International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
With ECCU economies slowly emerging from the pandemic with scars, the impact of the war in Ukraine is a setback to the nascent recovery. Higher food and energy prices, amid ongoing supply disruptions and intra-regional transportation bottlenecks, are raising inflation, eroding income, lowering output growth, worsening fiscal and external positions, and threatening food and energy security. As a result, inflation is expected to hover over 5½ percent in 2022. Real GDP is projected to grow by 7½ percent in 2022, leaving output still well below the pre-pandemic level. Fiscal deficits are projected to remain sizable, given continued pandemic- and disaster-related spending and temporary support to address rising living costs, thereby keeping gross financing needs and public debt at elevated levels in the near term. The financial system has remained broadly stable so far, with adequate capital and liquidity buffers, but nonperforming loans remain high and could rise further following the expiration of the ECCB’s loan moratoria program. The outlook is subject to large downside risks, primarily from further increases in commodity prices and new COVID variants amid vaccine hesitancy, in addition to the ever-present threat of natural disasters.
This paper discusses Burkina Faso’s Request for a Three-Year Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The program aims to maintain macroeconomic stability while promoting sustainable and inclusive growth. Under the program, fiscal space for priority security, social, and investment spending would be supported by strengthening revenue mobilization and containing current spending, especially on wages. Efforts to improve investment selection and execution would achieve more with the resources available. Prudent public financial and debt management along with energy sector reforms would ensure fiscal sustainability and mitigate fiscal risks. Structural reforms would improve the business environment and promote diversification. The IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for an ECF arrangement.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses economic performance status and policy developments of Pakistan. Amid setbacks to structural reform, the authorities have made substantial progress in restoring economic stability. Economic activity continues to strengthen gradually. International reserve buffers are increasing amid a broadly stable current account deficit. However, there are number of risks to the economy. Slower growth in key advanced markets such as China and the Gulf can further erode export competiveness. The Pakistani government is determined to maintain fiscal consolidation in FY 2015/16 and over the medium term. Continued tax administration reforms are important for further improving tax compliance and supporting revenue mobilization.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Pakistan’s Seventh Review Under the Extended Arrangement and Modification of Performance Criteria (PCs). All end-March 2015 quantitative PCs were achieved, as well as the indicative target (IT) on cash transfers under the Benazir Income Support program. The IT on federal tax revenue was missed by a small margin, reflecting legal challenges to some of the tax measures and the negative impact of lower global commodity prices. The authorities have taken action to improve revenue and remain on track to meet the end-June 2015 fiscal deficit target. The IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for modifications of the end-June net international reserves PC, and completion of the seventh review under the arrangement.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Tuvalu is one of the smallest and most isolated countries in the world. With a population of some 11,000 people living on 26 square kilometers, Tuvalu is more than 3,000 kilometers away from its nearest major external market (New Zealand). The country faces tremendous challenges stemming from its remoteness, lack of scale economies, weak institutional capacity, and, above all, climate change and rising sea levels, which threaten the country’s very existence. (Appendix III)
KEY ISSUES Economic background and outlook. Tanzania has enjoyed strong and stable growth, projected to remain at 7 percent next year and in the medium term. Inflation is at 6 percent, gradually converging to the authorities’ 5 percent medium-term objective. The external current account deficit remains among the largest in the region, at 14 percent of GDP this year. Fiscal revenue shortfalls and overruns in domestically-financed spending led the deficit to rise to 6.8 percent of GDP in 2012/13. Revenue shortfalls in 2013/14 compared to the budget approved by parliament have prompted the authorities to undertake expenditure cuts during the fiscal year in an effort to meet their 5 percent of GDP target. Based on the debt sustainability analysis, Tanzania remains at low risk of debt distress. Recent program engagement. Tanzania concluded its final review under a Standby Credit Facility (SCF) arrangement, together with its Article IV consultations, on April 25, 2014. The SCF expired on April 30, 2014. Key challenges. Over the next three years, policymakers will face several challenges, including the following: • Step up needed investment in infrastructure while protecting critical social spending. These objectives will need to be pursued following careful prioritization, to preserve government debt sustainability. • Prepare for natural gas. If recent discoveries of sizeable offshore natural gas deposits are confirmed as commercially viable, sizable fiscal revenues would need to be managed to bring benefits to all Tanzanians. Against this background, the authorities are requesting a three-year PSI to be in place by the start of FY2014/15. They see the PSI as an appropriate instrument to underpin the close policy dialogue with staff, provide a positive signal to donors and markets, and safeguard policy discipline. Staff supports the authorities’ request for a PSI.
KEY ISSUES Background, outlook, and risks. Economic growth is projected to remain strong at 7 percent next year and in the medium term. Inflation is at 6 percent, gradually converging to the authorities’ 5 percent medium term objective. The external current account deficit remains among the largest in the region, at 14 percent of GDP this year. Fiscal revenue shortfalls and overruns in domestically-financed spending led the deficit to rise to 6.8 percent of GDP in 2012/13. Revenue shortfalls in 2013/14 compared to the budget approved by parliament have prompted the authorities to undertake expenditure cuts during the fiscal year in an effort to meet their 5 percent of GDP target. Based on the debt sustainability analysis, Tanzania remains at low risk of debt distress. A major upside risk for the long term, not yet incorporated in the baseline projections, relates to sizable finds of offshore natural gas that, if confirmed as commercially viable, could bring in large revenues during the next decade. Program implementation. All performance criteria under the program were met, except a sizable breach of the performance criterion on net domestic financing at end-June 2013. The structural benchmark on submission to parliament of the VAT reform for November 2013 was missed. The authorities have taken corrective measures. Macroeconomic and structural policies. Preparations for the draft 2014/15 budget are under way. A VAT reform aimed at improving efficiency and reducing exemptions is ready for submission to parliament prior to the beginning of the new fiscal year. A priority in the next few years is to establish the institutional and policy framework to ensure that, if natural gas revenues materialize, they will bring benefits to all Tanzanians. Staff recommends completion of the third (and final) review under the SCF arrangement and approval of the authorities’ requests for a waiver for nonobservance of a performance criterion and for completion of the financing assurances review.