This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix for the Kingdom of Swaziland assesses the interaction of nonbank financial institutions (NBFIs) within the financial system and the real economy. Understanding the type of flows will help in designing policies to better manage capital flows and allow higher interest rate; and more attractive domestic investment opportunities could reduce outflows. The current global financial crisis provides useful lessons on the importance of an efficient regulatory and supervisory framework. However, regulation should be in line with economic structures and the stage of economic development.
Economic growth in Swaziland has weakened over the past decade. This 2005 Article IV Consultation highlights that real GDP growth decelerated to 2.1 percent in 2004 and an estimated 1.8 percent in 2005. A prolonged drought affected agricultural output, particularly maize, the main staple crop, and cotton. The authorities completed a “Poverty Reduction Strategy and Action Plan” in October 2004. The document spells out policies with the overall objective of halving the 1995 poverty rate by 2015. However, little progress has been made toward this and other Millennium Development Goals.
This Selected Issues paper describes recent economic developments in Swaziland and discusses some of the key issues that have a bearing on the economic outlook and policy debate. The paper examines developments with regard to output and inflation, fiscal policy, monetary policy and financial markets, and the external sector. It elaborates the economic impact of HIV/AIDS. The sources of GDP growth and the outlook are analyzed. The paper also examines the issue of external competitiveness, and describes the finances of the Public Service Pensions Fund.