Guinea Bissau is a fragile state with a long history of political instability. Poverty is high with about 67 percent of the population living below the poverty line of US$1.90 per day. The economy relies heavily on the production and exports of unprocessed cashew nuts, making most households highly vulnerable to cashew nut price shocks and climate change risks.
A technical assistance (TA) mission on external sector statistics (ESS) visited Guinea-Bissau during February 3 to 7, 2020. The mission was conducted in Bissau at the request of the National Directorate for Guinea-Bissau of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO-DNGB). The mission assisted in improving the quality of ESS. This was the fourth and final mission under the JSA-AFR project for improving ESS in 17 francophone countries of Central and West Africa, financed by the government of Japan and administered by the IMF.
The economic outlook has substantially deteriorated since the Second Review, driven by the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global economic activity and oil prices. The adverse impact of the shock on the Angolan economy, which is highly dependent on oil (95 percent of exports, two-thirds of government revenue), adds to the hardship from five consecutive years of recession. Rapid exchange rate depreciation and the decline in oil prices have pushed the public debt-to-GDP ratio to a very high level. However, continued fiscal retrenchment, prudent debt management, and debt reprofiling are expected to improve debt dynamics progressively.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The pandemic continues to spread in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but economic activity is picking up. After a deep contraction in April, activity started recovering in May, as lockdowns were gradually eased, consumers and firms adapted to social distancing, some countries introduced sizable policy support, and global activity strengthened.
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.
The fiscal challenges of Brazil’s states and municipalities can have a significant impact on the economy and the provision of core public services. The subnational governments (SNGs) account for a large share of public expenditures, including public investment. As such, their fiscal problems can hamper the economic recovery and the public finances of the federal government. In recent years, many states and municipalities have been struggling with high debt or severe liquidity pressures. Some have already defaulted on part of their debt and are running payment arrears (wages and suppliers). The federal government has already provided a substantial package of financial support through debt service relief.
The pandemic is taking a heavy toll on the fragile island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe. Tourist arrivals came to an abrupt halt in mid-March, externally financed projects are being delayed, and supply shipments are disrupted. In response to the local outbreak, emergency confinement measures have been in place since March to contain infection. The authorities began phasing out these measures in late June, aiming for a full reopening of the economy by end-July. A disbursement supported by the Rapid Credit Facility (SDR 9.028 million) was approved in April 2020. The authorities request an augmentation of the ECF program by 10 percent of quota (SDR 1.48 million).
The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll on São Tomé and Príncipe.
Tourist arrivals came to an abrupt halt in mid-March, externally financed projects are
being delayed, and international supply-chains are disrupted. The challenging
circumstances are further affected by the fragility of the economy and a weak health
The economic outlook has deteriorated since the First Review. Real GDP is
expected to contract in 2019, driven by lower-than-expected oil production. Disinflation
is expected to halt, inter alia because of increases in regulated prices. Beyond 2019,
lower oil prices and slower recovery in oil production are expected to weigh on oil
exports and put pressure on the external current account and international reserves.
While the rapid depreciation of the exchange rate has led to a sizable increase in the
debt-to-GDP ratio, the ongoing fiscal retrenchment will help shield public expenditure
from oil-price volatility and reverse the public debt trend.