and
the Caribbean


Angola
Benin
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Central African Republic
Chad
Comoros
Democratic Republic
of the Congo
Djibouti
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gambia
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Lesotho
Liberia
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Mozambique
Niger
Rwanda
Sao Tome and Principe
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Somalia
Sudan
Togo
Uganda
United Republic of Tanzania
Zambia


Cambodiaa


Kiribatia


Lao People’s
Democratic Republica


Myanmar
Samoaa, b


Solomon Islandsa


Timor Lestea


Tuvalua


Vanuatua


Afghanistana


Bangladesh
Bhutana


Nepal


Yemen Haiti


Note: At its sixty-seventh session, the United Nations General Assembly will formally include the Republic of South Sudan, which became a State
Member of the United Nations on 14 July 2011, in the least developed country category.
a Not included in the WESP discussion because of insufficient data.
b Samoa will graduate from the list of the least developed countries in January 2014.




151Country classification


Table G
Heavily indebted poor countries


As of September 2012


Post-completion point HIPCsa Interim HIPCsb Pre-decision point HIPCsc


Afghanistan
Benin
Bolivia
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cameroon
Central African Republic
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


Chad
Comoros


Eritrea
Somalia
Sudan


Note: South Sudan is not eligible or potentially eligible for debt relief under the HIPC Initiative given that, as a
newly created country, it cannot meet the HIPC indebtedness criterion which is bound by the end-2004 and
end-2010 cut-off dates. See, IMF, “Eligibility to use the Fund’s facilities for concessional financing: Republic of South
Sudan”, 1 August 2012, available from http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2012/080112.pdf.
a Countries that have qualified for irrevocable debt relief under the HIPC Initiative.
b Countries that have qualified for assistance under the HIPC Initiative (that is to say, have reached decision


point), but have not yet reached completion point.
c Countries that are potentially eligible and may wish to avail themselves of the HIPC Initiative or the


Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI).




152 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table H
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


Table I
Landlocked developing countries


Afghanistan
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bhutan
Bolivia (Plurinational State of )
Botswana
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Central African Republic
Chad
Ethiopia
Kazakhstan
Kyrgystan
Lao 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




Annex tables




Annex


List of tables


A. 1 Developed economies: rates of growth of real GDP, 2004 -2014 ...................................................................................... 155
A. 2 Economies in transition: rates of growth of real GDP, 2004 -2014 .................................................................................... 156
A. 3 Developing economies: rates of growth of real GDP, 2004 -2014 .................................................................................... 157
A. 4 Developed economies: consumer price inflation, 2004 -2014........................................................................................... 159
A. 5 Economies in transition: consumer price inflation, 2004 -2014 ......................................................................................... 160
A. 6 Developing economies: consumer price inflation, 2004 -2014 ......................................................................................... 161
A. 7 Developed economies: unemployment rates, 2004 -2014 .................................................................................................. 163
A. 8 Economies in transition and developing economies: unemployment rates, 2003 -2012 ................................ 165
A. 9 Major developed economies: quarterly indicators of growth,
unemployment and inflation, 2010 -2012....................................................................................................................................... 167
A.10 Selected economies in transition: quarterly indicators of growth and inflation, 2010 -2012 ......................... 168
A.11 Major developing economies: quarterly indicators of growth,
unemployment and inflation, 2010 -2012....................................................................................................................................... 169
A.12 Major developed economies: financial indicators, 2003 -2012 .......................................................................................... 171
A.13 Selected economies: real effective exchange rates, broad measurement, 2003 -2012 ...................................... 172
A.14 Indices of prices of primary commodities, 2003 -2012 ........................................................................................................... 174
A.15 World oil supply and demand, 2004 -2013 ..................................................................................................................................... 175
A.16 World trade: changes in value and volume of exports and imports,
by major country group, 2004 -2014 .................................................................................................................................................. 176
A.17 Balance of payments on current accounts, by country or country group,
summary table, 2003 -2011 ...................................................................................................................................................................... 178
A.18 Balance of payments on current accounts, by country or country group, 2003 -2011 ...................................... 179
A.19 Net ODA from major sources, by type, 1990 -2011 ................................................................................................................... 182
A.20 Total net ODA flows from OECD Development Assistance Committee
countries, by type, 2002 -2011 ................................................................................................................................................................ 183
A.21 Commitments and net flows of financial resources, by selected multilateral institutions, 2002 -2011 .... 184
A.22 Greenhouse gas emissions of Annex I Parties to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1990-2014 ..................................................................................................... 185




155Annex tables


Table A.1
Developed economies: rates of growth of real GDP, 2004–2014


Annual percentage change


2004-
2011a 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012b 2013c 2014c


Developed economies 1.1 2.9 2.4 2.8 2.6 0.0 -3.8 2.6 1.4 1.1 1.1 2.0


United States 1.2 3.5 3.1 2.7 1.9 -0.3 -3.1 2.4 1.8 2.1 1.7 2.7
Canada 1.7 3.2 3.1 2.7 2.1 1.1 -2.8 3.2 2.6 1.8 1.5 2.8
Japan 0.3 2.4 1.3 1.7 2.2 -1.0 -5.5 4.5 -0.7 1.5 0.6 0.8
Australia 2.7 3.8 3.3 2.6 4.9 2.2 1.5 2.4 2.3 3.0 2.6 3.3
New Zealand 1.2 4.3 3.1 2.3 2.9 -0.2 -2.3 1.7 1.3 2.1 2.1 2.7


European Union 1.2 2.6 2.1 3.3 3.2 0.3 -4.3 2.1 1.5 -0.3 0.6 1.7


EU-15 1.0 2.4 1.9 3.1 3.0 0.1 -4.4 2.1 1.4 -0.4 0.5 1.6
Austria 1.7 2.6 2.4 3.7 3.7 1.4 -3.8 2.1 2.7 0.8 1.3 2.0
Belgium 1.4 3.3 1.8 2.7 2.9 1.0 -2.8 2.4 1.8 -0.3 0.5 1.5
Denmark 0.4 2.3 2.4 3.4 1.6 -0.8 -5.8 1.3 0.8 1.1 1.2 1.3
Finland 1.4 4.1 2.9 4.4 5.3 0.3 -8.5 3.3 2.7 1.5 1.2 1.6
France 0.9 2.5 1.8 2.5 2.3 -0.1 -3.1 1.7 1.7 0.1 0.3 1.1
Germany 1.5 1.2 0.7 3.7 3.3 1.1 -5.1 4.2 3.0 0.8 1.0 1.8
Greece -0.5 4.4 2.3 5.5 3.0 -0.2 -3.3 -3.5 -6.9 -6.1 -1.8 0.6
Ireland 1.3 4.4 5.9 5.4 5.4 -2.1 -5.5 -0.8 1.4 0.5 1.7 2.4
Italy 0.0 1.7 0.9 2.2 1.7 -1.2 -5.5 1.8 0.4 -2.4 -0.3 1.4
Luxembourg 2.3 4.4 5.3 4.9 6.6 -0.7 -4.1 2.9 1.7 -0.1 0.9 2.0
Netherlands 1.4 2.2 2.0 3.4 3.9 1.8 -3.7 1.6 1.0 -0.5 0.7 1.4
Portugal 0.2 1.6 0.8 1.4 2.4 0.0 -2.9 1.4 -1.7 -3.2 -2.2 0.2
Spain 1.2 3.3 3.6 4.1 3.5 0.9 -3.7 -0.3 0.4 -1.6 -1.4 0.8
Sweden 2.2 4.2 3.2 4.3 3.3 -0.6 -5.0 6.6 3.9 1.7 1.8 2.8
United Kingdom 0.9 2.9 2.8 2.6 3.6 -1.0 -4.0 1.8 0.9 -0.3 1.2 2.3


New EU member States 3.3 5.6 4.8 6.5 6.0 4.1 -3.6 2.3 3.1 1.2 2.0 2.9
Bulgaria 3.1 6.7 6.4 6.5 6.4 6.2 -5.5 0.4 1.7 1.0 2.3 3.5
Cyprus 2.3 4.2 3.9 4.1 5.1 3.6 -1.9 1.1 0.5 -1.2 0.5 1.3
Czech Republic 3.1 4.7 6.8 7.0 5.7 3.1 -4.5 2.5 1.7 -0.9 1.1 2.0
Estonia 2.5 6.3 8.9 10.1 7.5 -4.2 -14.1 3.3 8.3 3.0 3.0 3.5
Hungary 0.7 4.8 4.0 3.9 0.1 0.9 -6.8 1.3 1.6 -1.0 0.6 2.2
Latvia 1.6 8.9 10.1 11.2 9.6 -3.3 -17.7 -0.9 5.5 4.0 4.0 4.0
Lithuania 2.7 7.4 7.8 7.8 9.8 2.9 -14.8 1.5 5.9 3.0 3.0 3.0
Malta 2.4 -0.5 3.7 2.9 4.3 4.1 -2.7 2.3 2.1 -0.7 1.1 1.8
Poland 4.5 5.3 3.6 6.2 6.8 5.1 1.6 3.9 4.3 2.6 2.6 3.5
Romania 2.7 8.5 4.2 7.9 6.3 7.3 -6.6 -1.6 2.5 1.0 2.3 3.0
Slovakia 4.7 5.1 6.7 8.3 10.5 5.8 -4.9 4.4 3.2 2.4 2.0 2.6
Slovenia 1.9 4.4 4.0 5.8 7.0 3.4 -7.8 1.2 0.6 -2.0 0.5 2.2


Other Europe 1.7 3.2 2.8 3.2 3.4 1.2 -1.9 1.9 1.7 1.7 1.5 1.9


Iceland 1.5 7.8 7.2 4.7 6.0 1.2 -6.6 -4.0 2.6 2.6 2.7 2.6
Norway 1.2 4.0 2.6 2.5 2.7 0.0 -1.7 0.7 1.4 3.5 2.2 2.4
Switzerland 2.2 2.4 2.7 3.8 3.8 2.2 -1.9 3.0 1.9 0.3 0.8 1.4


Memorandum items:


North America 1.2 3.4 3.1 2.7 1.9 -0.2 -3.0 2.5 1.9 2.1 1.7 2.7
Western Europe 1.2 2.6 2.1 3.3 3.2 0.4 -4.2 2.1 1.5 -0.2 0.6 1.7
Asia and Oceania 0.7 2.6 1.6 1.8 2.6 -0.5 -4.4 4.1 -0.2 1.7 1.0 1.3
Major developed economies 1.0 2.8 2.3 2.6 2.3 -0.3 -3.9 2.8 1.4 1.2 1.2 2.1
Euro area 1.0 2.2 1.7 3.3 3.0 0.4 -4.4 2.1 1.5 -0.5 0.3 1.4


Source: UN/DESA, based on data of the United Nations Statistics Division 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 and the UN/DESA World Economic Forecasting Model.




156 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.2
Economies in transition: rates of growth of real GDP, 2004–2014


Annual percentage change


2004-
2011a 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012b 2013c 2014c


Economies in transition 4.3 7.7 6.5 8.3 8.6 5.2 -6.6 4.4 4.5 3.5 3.6 4.2


South-Eastern Europe 2.3 5.8 5.1 4.8 5.5 3.7 -4.3 0.4 1.1 -0.6 1.2 2.6


Albania 4.8 5.7 5.8 5.4 5.9 7.5 3.3 3.9 2.0 1.5 2.5 3.0
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3.5 6.3 8.0 6.0 6.1 5.6 -2.9 0.7 1.7 0.2 1.0 2.1
Croatia 1.1 4.1 4.3 4.9 5.1 2.1 -6.9 -1.4 0.0 -1.3 0.8 2.5
Montenegro 4.2 4.4 4.2 8.6 10.7 6.9 -5.7 2.5 3.2 0.4 1.5 3.0
Serbia 2.4 9.3 5.4 3.6 5.4 3.8 -3.5 1.0 1.6 -1.0 1.3 2.8
The former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia 3.6 4.6 4.4 5.0 6.1 5.0 -0.9 2.9 3.0 1.0 2.3 2.5


Commonwealth of Independent
States and Georgiad 4.5 7.9 6.7 8.7 8.9 5.3 -6.8 4.8 4.8 3.8 3.8 4.4


Net fuel exporters 4.6 7.3 7.0 8.8 8.9 5.4 -6.3 4.7 4.7 4.0 3.8 4.4
Azerbaijan 15.3 10.2 26.4 34.5 25.1 10.8 9.3 5.0 0.1 1.2 2.5 3.8
Kazakhstan 6.9 9.6 9.7 10.6 8.9 3.3 1.2 7.3 7.5 5.5 5.0 5.5
Russian Federation 4.0 7.2 6.4 8.2 8.5 5.2 -7.8 4.3 4.3 3.7 3.6 4.2
Turkmenistan 11.5 5.0 13.0 11.4 11.8 14.7 6.1 9.2 14.7 9.0 8.0 7.0
Uzbekistan 8.2 7.7 7.0 7.3 9.5 9.0 8.1 8.5 8.3 7.0 6.9 6.1


Net fuel importers 3.7 11.4 5.0 8.1 8.4 4.6 -9.8 5.2 5.4 2.8 3.3 4.3
Armenia 5.4 10.5 13.9 13.2 13.7 6.9 -14.1 2.2 4.7 3.8 4.0 4.0
Belarus 7.3 11.4 9.4 10.0 8.6 10.2 0.2 7.7 5.3 3.9 3.1 5.0
Georgiad 6.1 5.9 9.6 9.4 12.3 2.3 -3.8 6.3 7.2 4.8 5.0 4.0
Kyrgyzstan 3.9 7.0 -0.2 3.1 8.5 8.4 2.9 -0.5 5.7 0.2 3.5 4.0
Republic of Moldova 4.3 7.4 7.5 4.8 3.0 7.8 -6.0 7.1 6.4 0.6 2.0 3.0
Tajikistan 6.7 10.3 6.7 6.6 7.8 7.6 4.0 6.5 7.4 7.0 5.7 5.0
Ukraine 1.8 12.1 2.7 7.3 7.9 2.3 -14.8 4.2 5.2 2.0 3.2 4.0


Source: UN/DESA, based on data of the United Nations Statistics Division 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 and the UN/DESA World Economic Forecasting Model.
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.




