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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
The COVID-19 pandemic erupted just as the government was beginning to implement wide-ranging fiscal, foreign exchange, structural, and governance measures under a Staff-Monitored Program (SMP). The authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to these reforms, but the impact of the crisis is generating balance of payments and fiscal gaps of 4 and 3 percent of GDP, respectively. In the near term, risks are primarily on the downside, especially if there is a widespread local outbreak of the virus. Papua New Guinea’s longer-term outlook remains positive, largely reflecting the likelihood of major resource sector projects.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper presents Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) 2019 Article IV Consultation and Request for Staff Monitored Program. The economy is estimated to have rebounded in 2019 following the contraction triggered by the large earthquake in 2018. Inflation is projected to fall in 2019 but to pick up temporarily thereafter. The staff report reflects discussions with the PNG authorities in October 28–November 9, 2019 and is based on the information available as of November 21, 2019. It focuses on PNG near- and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before coronavirus disease 2019 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity and financial markets. It, therefore, does not reflect the implications of these developments and related policy priorities. The outbreak has greatly amplified uncertainty and downside risks around the outlook. Staff is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work on assessing its impact and the related policy response in PNG and globally.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
The Papua New Guinea (PNG) economy has grown sluggishly in recent years, reflecting a combination of domestic and external factors. External factors have included adverse terms of trade movements, a drought, and, in 2018, a large earthquake. Domestic factors have included a difficult fiscal consolidation and a shortage of foreign exchange, sustained by an overvalued exchange rate, leading to import compression and weak investment in the non-resource sector. The main macroeconomic challenges for the government are to finish putting in place policies that will help promote economic stability, and to strengthen its long-term development framework. In 2017-18, the new government made important progress in narrowing the fiscal deficit, and adopted a medium-term revenue strategy. But progress on fiscal consolidation has stalled, and the debt-to-GDP ratio is well above the medium-term target. Monetary authorities have begun to facilitate exchange rate adjustment and strengthening of the monetary framework. Stronger economic policies, involving more ambitious fiscal consolidation coupled with faster exchange rate adjustment would yield favorable results.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that Papua New Guinea’s economic activity has remained subdued in 2017. Slow growth, generous tax treatment of the Liquefied Natural Gas project, the drought and weak tax administration have all contributed to declining tax revenues and a substantial fiscal deficit and increasing debt-to-GDP ratio. Inflation was boosted to over 6 percent by drought effects, but is beginning to ease. Near-term risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside. Over the medium term, risks are more balanced owing to the upside potential of new resource sector projects and, possibly, a pickup in commodity export prices.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses Liberia’s Seventh and Eighth Reviews under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement, and Request for Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria (PCs). Three of six structural benchmarks (SBs) for the seventh review and two of four SBs for the eighth review were met. The rest, except one, were met with a delay. Risks are concentrated in the near term. Based on the strength of the authorities’ policy commitments and corrective measures, the IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for waivers for nonobservance of PCs and supports completion of the seventh and eighth program reviews.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that Papua New Guinea is facing headwinds stemming from low commodity prices and is recovering from a major drought; these factors have weighed on economic growth, weakened the external position, and created fiscal challenges. Foreign exchange (FX) remains in short supply, but inflows have recently picked up somewhat. Near-term risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside, as fiscal retrenchment may have a greater impact on the economy than currently expected and the limited availability of FX continues to constrain imports and economic activity. A further drop in commodity prices would weaken the external and fiscal positions.