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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses Guinea’s Third Review Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement, Request for Modification of Performance Criterion and Financing Assurances Review. Performance against end-December 2018 targets was satisfactory. All performance criteria and the indicative target (IT) on social safety net spending were met. A strong package of adjustment measures was implemented to achieve the end-2018 fiscal target. The ITs on tax revenue and the accumulation of new domestic arrears were not met. Program performance was satisfactory at end-March 2019, with most ITs met. Program-supported reforms advanced. Two of the four structural benchmarks were met, with substantial progress on the other two and full completion expected by. Additional adjustment measures are expected to be implemented to achieve a basic fiscal surplus in 2019, compensating for anticipated higher electricity subsidies and lower tax revenue. In parallel, public investment will be scaled-up to support growth. Advancing programmed tax measures and applying the petroleum prices adjustment mechanism will be key to support revenue mobilization.
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. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept.
The Fund is facing strong demand for financing from low-income countries (LICs). Commodity price shocks and loose fiscal policies have contributed to rising debt levels and financing needs in many countries. Several developing states, especially smaller ones, are also increasingly vulnerable to large natural disasters. At the same time, many LICs less dependent on commodity exports have enjoyed robust growth in recent years, with more contained vulnerabilities.
Mr. Geoffrey J Bannister and Mr. Alex Mourmouras
We present estimates of welfare by country for 2007 and 2014 using the methodology of Jones and Klenow (2016) which incorporates consumption, leisure, mortality and inequality, and we extend the methodology to include environmental externalities. During the period of the global financial crisis welfare grew slightly more rapidly than income per capita, mainly due to improvements in life expectancy. This led to welfare convergence in most regions towards advanced country levels. Introducing environmental effects changes the welfare ranking for countries that rely heavily on natural resources, highlighting the importance of the natural resource base in welfare. This methodology could provide a theoretically consistent and tractable way of monitoring progress in several Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes macrofinancial linkages in Equatorial Guinea. Insufficient fiscal consolidation in response to falling oil prices and production has translated into arrears accumulation, leading to a sharp deterioration in commercial banks’ balance sheets. Although banks’ capital and liquidity ratio appear adequate, profitability has been shrinking, owing to weak economic activity and decelerating credit supply. Moreover, recent stress tests reveal a high sensitivity to negative liquidity and asset quality shocks. Financial development remains lackluster, which hurts economic development and effective structural transformation. Finally, strong macrofinancial linkages compounded by regional subsidiary-parent interlinkages call for increased scrutiny.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Ebola epidemic and the fall in commodity prices have revealed the vulnerabilities of Liberia’s economy. After barely positive growth in 2014, GDP was flat in 2015 mainly owing to the decline in activity in the iron ore and rubber sectors. Although international gross reserves increased in 2015, the Central Bank of Liberia’s net foreign exchange position declined owing to operational deficits and exceptional support to the banking sector. In 2016, growth is expected to rise to 2.5 percent, thanks to a rebound in services and the start of gold production, while inflation should stay in the single digits.