157Annex tables


Table A.3
Developing economies: rates of growth of real GDP, 2004-2014


Annual percentage change


2004-
2011a 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012b 2013c 2014c


Developing countriesd 6.2 7.2 6.8 7.6 7.9 5.1 2.7 7.7 5.7 4.7 5.1 5.6


Africa 4.5 5.9 5.8 5.9 6.2 5.2 2.7 4.7 1.1 5.0 4.8 5.1
North Africa 2.9 4.8 5.1 5.4 4.7 4.6 3.2 4.1 -6.0 7.5 4.4 4.9
Sub-Saharan Africa 5.2 6.4 6.1 6.2 6.9 5.5 2.5 5.0 4.5 3.9 5.0 5.2
Net fuel exporters 4.6 6.7 6.6 5.9 7.0 5.9 4.2 5.1 -2.1 6.4 5.2 5.4
Net fuel importers 4.4 5.1 5.0 5.9 5.4 4.6 1.4 4.3 4.2 3.7 4.4 4.8


East and South Asia 7.7 7.8 8.1 9.0 9.9 5.8 5.5 9.0 6.8 5.5 6.0 6.3
East Asia 7.9 7.9 8.0 9.2 10.2 6.4 5.2 9.2 7.1 5.8 6.2 6.5
South Asia 7.1 7.5 8.2 8.3 8.9 3.3 7.0 8.3 5.8 4.4 5.0 5.7
Net fuel exporters 5.4 5.2 5.7 6.0 7.2 3.9 4.4 6.1 4.7 3.2 3.7 4.7
Net fuel importers 8.0 8.1 8.3 9.3 10.2 6.0 5.6 9.3 7.0 5.7 6.2 6.5


Western Asia 4.8 8.4 6.6 6.9 4.7 3.8 -1.5 6.7 6.7 3.3 3.3 4.1
Net fuel exporters 5.0 8.5 6.0 7.3 4.4 5.6 -0.6 5.7 6.6 4.9 3.9 3.5
Net fuel importers 4.6 8.3 7.3 6.4 5.1 1.9 -2.5 7.8 6.9 1.6 2.7 4.7


Latin America and the Caribbean 4.0 5.9 4.6 5.7 5.6 4.0 -1.9 6.0 4.3 3.1 3.9 4.4
South America 4.8 7.1 5.1 5.6 6.7 5.4 -0.2 6.5 4.5 2.7 4.0 4.4
Mexico and Central America 2.5 4.1 3.4 5.3 3.6 1.5 -5.3 5.4 4.0 4.0 3.9 4.6
Caribbean 5.0 3.7 8.1 10.3 6.4 3.5 0.9 3.5 2.7 2.9 3.7 3.8
Net fuel exporters 4.6 10.6 7.1 8.0 7.0 4.6 -0.7 1.6 5.0 4.5 3.6 3.9
Net fuel importers 3.9 5.2 4.2 5.3 5.4 3.9 -2.1 6.7 4.2 2.9 4.0 4.5


Memorandum items


Least developed countries 6.7 7.7 7.9 7.9 9.0 7.8 5.1 5.8 3.7 3.7 5.7 5.5
Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding
Nigeria and South Africa) 6.0 6.6 6.7 6.7 8.1 6.7 4.0 5.5 4.4 3.9 5.5 5.3
Africa sub-regions as classified by
the Economic Commission for Africae


Central Africa 4.5 9.3 5.3 2.5 5.9 5.0 3.0 4.8 5.0 5.0 4.7 4.4
Eastern Africa 6.6 7.0 7.6 7.0 7.6 6.7 4.4 7.0 6.3 5.6 6.1 6.2
North Africa 3.3 4.9 5.2 5.8 5.2 4.9 3.7 4.1 -5.6 5.4 4.2 4.6
Southern Africa 4.5 5.3 6.1 6.7 7.3 4.9 -0.3 3.5 3.7 3.5 4.1 4.4
West Africa 5.9 7.6 5.8 5.1 5.6 5.9 5.6 6.8 6.5 6.3 6.6 6.8


East Asia (excluding China) 4.5 5.9 5.0 5.7 6.0 2.8 0.2 7.7 4.2 3.1 3.7 4.2
South Asia (excluding India) 4.9 5.9 6.0 6.2 7.1 2.1 4.1 5.4 3.4 1.5 2.3 3.5
Western Asia
(excluding Israel and Turkey) 4.9 8.4 5.9 7.0 4.6 5.6 0.0 5.6 6.0 3.6 3.4 3.7
Arab Statesf 4.3 7.2 5.6 6.6 4.8 5.4 1.2 5.1 2.2 4.1 3.6 3.9
Landlocked developing economies 7.1 7.6 8.3 9.1 8.7 6.6 3.4 7.4 6.5 4.9 5.3 5.3
Small island developing economies 5.4 6.0 7.2 8.6 7.4 3.0 0.1 8.4 3.7 2.1 2.9 3.5


Major developing economies


Argentina 7.4 9.0 9.2 8.5 8.7 6.8 0.8 9.2 8.9 2.5 3.2 4.2
Brazil 4.0 5.7 3.2 4.0 6.1 5.2 -0.3 7.5 2.7 1.3 4.0 4.4




158 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.3 (cont’d)


2004-
2011a 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012b 2013c 2014c


Chile 4.5 7.0 6.2 5.7 5.2 3.3 -1.0 6.1 6.0 5.1 4.6 4.9
China 10.9 10.1 11.3 12.7 14.2 9.6 9.2 10.3 9.2 7.7 7.9 8.0
Colombia 4.8 5.3 4.7 6.7 6.9 3.5 1.7 4.0 5.9 4.4 4.5 4.8
Egypt 5.3 4.1 4.5 6.8 7.1 7.2 4.6 5.2 1.8 1.1 3.2 4.7
Hong Kong SARg 4.5 8.5 7.1 7.0 6.4 2.3 -2.6 7.0 5.0 1.4 2.5 3.1
India 8.1 8.3 9.3 9.3 9.8 3.9 8.2 9.6 6.9 5.5 6.1 6.5
Indonesia 5.8 5.0 5.7 5.5 6.3 6.0 4.6 6.2 6.5 6.2 6.2 6.3
Iran, Islamic Republic of 4.5 5.1 5.3 6.1 8.3 0.6 4.0 5.9 2.0 -1.9 -0.9 1.5
Israel 4.5 4.9 4.9 5.8 5.9 4.1 1.1 5.0 4.6 2.9 2.8 6.0
Korea, Republic of 3.8 4.6 4.0 5.2 5.1 2.3 0.3 6.3 3.6 2.1 3.0 3.5
Malaysia 4.6 6.8 5.3 5.6 6.3 4.8 -1.5 7.2 5.1 5.0 4.4 4.9
Mexico 2.3 4.1 3.2 5.2 3.3 1.2 -6.0 5.5 3.9 3.9 3.8 4.6
Nigeria 6.8 10.5 6.5 6.0 6.5 6.3 6.9 7.8 7.4 6.4 6.8 7.2
Pakistan 4.4 7.4 7.7 6.2 5.7 1.6 3.6 3.5 3.0 3.8 4.2 4.4
Peru 7.1 5.0 6.8 7.7 8.9 9.8 0.8 8.8 6.9 6.0 5.8 5.6
Philippines 4.7 6.7 4.8 5.2 6.6 4.2 1.1 7.6 3.7 6.2 5.4 5.5
Saudi Arabia 3.8 5.3 5.6 3.2 2.0 4.2 0.1 4.6 6.8 5.5 3.7 3.0
Singapore 6.4 9.2 7.4 8.8 8.9 1.7 -1.0 14.8 4.9 1.4 2.5 3.3
South Africa 3.5 4.6 5.3 5.6 5.5 3.6 -1.5 2.9 3.1 2.5 3.1 3.8
Taiwan Province of China 4.2 6.2 4.7 5.4 6.0 0.7 -1.8 10.7 4.0 1.1 2.4 2.9
Thailand 3.2 6.3 4.2 4.9 5.4 1.6 -1.1 7.5 0.1 5.3 4.6 5.0
Turkey 4.7 9.4 8.4 6.9 4.7 0.7 -4.8 9.2 8.5 3.0 3.4 4.2
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 4.7 18.3 10.3 9.9 8.8 5.3 -3.2 -1.5 4.0 5.1 2.5 2.9


Source: UN/DESA, based on data of the United Nations Statistics Division 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 and the UN/DESA World Economic Forecasting Model.
d Covering countries that account for 98 per cent of the population of all developing countries.
e The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa maintains a classification of countries which is not fully compatible with the current WESP


classification.
f Currently includes data for Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi


Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
g Special Administrative Region of China.




159Annex tables


Table A.4
Developed economies: consumer price inflation, 2004–2014


Annual percentage changea


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012b 2013c 2014c


Developed economies 2.0 2.4 2.3 2.1 3.5 -0.1 1.8 2.6 1.9 1.5 1.8


United States 2.7 3.7 3.2 2.6 4.3 -0.8 2.5 3.1 2.0 1.3 1.8
Canada 1.9 2.2 2.0 2.1 2.4 0.3 1.8 2.9 1.7 1.9 1.9
Japan 0.0 -0.3 0.2 0.1 1.4 -1.3 -0.7 -0.3 0.3 0.4 1.8
Australia 2.3 2.7 3.5 2.3 4.4 1.8 2.8 3.4 1.7 2.5 2.0
New Zealand 2.3 3.0 3.4 2.4 4.0 2.1 2.3 4.0 1.2 1.8 2.1


European Union 2.1 2.2 2.2 2.2 3.5 0.8 2.0 3.0 2.4 2.0 1.9


EU-15 1.9 2.1 2.2 2.1 3.3 0.7 1.9 3.0 2.3 1.9 1.8
Austria 2.0 2.1 1.7 2.2 3.2 0.4 1.7 3.6 2.3 2.0 2.0
Belgium 1.9 2.5 2.3 1.8 4.5 0.0 2.3 3.5 0.6 2.9 0.9
Denmark 0.9 1.7 1.9 1.7 3.6 1.1 2.2 2.6 2.3 1.5 1.3
Finland 0.1 0.8 1.3 1.6 3.9 1.6 1.7 3.3 2.9 2.2 1.6
France 2.3 1.9 1.9 1.6 3.2 0.1 1.7 2.3 2.3 2.2 2.1
Germany 1.8 1.9 1.8 2.3 2.8 0.2 1.2 2.5 1.9 1.8 1.6
Greece 3.0 3.5 3.3 3.0 4.2 1.4 4.7 3.1 1.1 0.4 1.0
Ireland 2.3 2.2 2.7 2.9 3.1 -1.7 -1.6 1.2 2.0 1.3 1.5
Italy 2.3 2.2 2.2 2.0 3.5 0.8 1.6 2.9 2.9 1.8 2.1
Luxembourg 2.2 2.5 2.7 2.3 3.4 0.4 2.3 3.7 2.6 2.7 2.0
Netherlands 1.4 1.5 1.7 1.6 2.2 1.0 0.9 2.5 2.3 2.0 2.0
Portugal 2.5 2.1 3.0 2.4 2.7 -0.9 1.4 3.6 2.8 1.9 1.5
Spain 3.1 3.4 3.6 2.8 4.1 -0.2 2.1 3.1 2.4 2.4 2.2
Sweden 1.0 0.8 1.5 1.7 3.4 1.9 1.9 1.4 1.1 0.8 1.3
United Kingdom 1.3 2.1 2.3 2.3 3.6 2.2 3.3 4.5 2.7 2.0 1.7


New EU member States 5.1 3.4 3.1 4.1 6.0 3.1 2.9 3.8 3.7 3.2 2.8
Bulgaria 6.4 6.0 7.3 7.6 12.3 2.5 3.0 3.4 2.9 3.0 3.5
Cyprus 2.5 2.7 2.6 2.4 4.7 0.4 2.5 3.5 3.6 2.6 3.0
Czech Republic 2.6 1.6 2.1 3.0 6.2 0.6 1.3 2.2 3.0 2.7 2.5
Estonia 3.0 4.1 4.4 6.6 10.4 0.2 3.0 5.0 4.0 3.8 3.0
Hungary 6.8 3.5 4.0 7.9 6.0 4.0 4.8 4.0 5.7 4.5 3.5
Latvia 6.2 6.9 6.5 10.1 15.4 3.3 -1.0 4.2 2.5 2.7 2.5
Lithuania 1.1 2.7 3.8 5.7 11.1 4.2 1.2 4.1 3.4 3.0 3.0
Malta 2.9 3.3 2.6 1.7 3.8 2.8 0.5 2.8 2.9 3.9 1.0
Poland 3.6 2.2 1.3 2.6 4.2 4.0 2.7 3.9 3.6 3.0 2.8
Romania 12.0 8.9 6.6 4.8 7.9 5.6 6.2 5.8 3.5 4.0 3.0
Slovakia 7.5 2.8 4.3 1.9 3.9 0.9 0.7 4.1 3.7 2.4 2.5
Slovenia 3.6 2.5 2.5 3.8 5.5 0.9 2.1 2.1 2.5 2.1 1.9


Other Europe 0.8 1.4 1.8 0.9 3.0 0.9 1.5 0.7 0.1 0.7 1.3


Iceland 3.3 4.1 6.7 5.1 12.7 12.0 5.4 4.0 5.3 3.5 3.8
Norway 0.6 1.5 2.5 0.7 3.4 2.3 2.4 1.3 0.9 1.6 2.1
Switzerland 0.8 1.2 1.0 0.8 2.3 -0.7 0.6 0.1 -0.7 -0.1 0.5


Memorandum items:


North America 2.6 3.6 3.1 2.6 4.1 -0.7 2.4 3.1 2.0 1.3 1.8
Western Europe 2.1 2.1 2.2 2.2 3.5 0.8 1.9 2.9 2.3 2.0 1.8
Asia and Oceania 0.4 0.2 0.7 0.5 1.9 -0.8 -0.1 0.3 0.5 0.7 1.8
Major developed economies 1.9 2.4 2.3 2.0 3.4 -0.3 1.7 2.5 1.8 1.4 1.8
Euro area 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.1 3.3 0.3 1.6 2.7 2.2 2.0 1.9


Source: 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 2005 GDP in United States dollars.
b Partly estimated.
c Baseline scenario forecasts, based in part on Project LINK and the UN/DESA World Economic Forecasting Model.




