Rwanda’s medium-term outlook is positive, supported by the authorities’ large policy package to respond to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and their continued commitment to the PCI in a challenging environment. Economic recovery is underway with easing of restrictions supported by faster vaccination rates since July. GDP growth is projected at 10.2 percent in 2021 and inflation remained subdued. But Rwanda’s remarkable economic and social progress over the last two decades faces a significant setback, with poverty, unemployment, and gender inequalities on the rise. These pandemic scars, if not addressed, risk reversing hard-won economic and social gains. With a large share of the population still unvaccinated and the emergence of new variants, risks to the outlook remain elevated.
Kenya’s medium-term economic outlook remains positive, supported by the authorities’ continued firm commitment to their economic program amidst a complex environment. Economic recovery is well underway, but Kenya’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have suffered significant setbacks, and poverty has increased. The authorities see the program as providing essential support for sound fiscal management ahead of the 2022 elections, reinforcing their multi-year fiscal consolidation plan to reduce debt vulnerabilities and preserve priority social and development spending.
After two years of protracted political turmoil and delays in reforms, the authorities put in place in 2021 an ambitious fiscal consolidation program to ensure debt sustainability while creating fiscal space to address vast developmental needs. In late July, a 9-month SMP was approved to support the government’s reform program aimed at stabilizing the economy, strengthening governance, and building a sound track-record of policy implementation towards an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. Guinea-Bissau is a fragile state with considerable needs to address the COVID-19 pandemic and developmental challenges. A Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) disbursement of SDR 14.2 million (50 percent of quota) was approved in January to provide urgent financing to support critical spending in health and catalyze additional donor resources. The RCF disbursement, the recent SDR 27.2 million allocation (96 percent of quota) and reforms underpinned by the SMP are contributing to address the adverse impact of the pandemic, improve government spending transparency and mitigate debt vulnerabilities, and create conditions that would help restore donor confidence and catalyze much-needed concessional financing.
Lucyna Gornicka, Ms. Sumiko Ogawa, and Ms. TengTeng Xu
To assess the resilience of India’s corporate sector against COVID-19-related shocks, we conducted a series of stress tests using firm-level corporate balance sheet data. The results reveal a differential impact across sectors, with the most severe impact on contact-intensive services, construction, and manufacturing sectors, and micro, small, and medium enterprises. On policy impact, the results highlight that temporary policy measures have been particularly effective in supporting firm liquidity, but the impact on solvency is less pronounced. On financial sector balance sheets, we found that public sector banks are more vulnerable to stress in the corporate sector, partly due to their weaker starting capital positions. When considering forward-looking multiperiod growth scenarios, we find that the overall corporate performance will depend on the speed of recovery. A slower pace of recovery could lead to persistently high levels of debt at risk, especially in some services and industrial sectors.