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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Jordan’s Second Review under the Extended Arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility, Requests for a Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criterion, an extension of the arrangement, and rephasing of access. Discussions highlight that the Jordanian authorities have preserved macroeconomic stability, maintain a prudent monetary policy, and ensured a sound financial system. Jordan faces a challenging environment—including low economic growth, high unemployment, and elevated public debt—underscoring the importance of swiftly implementing policies and reforms to bring public debt on a downward path, boost investment and productivity, and enhance inclusive growth. The enactment of long needed growth-enhancing reforms is encouraging, including the secured transactions law, the bankruptcy law, and the business-inspections law. The international community has strongly supported the new government’s commitment to maintain the reform momentum, strengthen growth, and reduce public debt. The London Initiative in February 2019 has helped unlock essential budget grants and concessional financing to support the authorities’ reform program.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Iraq is an oil-dependent and state-dominated fragile economy that has been hit hard by the conflict with ISIS and the fall in oil prices. The conflict has hurt the economy through displacement and impoverishment of millions of people, and destruction of infrastructure and assets. The oil price decline has resulted in a massive reduction in budget revenue, pushing the fiscal deficit to an unsustainable level. The authorities are responding to the crisis with ambitious but necessary fiscal adjustment while maintaining their commitment to the exchange rate peg, which provides a key nominal anchor in a highly uncertain environment.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights a double shock facing Iraq as a result of the conflict with the Islamic State and the plunge in oil prices. In 2016, real GDP increased by 11 percent owing to a 25 percent increase in oil production, which was little affected by the conflict with the Islamic State. Falling oil prices have driven the decline in Iraq’s international reserves from $54 billion at the end of 2015 to $45 billion at the end of 2016. Medium-term growth prospects are positive. Growth will be driven by the projected moderate increase in oil production and the rebound in non-oil growth supported by the expected improvement in security and implementation of structural reform.
International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses key findings of the Second Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) for the Republic of Congo. Policy implementation through the first half of 2009 was satisfactory. All quantitative performance criteria and all but one of the structural benchmarks were met. The non-oil basic primary deficit target for end-June was observed by a comfortable margin. Progress toward observing the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) floating completion point triggers has accelerated recently, and the authorities are making a strong effort to reach the completion point by year-end.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Global Imbalances, Africa's Improved Debt Outlook, Nigerian Reform, Burkina Faso's Cotton Crisis, Ghana and Inflation Targeting, Iraq's Progress, Egypt's Reforms Spur Growth, Asian Trade, Baltics' High Growth Rate, News Briefs.
International Monetary Fund
This paper examines the consideration of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe’s debt relief at the completion point under the enhanced Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries and Debt Relief under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. Lower-than-projected export receipts largely owing to drought conditions and lower-than-expected tourism receipts, changes in cross-currency exchange rates, and variations in discount rates have been all unambiguously exogenous and outside the control of the authorities. There is need for continued fiscal prudence, policies to support broad-based growth and export diversification, continued donor support, and prudent debt management.
International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses Ex Post Assessment of Longer-Term Program Engagement for the Republic of Tajikistan. The assessment reveals that Tajikistan’s macroeconomic performance during 1998–2005 has been robust, albeit with occasional lapses. Economic growth during this period has far exceeded program projections, but inflation performance has been at times volatile, and often overshot program targets. Macroeconomic stabilization was mainly driven by a strong fiscal consolidation. In contrast, monetary policy has occasionally undermined inflation performance. Initial progress in implementing structural reforms was uneven.