160 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.5
Economies in transition: consumer price inflation, 2004–2014


Annual percentage changea


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012b 2013c 2014c


Economies in transition 9.9 11.7 9.2 9.0 14.6 10.7 6.8 9.5 6.6 7.4 5.8


South-Eastern Europe 4.0 6.4 5.7 3.6 7.8 3.4 2.8 5.0 3.9 3.4 3.3
Albania 2.3 2.4 2.4 2.9 3.3 2.3 3.6 3.6 2.3 2.5 2.7
Bosnia and Herzegovina -0.5 3.7 6.1 1.5 7.4 -0.3 2.2 3.7 2.5 2.5 3.0
Croatia 2.1 3.3 3.2 2.9 6.0 2.4 1.1 2.3 3.2 2.6 2.7
Montenegro 2.1 2.7 3.0 4.3 9.0 3.9 0.5 3.0 3.0 3.0 2.7
Serbia 11.0 16.1 11.7 6.4 12.4 8.2 6.2 11.2 6.5 5.8 5.0
The former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia -0.4 0.5 3.2 2.3 8.3 -0.8 1.5 3.9 3.2 3.0 2.6


Commonwealth of Independent States
and Georgiad 10.5 12.2 9.5 9.5 15.2 11.4 7.2 9.9 6.9 7.7 6.1


Net fuel exporters 10.4 12.2 9.7 9.3 14.3 11.1 7.0 8.6 5.3 7.1 5.8
Azerbaijan 6.7 9.5 8.2 16.6 20.7 1.4 5.8 8.0 2.3 2.6 4.1
Kazakhstan 6.9 7.5 8.6 10.8 17.1 7.3 7.2 8.4 5.1 6.5 5.0
Russian Federation 10.9 12.7 9.7 9.0 14.0 11.7 7.0 8.5 5.1 7.0 5.7
Turkmenistan 5.9 10.7 8.2 6.3 14.5 -2.6 4.6 11.1 10.3 12.1 10.0
Uzbekistan 6.6 10.0 14.2 12.3 12.7 14.1 9.5 12.8 14.0 13.0 11.0


Net fuel importers 10.8 11.8 8.4 11.2 21.2 13.4 8.8 18.2 17.2 12.0 7.9
Armenia 7.0 0.6 2.9 4.4 8.9 3.4 8.2 7.7 4.2 4.3 4.3
Belarus 18.3 10.4 7.0 8.2 14.8 12.9 7.7 52.5 68.1 28.0 15.5
Georgiad 5.7 8.2 9.2 9.2 10.1 1.8 7.1 8.5 0.5 4.3 3.0
Kyrgyzstan 4.1 4.4 5.6 10.1 24.5 6.9 8.1 16.6 3.1 5.0 5.0
Republic of Moldova 12.5 12.0 12.8 12.3 12.8 -0.1 7.4 7.5 4.4 4.4 5.0
Tajikistan 7.1 7.2 10.0 13.4 20.9 6.4 6.5 12.5 12.4 8.0 9.0
Ukraine 9.0 13.5 9.1 12.8 25.2 15.9 9.4 8.0 2.3 8.0 6.0


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 2005 GDP in United States dollars.
b Partly estimated.
c Baseline scenario forecasts, based in part on Project LINK and the UN/DESA World Economic Forecasting Model.
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.




161Annex tables


Table A.6
Developing economies: consumer price inflation, 2004-2014


Annual percentage changea


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012b 2013c 2014c


Developing countries by region 5.2 4.9 5.3 19.4 8.2 4.3 5.5 6.4 5.4 5.2 5.0


Africa 7.8 8.2 12.4 157.6 10.9 7.8 6.4 8.0 8.1 6.6 5.9
North Africa 4.7 2.6 4.1 5.3 9.2 5.9 5.3 7.2 6.4 5.1 4.7
Sub-Saharan Africa 9.3 11.0 16.6 234.0 11.7 8.7 6.9 8.4 9.0 7.3 6.6
Net fuel exporters 9.8 8.2 5.9 6.0 10.9 8.6 8.7 9.6 10.1 8.1 6.9
Net fuel importers 5.9 8.1 18.4 298.4 10.9 7.0 4.3 6.5 6.3 5.2 5.1


East and South Asia 4.1 3.6 3.7 4.9 7.4 2.9 5.0 6.2 4.8 4.7 4.8
East Asia 3.5 2.9 2.7 3.9 6.0 0.6 3.2 4.9 2.9 3.1 3.4
South Asia 6.2 6.4 7.1 8.6 12.5 11.2 11.5 11.2 11.6 10.6 9.9
Net fuel exporters 9.3 11.2 11.9 10.5 17.0 8.0 7.2 12.3 11.7 10.6 9.9
Net fuel importers 3.5 2.8 2.8 4.3 6.4 2.3 4.8 5.6 4.1 4.1 4.3


Western Asia 4.7 5.4 7.1 7.2 10.3 4.1 5.8 4.8 5.1 4.5 4.4
Net fuel exporters 3.1 4.3 6.3 7.6 10.9 3.0 4.3 4.0 3.7 3.6 3.8
Net fuel importers 6.3 6.4 7.9 6.7 9.6 5.3 7.2 5.7 6.5 5.4 4.9


Latin America and the Caribbean 7.0 6.1 5.1 5.3 7.7 6.0 6.0 6.9 6.0 6.0 5.5
South America 7.0 7.1 5.7 5.7 8.8 6.7 7.1 8.8 7.2 7.3 6.7
Mexico and Central America 4.9 4.4 3.9 4.3 5.7 5.1 4.2 3.6 4.1 3.8 3.6
Caribbean 25.8 6.1 7.4 8.6 10.3 3.0 5.6 7.6 4.7 5.4 5.2
Net fuel exporters 12.0 9.4 8.2 10.8 17.7 14.5 13.9 13.1 12.0 12.2 11.3
Net fuel importers 6.2 5.6 4.6 4.5 6.2 4.7 4.8 6.0 5.1 5.1 4.7


Memorandum items


Least developed countries 10.6 10.4 9.0 9.5 13.8 8.5 8.3 11.7 12.3 9.9 8.1
Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding
Nigeria and South Africa) 15.2 15.7 30.3 499.4 13.1 8.8 6.8 10.2 10.9 8.5 7.0


Africa sub-regions as classified by
the Economic Commission for Africad


Central Africa 0.4 3.9 4.3 1.1 6.5 4.3 2.9 2.0 3.8 3.4 3.4
East Africa 7.4 10.8 10.9 10.7 21.7 12.6 7.2 19.5 14.4 10.0 8.6
North Africa 5.1 3.2 4.4 5.6 9.7 6.4 6.2 8.1 8.6 6.7 5.5
Southern Africa 10.1 10.6 25.9 473.1 10.2 7.7 5.4 5.7 5.9 4.9 5.1
West Africa 10.9 14.1 7.3 5.5 11.2 9.4 9.1 8.5 9.8 8.7 8.0


East Asia (excluding China) 3.1 3.9 3.9 3.1 6.1 1.9 3.0 4.2 3.0 3.1 3.2
South Asia (excluding India) 11.1 11.1 9.9 13.1 21.3 11.7 10.6 15.8 16.2 14.1 12.9
Western Asia
(excluding Israel and Turkey) 3.1 4.3 6.4 7.3 11.2 2.9 4.5 4.0 4.7 3.9 3.9
Arab Statese 4.0 3.9 6.0 6.8 10.7 4.1 5.1 5.4 6.1 4.9 4.4
Landlocked developing economies 13.4 16.7 39.6 710.1 15.5 6.4 5.9 9.2 7.9 7.5 6.5
Small island developing economies 10.4 2.9 3.7 4.6 7.7 1.8 3.8 5.8 4.7 4.6 3.9




162 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.6 (cont’d)


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012b 2013c 2014c


Major developing economies


Argentina 4.4 9.6 10.9 8.8 8.6 6.3 10.8 15.7 11.3 10.2 9.8
Brazil 6.6 6.8 4.2 3.6 5.6 4.9 5.0 6.5 5.3 5.8 5.0
Chile 1.1 3.1 3.4 4.4 8.7 0.3 1.4 4.4 3.0 2.5 3.0
China 3.9 1.9 1.6 4.8 6.0 -0.6 3.5 5.5 2.8 3.1 3.7
Colombia 5.9 5.0 4.3 5.5 7.0 4.2 2.3 3.4 3.2 3.1 3.1
Egypt 11.3 4.9 7.6 9.3 18.3 11.8 11.3 11.5 8.3 9.1 8.0
Hong Kong SARf -0.4 0.9 2.1 2.0 4.2 0.6 2.4 5.3 3.9 3.2 3.0
India 3.8 4.2 5.8 6.4 8.3 10.9 12.0 8.9 9.4 8.9 8.4
Indonesia 6.0 10.5 13.1 6.5 10.2 4.4 5.1 5.4 4.3 4.8 4.9
Iran, Islamic Republic of 14.8 13.4 11.9 17.2 25.5 13.5 10.1 20.6 23.0 20.0 18.0
Israel -0.4 1.3 2.1 0.5 4.6 3.3 2.7 3.4 2.4 2.1 3.0
Korea, Republic of 3.6 2.8 2.2 2.5 4.7 2.8 2.9 4.0 2.3 2.6 2.9
Malaysia 1.5 3.0 3.6 2.0 5.4 0.6 1.7 3.2 1.7 2.3 2.5
Mexico 4.7 4.0 3.6 4.0 5.1 5.3 4.2 3.4 4.0 3.7 3.5
Nigeria 15.0 17.9 8.2 5.4 11.5 11.5 13.5 10.8 12.5 11.0 9.8
Pakistan 7.4 9.1 7.9 7.6 20.3 13.6 13.9 11.9 9.7 8.5 8.2
Peru 3.7 1.6 2.0 1.8 5.8 2.9 1.5 3.4 3.6 3.1 2.5
Philippines 4.8 6.5 5.5 2.9 8.3 4.1 3.9 4.6 3.3 3.7 3.9
Saudi Arabia 0.3 0.7 2.2 4.2 9.9 5.1 5.4 5.0 4.9 4.4 4.0
Singapore 1.7 0.4 1.0 2.1 6.5 0.6 2.9 5.3 5.2 4.4 3.2
South Africa -0.7 2.0 3.2 6.2 10.1 7.2 4.1 5.0 5.2 4.2 4.6
Taiwan Province of China 1.6 2.3 0.6 1.8 3.5 -0.9 1.0 1.4 2.1 1.9 1.8
Thailand 2.8 4.5 4.6 2.3 5.4 -0.9 3.3 3.8 3.1 3.5 3.2
Turkey 8.6 8.2 9.6 8.8 10.4 6.3 8.6 6.5 6.4 6.2 5.5
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 21.7 16.0 13.7 18.7 31.4 28.6 29.1 26.0 23.1 24.2 22.5


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 and the UN/DESA World Economic Forecasting Model.
d The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa maintains a classification of countries which is not fully compatible with the current WESP


classification.
e Currently includes data for Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi


Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
f Special Administrative Region of China.




163Annex tables


Table A.7
Developed economies: unemployment rates,a, b 2004–2014


Percentage of labour force


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012c 2013d 2014d


Developed economies 7.2 6.9 6.3 5.8 6.1 8.4 8.8 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.5


United States 5.5 5.1 4.6 4.6 5.8 9.3 9.6 9.0 8.1 7.7 7.3
Canada 7.2 6.8 6.3 6.0 6.1 8.3 8.0 7.5 7.4 7.4 7.1
Japan 4.7 4.4 4.1 3.8 4.0 5.1 5.1 4.6 4.7 5.1 5.0
Australia 5.4 5.0 4.8 4.4 4.2 5.6 5.2 5.1 5.4 5.5 5.7
New Zealand 4.1 3.8 3.9 3.7 4.2 6.1 6.5 6.5 6.5 6.2 5.8


European Union 9.2 9.0 8.3 7.2 7.0 9.0 9.6 9.6 10.4 10.9 10.6


EU-15 8.3 8.3 7.8 7.1 7.2 9.1 9.6 9.6 10.6 11.1 10.9
Austria 5.0 5.2 4.8 4.4 3.8 4.8 4.4 4.1 4.4 4.6 4.6
Belgium 8.4 8.4 8.3 7.5 7.0 7.9 8.3 7.2 7.4 7.6 7.2
Denmark 5.5 4.8 3.9 3.8 3.4 6.1 7.4 7.6 7.9 8.1 7.8
Finland 8.8 8.4 7.7 6.9 6.4 8.2 8.4 7.8 7.7 7.6 7.5
France 9.3 9.3 9.3 8.4 7.8 9.5 9.7 9.6 10.4 10.9 10.7
Germany 10.5 11.3 10.3 8.7 7.5 7.8 7.1 6.0 5.5 5.6 5.8
Greece 10.5 9.9 8.9 8.3 7.7 9.5 12.6 17.7 24.0 26.2 27.7
Ireland 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.6 6.3 11.9 13.7 14.4 14.9 14.5 13.8
Italy 8.0 7.7 6.8 6.1 6.7 7.8 8.4 8.4 10.6 11.5 11.3
Luxembourg 5.0 4.6 4.6 4.2 4.9 5.1 4.6 4.8 5.4 6.4 6.4
Netherlands 5.1 5.3 4.3 3.6 3.1 3.7 4.5 4.5 5.2 5.7 5.8
Portugal 6.8 7.7 7.8 8.1 7.7 9.6 11.0 12.9 15.6 18.2 15.9
Spain 10.9 9.2 8.5 8.3 11.3 18.0 20.1 21.6 24.8 26.2 25.2
Sweden 7.4 7.6 7.0 6.1 6.2 8.3 8.4 7.5 7.6 7.9 7.7
United Kingdom 4.7 4.8 5.4 5.3 5.7 7.6 7.8 8.0 8.1 8.4 8.3


