This paper discusses Republic of Mozambique’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). Mozambique is expected to be significantly affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, dashing prospects of a nascent economic recovery following two powerful tropical cyclones that struck in 2019. The IMF’s emergency financial support under the RCF, along with the additional donor grant financing it will help to catalyze, will contribute to addressing Mozambique’s urgent balance of payments needs generated by the pandemic. The authorities are committed to prevent corruption and misuse of emergency financing, by strengthening transparency and accountability. In this connection, they will publish large public procurement contracts and conduct and publish ex-post audits of funds’ use. Once the pandemic eases, it will be critical to resume fiscal consolidation and strengthened debt management and transparency to ensure that public debt remains sustainable. It will also be important to implement structural reforms to support inclusive and sustainable growth.
Mozambique’s economic situation had been improving until Tropical Cyclone Idai and Kenneth hit the country in March and April, respectively. Economic growth was recovering gradually and becoming broader based, and inflation reached low single digits. Economic activity is expected to decelerate sharply in 2019 due to the supply shock to productive capacity, but it should rebound to pre-cyclone levels by 2020. In April, the IMF Executive Board approved US$118 million in emergency assistance under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). The authorities are committed to macroeconomic stability while fostering inclusive growth and addressing governance challenges.
This paper discusses Republic of Mozambique’s Request for Disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). Reflecting the large budgetary and external financing gaps arising from emergency assistance and reconstruction needs, the authorities are seeking financial assistance under the RCF exogenous shock window. The financial assistance is intended to address large budgetary and external financing gaps arising from reconstruction needs after Cyclone Idai, which caused significant loss of life and infrastructure damage. The authorities remain committed to macroeconomic stability, which will also be underpinned by the IMF’s financing. The authorities are reallocating lower priority spending to emergency assistance, however, their room for manoeuvre is limited and the bulk of emergency assistance and reconstruction needs will have to be covered by the international community mostly in the form of grants to ensure debt sustainability. The authorities shared staff’s main policy recommendations, namely increasing the economy’s resilience and preparedness to adverse weather events that are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that growth in Mozambique decelerated in 2016 to 3.8 percent (from 6.6 percent in 2015). The latest data show that the economy grew by 3.7 percent in 2017, driven by a recovery in agriculture and mining activity. A tight monetary stance, coupled with exchange rate appreciation, led to a steep fall in inflation to 6.3 percent (year-over-year) in January 2018, from a peak of 26 percent in November 2016. The outlook remains challenging. Absent further policy action, real GDP growth is expected to further decline over time while inflation would remain at current levels. The fiscal deficit would expand, leading to further accumulation of public debt and crowding out of the private sector.
This Selected Issues paper documents the main features of the current monetary policy regime in Mozambique, describe ongoing structural policy changes announced by the central bank, and analyze the main challenges facing the central bank in the process to modernize its monetary policy framework. Recognizing the signaling value of interest rates to anchor inflation expectations and help influence market interest rates, the paper usefully focuses on the needed reforms to enable the central bank to successfully replace monetary aggregates by interest rate as the main instrument of monetary policy. Deepening the understanding of the obstacles on the way to a smooth monetary transmission, further building the central bank inflation forecasting capacity, strengthening the coordination between fiscal and monetary policies, enhancing central bank communications and modernizing the legal framework to ensure central bank operational autonomy are essential to the success of the new monetary regime. Importantly, the presence of a committed and strong technical team and a reform-oriented management should greatly facilitate the implementation of these vital central bank reforms.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that despite lower commodity prices and a weaker global environment, Mozambique’s economic prospects remain positive given planned massive investment in natural resources. Although GDP growth averaged 7 percent over the last five years, Mozambique’s per-capita income and human development index remain low. There is a need to continue implementing policies that support fiscal sustainability, infrastructure investment, and inclusive growth. Mozambique’s economic outlook remains robust. Growth of 6.3 percent is expected in 2015, and remains below potential at 6.5 percent in 2016, mainly owing to a stagnant mining sector and substantially tighter fiscal and monetary policies.
Access to Fund financial resources provides a financial safety net to help countries manage adverse shocks, acting as a potential supplement to foreign reserves when there is a balance of payments need. Such support is especially important to developing countries with limited capacity to borrow in domestic or foreign markets.
This paper proposes a set of measures that would expand access to Fund resources for developing countries, as one of the initiatives the Fund is undertaking as part of the wider effort of the international community to support countries in pursuing the post- 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Yan Ji, Robert M. Townsend, and Ms. Filiz D Unsal
We develop a micro-founded general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents to identify pertinent constraints to financial inclusion. We evaluate quantitatively the policy impacts of relaxing each of these constraints separately, and in combination, on GDP and inequality. We focus on three dimensions of financial inclusion: access (determined by the size of participation costs), depth (determined by the size of collateral constraints resulting from limited commitment), and intermediation efficiency (determined by the size of interest rate spreads and default possibilities due to costly monitoring). We take the model to a firm-level data from the World Bank Enterprise Survey for six countries at varying degrees of economic development—three low-income countries (Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique), and three emerging market countries (Malaysia, the Philippines, and Egypt). The results suggest that alleviating different financial frictions have a differential impact across countries, with country-specific characteristics playing a central role in determining the linkages and tradeoffs between inclusion, GDP, inequality, and the distribution of gains and losses.