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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
KEY ISSUES Context. Mauritania’s economy has benefited from macroeconomic stability and high growth in the context of contained inflation, responsible macro-policies, high iron ore prices and scaled-up public investment. However, economic growth has not translated into broadly improved living standards and is being hit by a sharp decline in iron ore prices. Outlook and Risks. Although the outlook remains favorable, it hinges heavily on stabilizing iron ore prices and expanding mining capacity. Downside risks to the outlook dominate because iron ore prices may decline further in response to excess supply in the global market. Key Policy Recommendations. With high risk of debt distress and deteriorating terms of trade, Mauritania’s fiscal policy needs to remain focused on consolidation to support fiscal sustainability. Over the medium term, a fiscal framework with a full-fledged fiscal rule will help prevent the boom–bust cycles that ensue from volatility in natural resource revenue, and with strengthened governance in managing mining wealth. The central bank should take advantage of the low-inflation environment to strengthen monetary policy formulation, gradually liberalize the foreign exchange market, and introduce liquidity support and banking resolution frameworks. The implementation of the recent FSAP recommendations should be pursued to enhance the stability of the financial sector stability. Economic diversification and inclusive growth are the foremost medium-term challenges. The authorities should accelerate structural reforms needed to raise Mauritania’s potential growth, create jobs, and improve living standards for all Mauritanians. Article VIII. A comprehensive analysis of the foreign exchange market identified exchange restrictions and multiple currency practices (MCPs) subject to Fund approval under Article VIII. Effective November 20, 2013, the exchange rate regime is classified as “stabilized” arrangement.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes various aspects of fiscal framework in the Republic of Mauritania. Mauritania needs to avoid pro-cyclical fiscal policies and adopt rules that guide medium-term fiscal sustainability. Fiscal policy has been responsible and focused on fiscal consolidation, but important challenges lie ahead linked to price volatility, exhaustibility of resources, and effective use of resources. Mauritania has important natural resource wealth, and its fiscal policy is shaped by considerations resulting from its reliance on resource revenues. Prospects for price shocks in the short term and significant mining expansion in the long term could pose significant challenges to fiscal policy management. The analysis of fiscal framework options reveals that a fiscal rule which targets a nonresource primary balance for long-term sustainability, designed to allow some frontloading of public spending on productive investment, would be appropriate for Mauritania under the assumption of a finite resource horizon. A fiscal rule targeting a structural resource balance would be appropriate in the scenario of long-lasting resources, possible under the assumption of favorable developments in the global commodity markets.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Mauritania successfully weathered several exogenous shocks during 2011–12. Political upheaval in neighboring countries has not had detrimental economic effects so far, but political uncertainty remains high. Resilient growth and a continued buildup of external and fiscal buffers characterize better-than-expected macroeconomic developments. Ambitious structural reforms are vital for generating broad-based inclusive growth, promoting employment, and reducing poverty. The authorities will continue to improve transparency and economic statistics. Policy actions laid the foundation for a sound macroeconomic performance, although important challenges and vulnerabilities remain.
Mr. Marc G Quintyn and Sophia Gollwitzer
This paper tests the theoretical framework developed by North, Wallis and Weingast (2009) on the transition from closed to open access societies. They posit that societies need to go through three doorsteps: (i) the establishment of rule of law among elites; (ii) the adoption of perpetually existing organizations; and (iii) the political control of the military. We identify indicators reflecting these doorsteps and graphically test the correlation between them and a set of political and economic variables. Finally, through Identification through Heteroskedasticity we test these relationships econometrically. The paper broadly confirms the logic behind the doorsteps as necessary steps in the transition to open access societies. The doorsteps influence economic and political processes, as well as each other, with varying intensity. We also identify income inequality as a potentially important force leading to social change.
International Monetary Fund
Depuis plusieurs années, le FMI publie un nombre croissant de rapports et autres documents couvrant l'évolution et les tendances économiques et financières dans les pays membres. Chaque rapport, rédigé par une équipe des services du FMI à la suite d'entretiens avec des représentants des autorités, est publié avec l'accord du pays concerné.
International Monetary Fund
The Islamic Republic of Mauritania’s macroeconomic developments have remained broadly positive, despite high international fuel and food prices and the near-term drought impact. Supported by a rapid growth in manufacturing industries, non-oil output is expected to grow by 4.8 percent in 2011 despite the drought-related downturn in agricultural production. A low price pass-through and a prudent monetary policy helped contain inflation. Booming mining exports helped narrow the current account deficit and boost foreign exchange reserves to unprecedented levels.
International Monetary Fund
Depuis plusieurs années, le FMI publie un nombre croissant de rapports et autres documents couvrant l'évolution et les tendances économiques et financières dans les pays membres. Chaque rapport, rédigé par une équipe des services du FMI à la suite d'entretiens avec des représentants des autorités, est publié avec l'accord du pays concerné.
International Monetary Fund
In this study, the ex post assessment (EPA) of longer program engagement with Mauritania is discussed. From this program, macroeconomic stability has been achieved. EPAs are intended to provide an opportunity to step back from continuing program relations to consider an analysis of the economic problems facing the country, review progress under IMF-supported programs, and draw forward-looking lessons for future IMF engagement. The newly designed poverty reduction strategy and ECF-supported program addresses the challenges identified by the EPA.