New EU member States 12.8 11.9 10.0 7.7 6.5 8.4 9.8 9.6 9.9 10.2 9.6
Bulgaria 12.0 10.1 9.0 6.9 5.6 6.8 10.2 11.0 11.7 11.2 10.3
Cyprus 4.7 5.5 4.7 4.1 3.8 5.5 6.4 7.9 12.1 12.9 13.2
Czech Republic 8.3 7.9 7.1 5.3 4.4 6.7 7.1 6.9 7.5 8.3 7.7
Estonia 10.0 7.9 5.9 4.6 5.4 13.8 16.8 12.3 11.4 10.9 9.5
Hungary 6.1 7.2 7.5 7.4 7.8 10.0 11.1 10.8 11.2 10.4 9.9
Latvia 9.9 8.9 6.8 6.0 7.5 17.1 18.6 15.4 16.0 15.3 14.7
Lithuania 11.3 8.3 5.6 4.3 5.8 13.7 17.8 15.3 15.5 14.9 14.5
Malta 7.2 7.3 6.9 6.5 6.0 6.9 6.9 6.5 6.3 6.3 6.2
Poland 19.0 17.8 13.9 9.6 7.1 8.2 9.6 9.8 10.0 11.0 10.1
Romania 7.7 7.2 7.3 6.4 5.8 6.9 7.3 7.3 7.1 6.9 6.7
Slovakia 18.4 16.4 13.5 11.2 9.6 12.1 14.5 12.6 13.9 13.8 13.7
Slovenia 6.3 6.5 6.0 4.9 4.4 5.9 7.3 7.3 8.1 8.8 8.5




164 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.7 (cont’d)


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012c 2013d 2014d


Other Europe 4.3 4.3 3.7 3.2 3.1 3.9 4.2 3.8 3.1 3.6 3.6


Icelande 3.1 2.6 2.9 2.3 3.0 7.2 7.6 7.1 6.6 6.2 5.9
Norway 4.3 4.5 3.4 2.5 2.6 3.2 3.6 3.2 3.0 3.2 3.1
Switzerland 4.3 4.3 3.9 3.6 3.3 4.3 4.4 3.9 3.0 3.7 3.7


Memorandum items


Major developed economies 6.4 6.2 5.8 5.5 5.9 8.1 8.2 7.7 7.5 7.5 7.3
Euro area 9.2 9.2 8.5 7.6 7.6 9.6 10.1 10.1 11.3 11.8 11.6


Source: UN/DESA, based on data of the 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 and the UN/DESA World Economic Forecasting Model.
e Not standardized.




165Annex tables


Table A.8
Economies in transition and developing economies: unemployment rates,a 2003-2012


Percentage of labour force


2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012b


South-Eastern Europe


Albaniac 15.0 14.4 14.1 13.8 13.2 12.5 13.6 13.5 13.3 13.1
Bosnia and Herzegovina .. .. .. 31.1 29.0 23.4 24.1 27.2 27.6 28.0
Croatia 13.9 13.7 12.6 11.1 9.6 8.4 9.1 12.3 14.2 14.8
Montenegro 33.4 31.1 30.3 29.6 19.4 16.8 19.1 19.7 19.7 20.0
Serbia 14.6 18.5 20.8 20.9 18.1 13.6 16.1 19.2 23.0 25.5
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 36.7 37.2 37.3 36.0 34.9 33.8 32.2 32.0 31.4 31.2


Commonwealth of Independent States and Georgiad


Armeniac 10.2 9.4 7.6 7.2 6.4 6.3 6.8 7.1 6.0 5.8
Azerbaijan 10.7 8.4 7.6 6.8 6.5 6.0 5.9 5.6 5.4 5.4
Belarusc 3.1 1.9 1.5 1.1 1.0 0.8 0.9 0.7 0.6 0.5
Georgiad 11.5 12.6 13.8 13.6 13.3 16.5 16.9 16.3 15.1 14.3
Kazakhstan 8.8 8.4 8.1 7.8 7.3 6.6 6.6 5.8 5.4 5.2
Kyrgyzstanc 2.9 2.9 3.3 3.5 3.3 2.8 2.8 2.5 2.6 2.5
Republic of Moldovac 7.9 8.1 7.3 7.4 5.1 4.0 6.4 7.4 6.7 7.0
Russian Federation 8.2 7.8 7.2 7.2 6.1 6.4 8.4 7.5 6.6 6.1
Tajikistanc 2.3 2.0 2.1 2.3 2.5 2.1 2.1 2.2 2.1 2.1
Turkmenistanc 2.5 .. 3.7 .. 3.6 2.5 2.2 2.0 2.3 2.1
Ukraine 9.1 8.6 7.2 7.4 6.6 6.4 8.8 8.1 8.0 8.3
Uzbekistanc 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2


Africa


Algeria 23.7 17.7 15.3 12.3 13.8 11.3 10.2 10.0 10.0 ..
Botswana 23.8 .. .. 17.6 20.2 .. .. 17.8 .. ..
Egypt 11.9 10.3 11.2 10.7 8.9 8.7 9.4 9.0 12.2 12.6
Mauritius 7.7 8.4 9.6 9.1 8.5 7.2 7.3 7.8 7.9 8.0
Morocco 11.9 10.8 11.0 9.7 9.8 9.6 9.1 9.1 8.9 ..
South Africa 29.8 27.0 26.6 25.5 23.3 22.9 24.0 24.9 24.2 24.5
Tunisiae .. .. 12.9 12.5 12.4 12.4 13.3 13.0 16.0 18.1


Developing America


Argentinaf, g 17.3 13.6 11.6 10.2 8.5 7.9 8.7 7.7 7.2 7.3
Barbados 11.0 9.8 9.1 8.7 7.4 8.1 10.0 10.8 11.2 12.1
Boliviaf 9.2 6.2 8.1 8.0 7.7 6.7 7.9 6.1 5.8 ..
Brazilh, i 12.3 11.5 9.8 10.0 9.3 7.9 8.1 6.7 6.0 5.7
Chile 9.5 10.0 9.2 7.7 7.1 7.8 10.8 8.2 7.1 6.5
Colombiaj 16.4 15.1 13.6 12.5 11.1 11.3 12.6 11.9 10.9 10.9
Costa Rica 6.7 6.7 6.9 6.0 4.8 4.8 8.5 7.1 7.7 ..
Dominican Republic 16.7 18.4 17.9 16.2 15.6 14.1 14.9 14.3 14.6 14.5
Ecuadork 11.6 9.7 8.5 8.1 7.4 6.9 8.5 7.6 6.0 4.8
El Salvador 6.9 6.8 7.8 6.6 6.3 5.9 7.3 7.0 .. ..
Guatemala 3.4 3.1 .. .. .. .. .. 3.5 4.1 ..
Honduras 7.6 8.0 6.5 4.9 4.0 4.1 4.9 6.4 6.8 ..
Jamaica 11.4 11.7 11.3 10.3 9.8 10.6 11.4 12.4 12.6 13.7




166 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.8 (cont’d)


2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012b


Mexico 4.6 5.3 4.7 4.6 4.8 4.9 6.7 6.4 6.0 5.8
Nicaragua 10.2 9.3 7.0 7.0 6.9 8.0 10.5 9.7 .. ..
Panama 15.9 14.1 12.1 10.4 7.8 6.5 7.9 7.7 5.4 5.4
Paraguayf 11.2 10.0 7.6 8.9 7.2 7.4 8.2 6.8 7.0 7.2
Peruf, l 9.4 9.4 9.6 8.5 8.4 8.4 8.4 7.9 7.7 7.5
Trinidad and Tobago 10.5 8.4 8.0 6.2 5.6 4.6 5.3 5.9 5.8 ..
Uruguayf 16.9 13.1 12.2 11.4 9.6 7.9 7.6 7.1 6.3 5.8
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 18.0 15.3 12.4 09.9 8.4 7.3 7.9 8.7 8.3 8.6


Developing Asia


China 4.3 4.2 4.2 4.1 4.0 4.2 4.3 4.2 4.1 4.1
Hong Kong SARm 7.9 6.8 5.6 4.8 4.0 3.5 5.3 4.3 3.4 3.3
India .. 5.0 .. .. .. .. 9.4 .. .. ..
Indonesia 9.7 9.9 11.2 10.3 9.1 8.4 7.9 7.1 6.8 6.2
Iran, Islamic Republic of .. 10.3 11.5 .. 10.5 10.3 11.5 13.5 12.3 ..
Israel 10.7 10.4 9.0 8.4 7.3 6.1 7.6 6.6 5.6 6.8
Jordan 14.8 12.5 14.8 14.0 13.1 12.7 12.9 12.5 12.3 12.1
Korea, Republic of 3.6 3.7 3.7 3.5 3.2 3.2 3.6 3.7 3.4 3.3
Malaysia 3.6 3.5 3.5 3.3 3.2 3.3 3.7 3.2 3.1 3.0
Pakistan 8.3 7.7 7.7 6.2 5.3 5.2 5.5 5.8 6.0 ..
Palestinian Occupied Territory 25.5 26.8 23.5 23.7 21.7 26.6 24.5 23.7 20.9 22.8
Philippinesn, o 10.2 10.9 7.8 7.9 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.3 7.2 7.0
Saudi Arabia 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.3 6.1 6.3 6.3 6.2 5.9 ..
Singapore 4.0 3.4 3.1 2.7 2.1 2.1 3.0 2.2 2.0 2.0
Sri Lankap 8.1 8.1 7.2 6.5 6.0 5.2 5.7 4.9 4.0 3.9
Taiwan Province of China 5.0 4.4 4.1 3.9 3.9 4.1 5.8 5.2 4.4 4.3
Thailand 2.2 2.1 1.8 1.5 1.4 1.4 1.5 1.0 0.8 0.7
Turkey 9.3 9.0 9.2 8.8 8.9 9.7 12.6 10.7 9.8 9.1
Viet Namf 5.8 5.6 5.3 4.8 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.3 3.6 ..


Sources: UN/DESA, based on data of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE); ILO LABORSTAT database and KILM 7th edition; Economic
Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); and national sources.
a As a percentage of labour force. Reflects national definitions and coverage. Not comparable across economies.
b Partly estimated.
c End-of-period registered unemployment data (as a percentage of 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 New methodology starting in 2005.
f Urban areas.
g Break in series: new methodology starting in 2003.
h Six main cities.
i Break in series: new methodology starting in 2002.
j Thirteen main cities.
k Covers Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca.
l Metropolitan Lima.
m Special Administrative Region of China.
n Partly adopts the ILO definition; that is to say, it does not include one ILO criterion, namely, “currently available for work”.
o Break in series: new methodology starting in 2005.
p Excluding Northern and Eastern provinces.




167Annex tables


Table A.9
Major developed economies: quarterly indicators of growth,
unemployment and inflation, 2010-2012


Percentage


2010 2011 2012


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 4.9 3.3 1.8 4.4 2.5 -0.8 5.8 2.1 1.7 1.7 0.6
France 1.2 2.6 1.6 1.6 3.5 0.2 0.8 0.1 -0.1 -0.2 0.9
Germany 2.7 9.1 2.8 2.4 5.0 1.8 1.5 -0.6 2.0 1.1 0.9
Italy 3.8 2.5 1.9 0.6 0.4 1.2 -0.6 -2.8 -3.1 -2.9 -0.7
Japan 5.1 5.1 4.7 -1.1 -8.0 -2.1 9.5 -1.2 5.2 0.3 -3.5
United Kingdom 2.4 2.9 2.5 -1.7 2.0 0.3 2.1 -1.4 -1.2 -1.5 3.9
United States 2.3 2.2 2.6 2.4 0.1 2.5 1.3 4.1 2.0 1.3 2.7
Major developed economiesb 2.9 3.6 2.8 1.4 -0.2 1.1 2.7 1.4 1.7 0.5 1.1
Euro area 1.9 4.2 1.5 1.4 2.6 0.9 0.3 -1.3 0.0 -0.7 -0.2


Unemployment ratec
(percentage of total labour force)


Canada 8.2 8.0 8.0 7.7 7.7 7.5 7.3 7.5 7.4 7.3 7.3
France 9.9 9.7 9.7 9.7 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.8 10.0 10.3 10.7
Germany 7.5 7.1 6.9 6.7 6.3 6.0 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4
Italy 8.5 8.5 8.3 8.3 8.0 7.9 8.5 9.2 10.0 10.5 10.7
Japan 5.1 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.8 4.7 4.4 4.5 4.5 4.4 4.2
United Kingdom 7.9 7.8 7.7 7.8 7.7 7.9 8.3 8.3 8.1 7.9 ..
United States 9.8 9.6 9.5 9.6 9.0 9.0 9.1 8.7 8.3 8.2 8.1
Major developed economiesb 8.4 8.2 8.1 8.1 7.7 7.7 7.7 7.6 7.5 7.5 ..
Euro area 10.1 10.2 10.1 10.1 10.0 9.9 10.2 10.6 10.9 11.3 11.5


Change in consumer prices
(percentage change from the corresponding quarter of the previous year)


Canada 1.6 1.4 1.8 2.3 2.6 3.4 3.0 2.7 2.3 1.6 1.2
France 1.5 1.8 1.8 1.9 2.0 2.2 2.3 2.6 2.6 2.3 2.3
Germany 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.6 2.2 2.5 2.6 2.6 2.4 2.1 2.1
Italy 1.3 1.6 1.7 2.0 2.3 2.9 2.7 3.7 3.6 3.6 3.4
Japan -0.9 -0.7 -1.0 -0.3 -0.5 -0.4 0.1 -0.3 0.3 0.2 -0.4
United Kingdom 3.3 3.4 3.1 3.4 4.1 4.4 4.7 4.7 3.5 2.7 2.4
United States 2.3 1.8 1.2 1.3 2.2 3.4 3.8 3.3 2.8 1.9 1.6
Major developed economiesb 1.5 1.4 1.1 1.4 1.9 2.6 2.9 2.7 2.4 1.8 1.6
Euro area 1.1 1.6 1.7 2.0 2.5 2.8 2.7 2.9 2.7 2.5 2.5


Source: UN/DESA, based on Eurostat, OECD and national sources.
a Expressed as an annualized rate.
b Calculated as a weighted average, where weights are based on 2005 GDP in United States dollars.
c Seasonally adjusted data as standardized by OECD.




