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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The 2023 Article IV Consultation highlights that Nicaragua’s economy has remained resilient in the face of multiple shocks, supported by appropriate economic policies, substantial buffers, and multilateral support. The external and fiscal positions are assessed to be sustainable under the baseline scenario, given the current policy mix and financing plans. In 2024 and the medium-term real Gross domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to converge to potential sustained by domestic demand and remittances. Risks to this outlook include on the upside higher than projected real GDP growth due to sustained recovery in the domestic demand and remittances, especially in the near term, and on the downside a deterioration in the terms of trade, a more severe global downturn than currently incorporated into the baseline scenario, natural disasters, and stricter international sanctions. The report suggests investing in human capital and infrastructure; implementing policies to raise labor force participation and enhance the business environment by strengthening government institutions and frameworks in the areas of contract enforcement, protecting property rights, and resolving insolvencies.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance report on Dominica focuses on external sector statistics. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the Central Statistics Office have implemented recommendations from the previous mission regarding timeliness and data accessibility. The mission focused on improving data sources for travel credits and the Citizenship by Investment Program (CBI) flows for the balance of payments. Revised 2022 balance of payments estimates were reviewed; additional refinement is needed. The ECCB has been incorporating available cash-based data on CBI flows from the fiscal sector into the balance of payments. However, fiscal data for 2021 and 2022 show some possible misclassifications that would affect the correct recording of external flows in the balance of payments. The report highlights that follow-up on the request made to the CBI to complete the ECCB balance of payments questionnaires for 2021 and 2022 and report on the existence of foreign escrow accounts. Coordination between data-producing agencies needs to be improved. A survey of cruise passengers is required to improve the estimates of visitor expenditure; visitors that arrive by yatchs are not surveyed either.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2023 Article IV Consultation highlights that Guatemala's solid record of accomplishment of prudent macroeconomic policies and large remittance inflows provided the country with large buffers to weather a challenging global environment and tightened global financial conditions. Inflationary pressures remain high; with April 2023 headline inflation at 8.32 percent. The currency has remained stable and the external balances solid, despite a large import bill. The financial sector has proven resilient to global financial tightening conditions and domestic interest rate hikes. Guatemala stays an economy with untapped opportunities. Scaling up the implementation of a transformative infrastructure agenda, fostering human capital and social policies, and enhancing legal certainty are critical to support a sustainable and inclusive medium-term growth model with higher potential growth. While the global outlook is challenging, the current conjuncture also offers many opportunities to draw on the demographic dividend and to fast track reforms to improve the business climate environment and attract foreign investment.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2022 Article IV Consultation highlights that prudent macroeconomic policies, substantial pre-crisis buffers and official external financial assistance helped Nicaragua’s economy rebound from a protracted contraction during 2018–2020, caused by the socio-political crisis of 2018, two major hurricanes in 2020, and the pandemic. Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to moderate to 3 percent in 2023, due mainly to the global slowdown. Inflation—which reached 11.4 percent in November 2022, primarily due to import price increases—is projected to decline in 2023 in line with lower growth and an expected significant decline in global inflation. In the medium term, real GDP is expected to grow by about 3 1/2 percent, below the pre-crisis historical average, as credit to the private sector and private investment cautiously recover. The favorable outlook is subject to uncertainty and risks on the downside, primarily due to external developments, natural disasters, or deterioration in the business climate and stricter international sanctions.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This technical assistance (TA) mission on Government Finance Statistics (GFS) was conducted during July 6-12, 2022. The main purpose of the mission was to review the progress made by the authorities in implementing previous TA recommendations and provide further support to strengthen the compilation and dissemination of GFS in line with international standards set out in the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 (GFSM 2014).
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Growth decelerated marginally in 2017, as the continued decline in CBI inflows slowed growth in construction. Consumer inflation was low, partly due to a small contraction in food prices. The overall fiscal balance remained in surplus but has deteriorated markedly since its 2013- peak, and the debt-to-GDP ratio increased marginally from the previous year. The current account deficit remains high and only marginally declined in 2017, as the decline in CBI receipts was more than offset by growing tourism receipts and a significant decrease in imports. Foreign reserves at the ECCB remained at comfortable levels, well above the various reserve-adequacy metrics. The banking sector has reported capital and liquidity ratios that are well above the regulatory minimum but has elevated NPLs and risks, including delays in completing the debt-land swap arrangement and loss of Corresponding Banking Relationships (CBRs).
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
A virtual technical assistance (TA) mission supported by the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department (APD) was conducted by the IMF Statistics Department (STA) and the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC) during October 25 – November 2, 2021. The mission assisted the Department of Resources and Development (DoRD), National Statistics Office (NSO) improving the compilation and dissemination of Government Finance statistics (GFS) and Public Sector Debt Statistics (PSDS) according to the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 (GFSM2014) and the Public-Sector Debt Statistics Guide 2011 (PSDSG 2011). The mission was conducted under the Data for Decisions (D4D) trust fund,1 a multi-donor initiative aimed at strengthening the quality of national statistical outputs to better support economic policy making in low-and lower-middle income countries and the PFTAC GFS capacity development project.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
Following the launch of the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Mongolia Regional Capacity Development Center (CCAMTAC) in February 2021, and in response to a request from the Azerbaijani authorities to support their statistical capacity development (CD) in government finance statistics (GFS), a series of technical assistance (TA) missions took place remotely (via Zoom meeting platform) during May 17−21 and July 22−August 4, 2021. Both missions were conducted by Mr. Roderick O’Mahony (GFS expert), who worked with the staff of the Ministry of Finance’s Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) Development Center as the main counterparts. He also met with other relevant agencies, including the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ), the State Employment Agency, and the State Social Protection Fund.1
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
A remote technical assistance (TA) mission on external sector statistics (ESS) was conducted for the Central Statistical Office (CSO) of Saint Lucia during March 22–26, 2021. The mission was part of the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) work program on External Sector Statistics (ESS).