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International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
As part of a five-year project of the Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative (EDDI) 2 Government Finance Statistics (GFS) Module on improving GFS and public-sector debt statistics in selected African countries, a mission was conducted in Harare, Zimbabwe during April 15–26, 2019. This mission was a follow up on a 2018 GFS technical assistance (TA) mission under the EDDI 2. The mission’s objective was to review progress made and assisting with outstanding statistical issues that are important for sound policymaking in Zimbabwe. Some of the key outstanding issues raised by the IMF African Department prior to the mission were, the classification of government subsidies to state owned enterprises (SOEs); the identification of extrabudgetary units (EBUs) and classification of their operations; and the correct classification of other government transactions in line with a Government Finance Statistics Manual (GFSM) 2014 framework.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper presents the Technical Assistance report National Accounts Mission in Botswana. As a result of recommendations made during the previous mission, Statistics Botswana (SB) have revised the release date for the rebase of national accounts estimates from March 2020 to December 2020 and updated the workplan accordingly. SB has made progress in finalizing the statistical frame and associated weights to compile gross value added (GVA) estimates for industries in the economic survey and estimates of GVA for the other industries. Once the business frame is determined, SB will have to reconcile the establishments that responded to the economic census ensuring that there is good coverage of industries as well as size of establishments. The previous mission strongly recommended that the release date for the rebased estimates be revised given the workload in rebasing the national accounts. The two temporary staff that have been with the national accounts for approximately 18 months as reported by the previous mission have been extended for a further two years. This is very positive news as they demonstrated a good understanding of the national accounts and a willingness to build their capacity.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with South Africa discusses that subdued private investment and exports, and increased uncertainty have depressed growth and worsened social indicators. State-owned enterprises’ (SOEs) risks are materializing, triggering government bailouts of Eskom and administrative intervention in other entities. High fiscal deficits have boosted debt. Nonresident investors are shedding equities and local currency bonds but showing appetite for foreign currency sovereign bonds amid supportive global financing conditions. The external position is moderately weaker than implied by fundamentals and desirable policies. Inflation has slowed to around the mid-point of the target band, aided by one-off factors, but inflation expectations are higher. Banks are sound, albeit with pockets of vulnerabilities. In the absence of fiscal space, a gradual and growth-friendly fiscal consolidation and increased spending efficiency are needed. The authorities should establish a credible debt anchor to stabilize debt in the medium term. Given the structural nature of the growth slowdown, the consolidation should be accompanied by reforms that reduce the cost of doing business and boost private investment.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance (TA) report focuses on four key work areas which may lead to improvement of Government Finance Statistics (GFS) for fiscal analysis, support policy making decisions in Zambia, and improve African Department surveillance. The mission found out that the Coordinating Committee, recommended in the previous TA mission, was not yet established. The mission reviewed progress on the legal and institutional arrangements supporting the compilation of GFS as a follow up from recommendations of the previous GFS TA mission and found that the legislation reforms were on track, especially regarding the Public Finance Act. The report also found that Central Statistical Office (CSO) is working on the revision of the Statistics Act to follow the new strategy for National Development of Statistics. For sustainability and consistency purposes, the mission recommended that the CSO staff produce a GFS manual for compilation and dissemination of GFS data.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that high levels of unemployment, poverty, and inequality persist in Lesotho despite its faster growth compared with regional peers over the last decade. GDP growth is expected to be about 3 percent in FY2017/18, below the average of 4.1 percent for the past decade, and driven by mining and agriculture. Over the next three years, GDP growth is expected to be led by mining and construction related to the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase II. A steep decline in Southern African Customs Union transfers, a major source of government revenue, will result in a fiscal deficit that is likely to exceed 6 percent of GDP for the second year.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the technical advice and recommendations given by the IMF mission to the authorities of Uganda regarding mapping of source data for savings and credit cooperatives to the IMF’s Standardized Report Form 2SR. The IMF mission’s recommendations are aimed at improving the collection and compilation of monetary statistics for other depository and financial corporations based on the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (MFSM). The compilation of monetary statistics and the expansion of its institutional coverage based on the MFSM will improve data quality and usefulness for policy analysis.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights the recovery of Botswana’s economic activity in 2016: real GDP growth was 4.3 percent. Mineral production has remained subdued, but diamond sales rebounded as conditions in the global market began to improve. Nonmining activities also expanded, supported by accommodative fiscal and monetary policies and reforms in the electricity sector. Year-over-year inflation has remained stable near the lower band of the Bank of Botswana’s inflation objective range of 3–6 percent; the 12-month rate of inflation was 3.5 percent in May 2017. The fiscal position has also improved as the deficit narrowed from 4.6 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2015/16 to about 1 percent of GDP in 2016/17.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that South Africa’s vulnerabilities have become more pronounced and are set to increase further unless economic growth revives. Following near-standstill in economic activity in 2016, growth is projected to increase to 1.0 percent in 2017 and 1.2 percent in 2018. The current account deficit is projected to decline to 3 percent of GDP in 2017, boosted by mining and agricultural exports. Consumer price inflation recently returned below 6 percent, owing in part to the easing of the drought, and is projected to remain marginally below the upper threshold of the 3–6 percent target band for the remainder of 2017 and in 2018.