168 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.10
Selected economies in transition: quarterly indicators of growth and inflation, 2010-2012


Percentage


2010 2011 2012


I II III IV I II III IV I II III


Rates of growth of gross domestic producta


Armenia 3.4 8.2 -2.9 2.4 1.2 3.9 6.5 5.3 5.6 6.6 ..
Azerbaijan 5.4 8.0 5.0 3.1 1.6 0.3 -0.1 -0.5 0.5 0.8 ..
Belarus 4.3 9.2 7.0 10.2 10.4 11.0 1.5 0.0 3.1 2.6 ..
Croatia -2.7 -3.0 0.1 -0.2 -1.2 0.6 0.8 -0.4 -1.3 -2.2 ..
Georgia 3.7 8.3 6.7 6.1 6.1 4.9 7.5 8.8 6.8 8.2 ..
Kazakhstan 7.1 8.0 7.5 7.3 6.8 7.4 6.8 8.7 5.6 5.5 ..
Kyrgyzstan 18.5 -2.2 -7.1 -1.8 0.6 8.1 11.4 1.0 -6.8 -4.6 ..
Republic of Moldova 4.4 4.8 5.1 4.6 6.9 7.1 6.9 6.7 1.0 0.8 ..
Russian Federation 3.5 4.9 3.8 4.9 4.0 3.4 5.0 4.8 4.9 4.0 ..
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 0.0 2.5 4.5 4.0 6.4 3.7 1.2 0.9 -1.3 -0.9 ..
Ukraine 4.5 5.4 3.3 3.7 5.4 3.9 6.5 4.7 2.0 3.0 ..


Change in consumer pricesa


Armenia 9.1 6.8 8.1 8.7 11.1 8.8 5.7 5.1 3.3 1.0 ..
Azerbaijan 3.8 6.0 5.6 7.2 8.9 8.5 7.6 7.2 4.2 2.3 1.1
Belarus 6.1 6.8 7.7 10.0 12.6 31.7 63.1 102.4 107.8 82.4 52.3
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.7 2.6 1.9 2.6 3.5 4.1 3.9 3.2 2.3 2.1 ..
Croatia 0.9 0.7 1.1 1.5 2.2 2.3 2.1 2.4 1.5 3.5 ..
Georgia 4.7 4.4 8.8 10.4 13.3 12.6 6.7 2.1 -1.3 -1.9 ..
Kazakhstan 7.3 6.9 6.6 7.6 8.5 8.4 8.9 7.7 5.1 4.9 ..
Kyrgyzstan 2.6 3.1 9.1 17.2 20.5 22.5 16.9 7.2 1.9 -0.3 ..
Republic of Moldova 5.8 8.0 7.9 7.9 6.1 7.1 8.8 8.5 6.2 4.1 ..
Russian Federation 7.2 5.9 6.2 8.2 9.5 9.5 8.1 6.6 3.8 3.8 6.0
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 0.3 0.9 2.1 3.1 3.9 4.7 3.7 3.3 2.4 2.2 ..
Ukraine 11.2 8.3 8.5 9.5 7.7 10.8 8.5 5.0 2.9 0.4 ..


Source: UN/DESA, based on data of the Economic Commission for Europe, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and national sources.
a Percentage change from the corresponding period of the preceding year.




169Annex tables


Table A.11
Major developing economies: quarterly indicators of growth, unemployment and inflation, 2010-2012


Percentage


2010 2011 2012


I II III IV I II III IV I II III


Rates of growth of gross domestic producta


Argentina 6.8 11.8 8.6 9.2 9.9 9.1 9.3 7.3 5.2 0.0 ..
Brazil 9.3 8.8 6.9 5.3 4.2 3.3 2.1 1.4 0.8 0.5 0.9
Chile 2.8 7.1 7.7 6.7 9.9 6.3 3.7 4.5 5.2 5.7 5.7
China 11.9 10.3 9.6 9.8 9.7 9.5 9.1 8.9 8.1 7.8 7.7
Colombia 3.8 4.5 3.0 4.7 5.1 4.9 7.5 6.2 4.7 4.9 ..
Ecuador 0.9 3.0 4.0 5.2 7.0 7.9 9.2 7.8 6.3 5.2 ..
Hong Kong SARb 7.9 6.4 6.6 6.4 7.8 5.1 4.3 2.8 0.7 1.2 1.3
India 13.0 9.5 8.9 10.0 9.7 9.0 6.9 6.2 5.6 3.9 2.8
Indonesia 5.9 6.3 5.8 6.8 6.4 6.5 6.5 6.5 6.3 6.4 6.2
Israel 2.2 6.0 5.3 6.4 6.9 3.5 5.2 3.0 3.3 3.5 3.4
Korea, Republic of 8.5 7.5 4.4 4.9 4.2 3.5 3.6 3.3 2.8 2.3 1.6
Malaysia 10.1 9.0 5.2 4.8 5.1 4.3 5.7 5.2 5.1 5.6 5.2
Mexico 4.4 7.5 5.1 4.2 4.3 2.9 4.4 3.9 4.9 4.4 3.3
Philippines 8.4 8.9 7.3 6.1 4.9 3.6 3.2 4.0 6.3 6.0 7.1
Singapore 16.5 19.8 10.6 12.5 9.1 1.2 6.0 3.6 1.5 2.3 1.3
South Africa 1.7 3.1 2.7 3.8 3.5 3.0 3.1 3.2 2.4 3.1 2.3
Taiwan Province of China 12.9 13.0 11.2 6.5 6.6 4.5 3.4 1.9 0.4 -0.2 1.0
Thailand 12.0 9.2 6.6 3.8 3.2 2.7 3.7 -8.9 0.4 4.4 3.0
Turkey 12.6 10.4 5.3 9.3 12.1 9.1 8.4 5.0 3.3 2.9 ..
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of -4.8 -1.7 -0.2 0.5 4.8 2.6 4.4 4.9 5.8 5.4 ..


Unemployment ratec


Argentina 8.3 7.9 7.5 7.3 7.4 7.3 7.2 6.7 7.1 7.2 7.6
Brazil 7.4 7.3 6.6 5.7 6.3 6.3 6.0 5.2 5.8 5.9 5.4
Chile 9.3 8.6 8.2 7.3 7.3 7.1 7.4 7.0 6.5 6.6 6.4
Colombia 13.0 12.0 11.5 10.7 12.4 11.1 10.4 9.3 11.6 10.5 10.2
Ecuador 9.1 7.7 7.4 6.1 7.0 6.4 5.5 5.1 4.9 5.2 4.6
Hong Kong SARb 4.4 4.8 4.4 3.7 3.4 3.7 3.4 3.1 3.3 3.3 3.5
Israel 7.0 5.9 7.2 6.5 5.7 5.2 6.1 6.8 6.8 6.9 6.7
Korea, Republic of 4.7 3.5 3.5 3.3 4.2 3.4 3.1 2.9 3.8 3.3 3.0
Malaysia 3.5 3.3 3.1 3.0 3.1 3.1 3.0 3.1 3.0 3.0 3.0
Mexico 5.3 5.2 5.6 5.3 5.2 5.2 5.6 4.9 4.9 4.8 5.2
Philippines 7.3 8.0 7.0 7.1 7.4 7.2 7.1 6.4 7.2 6.9 7.0
Singapore 2.2 2.2 2.1 2.2 1.9 2.1 2.0 2.0 2.1 2.0 1.9
South Africa 25.2 25.2 25.3 24.0 25.0 25.7 25.0 23.9 25.2 24.9 25.5
Taiwan Province of China 5.7 5.2 5.1 4.8 4.6 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.2 4.1 4.3
Thailand 1.1 1.3 0.9 0.8 0.8 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.9 0.6
Turkey 14.2 11.2 11.1 11.2 11.4 9.5 9.0 9.3 10.2 8.4 ..
Uruguay 7.4 7.4 6.6 6.0 6.3 6.2 6.0 5.5 5.7 6.5 6.4
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 9.2 8.2 9.3 8.1 9.0 8.6 8.3 7.3 9.3 8.3 7.7




170 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.11 (cont’d)


2010 2011 2012


I II III IV I II III IV I II III


Change in consumer pricesa


Argentina 9.0 10.6 11.1 11.1 10.1 9.7 9.8 9.5 9.7 9.9 10.0
Brazil 4.9 5.1 4.6 5.6 6.1 6.6 7.2 6.7 5.8 4.9 5.2
Chile -0.3 1.2 2.3 2.5 2.9 3.3 3.1 4.0 4.1 3.1 2.6
China 2.0 2.8 3.2 4.7 5.1 5.9 6.4 4.6 3.8 2.8 1.9
Colombia 2.0 2.1 2.3 2.7 3.3 3.0 3.5 3.9 3.5 3.4 3.1
Ecuador 4.0 3.3 3.6 3.4 3.4 4.1 4.9 5.5 5.6 5.1 5.1
Hong Kong SARb 1.9 2.6 2.3 2.7 3.8 5.1 6.5 5.7 5.2 4.2 3.0
India 15.3 13.6 10.3 9.2 9.0 8.9 9.2 8.4 7.2 10.1 9.8
Indonesia 3.7 4.4 6.2 6.3 6.8 5.9 4.7 4.1 3.7 4.6 4.5
Israel 3.5 2.8 2.0 2.5 4.0 4.1 3.3 2.5 1.8 1.6 1.8
Korea, Republic of 3.0 2.7 2.9 3.2 3.8 4.0 4.3 4.0 3.1 2.4 1.6
Malaysia 1.3 1.6 1.9 2.0 2.8 3.3 3.4 3.2 2.3 1.7 1.4
Mexico 4.8 4.0 3.7 4.3 3.5 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.9 3.9 4.6
Philippines 3.9 3.8 3.9 3.5 4.5 4.9 4.7 4.7 3.1 2.9 3.5
Singapore 0.9 3.1 3.3 4.0 5.1 4.7 5.5 5.6 4.9 5.3 4.2
South Africa 5.4 4.2 3.3 3.4 3.8 4.7 5.5 6.3 6.2 5.8 5.3
Taiwan Province of China 1.3 1.1 0.4 1.1 1.3 1.6 1.3 1.4 1.3 1.7 3.0
Thailand 3.7 3.2 3.3 2.9 3.0 4.1 4.1 4.0 3.4 2.5 2.9
Turkey 9.3 9.2 8.4 7.4 4.3 5.9 6.4 9.2 10.5 9.4 9.0
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 25.1 31.0 29.3 27.2 28.2 23.1 25.8 27.4 25.3 22.6 18.5
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.




171Annex tables


Table A.12
Major developed economies: financial indicators, 2003–2012


Percentage


2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012a


Short-term interest ratesb


Canada 3.0 2.3 2.8 4.2 4.6 3.3 0.7 0.8 1.2 1.2
Francec 2.3 2.1 2.2 3.1 4.3 4.6 1.2 0.8 1.4 0.7
Germanyc 2.3 2.1 2.2 3.1 4.3 4.6 1.2 0.8 1.4 0.7
Italyc 2.3 2.1 2.2 3.1 4.3 4.6 1.2 0.8 1.4 0.7
Japan 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.8 0.9 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.3
United Kingdom 3.7 4.6 4.7 4.8 6.0 5.5 1.2 0.7 0.9 0.9
United States 1.1 1.6 3.5 5.2 5.3 3.0 0.6 0.3 0.3 0.3


Long-term interest ratesd


Canada 4.8 4.6 4.1 4.2 4.3 3.6 3.2 3.2 2.8 1.9
France 4.1 4.1 3.4 3.8 4.3 4.2 3.7 3.1 3.3 2.7
Germany 4.1 4.0 3.3 3.8 4.2 4.0 3.2 2.7 2.6 1.5
Italy 4.3 4.3 3.6 4.1 4.5 4.7 4.3 4.0 5.4 5.7
Japan 1.0 1.5 1.4 1.7 1.7 1.5 1.3 1.1 1.1 0.9
United Kingdom 4.5 4.9 4.4 4.5 5.0 4.6 3.7 3.6 3.1 1.9
United States 4.0 4.3 4.3 4.8 4.6 3.7 3.3 3.2 2.8 1.8


General government financial balancese


Canada -0.1 0.8 1.5 1.6 1.4 -0.4 -4.8 -5.4 -4.5 -3.7
France -4.1 -3.6 -3.0 -2.4 -2.8 -3.3 -7.5 -7.1 -5.2 -4.7
Germany -4.2 -3.8 -3.3 -1.7 0.2 -0.1 -3.1 -4.1 -0.8 -0.7
Italy -3.6 -3.6 -4.5 -3.4 -1.6 -2.7 -5.4 -4.5 -3.9 -2.7
Japan -7.7 -5.9 -4.8 -1.3 -2.1 -1.9 -8.8 -8.4 -9.5 -9.9
United Kingdom -3.4 -3.5 -3.4 -2.7 -2.8 -5.1 -11.5 -10.2 -7.8 -7.7
United States -4.9 -4.4 -3.2 -2.0 -2.7 -6.4 -11.8 -11.2 -10.1 -8.6


Sources: UN/DESA, based on OECD, Economic Outlook; OECD, Main Economic Indicators; and Eurostat.
a Average for the first nine months for short- and long-term interest rates.
b Three-month Interbank Rate.
c From January 1999 onwards, represents the three-month Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR).
d Yield on long-term government bonds.
e Surplus (+) or deficit (-) as a percentage of nominal GDP. Estimates for 2012.




