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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.
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.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Foreign reserves have fallen perilously low, reflecting the drop in commodity export prices, the closure of alumina production, fiscal and external current account deficits, and central bank intervention. The authorities began adjusting to the shock in the second half of 2015 with fiscal consolidation and, in November, a 21 percent devaluation. They floated the currency in March 2016, which has resulted in a further depreciation of about 60 percent. The authorities have requested a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with the Fund to smooth the ongoing adjustment, restore confidence, and pave the way to economic recovery.

International Monetary Fund

This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that aided by favorable external conditions and an improvement in macroeconomic management, Suriname’s economic performance has improved in recent years. Since 2002, the central government deficit has declined sharply, leading to a substantial decrease in public debt as a share of GDP. Monetary policy has focused on reducing inflation, while the central bank has become more independent. In 2006, macroeconomic performance was better than anticipated, benefiting from a continued favorable external environment. The outlook for 2007 looks broadly positive.

International Monetary Fund

This 2009 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic activity weakened in Suriname in 2009 in the context of lower alumina and oil prices and a sharp output decline in the alumina sector. However, economic growth is estimated to have remained positive at 2.5 percent, supported by buoyant activity in the gold and construction sectors. Inflation has fallen sharply. Executive Directors have welcomed the authorities’ decision to postpone the reduction in the corporate tax rate, as this would adversely affect tax collections.

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.

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 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.

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