International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) highlights that the economy has performed well in recent years, with relatively high growth and low inflation. Fiscal and current account balances have recorded large surpluses since 2017, owing to the authorities’ decision to save revenue windfalls. Nonetheless, the FSM faces significant medium-term uncertainty as various economic supports under the Compact Agreement with the United States are set to expire in 2023. Unless they are renewed, the FSM is expected to lose access to Compact grants, giving rise to a fiscal cliff in 2023; banking sector oversight by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and post-disaster rehabilitation assistance. The country is highly vulnerable to climate change, while private sector activity remains anaemic. It is recommended to improve resilience to climate change by strengthening capacity to implement adaptation projects. Over the medium term, disaster risks should be mitigated by using disaster insurance and disaster-contingent foreign financing.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on macro-critical issues related to governance and corruption in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Third-party indicators suggest that governance has been poor and corruption widespread in the country. Conducting an audit of the civil service and improving the transparency of its remuneration system, simplifying tax payment processes, and merging the activities of the numerous revenue agencies would boost public efficiency and improve the business environment. Contract enforcement and protection of property rights could be enhanced by insulating the courts from external influence. Limited information on the budget annexes and special accounts and little or no oversight by the central government, Parliament, and civil society, create scope for corruption. The multiplicity of special taxes and fees, some accruing to special accounts outside the Treasury, generate opportunities for corruption and informalization of economic activity. Despite some progress in strengthening public financial management, budget execution remains deficient. The government has formalized the four stages of the expenditure chain and introduced budget commitment plans to align expenditures with revenues.
Hidetaka Nishizawa, Mr. Scott Roger, and Huan Zhang
Pacific island countries (PICs) are vulnerable severe natural disasters, especially cyclones, inflicting large losses on their economies. In the aftermath of disasters, PIC governments face revenue losses and spending pressures to address post-disaster relief and recovery efforts. This paper estimates the effects of severe natural disasters on fiscal revenues and expenditure in PICs. These are combined with information on the frequency of large disasters to calculate the rate of budgetary savings needed to build appropriate fiscal buffers. Fiscal buffers provide self-insurance against natural disaster shocks and facilitate quick disbursement for recovery and relief efforts, and protection of spending on essential services and infrastructure. The estimates can provide a benchmark for policymakers, and should be adjusted to take into account other sources of financing, as well as budget risks from less severe as well as more frequent disasters.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Micronesian economy continued its gradual recovery in fiscal year 2016 (ending September 30), after three years of contraction during 2012–14. Real GDP is estimated to have grown by 3.0 percent in 2016, driven by increased construction activity related to infrastructure projects. Consumer prices remained broadly stable. The fiscal balance recorded an estimated surplus of 9 percent of GDP, after another year of strong revenues from fishing license fees. In 2017, growth is expected to moderate to 2 percent, as the recovery continues at a slower pace. Despite the recovery, risks are tilted to the downside beyond the near term.
This paper discusses Niger’s Sixth and Seventh Reviews Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement, Request for Waivers of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria (PC), Request for Augmentation of Access, and Extension of the Current Arrangement. Niger’s growth slowed in 2015 owing to lower agricultural and natural resource sectors activity. Over the medium term, real economic growth is expected to pick up as major projects in oil and mineral extraction come to fruition. The IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for waivers for the unmet PC on domestic financing and domestic arrears repayments at end-December 2014, and that of domestic financing at end-June 2015.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
KEY ISSUES Context. Growth remains rapid, but has moderated from the 7¼ percent recorded in 2013. Remittances and accommodative monetary and financial conditions remain the primary growth drivers, despite volatile capital flows, slowing activity in the region and severe natural disasters. Inflation has picked up to over 4 percent, while the current account remains in surplus. Local financial markets were moderately impacted by the Fed’s “taper talk and action,” weakening the peso and equity prices. Credit growth has quickened, especially to construction. Potential growth has risen to about 6?6¼ percent. However, persistent weakness in the business climate is a risk to sustained growth and hinders job creation. Foreign ownership restrictions, inadequate infrastructure and high doing-business costs have held back overall investment and employment. Along with frequent natural disasters, this has kept poverty elevated, thereby sustaining outward migration. Outlook and risks. Normalizing financial conditions are forecast to ease growth to 6?6½ percent over the medium term, while keeping inflation within the band and moderating the current account surplus. Abrupt changes in global financial conditions and a sharp growth slowdown in EMs are among the external growth risks. On the domestic front, excessive flow of real and financial resources to the property sector could increase volatility of asset prices and GDP growth over the longer run. Policy recommendations. A more restrictive policy stance is needed to preserve macro- financial stability, with rebalancing of the mix to allow higher public investment spending, while implementing reforms to sustain vibrant growth and make it more inclusive: • Absorbing liquidity and raising official interest rates would address second-round inflation effects and potential overheating and financial stability risks. Allowing the exchange rate to adjust more fully to structural inflows, while smoothing the effect of cyclical flows, would limit further sustained reserve buildup. • Addressing specific risks from real estate and large credit exposures requires further targeted measures and broadening the BSP’s mandate to include financial stability. This would help prevent diversion of systemic risk to shadow banking and strengthen tools to manage risks from deepening cross-border financial integration. • Raising the fiscal deficit from below 1½ percent of GDP in 2013 to 2 percent of GDP in 2014 to accommodate reconstruction spending should be accompanied by tighter monetary and financial conditions. Mobilizing sizable additional stable revenue would ensure room for structural spending priorities while preserving fiscal prudence. • Improving the investment climate by relaxing foreign ownership limits, reducing red tape, limiting tax holidays, and reducing labor and product market rigidities would enhance competition, support PPP execution and create employment opportunities within the Philippines.
The Executive Board of the IMF has completed the first review under the three-year Policy Support Instrument (PSI) for Mozambique. Mozambique’s macroeconomic performance remains strong: real GDP growth for 2013 is estimated at 7.1 percent and inflation remains moderate. The PSI-supported program is broadly on track. Structural reforms along a broad policy spectrum should be implemented vigorously to foster sustained and more inclusive growth. With foreign aid likely to decline over the medium term, increased nonconcessional borrowing can provide additional resources for improving physical infrastructure and human capital. Further strengthening debt management and investment planning and implementation are essential to ensure value for money, maximize the efficiency of investment, and preserve debt sustainability.
Depuis plusieurs années, le FMI publie un nombre croissant de rapports et autres documents couvrant l'évolution et les tendances économiques et financières dans les pays membres. Chaque rapport, rédigé par une équipe des services du FMI à la suite d'entretiens avec des représentants des autorités, est publié avec l'accord du pays concerné.
Niger's government has adopted an ambitious development plan, based on the use of oil and mining revenue for public investment in infrastructure, agriculture, health, and education. IMF staff underlined the need to step up efforts to improve the business climate in Niger to attract more jobs, thereby creating private investment in the nonnatural resources sector of the economy. Expanded reliance on revenues from natural resources will increase Niger’s vulnerability to commodity price fluctuations, augmenting the high vulnerability to climatic shocks.
In March 2009, the Fund established a new Framework Administered Account to administer external financial resources for selected Fund activities (the “SFA Instrument”). The financing of activities under the terms of the SFA Instrument is implemented through the establishment and operation of a subaccount within the SFA. This paper requests Executive Board approval to establish the Managing Natural Resource Wealth (MNRW) Topical Trust Fund (TTF) subaccount (the “Subaccount”) under the terms of the SFA Instrument.