International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
KEY ISSUES Context: Sudan’s economy has yet to recover from the shock of South Sudan’s secession three years ago, which took away three-quarters of oil production, half of its fiscal revenues, and two-thirds of its international payments capacity. Despite progress in implementing policies to address the resulting imbalances, inflation remains high and growth sluggish. Macroeconomic adjustment has been complicated by structural weaknesses, a heavy debt burden, U.S. sanctions, and volatile domestic and regional political factors. The authorities embarked earlier this year on a stabilization program supported by a Staff-Monitored Program (SMP). The program runs through end-2014, and the authorities have not yet decided if they want a new SMP; the mission for the third SMP review in December will discuss the matter with them. Developments, outlook, and risks. Economic performance this year has been mixed as growth has remained subdued and inflation still high at about 40 percent. Growth is expected to rebound in 2015, but the outlook remains uncertain. The risks are largely tilted to the downside, although prospects of a successful national dialogue could lead to resolution of domestic conflicts and improved international relations. Article IV. Discussions focused on policies to secure macroeconomic stability, strengthen social safety nets, and a move to sustainable and inclusive growth. Fiscal consolidation (through revenue mobilization and expenditure rationalization, including a gradual phase-out of fuel subsidies) should continue, accompanied by increased public investment and social spending. Tight monetary policy and lower central bank financing of the government should help lower inflation. There is also a need for steps to lower the large premium in the foreign exchange market. Stronger supervision is needed to improve banks’ resilience. More should be done to improve the business climate to boost growth. Program performance: The program remains on track. The authorities continue to minimize non-concessional borrowing and maintain satisfactory track record of payments to the Fund. They recently devalued the official exchange rate by 3 percent to help address external imbalances, which together with a large appreciation of the parallel market rate, has helped lower the premium. Going forward, priority should be given to further reducing inflation by continuing fiscal consolidation, tightening monetary policy, and gradually closing the gap between the official and parallel exchange rates. Debt relief. Relief requires reaching out to creditors, normalizing relations with international financial institutions, and continuing to establish a track record of cooperation with the IMF on policies and payments. The authorities’ agreement with South Sudan to extend the “zero option” by two years is a positive step.
This Technical Assistance Mission has been undertaken to support the Bank of South Sudan (BSS) in improving external sector statistics (ESS). The recommendations made during the 2018 mission for the recording of oil exports and transactions with Sudan under the Transitional Financial Agreement were implemented by the BSS. The mission worked toward enhancing the inter-agency cooperation by meeting with selected public sector bodies, providing them with an overview of the balance of payments and the data that the BSS will request from them. Before the end of the mission, requested data from one of the entities, the Civil Aviation Authority was provided. A work program was developed to conduct a visitor expenditure survey and a preliminary International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity template was submitted to IMF’s Statistics Department for review. In order to support progress in the various work areas, the mission recommended a detailed one-year action plan, with the several priority recommendations carrying weight to make headway in improving ESS reliability.
The FY 13–15 Medium-Term Budget presented in this paper reflects the following main features: Unchanged administrative budget in real terms for FY 13. Overall spending (structural plus crisis/temporary) will be kept unchanged in real terms in FY 13 relative to the FY 12 budget (excluding the one-off additional cost of the 2012 Annual Meetings in Tokyo).Broadly unchanged administrative envelope in nominal terms for FY 13. This reflects the impact of the Executive Board’s decision in March to grant no increase in the staff salary structure in the context of the 2012 Compensation Review. The “structure increase” is the main component in the budget deflator applied to map the real total envelope into nominal terms. A capital budget dominated by the impact of the HQ1 Renewal Program. The final appropriation for this project, approved by the Executive Board in March 2011, is reflected in the proposed capital budget for FY 13.
International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept. and International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper provides background for an initial discussion under the Fifteenth General Review of Quotas (15th Review) in line with the work plan agreed by the Executive Board. It discusses issues related to further reforms of the quota formula and realigning quota shares, based on updated quota data through 2015. A companion paper, to be discussed separately, will address issues related to the size of the Fund and mix of quota and borrowed resources. Both these papers seek to facilitate initial discussions on some of the key issues for the 15th Review. No proposals are made at this stage, recognizing that further deliberations will be needed before the issues under discussion can begin to be narrowed down.
International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper provides background for a further round of discussions on the Fifteenth General Review of Quotas (hereafter 15th Review). The paper builds on work presented in previous staff papers and Directors’ views expressed in three meetings of the Committee of the Whole in September 2017 and February 2018. No proposals are presented at this stage, pending further Board guidance on possible approaches to narrowing the current differences of views.
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that South Sudan’s economic performance has been mixed in recent years. Real GDP growth has displayed high volatility, the result of changes in oil and agricultural production. Inflation rose in an initial period of economic instability in 2011–12 but was contained in 2013–14 thanks to fiscal and monetary restraint and lower food prices. Serious challenges remain, including distortions in the foreign exchange market and in budget execution, lower international oil prices, and subdued oil production. As a result, financing the budget for FY2014/15 is challenging and will likely require policy decisions given the otherwise potentially adverse impact on economic stability and inflation.
South Sudan has suffered civil conflict, political instability and external shocks in the past three years. A steep decline in oil production and a sharp drop in oil prices have caused large shortfalls in foreign exchange receipts and government revenue. Continued high government spending led to massive fiscal deficits that were either monetized or financed through accumulation of arrears. The country is in a deep economic crisis with annual inflation peaking at 550 percent in September 2016 and a precipitous currency depreciation. Gross international reserves have dropped to about one week of import cover. A relapse of violence in July 2016 following the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity three months earlier compounded the already existing humanitarian crisis and derailed the peace process. The hope is that the country charts a new course toward a broad-based and inclusive political process and economic development.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Staff Report for the 2012 Article IV consultation, prepared by a staff team of the IMF, following discussions that ended on July 23, 2012, with the officials of Sudan on economic developments and policies. Based on information available at the time of these discussions, the staff report was completed on September 7, 2012. The views expressed in the staff report are those of the staff team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Executive Board of the IMF.