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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

2018 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Suriname

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues explores ways for strengthening the current fiscal framework in Suriname and considers options for a new fiscal anchor. The paper provides an overview of mineral natural resources and their importance for the budget. It also lays out the current framework for fiscal planning and budget execution in Suriname and discusses the analytical underpinnings of modernizing it to make it more robust. The paper also presents estimates of long-term sustainability benchmarks based on the IMF’s policy toolkit for resource-rich developing countries. Suriname’s fiscal framework can be strengthened through a fiscal anchor rooted in the non-resource primary balance. Given the size of fiscal adjustment required to bring the non-resource primary balance in line with the long-term sustainability benchmark, a substantial transition period is needed to implement it. The IMF Staff’s adjustment scenario—designed to put public debt on the downward path—closes the current gap by less than half, implying that adjustment would need to continue beyond the 5-year horizon.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

2018 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Suriname

International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses measures required to improve the national accounts of Suriname, including consistency with the System of National Accounts 2008. The General Bureau of Statistics (GBS) is expected to implement the recommendations of the IMF mission progressively over a five-year period. Given the staff time wasted on data entry and potential transcription errors, the GBS should give high priority to requesting the Ministry of Finance to provide the Government accounts data in Excel format for 2015 onward. With the support of the Finance Minister, the GBS also needs to implement a formal agreement with the Tax Department to share tax registration data, company income tax returns and sales tax returns.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that Suriname’s macroeconomic conditions weakened in 2013 as gold and oil prices declined. With those prices falling below recent peaks, the large fiscal and external sector exposures to the mineral sector continued their deterioration in 2013, along with a significant decline in international reserves. Growth is estimated at a robust 4 percent in 2013, supported by fiscal relaxation and strong credit growth. Strong fiscal consolidation is being implemented in 2014, and the fiscal deficit is expected to decline to 3.7 percent of GDP this year. Public debt is rising but remains relatively low at about 30 percent of GDP.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights that Suriname’s macroeconomic performance has strengthened markedly over the past decade. Since 2000, stronger policies and buoyant commodity prices, supported by political stability, have helped improve macroeconomic performance, enabling Suriname to enjoy several recent upgrades from major ratings agencies. With gold prices declining after a long upswing, the main challenges are to strengthen institutions and adjust policies to avoid the onset of a boom–bust cycle. Growth remains robust although inflation has declined considerably. In 2012 GDP grew an estimated 4.75 percent, similar to 2011 and among the highest in the region, supported by buoyant commodity prices, particularly gold.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights that Suriname’s macroeconomic performance has strengthened markedly over the past decade. Since 2000, stronger policies and buoyant commodity prices, supported by political stability, have helped improve macroeconomic performance, enabling Suriname to enjoy several recent upgrades from major ratings agencies. With gold prices declining after a long upswing, the main challenges are to strengthen institutions and adjust policies to avoid the onset of a boom–bust cycle. Growth remains robust although inflation has declined considerably. In 2012 GDP grew an estimated 4.75 percent, similar to 2011 and among the highest in the region, supported by buoyant commodity prices, particularly gold.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

The economy continues to recover at a steady pace, buoyed by strong activity in the oil and gold sectors, as well as public investment. In the wake of the January 2011 devaluation and concurrent increase in taxes, the fiscal balance shifted from a deficit of 3 percent of GDP in 2010 to a surplus of 1 percent in 2011. The balance of payment also strengthened significantly, boosting reserves to nearly US$1 billion (5¼ months of imports) at end-2011. With still-tight monetary conditions, 12-month inflation dropped to 3.6 percent in May 2012, from a peak of over 22 percent in April 2011.

Ms. Lisa Drakes, Ms. Chrystol Thomas, Roland Craigwell, and Kevin Greenidge
This paper addresses the issue of threshold effects between public debt and economic growth in the Caribbean. The main finding is that there exists a threshold debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio of 55–56 percent. Moreover, the debt dynamics begin changing well before this threshold is reached. Specifically, at debt levels lower than 30 percent of GDP, increases in the debt-to-GDP ratio are associated with faster economic growth. However, as debt rises beyond 30 percent, the effects on economic growth diminishes rapidly and at debt levels reaching 55-56 percent of GDP, the growth impacts switch from positive to negative. Thus, beyond this threshold, debt becomes a drag on growth.