172 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.13
Selected economies: real effective exchange rates, broad measurement,a 2003–2012


Year 2000=100


2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012b


Developed economies


Australia 111.8 121.2 128.1 133.8 142.8 141.0 130.6 146.1 157.3 157.7
Bulgaria 110.7 113.3 116.5 126.2 132.9 142.7 140.1 143.1 150.5 150.3
Canada 102.9 104.6 108.3 111.6 112.9 102.6 95.3 101.0 100.3 97.9
Czech Republic 117.4 121.7 129.1 134.0 139.4 156.5 148.8 149.5 155.7 150.4
Denmark 114.2 114.4 111.8 109.9 109.8 110.7 117.4 111.8 109.6 107.6
Euro area 117.3 121.0 119.5 121.3 126.1 131.1 125.4 117.5 120.5 114.8
Hungary 115.2 119.6 119.0 115.9 119.8 123.1 118.9 118.4 116.9 114.4
Japan 82.5 83.5 78.6 72.0 67.1 74.2 83.2 84.2 85.4 84.9
New Zealand 131.5 140.1 147.2 135.7 146.3 133.5 127.8 139.2 146.3 151.3
Norway 108.2 110.6 117.3 123.4 132.4 133.7 130.1 139.3 146.2 145.7
Poland 98.7 102.5 111.1 113.4 117.8 126.1 109.1 114.2 113.7 112.6
Romania 117.4 127.8 153.8 172.7 191.3 180.7 174.0 175.0 176.9 165.6
Slovakia 113.1 117.1 117.1 118.7 128.5 132.7 141.1 129.5 124.6 121.8
Sweden 97.3 96.2 93.1 94.4 97.4 91.5 89.4 92.3 92.4 90.8
Switzerland 112.3 110.0 105.7 101.2 96.2 98.9 107.0 110.1 117.7 113.8
United Kingdom 95.8 99.6 97.2 97.3 98.8 86.8 80.3 80.7 81.3 85.1
United States 97.8 91.6 89.3 86.5 82.4 79.7 88.0 83.5 78.5 82.0


Economies in transition


Croatia 110.3 114.3 115.2 116.2 117.5 125.3 128.0 127.4 127.5 128.8
Russian Federation 131.2 140.7 155.3 170.5 180.3 191.5 182.1 198.6 204.3 206.5


Developing economies


Argentina 62.1 60.6 59.9 58.3 57.6 58.7 56.8 57.5 55.8 59.2
Brazil 99.1 106.5 130.9 141.0 157.0 175.9 168.9 194.0 208.0 191.8
Chile 92.3 100.0 112.1 117.9 117.3 122.3 127.0 126.3 128.0 131.0
China 97.8 95.8 98.5 100.8 103.4 112.5 112.4 113.6 116.3 118.6
Colombia 88.1 95.2 105.0 102.6 110.2 113.3 106.4 124.1 123.3 126.2
Ecuador 114.1 114.3 121.9 130.5 126.2 135.3 112.4 128.9 141.6 142.2
Egypt 64.5 66.4 72.3 74.1 76.4 86.6 85.8 92.4 92.2 96.8
Hong Kong SARc 94.9 89.6 86.4 83.9 79.8 75.6 80.6 77.5 74.2 76.7
India 98.3 99.3 101.3 98.8 106.4 98.6 94.1 100.8 97.2 92.0
Indonesia 123.4 112.5 114.5 142.1 149.2 162.3 163.9 183.9 183.5 181.1
Israel 87.8 85.2 86.3 86.8 88.0 98.7 97.8 102.9 102.8 98.9
Korea, Republic of 93.0 96.2 105.9 110.7 108.2 90.8 80.0 86.2 88.2 88.2
Kuwait 102.2 94.6 96.5 94.9 93.2 97.2 96.4 98.2 96.0 95.8
Malaysia 98.6 100.7 103.5 107.0 112.7 115.7 113.1 124.5 130.8 132.1
Mexico 99.6 98.0 103.4 105.9 105.9 105.6 91.0 98.9 100.8 98.4
Morocco 99.0 97.2 94.7 94.7 93.5 94.3 100.0 95.7 91.7 90.4
Nigeria 108.8 112.3 128.6 135.7 133.6 145.5 139.4 151.9 148.5 164.3
Pakistan 101.0 100.0 102.8 105.5 105.5 106.3 108.1 118.8 128.0 132.2
Peru 99.9 99.5 99.2 99.3 99.6 106.3 105.5 110.0 111.1 117.7
Philippines 107.3 100.4 107.9 129.4 135.8 130.5 128.6 118.1 110.2 111.9




173Annex tables


Table A.13 (cont’d)


2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012b


Saudi Arabia 94.1 87.3 85.0 83.7 81.7 83.5 92.1 93.1 90.0 95.2
Singapore 95.4 102.5 106.9 112.4 119.6 125.8 114.0 116.6 118.8 121.9
South Africa 107.3 116.2 118.0 112.4 109.3 100.6 106.7 119.9 117.1 111.2
Taiwan Province of China 89.5 90.9 89.1 88.8 87.7 84.2 76.8 79.8 79.6 78.7
Thailand 100.3 100.0 102.6 111.7 125.3 120.0 112.6 123.0 125.4 124.8
Turkey 111.3 116.4 124.8 120.9 128.4 126.0 114.6 117.9 106.1 113.9
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 94.5 98.9 99.7 108.2 120.0 140.4 191.0 116.0 134.2 152.3


Source: JPMorgan Chase.
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.




174 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.14
Indices of prices of primary commodities, 2003–2012


Year 2000=100


Non-fuel commodities Combined index
Manufac-


tured
export
prices


Real prices
of non-fuel


commo-
ditiesa


Crude
petroleumbFood


Tropical
beverages


Vegetable
oilseeds
and oils


Agricul-
tural raw
materials


Minerals
and


metals Dollar SDR


2003 104 94 137 111 98 105 99 108 97 101.8
2004 119 100 155 125 137 126 112 117 108 130.6
2005 127 126 141 129 173 140 126 120 117 183.5
2006 151 134 148 147 278 183 164 123 149 221.3
2007 164 148 226 164 313 207 178 133 155 250.4
2008 234 178 298 198 332 256 213 142 180 342.2
2009 220 181 213 163 232 213 182 134 159 221.2
2010 230 213 262 226 310 251 218 136 185 280.6
2011 265 270 333 289 349 295 247 148 199 389.3


2009 I 206 164 188 146 182 188 167 126 149 155.5
II 213 175 226 150 214 203 177 129 158 212.0
III 228 186 215 164 252 223 188 134 166 245.3
IV 233 201 224 193 278 237 197 137 173 269.3


2010 I 232 198 234 210 299 245 210 134 183 273.2
II 205 201 233 209 296 231 205 132 175 277.5
III 225 220 258 216 301 246 214 135 182 267.3
IV 257 233 322 268 344 284 242 141 201 303.5


2011 I 274 278 364 315 376 312 264 144 217 365.9
II 261 283 345 303 363 300 249 151 199 407.1
III 270 274 324 290 352 298 247 150 199 393.2
IV 255 247 299 248 304 270 228 146 185 391.0


2012 I 257 232 316 246 327 276 237 145 191 425.4
II 264 208 318 229 308 271 234 143 190 386.8
III 285 211 318 205 303 277 241 .. .. 386.2


Sources: UNCTAD, Monthly Commodity Price Bulletin; United Nations, Monthly Bulletin of Statistics; and data from the Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) website, available from http://www.opec.org.
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.




175Annex tables


Table A.15
World oil supply and demand, 2004–2013


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012a 2013b


World oil supplyc, d


(millions of barrels per day) 83.3 84.3 85.0 84.7 86.6 85.4 87.2 88.5 90.8 91.1


Developed economies 17.4 16.5 16.3 16.0 16.8 17.0 17.3 17.3 18.1 18.6
Economies in transition 11.6 12.0 12.4 12.9 12.9 13.3 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.6
Developing economies 52.5 54.0 54.4 53.6 54.9 53.1 54.3 55.5 56.9 56.7


OPECe 33.1 34.2 34.3 34.6 36.1 34.0 34.6 35.7 37.6 37.2
Non-OPEC 19.4 19.8 20.1 19.0 18.8 19.1 19.7 19.8 19.3 19.5


Processing gainsf 1.9 1.9 1.9 2.2 2.0 2.0 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.2


World total demandg 82.5 83.8 85.1 86.5 86.5 85.4 88.1 88.8 89.6 90.5


Oil prices (dollars per barrel)


OPEC basketh 36.1 50.6 61.1 69.1 94.5 61.1 77.5 107.5 109.9 102.0
Brent oil 38.3 54.4 65.4 72.7 97.6 61.9 79.6 110.9 110.0 105.0


Sources: United Nations, World Bank, International Energy Agency, U.S. Energy Information Administration, and OPEC.
a Partly estimated.
b Baseline scenario forecasts.
c Including global biofuels, crude oil, condensates, natural gas liquids (NGLs), oil from non-conventional sources and other sources of supply.
d Totals may not add up because of 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.




176 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.16
World trade:a changes in value and volume of exports and imports, by major country group, 2004–2014


Annual percentage change


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011b 2012c 2013c 2014c


Dollar value of exports


World 21.2 14.2 14.7 16.2 14.0 -19.9 19.7 17.6 5.0 6.9 8.1


Developed economies 18.4 9.4 12.5 15.4 11.5 -20.0 13.1 15.2 0.0 4.1 6.3
North America 13.9 11.5 10.9 11.9 10.2 -16.8 16.2 14.3 4.2 4.0 6.0
EU plus other Europe 19.4 9.0 13.6 17.2 11.2 -20.0 10.1 15.9 -1.0 5.0 6.9
Developed Asia 21.7 8.9 7.7 12.3 12.9 -23.7 32.2 10.4 -0.8 -1.6 3.2


Economies in transition 34.3 26.7 24.1 21.3 32.2 -32.6 26.7 30.9 -1.2 3.4 9.2
South-Eastern Europe 23.7 12.5 18.5 23.7 19.6 -21.1 7.8 15.4 -3.3 6.0 7.2
Commonwealth of Independent States 35.0 28.5 24.5 21.3 33.1 -33.5 28.6 32.0 -1.0 3.2 9.5


Developing economies 26.4 21.2 19.0 17.0 17.4 -18.6 28.1 20.7 11.2 9.9 10.8
Latin America and the Caribbean 22.9 20.1 18.7 12.8 15.7 -21.0 31.6 17.1 12.2 10.9 13.1
Africa 25.1 29.6 23.4 12.8 27.7 -26.5 25.9 18.0 24.5 5.5 4.0
Western Asia 31.8 30.9 18.7 15.8 29.3 -26.5 20.5 28.2 16.8 4.8 5.9
East and South Asia 26.3 18.7 18.6 18.4 14.0 -15.0 29.2 20.2 9.0 11.7 11.7


Dollar value of imports


World 21.1 13.4 14.2 15.9 14.9 -20.2 18.8 18.0 4.6 6.6 8.3


Developed economies 18.7 11.3 12.8 13.1 12.0 -22.2 13.7 15.9 0.8 4.0 6.2
North America 15.7 13.1 10.3 6.4 8.1 -22.1 19.2 13.0 3.4 2.1 6.2
EU plus other Europe 19.8 10.3 14.2 16.9 11.8 -21.6 10.5 15.5 -1.4 4.9 7.1
Developed Asia 21.3 13.0 9.1 11.6 17.4 -23.8 24.1 23.6 9.2 2.8 1.4


Economies in transition 28.4 19.9 23.9 33.9 29.3 -29.9 20.5 27.5 2.5 7.0 12.3
South-Eastern Europe 24.4 8.5 15.1 30.9 23.1 -27.8 0.0 14.5 -2.8 6.7 7.8
Commonwealth of Independent States 29.9 21.7 25.7 34.1 30.3 -30.1 23.7 29.1 3.1 7.1 12.8


Developing economies 25.9 17.5 17.2 19.3 19.5 -15.8 27.2 20.7 10.0 11.5 10.7
Latin America and the Caribbean 20.4 18.5 18.0 19.2 20.7 -20.1 28.9 19.2 9.7 10.3 11.3
Africa 20.0 21.1 18.1 27.3 24.8 -11.6 10.7 17.9 17.7 12.5 12.8
Western Asia 30.9 21.0 19.7 29.1 22.6 -17.9 15.0 17.2 12.0 5.6 6.2
East and South Asia 27.3 16.0 16.5 16.6 17.7 -14.8 31.8 21.9 9.0 11.9 10.9


Volume of exports


World 10.2 8.4 9.3 7.1 3.3 -9.6 12.8 6.9 3.5 4.0 4.9


Developed economies 8.0 5.8 8.9 6.3 2.0 -11.8 11.0 5.5 2.4 3.0 4.9
North America 7.9 6.1 6.3 7.6 4.0 -10.1 10.2 6.3 3.7 3.1 4.3
EU plus other Europe 7.5 5.8 9.6 5.7 1.6 -11.4 10.4 5.9 2.1 3.1 4.3
Developed Asia 11.5 5.3 8.6 7.6 1.3 -18.4 18.2 0.7 1.8 2.2 6.0


Economies in transition 12.9 4.1 7.5 7.4 1.6 -7.4 7.1 3.2 3.7 4.1 4.3
South-Eastern Europe 7.7 9.3 9.4 6.0 2.9 -12.9 12.3 4.6 1.2 4.1 4.6
Commonwealth of Independent States 13.2 4.0 7.1 7.6 1.5 -6.8 6.5 3.1 4.0 4.1 4.3


Developing economies 15.5 11.9 11.8 8.5 4.5 -5.5 17.2 9.2 4.1 5.3 6.2
Latin America and the Caribbean 12.4 7.4 7.2 5.3 1.6 -9.9 11.1 6.7 4.4 6.7 7.9
Africa 6.6 10.6 13.5 3.7 9.6 -14.4 10.2 0.2 9.2 6.6 6.2
Western Asia 14.0 9.9 7.4 5.7 4.3 -7.4 6.6 7.5 4.8 2.2 4.2
East and South Asia 17.9 14.3 13.3 10.8 4.3 -3.0 20.9 11.0 3.6 5.3 6.2




177Annex tables


Table A.16 (cont’d)


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011b 2012c 2013c 2014c


Volume of imports


World 11.4 8.5 9.4 7.9 2.0 -9.8 13.8 7.0 3.0 4.6 5.0


Developed economies 8.6 6.1 8.0 5.0 0.1 -11.9 10.5 4.6 1.8 3.2 3.9
North America 10.7 6.6 5.8 2.7 -1.9 -13.6 13.0 4.8 3.0 3.3 5.3
EU plus other Europe 7.6 6.3 9.5 5.9 1.1 -11.3 9.3 4.2 0.5 2.7 4.3
Developed Asia 8.9 4.8 5.4 5.2 -0.7 -10.7 11.0 7.6 8.0 2.5 -1.0


Economies in transition 18.7 11.1 15.7 22.2 11.8 -25.4 16.4 15.6 7.2 7.6 7.8
South-Eastern Europe 12.1 5.4 7.9 11.8 5.9 -19.7 4.6 3.5 1.6 4.5 5.5
Commonwealth of Independent States 20.2 12.0 17.1 24.1 12.5 -26.2 18.0 17.3 7.9 7.9 8.3


Developing economies 16.9 12.8 12.6 11.4 6.6 -5.4 18.9 10.1 5.1 6.1 7.0
Latin America and the Caribbean 13.8 11.2 14.1 13.0 8.0 -15.0 21.6 10.4 4.7 7.2 9.4
Africa 6.0 11.6 12.1 18.0 9.4 -6.3 7.9 8.7 14.8 10.3 9.0
Western Asia 21.2 15.4 13.6 19.9 8.2 -12.6 7.8 7.6 5.1 4.1 4.0
East and South Asia 18.4 12.9 11.8 9.2 5.5 -1.2 21.7 10.4 4.1 5.5 6.9


Source: UN/DESA.
a Includes goods and non-factor services.
b Partly estimated.
c Baseline scenario forecasts, based in part on Project LINK.




