This paper discusses The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Staff-Monitored Program and Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. The economic environment remains challenging and vulnerable to shocks. Real gross domestic product growth is projected to decelerate to 4.5 percent in 2019 from 5.8 percent in 2018. The recent fall in commodity prices, new spending initiatives, and looser spending oversight during the political transition period have led to a weaker fiscal position mostly financed by the central bank. In this context, international reserves have fallen to critically low levels creating urgent balance of payment needs. The new government is committed to implementing measures and reforms that would strengthen macroeconomic stability, reinforce international reserves, address issues related to poor governance, a difficult business environment, and pervasive poverty. Authorities also intend to boost domestic revenue by restoring the functioning of the value-added tax and enforcing the personal income tax, while improving mining revenue forecasting. In addition, the government intends to introduce strict spending caps, increase the effectiveness of monetary policy, and foster inclusive growth and private sector development including through infrastructure projects and free basic education.
This report reviews Guinea’s economic performance under the program supported by an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. Guinea was declared free of the Ebola epidemic at end-2015, and after two years of stagnant activity, growth is expected to rebound this year. After solid performance in 2014, ECF program implementation weakened in 2015. Following last October’s Presidential elections, there has been a concerted effort to bring the ECF-supported program back on-track. Macroeconomic policies for 2016 aim to improve reserves coverage to three months of imports, and keep inflation within single digit figures as envisioned in the 2015 ECF-supported program. The 2016 budget envisions a significant broad-based fiscal contraction.
Zambia’s nonperforming loans are expected to increase and banks have become more cautious in their lending. The staff report for the Zambia’s first and second reviews of the Three-Year Arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and request for Waivers of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria, and Augmentation of Access is examined. The slowdown in external demand and uncertainty about the global outlook have negatively affected growth prospects and the balance of payments, and made the program targets for reserve accumulation unattainable.
This paper discusses key findings of the First Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) for Guinea. All but two quantitative performance criteria (PC) were met. IMF staff supports the authorities’ requests for waivers of nonobservance, based on their remedial actions. Progress of structural reforms was broadly satisfactory and all structural PCs and benchmarks for end-December 2007 were met. However, several quantitative indicative targets for end-March 2008 were missed, in part on account of a delayed response to the financial pressures arising from higher fuel prices.
The fiscal stance has been more expansionary in 2008, but there should be no need for net domestic financing. The new fiscal regime for mining increases the average effective tax rate from a level that was significantly below that of other mining countries. The monetary program aims to reduce annual inflation to 7 percent in 2008. The authorities intend to address the challenge of coordinating fiscal and monetary policies to enable the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) to improve liquidity management. Structural policies will complement the medium-term macroeconomic framework.
Guinea has implemented an impressive policy shift toward macroeconomic stabilization under the economic program. Executive Directors commended this development and stressed the need for tight fiscal and monetary policies and welcomed the debt sustainability analysis and implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. They emphasized the need for reinstating fiscal control, improving governance, implementing structural reforms, sustained assistance from the international community to boost economic growth, and encouraged the authorities to take necessary steps to reach the HIPC completion point and qualify for debt relief under these initiatives.