Context and risks. The pandemic may have a long-lasting impact on CEMAC’s growth potential, which is already curtailed by structural, governance, and transparency issues. The policy response from national and regional authorities in 2020 helped mitigate the economic fallout. CEMAC, however, experienced a severe recession in 2020, fiscal and external deficits increased, and public debt rose with some countries having debt sustainability issues. The region is facing an increasing dilemma between internal and external stability, as external reserves fell sharply between mid-2020 and March 2021. A moderate recovery in economic growth is expected from 2021. Supported by lower than previously projected total external financing of €4.8 billion over 2021–23, international reserves build-up would be slower than pre-pandemic. This outlook is highly uncertain and contingent on the evolution of the pandemic and the vaccination program. Other significant risks include delayed implementation of the ongoing or possible new Fund-supported programs, uncertainties in filling large external financing needs, oil prices, and a possible deterioration in the security situation.
The economic shock associated with the COVID-19 pandemic is set to have long-lasting effects on the economic outlook for CEMAC. The pandemic itself seems to be now broadly under control in the region, and the policy response from national and regional authorities, supported by significant emergency financing by the Fund, helped mitigate the initial economic fallout. With lower medium-term oil prices, the outlook projects that CEMAC’s fiscal and external adjustments will be slower than previously envisaged, entailing large external financing needs (around €6.6 billion for 2021–23). Gross international reserves will now reach the equivalent of 5 months of imports by 2025 vs. 2022 pre-pandemic, while net foreign assets (NFA) will be below previous expectations. Public debt would remain at elevated levels, albeit on a declining trend after the increase in 2020. This outlook is highly uncertain and contingent on the evolution of the pandemic and its impact on oil prices. Other significant risks include: delayed implementation of the ongoing or a second phase of new Fund-supported programs, difficulties in filling large external financing needs, and a deterioration in the security situation.
Sub-Saharan Africa is struggling to navigate an unprecedented health and economic crisis—one that, in just a few months, has jeopardized decades of hard-won development gains and upended the lives and livelihoods of millions.
Chad’s economy has been severely impacted by the twin Covid-19 pandemic and terms of trade shocks. A national lockdown to contain the spread of the virus, disruptions in supply chains, and a drop in international oil prices are curtailing economic activity and weakening the outlook. While the authorities’ policy response has been timely and proactive, the economic shock and containment policies are triggering a severe recession, resulting in significant social costs and urgent balance of payment and budget financing needs. These are estimated at 7.0 percent of non-oil GDP compared to 4.6 percent in IMF Country Report No. 20/134. The pandemic is unfolding in a context of rising regional and domestic insecurity and an already weak health care system, which are exacerbating Chad’s vulnerabilities.
This Selected Issues paper explores non-oil growth impediments in Chad to better understand why the Chadian economy has not sufficiently rebounded from the crisis. It discusses how the economy is held back by crisis legacies such as high public debt and a fragile banking sector and how Chad continues to face long standing structural weaknesses which hamper potential growth. Three years of recession in Chad have left important legacies that continue to affect fiscal policy and performance in the non-oil private sector and the banking sector. Public domestic debt more than doubled with the crisis. As the Chadian economy was hit by the oil shock, while dramatically cutting spending, the government had to rely on large domestic financing to cushion the impact of the shock. Although the government started paying arrears, the remaining stock is very large and presents a drag on the non-oil economy. The paper ends with a discussion of how Chad’s economic potential will require reforms to address those weaknesses to foster economic diversification.
This paper discusses Chad’s 2019 Article IV Consultation, Fourth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement, Request for Modification of Performance Criteria, and Financing Assurances Review. Article IV discussions focused on policy priorities to deal with legacies from the crisis and the longstanding structural weaknesses. Reducing government domestic debt and domestic arrears would address key impediments to growth that persist from the crisis. Sustained efforts are needed to increase non-oil revenues, improve the efficiency and quality of public spending, and reduce the vulnerability of the fiscal position to oil price fluctuations. Performance under the ECF-supported program has been broadly satisfactory with continued improvement in the fiscal position and progress in implementing structural reforms in spite recent delays. Overall economic activity strengthened in 2018; however, further reform efforts are needed to support the recovery in the non-oil sector and improve social conditions. Chad’s program is supported by the implementation of policies and reforms by the regional institutions which are critical to its success.
This paper presents Chad’s Requests for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility, Extension of the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement, and Rephasing of Access. In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak, the authorities have taken strong measures to halt the community spread of the virus. They are also scaling up health-related spending and are considering a set of economic measures to support households and businesses. Given the sudden nature of the shocks and their widespread impact, the authorities will be temporarily relaxing the fiscal deficit to allow for the scaling up of health care spending and to accommodate the impact of the sharp drop in oil prices. In order to safeguard debt sustainability, they remain committed to the medium-term fiscal path and will implement the needed adjustment measures as soon as the current crisis abates.
This paper highlights Chad’s Fifth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement and Financing Assurances Review. Chad’s performance under the Fund’s ECF-supported program has been broadly satisfactory, reflecting strong commitment by the authorities despite a challenging environment, including security concerns and a tense social situation. Good progress on the structural reform agenda has been made, despite some delays. Looking ahead, it is essential that the authorities continue to pursue prudent fiscal policy, particularly in the run up to the upcoming elections, create enough fiscal space for increased social and development spending, and pay down domestic debt and arrears. Chad’s program is supported by the implementation of supportive policies and reforms by the regional institutions in the areas of foreign exchange regulations and monetary policy framework and to support an increase in regional net foreign assets, which are critical to the program’s success.
Mr. Mario de Zamaroczy, Mr. Vincent Fleuriet, and Mr. Jose G Gijon
This paper discusses possible reserve management approaches in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). The paper looks beyond the region’s current oil crisis and proposes a new approach to international reserve management in the medium term.