The completion of the Second Review Under the Poverty Reduction Growth Facility Arrangement was delayed to address important governance and transparency concerns. Macroeconomic performance was strong in the year 2005. Policy discussions focused on improving macroeconomic management against the background of continued high oil prices and efforts to further strengthen governance. The medium-term economic outlook is more favorable than expected, owing to higher oil price projections. The main objective of the fiscal policy is to strengthen the public sector balance sheet.
This paper presents Nigeria’s Request for a Two-Year Policy Support Instrument to support its reform efforts. All three tiers of government have adhered to a conservative oil price-based fiscal rule, resulting in large overall budget surpluses and a significant buildup of international reserves. The authorities have also initiated a broad structural reform program. GDP growth has been robust, benefiting from the improved macroeconomic environment and policy initiatives to spur agricultural production; and the medium-term growth outlook is favorable.
This paper reviews the request from the São Tomé and Príncipe authorities for a Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). In 2004, the economy continued to grow at a moderate pace, but inflation increased to 15 percent by year-end, as bank credit to the private sector rose sharply and the government loosened fiscal policy. The proposed program for 2005–07 aims at correcting macroeconomic imbalances and sets the conditions for sustained strong growth. Real GDP growth is envisaged to slow down in 2005 in response to tight financial policies.
The staff report for the First Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility on the Republic of Congo highlights economic development and fiscal policy. Reflecting the rise in oil prices, the fiscal and current account balance position improved significantly. Congo’s medium-term prospects have improved significantly because of the rise in oil prices, notwithstanding the downward revision of oil production. In the banking sector, the government’s key objectives are to promote greater market discipline and improve the governance framework as regards bank loans. Although Congo’s recent progress provides a good basis for continued program implementation, important risks remain.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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This paper analyzes requests from Chad authorities for a Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and Additional Interim Assistance Under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. The authorities made progress in implementing structural reforms in 2004. In particular, they took corrective measures for the two structural benchmarks missed under the sixth review of the previous PRGF arrangement. They also continued efforts to meet structural conditions for the completion point under the enhanced HIPC Initiative.
This paper reviews Congo’s Performance Under the Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) and Request for a Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility. Improvements in the political environment and an increased focus on economic management since late 2002 have already led to stronger economic growth and lower inflation. The 2004 SMP produced good results. All the program’s quantitative budgetary and financial indicators were met. Major progress was made in improving oil sector transparency with the widespread dissemination of information on the Internet, which is particularly noteworthy and exemplary among countries in Africa.
This paper examines Congo’s 2004 Article IV Consultation and New Staff-Monitored Program (SMP). In the context of improved security, the pace of economic activity in the non-oil sector has increased. Non-oil real GDP increased by about 10 percent per year on average during 2000–03. Consumer price inflation decelerated significantly in the postwar period. The fiscal position in 2003 improved from the exceptionally poor performance of 2002, but the underlying fiscal effort was weak relative to the 2003 budget.