This paper discusses Burkina Faso’s Request for a Three-Year Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The program aims to maintain macroeconomic stability while promoting sustainable and inclusive growth. Under the program, fiscal space for priority security, social, and investment spending would be supported by strengthening revenue mobilization and containing current spending, especially on wages. Efforts to improve investment selection and execution would achieve more with the resources available. Prudent public financial and debt management along with energy sector reforms would ensure fiscal sustainability and mitigate fiscal risks. Structural reforms would improve the business environment and promote diversification. The IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for an ECF arrangement.
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) play an important role in Emerging Europe’s economies,
notably in the energy and transport sectors. Based on a new firm-level dataset, this paper
reviews the SOE landscape, assesses SOE performance across countries and vis-à-vis
private firms, and evaluates recent SOE governance reform experience in 11 Emerging
European countries, as well as Sweden as a benchmark. Profitability and efficiency of
resource allocation of SOEs lag those of private firms in most sectors, with substantial
cross-country variation. Poor SOE performance raises three main risks: large and risky
contingent liabilities could stretch public finances; sizeable state ownership of banks
coupled with poor governance could threaten financial stability; and negative productivity
spillovers could affect the economy at large. SOE governance frameworks are partly weak
and should be strengthened along three lines: fleshing out a consistent ownership policy;
giving teeth to financial oversight; and making SOE boards more professional.
Background: In February 2014, the Executive Board approved a three-year Extended Arrangement with access equivalent to SDR 295.42 million (492.4 percent of quota). So far, four purchases totaling the equivalent of SDR 123.1 million have been made, and another one equivalent to SDR 57.76 million will be made available upon completion of the fifth and sixth reviews. Recent Economic Developments: Economic recovery is underway, but growth remains below potential and inflationary pressures are limited. Nonperforming loans (NPLs) have started declining but are still high, and credit growth remains sluggish despite substantial monetary easing.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper examines the implications of lower crude oil prices on Malaysia’s economy. Although Malaysia’s net oil exports are now very small as a share of GDP, its gas exports are sizeable. The paper provides some background on the structure of energy production and trade in Malaysia, and presents results from empirical analysis of the oil prices on Malaysia’s growth. It is concluded that the decline in prices is likely to have a net negative impact on growth, even though the recent decline in oil prices partially reflects supply considerations.
KEY ISSUES Economic background and outlook. Tanzania has enjoyed strong and stable growth, projected to remain at 7 percent next year and in the medium term. Inflation is at 6 percent, gradually converging to the authorities’ 5 percent medium-term objective. The external current account deficit remains among the largest in the region, at 14 percent of GDP this year. Fiscal revenue shortfalls and overruns in domestically-financed spending led the deficit to rise to 6.8 percent of GDP in 2012/13. Revenue shortfalls in 2013/14 compared to the budget approved by parliament have prompted the authorities to undertake expenditure cuts during the fiscal year in an effort to meet their 5 percent of GDP target. Based on the debt sustainability analysis, Tanzania remains at low risk of debt distress. Recent program engagement. Tanzania concluded its final review under a Standby Credit Facility (SCF) arrangement, together with its Article IV consultations, on April 25, 2014. The SCF expired on April 30, 2014. Key challenges. Over the next three years, policymakers will face several challenges, including the following: • Step up needed investment in infrastructure while protecting critical social spending. These objectives will need to be pursued following careful prioritization, to preserve government debt sustainability. • Prepare for natural gas. If recent discoveries of sizeable offshore natural gas deposits are confirmed as commercially viable, sizable fiscal revenues would need to be managed to bring benefits to all Tanzanians. Against this background, the authorities are requesting a three-year PSI to be in place by the start of FY2014/15. They see the PSI as an appropriate instrument to underpin the close policy dialogue with staff, provide a positive signal to donors and markets, and safeguard policy discipline. Staff supports the authorities’ request for a PSI.
KEY ISSUES Background, outlook, and risks. Economic growth is projected to remain strong at 7 percent next year and in the medium term. Inflation is at 6 percent, gradually converging to the authorities’ 5 percent medium term objective. The external current account deficit remains among the largest in the region, at 14 percent of GDP this year. Fiscal revenue shortfalls and overruns in domestically-financed spending led the deficit to rise to 6.8 percent of GDP in 2012/13. Revenue shortfalls in 2013/14 compared to the budget approved by parliament have prompted the authorities to undertake expenditure cuts during the fiscal year in an effort to meet their 5 percent of GDP target. Based on the debt sustainability analysis, Tanzania remains at low risk of debt distress. A major upside risk for the long term, not yet incorporated in the baseline projections, relates to sizable finds of offshore natural gas that, if confirmed as commercially viable, could bring in large revenues during the next decade. Program implementation. All performance criteria under the program were met, except a sizable breach of the performance criterion on net domestic financing at end-June 2013. The structural benchmark on submission to parliament of the VAT reform for November 2013 was missed. The authorities have taken corrective measures. Macroeconomic and structural policies. Preparations for the draft 2014/15 budget are under way. A VAT reform aimed at improving efficiency and reducing exemptions is ready for submission to parliament prior to the beginning of the new fiscal year. A priority in the next few years is to establish the institutional and policy framework to ensure that, if natural gas revenues materialize, they will bring benefits to all Tanzanians. Staff recommends completion of the third (and final) review under the SCF arrangement and approval of the authorities’ requests for a waiver for nonobservance of a performance criterion and for completion of the financing assurances review.
The Article IV consultation with Senegal was completed by the Executive Board on December 10, 2012. In concluding the 2012 Article IV consultation, executive directors commended Senegal’s satisfactory program implementation despite the challenging internal and external environments. They stressed that although a moderate pickup in growth is expected in the near term, the economy remains exposed to substantial risks. Directors welcomed the authorities’ continued commitment to their program to ensure macroeconomic stability, strengthen the economy’s resilience to shocks, foster higher and sustainable growth, and reduce poverty. Directors noted that, while Senegal still faces a low risk of debt distress, high fiscal deficits and rising debt ratios need to be addressed.
The Fourth Review Under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) for Uganda highlights that the PSI-supported program is on track. All end-December 2011 quantitative assessment criteria were met, as were most of the structural benchmarks. The stance of macroeconomic policy remains appropriate. Monetary tightening, initiated in July 2011 in response to rising inflation, has been effective in reducing demand and price pressures in the economy. High interest rates supported by tighter fiscal policy have strengthened the currency and raised reserve levels.