178 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.17
Balance of payments on current accounts, by country or country group, summary table, 2003–2011


Billions of dollars


2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


Developed economies -316.8 -332.2 -502.4 -579.9 -532.6 -663.3 -226.8 -192.8 -262.3


Japan 136.2 172.1 166.1 170.9 212.1 159.9 146.6 204.0 119.3
United States -519.1 -628.5 -745.8 -800.6 -710.3 -677.1 -381.9 -442.0 -465.9
Europea 87.3 146.8 106.6 82.1 22.9 -93.0 92.6 135.1 173.4


EU-15 45.4 112.5 48.0 33.2 40.9 -57.7 34.3 44.8 72.1
New EU member States -28.5 -45.7 -40.1 -60.7 -102.6 -113.9 -34.5 -39.1 -37.6


Economies in transitionb 30.1 56.4 80.1 87.4 55.8 83.8 31.3 65.9 105.5


South-Eastern Europe -5.7 -7.1 -7.4 -8.7 -15.4 -24.6 -10.7 -6.9 -9.1
Commonwealth of Independent Statesc 36.2 63.9 88.2 97.2 73.2 111.2 43.2 74.0 116.2


Developing economies 223.0 275.0 458.8 709.5 791.4 776.0 420.9 446.8 548.4


Net fuel exporters 78.7 119.5 268.1 390.6 351.6 448.9 85.8 231.0 462.0
Net fuel importers 144.3 155.4 190.7 318.9 439.8 327.1 335.2 215.8 86.4


Latin America and the Caribbean 10.6 23.0 37.7 51.1 15.3 -30.0 -19.9 -55.8 -71.8
Net fuel exporters 11.5 16.1 28.3 34.5 22.6 42.8 6.1 9.2 19.1
Net fuel importers -0.9 6.9 9.4 16.6 -7.3 -72.8 -26.0 -65.0 -90.9


Africa 1.0 12.0 37.7 85.2 69.4 62.1 -34.3 1.4 -21.8
Net fuel exporters 6.1 24.6 55.2 106.9 102.8 113.6 4.9 40.0 33.9
Net fuel importers -5.1 -12.5 -17.5 -21.7 -33.4 -51.5 -39.2 -38.6 -55.7


Western Asia 40.0 58.3 142.6 184.6 145.6 228.0 43.8 104.2 254.8
Net fuel exportersd 51.2 74.7 165.0 212.2 184.2 273.2 56.4 150.1 338.9
Net fuel importers -11.3 -16.4 -22.4 -27.7 -38.6 -45.2 -12.6 -45.8 -84.2


East and South Asia 171.4 181.6 240.8 388.7 561.1 515.8 431.3 397.0 387.2
Net fuel exporters 9.9 4.2 19.6 37.0 42.0 19.2 18.3 31.8 70.0
Net fuel importers 161.5 177.4 221.2 351.6 519.1 496.5 413.0 365.2 317.2


World residuale -63.8 -0.8 36.5 217.0 314.6 196.4 225.5 319.9 391.6


Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Economic Outlook, October 2012; 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 Data for Iraq not available prior to 2005.
e Statistical discrepancy.




179Annex tables


Table A.18
Balance of payments on current accounts, by country or country group, 2003–2011


Billions of dollars


2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


Developed economies


Trade balance -307.7 -421.8 -637.3 -781.1 -782.6 -912.8 -475.1 -586.9 -773.1
Services, net 108.0 162.2 214.6 279.4 386.4 426.8 382.1 435.9 524.1
Income, net 53.0 132.3 165.5 164.0 160.6 152.8 190.2 305.4 345.5
Current transfers, net -170.1 -204.9 -245.2 -242.2 -297.0 -330.1 -323.9 -347.1 -358.7
Current-account balance -316.8 -332.2 -502.4 -579.9 -532.6 -663.3 -226.8 -192.8 -262.3


Japan


Trade balance 104.0 128.5 93.9 81.1 105.1 38.5 43.3 91.0 -20.6
Services, net -31.4 -34.3 -24.1 -18.2 -21.2 -20.8 -20.4 -16.1 -22.2
Income, net 71.2 85.7 103.9 118.7 139.8 155.3 135.9 141.5 176.0
Current transfers, net -7.5 -7.9 -7.6 -10.7 -11.5 -13.1 -12.3 -12.4 -13.8
Current-account balance 136.2 172.1 166.1 170.9 212.1 159.9 146.6 204.0 119.3


United States


Trade balance -540.4 -663.5 -780.7 -835.7 -818.9 -830.1 -505.8 -645.1 -738.4
Services, net 49.4 58.2 72.1 82.4 122.2 131.8 126.6 150.4 178.5
Income, net 43.7 65.1 68.6 44.2 101.5 147.1 119.7 183.9 227.0
Current transfers, net -71.8 -88.2 -105.7 -91.5 -115.1 -125.9 -122.5 -131.1 -133.1
Current-account balance -519.1 -628.5 -745.8 -800.6 -710.3 -677.1 -381.9 -442.0 -465.9


Europea


Trade balance 103.9 81.9 14.3 -58.7 -93.4 -157.9 -7.6 -43.7 -46.7
Services, net 95.9 145.8 176.0 226.4 301.9 340.5 295.7 327.4 402.6
Income, net -21.4 27.5 46.8 53.2 -16.6 -84.9 -9.1 51.6 25.0
Current transfers, net -91.1 -108.5 -130.5 -138.7 -168.9 -190.7 -186.5 -200.2 -207.4
Current-account balance 87.3 146.8 106.6 82.1 22.9 -93.0 92.6 135.1 173.4


EU-15


Trade balance 102.7 79.0 2.8 -64.4 -73.9 -148.7 -39.1 -78.1 -103.0
Services, net 64.7 110.0 133.9 177.4 241.4 267.6 228.7 253.6 318.6
Income, net -31.4 30.5 37.1 57.1 40.7 9.9 25.8 66.4 62.1
Current transfers, net -90.6 -107.0 -125.8 -136.9 -167.4 -186.5 -181.1 -197.1 -205.6
Current-account balance 45.4 112.5 48.0 33.2 40.9 -57.7 34.3 44.8 72.1


New EU member States


Trade balance -29.1 -34.7 -36.3 -52.1 -79.4 -101.3 -25.9 -30.2 -27.1
Services, net 8.0 9.5 13.2 15.8 22.9 26.7 23.4 25.7 31.7
Income, net -15.4 -28.2 -25.9 -34.9 -57.6 -51.9 -43.1 -48.6 -58.5
Current transfers, net 8.0 7.7 8.9 10.5 11.5 12.6 11.1 13.9 16.3
Current-account balance -28.5 -45.7 -40.1 -60.7 -102.6 -113.9 -34.5 -39.1 -37.6


Economies in transitionb


Trade balance 43.1 71.2 106.4 128.3 109.7 163.6 93.8 152.6 220.2
Services, net -7.0 -10.5 -12.2 -11.9 -18.4 -22.1 -18.9 -27.0 -32.7
Income, net -16.4 -17.0 -28.4 -44.3 -51.0 -77.4 -61.7 -77.3 -100.8
Current transfers, net 10.5 12.7 14.2 15.1 15.6 19.6 18.1 17.6 18.7


Current-account balance 30.1 56.4 80.1 87.4 55.8 83.8 31.3 65.9 105.5




180 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.18 (cont’d)


2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


South-Eastern Europe


Trade balance -18.6 -22.6 -23.1 -25.6 -34.4 -44.6 -29.3 -24.9 -28.9
Services, net 6.2 6.7 7.3 8.0 9.8 11.7 9.7 9.6 10.9
Income, net -0.6 -0.3 -1.1 -1.2 -1.9 -2.9 -2.8 -2.9 -3.2
Current transfers, net 7.3 9.1 9.5 10.2 11.0 11.2 11.8 11.4 12.0
Current-account balance -5.7 -7.1 -7.4 -8.7 -15.4 -24.6 -10.7 -6.9 -9.1


Commonwealth of Independent Statesc


Trade balance 62.3 94.7 130.8 156.0 147.0 212.1 125.6 180.1 252.5
Services, net -13.3 -17.2 -19.5 -20.0 -28.4 -33.8 -28.9 -37.1 -44.4
Income, net -15.8 -16.8 -27.3 -43.2 -49.2 -74.4 -58.9 -74.1 -97.3
Current transfers, net 2.9 3.1 4.3 4.5 3.9 7.4 5.4 5.2 5.4
Current-account balance 36.2 63.9 88.2 97.2 73.2 111.2 43.2 74.0 116.2


Developing economies


Trade balance 303.7 365.3 578.7 774.7 842.2 861.4 543.9 663.2 830.5
Services, net -59.2 -60.0 -78.7 -87.7 -98.0 -144.2 -150.1 -169.3 -201.7
Income, net -123.9 -149.1 -190.8 -164.9 -163.0 -183.2 -180.2 -270.8 -300.9
Current transfers, net 102.3 118.7 149.5 187.6 210.1 241.3 207.0 223.6 220.7
Current-account balance 223.0 275.0 458.8 709.5 791.4 776.0 420.9 446.8 548.4


Net fuel exporters


Trade balance 185.9 254.2 409.8 526.2 533.4 712.5 340.3 532.0 827.2
Services, net -63.6 -75.6 -88.6 -113.3 -149.9 -207.3 -190.4 -204.9 -233.1
Income, net -34.5 -52.4 -56.6 -34.3 -36.6 -57.8 -53.5 -84.9 -112.8
Current transfers, net -8.2 -5.2 4.7 13.5 6.5 3.6 -9.5 -9.3 -16.8
Current-account balance 78.7 119.5 268.1 390.6 351.6 448.9 85.8 231.0 462.0


Net fuel importers


Trade balance 117.9 111.1 168.9 248.5 308.9 148.9 203.5 131.1 3.2
Services, net 4.4 15.6 9.9 25.7 51.9 63.1 40.3 35.6 31.4
Income, net -89.4 -96.7 -134.2 -130.7 -126.4 -125.4 -126.7 -186.0 -188.1
Current transfers, net 110.5 124.0 144.8 174.1 203.6 237.7 216.5 232.9 237.5
Current-account balance 144.3 155.4 190.7 318.9 439.8 327.1 335.2 215.8 86.4


Latin America and the Caribbean


Trade balance 43.8 59.7 83.0 101.7 72.5 44.8 55.7 49.0 72.8
Services, net -12.9 -13.6 -17.1 -18.1 -23.9 -32.2 -33.0 -49.7 -63.7
Income, net -58.2 -67.9 -81.3 -96.5 -100.6 -109.9 -100.5 -116.5 -143.7
Current transfers, net 37.9 44.8 53.1 64.0 67.3 67.4 57.8 61.4 62.8
Current-account balance 10.6 23.0 37.7 51.1 15.3 -30.0 -19.9 -55.8 -71.8


Africa


Trade balance 16.2 33.7 67.7 95.3 97.2 115.7 0.5 52.9 47.0
Services, net -8.4 -11.1 -15.3 -22.1 -33.7 -54.5 -48.2 -53.4 -66.1
Income, net -27.8 -35.5 -45.4 -38.0 -51.4 -65.2 -48.7 -65.9 -81.0
Current transfers, net 21.0 24.9 30.6 50.2 57.2 65.5 61.8 67.7 78.6
Current-account balance 1.0 12.0 37.7 85.2 69.4 62.1 -34.3 1.4 -21.8




181Annex tables


Table A.18 (cont’d)


2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


Western Asiad


Trade balance 83.6 110.9 186.9 237.8 223.3 343.7 168.1 246.7 427.7
Services, net -18.2 -25.7 -27.5 -44.9 -63.1 -88.1 -80.4 -89.0 -102.2
Income, net -14.1 -17.5 -7.2 6.8 12.4 4.1 -2.9 -9.0 -9.9
Current transfers, net -11.3 -9.4 -9.5 -15.2 -27.0 -31.7 -41.0 -44.4 -60.8
Current-account balance 40.0 58.3 142.6 184.6 145.6 228.0 43.8 104.2 254.8


East Asia


Trade balance 175.6 191.2 278.6 391.4 507.5 479.7 430.9 437.8 414.1
Services, net -21.7 -16.3 -29.0 -20.6 -2.8 -2.4 -13.3 -5.4 -16.3
Income, net -16.1 -20.9 -46.2 -27.0 -12.8 -2.0 -14.6 -59.5 -46.2
Current transfers, net 19.6 24.7 34.4 39.1 52.4 64.8 51.0 54.7 42.7
Current-account balance 157.5 178.8 237.7 382.9 544.2 540.1 454.0 427.6 394.3


South Asia


Trade balance -15.5 -30.3 -37.4 -51.4 -58.2 -122.4 -111.3 -123.3 -131.1
Services, net 1.9 6.6 10.3 18.0 25.4 33.0 24.8 28.3 46.5
Income, net -7.7 -7.2 -10.6 -10.2 -10.6 -10.2 -13.6 -19.9 -20.0
Current transfers, net 35.2 33.7 40.8 49.4 60.2 75.3 77.4 84.3 97.5
Current-account balance 13.9 2.9 3.1 5.8 16.8 -24.4 -22.7 -30.6 -7.1


World residuale


Trade balance 39.1 14.7 47.9 121.9 169.4 112.3 162.6 228.8 277.6
Services, net 41.7 91.7 123.8 179.9 269.9 260.5 213.1 239.6 289.8
Income, net -87.3 -33.7 -53.8 -45.2 -53.5 -107.8 -51.8 -42.7 -56.2
Current transfers, net -57.3 -73.5 -81.5 -39.5 -71.3 -69.2 -98.8 -105.9 -119.3
Current-account balance -63.8 -0.8 36.5 217.0 314.6 196.4 225.5 319.9 391.6


Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Economic Outlook, October 2012; 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 Data for Iraq not available prior to 2005.
e Statistical discrepancy.




