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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Suriname discusses that Suriname continues to grow steadily with low inflation. However, there has been little progress in implementing urgently needed fiscal reforms, and the fiscal position is likely to continue to weaken in the coming year. The consultation focused on policies to bolster the economy in the medium term. These include fiscal measures to enhance revenues and efficiency and lower expenditures, policies to improve the monetary and financial sector supervision frameworks, and structural policies to boost potential growth. Advances have been made in developing the central bank’s monetary tools and facilities; however, more is needed to strengthen the credibility of the monetary framework. The banking sector faces important downside risks and there are gaps in the central bank’s supervisory and resolution framework. It is advised to put the public debt on a sustainable path. A significant reduction in the fiscal deficit could be achieved by implementing a value-added tax, curtailing electricity subsidies except to the poor, and improving public financial management.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on Suriname analyzes exchange rate pass through in Suriname. While the previous studies exclusively focused on the bilateral exchange rate against the US dollar, this study, in addition, estimates exchange rate passthrough using the nominal effective exchange rate. This is crucial given the strong presence of euros in the economy due to its historic connections with the Netherlands and French Guyana being one of its neighbors. The study is the first to investigate how various subcomponents of consumer price index respond to exchange rate variations differently for Suriname. The results suggest a cumulative exchange rate passthrough of around 0.4 (0.6) over six months and 0.6 (0.7) over one year for the entire sample of 1980-2019 (2000-19). A more systemic analysis suggests that the exchange rate passthrough has been declining and becoming more short-lived in recent years.
Mr. Serhan Cevik and Tianle Zhu
Monetary independence is at the core of the macroeconomic policy trilemma stating that an independent monetary policy, a fixed exchange rate and free movement of capital cannot exist at the same time. This study examines the relationship between monetary autonomy and inflation dynamics in a panel of Caribbean countries over the period 1980–2017. The empirical results show that monetary independence is a significant factor in determining inflation, even after controlling for macroeconomic developments. In other words, greater monetary policy independence, measured as a country’s ability to conduct its own monetary policy for domestic purposes independent of external monetary influences, leads to lower consumer price inflation. This relationship—robust to alternative specifications and estimation methodologies—has clear policy implications, especially for countries that maintain pegged exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar with a critical bearing on monetary autonomy.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues explores ways for strengthening the current fiscal framework in Suriname and considers options for a new fiscal anchor. The paper provides an overview of mineral natural resources and their importance for the budget. It also lays out the current framework for fiscal planning and budget execution in Suriname and discusses the analytical underpinnings of modernizing it to make it more robust. The paper also presents estimates of long-term sustainability benchmarks based on the IMF’s policy toolkit for resource-rich developing countries. Suriname’s fiscal framework can be strengthened through a fiscal anchor rooted in the non-resource primary balance. Given the size of fiscal adjustment required to bring the non-resource primary balance in line with the long-term sustainability benchmark, a substantial transition period is needed to implement it. The IMF Staff’s adjustment scenario—designed to put public debt on the downward path—closes the current gap by less than half, implying that adjustment would need to continue beyond the 5-year horizon.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Suriname is recovering from the deep recession of 2015-16. Growth has turned positive, inflation has reduced to single digits, real interest rates have turned positive, and the external position has on balance strengthened. Nonetheless, the economy remains heavily dependent on the mineral sector, and faces fiscal, monetary, and banking sector vulnerabilities.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report on Suriname constitutes technical advice provided by the staff of the IMF to the authorities of Suriname in response to their request for technical assistance. The mission discussed issues concerning the consumer price index (CPI), the producer price index (PPI) and export price index (XPI). On the CPI, the mission reviewed current practices and provided some recommendations. The main recommendations are to switch from a Dutot to a Jevons index on the elementary aggregate level and to start publishing the CPI according to the Classification of Individual Consumption according to Purpose on a class level provided the number of items permits. On the planned PPI and XPI, the discussion focused on available data sources and next steps for developing a PPI for Suriname. Reliable price statistics are essential for informed economic policymaking by the authorities. They also provide the private sector, foreign investors, rating agencies, and the public in general with important inputs in their decision-making, while informing both domestic economic policy and IMF surveillance.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses measures required to improve the national accounts of Suriname, including consistency with the System of National Accounts 2008. The General Bureau of Statistics (GBS) is expected to implement the recommendations of the IMF mission progressively over a five-year period. Given the staff time wasted on data entry and potential transcription errors, the GBS should give high priority to requesting the Ministry of Finance to provide the Government accounts data in Excel format for 2015 onward. With the support of the Finance Minister, the GBS also needs to implement a formal agreement with the Tax Department to share tax registration data, company income tax returns and sales tax returns.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper mainly discusses the IMF-supported program aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability and confidence in Suriname’s economy. The proposed 24-month Stand-By Arrangement (265 percent of quota, or SDR 342 million) aims to support Suriname’s adjustment to the fall in commodity export prices and restore external and fiscal sustainability. It foresees an improvement of the fiscal balance by 7.4 percent of GDP, which would reverse the rise in the government debt-to-GDP ratio; restore foreign reserves to adequate levels—four months of imports; and reflect a monetary policy stance calibrated to reduce inflation to single digits. It also strengthens the foundations for private-sector growth.