International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Context. Economic activity strengthened somewhat in 2014 while the external current account deficit worsened primarily as a result of Baha Mar construction-related imports. The authorities continue to make substantial progress on fiscal consolidation with successful VAT implementation in January 2015 setting the stage for continued improvements in the fiscal position. Lower oil prices helped keep inflation anchored in 2014. Still, notwithstanding the capital flow management (CFM) regime, international reserves remain low. Key policy advice: Despite the U.S. recovery and the imminent opening of the Baha Mar resort, the growth outlook remains well below pre-global crisis levels, and strong and timely measures should be implemented to strengthen competitiveness and raise potential growth. In addition, rebuilding fiscal and external buffers will be essential for sustaining macroeconomic stability: • Reigniting strong and inclusive medium-term growth. Structural reforms are needed to address longstanding competiveness issues including labor market impediments to growth. Energy sector reforms could substantially lower energy costs, boost productivity and facilitate economic diversification in the medium term. A diversification strategy should explore the potential for increasing value added in the tourism sector, including through deepening linkages with agriculture. • Rebuilding fiscal and external buffers. Notwithstanding the CFM regime, the fixed exchange rate peg constrains monetary policy, leaving fiscal policy as the main instrument for macroeconomic stabilization. Steadfast implementation of the VAT and expenditure rationalization in the context of a medium-term budgetary framework, together with public enterprise reforms, would help rebuild fiscal buffers and support international reserves. • Preserving financial sector stability. The pre-crisis credit boom has left the banking system with an overhang of non-performing loans, which will likely continue to generate headwinds for the economy. Despite this, the banking system remains very well capitalized and liquid. Measures should be put in place to resolve the debt overhang while further strengthening the regulatory and supervisory framework.
The Kyrgyz Republic’s request for an 18-month Arrangement under the Exogenous Shocks Facility is discussed. International commodity prices continued to rise through much of 2008, resulting in a surge in inflation to more than 30 percent by mid-year and a widening of the current account deficit. A major shortfall in domestic hydropower capacity owing to low water levels is causing power shortages and necessitates the import of larger volumes of fuel and electricity, increasing the current account deficit further.
Yemen is confronted with a range of difficult economic challenges. The reduction in oil revenues in the past year has affected the Yemeni economy through a set of direct and indirect channels. The loss of oil revenue contributed to a record fiscal deficit of about 10 percent of GDP in 2009, financed in large part by the central bank. The balance of payments was also put under considerable strain. The identified measures are home-grown and designed to have a long-lasting impact on the structure of the budget.
This paper focuses on the Fourth Review for Sierra Leone under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility. Program performance in the second half of 2008 was mixed. Although economic activity slowed in the last quarter, real GDP grew at an estimated 5.5 percent for the year. A key challenge is to mobilize more domestic revenue by strengthening tax administration and broadening the tax base. The authorities are also moving to make the National Revenue Authority more efficient and raise taxpayer compliance.
The global financial crisis unmasked Serbia’s unsustainable pre-crisis growth model. Looking back, the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) provided effective insurance against a financial meltdown, initiated the needed re-balancing of the economy, but could not prevent large job losses. Looking ahead, the transition to a more sustainable growth model remains incomplete and fragile. The export-led recovery is expected to continue picking up steam, but labor market conditions will remain difficult. The current account deficit is expected to remain relatively high, requiring significant capital inflows to maintain external balance.
This staff report discusses Seychelles 2013 Article IV Consultation, Seventh Review Under the Extended Arrangement and Request for Modification of Performance Criterion. The repayment of domestic debt, a preference for foreign financing, and shallow domestic financial markets have resulted in significant structural rupee liquidity in the banking system. Tourism has been the main driver of growth, but there is a tension with the number of tourists the islands can absorb. Despite the challenging global environment, tourist arrivals have grown strongly, with diversification toward nontraditional markets more than offsetting stalling European arrivals. The Seychellois rupee is broadly in line with medium-term fundamentals, and tourism remains competitive among peers.
This 2010 Article IV Consultation highlights that growth in Peru decelerated sharply in 2009, owing to the global financial crisis, but remained positive at about 1 percent for the year, despite a few months in negative territory. Thanks to the strong buffers built in recent years, Peru was able to implement a significant monetary and fiscal policy response, which helped to avoid a credit crunch, support domestic demand, and sustain employment. The central bank injected substantial liquidity in the financial system and lowered the policy rate to an historic low of 1.25 percent.