182 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.19
Net ODA from major sources, by type, 1990-2011


Donor group
or country


Growth rate of ODA
(2010 prices and exchange rates)


ODA as a
percent-


age of GNI


Total ODA
(millions


of dollars)


Percentage distribution
of ODA by type, 2011


Bilateral Multilateral


1990-
2000


2000-
2008 2009 2010 2011 2011 2011 Total


Total
(United
Nations


and Other)
United


Nations Other


Total DAC countries -0.5 5.2 1.1 6.3 -2.7 0.31 133 526 69.4 30.6 4.8 25.8


Total EU -0.3 5.8 -0.2 6.1 -2.7 0.45 72 315 60.5 39.5 5.1 34.4


Austria 4.9 11.7 -31.6 9.5 -14.3 0.27 1 107 43.4 56.6 3.0 53.6
Belgium -0.1 6.4 12.0 18.9 -13.3 0.53 2 800 57.2 42.8 6.1 36.7
Denmark 4.2 -0.8 3.3 3.9 -2.4 0.86 2 981 73.9 26.1 09.4 16.7
Finland -4.6 7.0 12.7 8.2 -4.3 0.52 1 409 60.6 39.4 11.7 27.7
Francea -2.5 3.7 19.1 6.9 -5.6 0.46 12 994 65.4 34.6 1.8 32.8
Germany -0.8 6.2 -11.5 12.4 5.9 0.40 14 533 61.4 38.6 2.3 36.3
Greece … 6.2 -13.0 -13.6 -39.3 0.11 331 18.1 81.9 3.7 78.2
Ireland 13.2 14.6 -18.2 -4.1 -3.1 0.52 904 67.8 32.2 10.0 22.2
Italy -6.7 4.7 -31.2 -4.8 33.0 0.19 4 241 37.4 62.6 3.8 58.8
Luxembourg 17.1 7.2 3.4 -2.7 -5.4 0.99 413 68.7 31.3 12.6 18.7
Netherlands 1.9 2.6 -4.4 2.7 -6.4 0.75 6 324 66.3 33.7 10.6 23.1
Portugal 5.5 1.1 -14.8 31.6 -3.0 0.29 669 66.6 33.4 0.5 32.9
Spain 8.1 10.5 -0.8 -5.4 -32.7 0.29 4 264 54.6 45.4 5.4 40.1
Sweden -0.5 8.1 7.9 -7.3 10.5 1.02 5606 65.4 34.6 12.1 22.5
United Kingdom 1.5 9.3 11.8 13.8 -0.8 0.56 13 739 58.4 41.6 4.1 37.6


Australia 0.1 5.1 -0.4 12.0 5.7 0.35 4 799 85.1 14.9 4.7 10.2
Canada -2.8 4.7 -9.7 14.2 -5.3 0.31 5 291 76.5 23.5 5.4 18.1
Japan 0.8 -2.2 -10.8 12.0 -10.8 0.18 10 604 59.1 40.9 4.7 36.2
New Zealand 3.1 4.7 -2.3 -6.4 10.7 0.28 429 76.1 23.9 10.7 13.2
Norway 1.9 3.6 18.7 1.2 -8.3 1.00 4 936 76.0 24.0 13.0 11.0
Switzerland 2.4 3.9 11.9 -4.3 13.2 0.46 3 086 76.5 23.5 6.3 17.2
United States -2.7 9.8 7.9 4.1 -0.9 0.20 30 745 88.2 11.8 2.6 9.2


Source: UN/DESA, based on OECD/DAC online database, available from http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/statistics.
a Excluding flows from France to the Overseas Departments, namely Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Réunion.




183Annex tables


Table A.20
Total net ODA flows from OECD Development Assistance Committee countries, by type, 2002–2011


2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


Net disbursements at current prices and exchange rates
(billions of dollars)


Official Development Assistance 58.6 69.4 79.9 107.8 104.8 104.2 122.0 119.8 128.5 133.5


Bilateral official development
assistance 41.0 50.0 54.6 82.9 77.3 73.4 86.8 83.7 91.0 92.9


of which:


Technical cooperation 15.5 18.4 18.7 20.8 22.4 15.0 17.2 17.5 19.0 0.9
Humanitarian aid 2.8 4.4 5.2 7.1 6.7 6.5 8.8 8.6 9.3 9.7
Debt forgiveness 5.4 9.8 8.0 26.2 18.9 9.7 11.1 1.9 4.2 0.1
Bilateral loans 1.1 -1.1 -2.8 -0.9 -2.4 -2.3 -1.2 2.5 3.3 ..


Contributions to multilateral
institutionsa 17.6 19.5 25.2 24.9 27.5 30.8 35.1 36.1 37.5 40.7


Source: UN/DESA, based on OECD/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.




184 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.21
Commitments and net flows of financial resources, by selected multilateral institutions, 2002–2011


Billions of dollars


2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


Resource commitmentsa 95.3 67.6 55.9 71.7 64.7 74.5 135.2 193.7 245.4 163.8


Financial institutions, excluding
International Monetary Fund (IMF) 38.5 43.1 45.7 51.4 55.7 66.6 76.1 114.5 119.6 106.8


Regional development banksb 16.8 20.4 21.5 23.0 23.1 31.3 36.1 54.4 45.4 45.9
World Bank Groupc 21.4 22.2 23.7 27.7 31.9 34.7 39.4 59.4 73.4 59.9


International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development 10.2 10.6 10.8 13.6 14.2 12.8 13.5 32.9 44.2 26.7
International Development Association 8.0 7.6 8.4 8.7 9.5 11.9 11.2 14.0 14.6 16.3
International Financial Corporation 3.2 4.1 4.6 5.4 8.2 10.0 14.6 12.4 14.6 16.9


International Fund for Agricultural Development 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.8 1.0
International Monetary Fund 52.2 17.8 2.6 12.6 1.0 2.0 48.7 68.2 114.1 45.7
United Nations operational agenciesd 4.6 6.7 7.6 7.7 8.3 6.3 10.5 11.0 11.6 11.3


Net flows 2.0 -11.7 -20.2 -39.6 -25.9 -6.8 40.7 52.3 62.5 77.2


Financial institutions, excluding IMF -11.2 -14.8 -10.2 0.8 5.2 -11.4 21.8 20.4 25.1 36.5
Regional development banksb -3.9 -8.0 -6.6 -1.7 3.0 5.9 21.2 15.5 9.8 10.2
World Bank Groupc -7.3 -6.7 -3.7 2.5 2.2 5.5 0.7 4.9 15.4 26.3


International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development -12.1 -11.2 -8.9 -2.9 -5.1 -1.8 -6.2 -2.1 8.3 17.2
International Development Association 4.8 4.5 5.3 5.4 7.3 7.2 6.8 7.0 7.0 9.1


International Monetary Fund 13.2 3.1 -10.0 -40.4 -31.0 -18.0 18.9 32.0 37.4 40.7


Memorandum item (in units of 2000 purchasing power)e


Resource commitments 97.2 62.6 47.8 59.8 54.9 56.0 97.3 146.7 183.1 242.5
Net flows 2.0 -10.8 -17.3 -33.0 -21.9 -5.1 29.3 39.6 46.6 114.3


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)).
c Data is for 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.




185Annex tables


Table A.22
Greenhouse gas emissionsa of Annex I Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change, 1990–2014


Teragram CO2 equivalent


1990 2000 2009 2010 2011b 2012b 2013c 2014c


Annual
growth rate
1990-2014


Cumulative
change


between 1990
and 2014


Reached
reduction


commitments
in 2012d


Australia 418 494 547 543 548 556 558 562 1.2 34.6 No
Austria 78 80 80 85 85 87 86 86 0.4 10.6 No
Belarus 139 79 88 89 89 82 75 68 -3.0 -51.4 -
Belgium 143 146 125 132 123 121 111 108 -1.2 -24.5 Yes
Bulgaria 114 63 59 61 55 47 43 39 -4.3 -65.6 Yes
Canada 589 718 690 692 691 685 677 677 0.6 14.9 No
Croatia 31 26 29 29 28 27 27 27 -0.7 -15.1 Yes
Czech Republic 196 146 135 139 135 124 117 111 -2.4 -43.5 Yes
Denmark 70 70 62 63 55 53 51 49 -1.5 -30.2 Yes
Estonia 41 17 16 21 23 20 15 14 -4.4 -66.2 Yes
Finland 70 69 66 75 73 63 61 59 -0.7 -15.6 Yes
France 562 569 520 528 503 490 477 467 -0.8 -16.9 Yes
Germany 1 246 1 039 912 937 915 876 848 832 -1.7 -33.2 Yes
Greece 105 127 125 118 111 102 98 97 -0.3 -7.5 No
Hungary 97 77 67 68 61 58 53 51 -2.6 -47.4 Yes
Iceland 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 1.3 36.4 No
Ireland 55 68 62 61 55 50 46 44 -0.9 -20.2 Yes
Italy 519 552 492 501 486 466 453 452 -0.6 -13.0 Yes
Japan 1 267 1 342 1 207 1 258 1 221 1 219 1 194 1 191 -0.2 -4.6 No
Latvia 27 10 11 12 10 12 14 15 -2.4 -43.8 Yes
Liechtenstein – – – – – – – – -0.5 -13.8 No
Lithuania 49 19 20 21 15 12 10 8 -7.3 -83.6 Yes
Luxembourg 13 10 12 12 13 13 14 13 0.1 2.6 No
Malta 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 1.6 45.2 -
Monaco – – – – – – – – -1.2 -26.9 Yes
Netherlands 212 213 199 210 212 215 210 207 -0.1 -2.2 No
New Zealand 60 69 71 72 71 70 70 70 0.6 16.7 No
Norway 50 53 51 54 48 46 45 44 -0.6 -12.5 Yes
Poland 457 385 382 401 384 398 367 337 -1.2 -25.8 Yes
Portugal 60 82 74 71 66 64 59 58 -0.2 -3.7 No
Romania 253 141 123 121 113 102 95 88 -4.3 -65.4 Yes
Russian Federation 3 349 2 040 2 112 2 202 2 347 2 499 2 668 2 873 -0.6 -14.2 Yes
Slovakia 72 49 44 46 41 40 35 32 -3.3 -54.9 Yes
Slovenia 18 19 19 20 20 20 20 21 0.5 13.7 No
Spain 283 381 366 356 331 298 265 236 -0.7 -16.4 No
Sweden 73 69 60 66 63 64 55 51 -1.5 -29.8 Yes
Switzerland 53 52 52 54 53 52 52 51 -0.1 -3.2 No




186 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013


Table A.22 (cont’d)


1990 2000 2009 2010 2011b 2012b 2013c 2014c


Annual
growth rate
1990-2014


Cumulative
change


between 1990
and 2014


Reached
reduction


commitments
in 2012d


Turkey 187 297 370 402 435 449 464 484 4.0 158.7 -
Ukraine 930 396 365 383 381 374 378 377 -3.7 -59.4 Yes
United Kingdom 767 674 576 594 561 541 499 475 -2.0 -38.1 Yes
United States 6 161 7 072 6 588 6 802 6 460 6 132 5 813 5 658 -0.4 -8.2 No


All Annex I Parties 18 822 17 720 16 785 17 305 16 891 16 534 16 131 16 043 -0.7 -14.7


Source: UN/DESA, based on data of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) online database, available from http://
unfccc.int/ghg_data/ghg_data_unfccc/data_sources/items/3816.php (accessed on 8 November 2012).
Note: Based on the historical data provided by the UNFCCC for the GHG emissions of the Annex 1 Parties up to 2010, DESA/DPAD extrapolated the data
to 2013. 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


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 (2011-2014), using parameters derived from the time-series
regression model.


• In some cases, the extrapolated GHG/GDP intensity for individual countries was adjusted to take account of announced emission control measures
taken by Governments.


• The projected GHG emissions were arrived at using GDP estimates in accordance with the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013 baseline
forecast and the extrapolated GHG/GDP intensity.


a Without land use, land-use change and forestry.
b Estimated.
c Baseline scenario forecasts.
d Based on UN/DESA estimates of emission levels for 2012. There was no established commitments for Belarus, Malta and Turkey.






United Nations publication
Sales No. E.13.II.C.2 Copyright © United Nations, 2013
ISBN 978-92-1-109166-3 All rights reserved




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