The COVID-19 pandemic is having a severe impact on Lesotho’s economy. Supply chains for major industries have been disrupted and a national shutdown to contain the virus curtailed economic activity with adverse social impacts. The economy is expected to be further hit by declining external demand for textiles and diamonds, shrinking remittances, and delays to major construction projects. The authorities are taking measures to contain the virus and are implementing plans to mitigate its health and economic consequences. The economic shock, as well as the additional required spending, have generated urgent balance-of-payments (BOP) needs. Lesotho does not have an arrangement with the Fund.
Francisco Arizala, Mr. Matthieu Bellon, Ms. Margaux MacDonald, Mr. Montfort Mlachila, and Mustafa Yenice
After close to two decades of strong economic activity, overall growth in sub-Saharan Africa decelerated markedly in 2015–16 as the largest economies experienced negative or flat growth. Regional growth started recovering in 2017, but the question remains of how trends in the economies stuck in low gear will spill over to the countries that have maintained robust growth. This note illuminates the discussion by identifying growth spillover channels. The focus is on trade, banking, financial, remittance, investment, fiscal, and security channels, which are the most prominent and most likely to transmit growth trends across borders. In addition to bringing together findings from a broad array of existing research, the note identifies countries that are the most likely sources of regional spillovers and those that are most likely to be impacted, and provides estimates for the size of these channels. It finds that intraregional trade and remittance flows are an important channel for growth spillovers, while banking channels are less important but will remain a risk going forward. Finally, the note documents other important spillover channels through financial markets contagion, revenue-sharing arrangements in fiscal unions, commodity-pricing policies, corporate investment, and forced migration. The main takeaway is that the level of interdependence among sub-Saharan countries is higher than is generally assumed. Consequently, there is a need for additional emphasis on regional surveillance and spillover analysis, along with traditional bilateral surveillance.
This staff report examines the Kingdom of Lesotho’s 2012 Article IV Consultation and second and third reviews under the three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility. Real GDP growth for 2010/11 is estimated at 5¾ percent, and inflation rose gradually in 2011, driven by international commodity prices. Despite the sharp drop in Southern African Customs Union (SACU) revenues, fiscal performance in 2010/11 has been much better than programmed, reflecting higher domestic revenue collections and cuts in recurrent spending.
Olivier Basdevant, Chikako Baba, and Miss Borislava Mircheva
Swaziland has faced a significant fiscal crisis since 2010, in the wake of loss of transfers from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). The fiscal crisis has led to increasing vulnerabilities, not only of public finances but also on commercial banks and the private sector. This paper provides an analysis of Swaziland's main macroeconomic vulnerabilities and the main policy implications of the analysis.
Lesotho’s fiscal and external balances have deteriorated as a result of the global economic downturn and a surge in spending. Undertaking key fiscal adjustments to restore macroeconomic stability is necessary for raising Lesotho’s growth potential. Executive Directors commend the measures taken in the budget to reduce expenditure. Further strengthening of debt management and accelerating structural reforms is crucial for raising Lesotho’s growth potential. Strengthening the institutional and regulatory framework for banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) will help to support financial sector health and stability.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
This 2008 Article IV Consultation discusses that Lesotho has made significant progress in macroeconomic performance, but the pace of implementation of key structural reforms has been slow. After a decade of low growth, economic activity surged above historic trends, averaging 6.6 percent during 2006–07, driven by the mining, textile, and construction sectors. However, poverty has seen only a modest decline. Executive Directors have commended the authorities for their prudent macroeconomic management, which has contributed to the recent strong economic performance and a continued build-up of international reserves.
Lesotho has made progress toward macroeconomic stability. After recent economic development, diamond production, garment industry, and good performance in the agriculture and service sectors were recovered. The fiscal position and public debt sustainability indicators have improved. Achievement of these objectives will call for an acceleration of the pace of structural reforms with a focus on promoting private sector development, while ensuring strong medium-term fiscal and external positions. The envisaged programs would be key to relieving constraints on growth and enhancing productivity.
In this study, gross domestic product by sector and expenditure, consumer price indices, basic wages, public service employment, central government operations, government revenues and grants, southern African customs union operations, economic classification of government expenditure, functional classification of government expenditures, outstanding government domestic debt by instrument and holder, monetary survey, assets and liabilities of central and commercial banks, balance of payments, public and publicly guaranteed external debt outstanding, direction of trade, composition of recorded exports, and summary of the tax system are listed.