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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The 2023 Article IV Consultation discusses that Antigua and Barbuda’s economy continues to bounce back from the sharp contraction experienced during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Real activity is expected to return to prepandemic levels this year, with growth projected at 5.7 percent, driven by a rebound in tourism and construction activity. The strong recovery from the pandemic provides a window of opportunity to decisively address Antigua and Barbuda’s fiscal and external imbalances, build buffers, and invest in resilience. Higher revenues and expenditure restraint should reduce the public debt and fiscal financing needs further. The social safety net should provide more targeted support to the vulnerable. Stronger fiscal institutions are needed to enhance the credibility of fiscal plans. There is scope to improve the oversight and regulation of credit unions.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The 2023 Article IV Consultation analyses that the Grenada’ tourism-dependent economy continued to recover from the pandemic amidst rising energy and food prices. Growth is estimated to have reached 6.4 percent in 2022, driven by a tourism rebound and construction activity. Inflation rose moderately to 2.9 percent by end-2022, as the authorities’ policy response dampened the pass through from rising global food and fuel prices. Public debt is now back on a downward trend. The financial sector is well capitalized and liquid although nonperforming loans (NPLs) of credit unions have risen. The government is committed to a return to the fiscal rules in 2023, after triggering the escape clause in 2020–22 to address the fallout of the pandemic. It planned to amend the Fiscal Responsibility Law this year to best support the country’s sustainable development. The government is seeking international support to facilitate the implementation of its Disaster Resilience Strategy and a transition toward renewable energy, critical for enhancing resilience to natural disasters and economic competitiveness.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
After two consecutive years of GDP decline driven by external shocks, Paraguay’s economy rebounded in 2021. In 2019, drought and flooding reduced economic growth to -0.4 percent. In 2020, the impact of the pandemic on the secondary and tertiary sectors was partly compensated by a rebound of agriculture and an extensive emergency package, and GDP fell by only 0.8 percent. Growth rebounded to 4.2 percent in 2021, but heatwaves and a severe drought decelerated the recovery and have limited 2022 growth prospects, though a recovery is projected for 2023 and the medium-term. While the loss of agricultural export revenue is affecting Paraguay’s balance of payments in 2022, the external position in 2021 was stronger than the level implied by fundamentals and desirable policies.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Grenada’s economy was hit hard by the pandemic, with a decline in real output of 14 percent in 2020 from both a collapse of tourism-related activities and the suspension of in-person classes at Saint George’s University (SGU). Growth in 2021 is estimated to have partly recovered to 5.6 percent, driven by construction and agriculture. The authorities’ policy response helped mitigate the pandemic’s impact through containment measures, increased health and social spending, and an expanded public investment program (including to build resilience to natural disasters). Central government debt rose to 70 percent of GDP in 2021 (from 59 percent in 2019) and the external position has worsened. The financial sector has so far weathered the crisis well.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Colombia’s economy rebounded strongly in 2021 with 10.6 percent growth led by pent-up domestic demand, notably private consumption. Around 66 percent of the population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as of end-February and the economy continues to reopen more fully. While GDP has already reached pre-pandemic levels, employment has trailed in its recovery and macroeconomic imbalances have emerged. Amid strong demand, supply constraints, and rising commodity prices, rising inflation exceeded the upper limit of the central bank’s tolerance range in 2021. With demand-led growth and higher import prices, the current account deficit widened to 5¾ percent of GDP. Under staff’s assumptions for the evolution of the pandemic, above-potential growth around 5½ percent is expected in 2022, led by robust household consumption and a continued recovery of investment and exports. External vulnerabilities remain elevated with high external financing needs and tighter financial conditions. External risks remain elevated and an intensification of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine may impart considerable volatility in financial and commodity markets. Domestic risks are also tilted to the downside—including uncertainty around the evolution of the pandemic, political uncertainty with national elections this year, and slower implementation of the infrastructure agenda and peace accords.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Sudan, with the support of the international community, is implementing an ambitious reform program to address major macroeconomic imbalances and support sustainable, inclusive growth. A new transitional government was established in the wake of the 2019 revolution with the mandate to carry out sweeping reforms to reverse decades of economic and social decline. The government is pursuing a transformational reform agenda focused on: (i) achieving internal peace based on inclusion, regional equity, and justice; (ii) stabilizing the economy and correcting large macroeconomic imbalances; (iii) providing a foundation for future rapid growth, development, and poverty reduction; and (iv) improving governance and transparency.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
At the request of the Central Bank of Uruguay (BCU), and with the support of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) Western Hemisphere Department (WHD), a monetary and financial statistics (MFS) technical assistance (TA) mission from the IMF’s Statistics Department (STA) visited Montevideo during February 3-14, 2020. The main objectives of the mission were to: (i) review available source data for other financial corporations (OFC); in particular, insurance corporations (IC), pension funds (PF), and credit administration companies (CAC); and (ii) compile standardized monetary statistics for OFC (report form SRF 4SR) in line with the 2016 Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual and Compilation Guide (MFSMCG). The officials met during the mission are listed in Appendix I.