This Selected Issues paper assesses The Gambia’s external competitiveness by reviewing developments in several indicators, ranging from exchange rate-based indices to survey-based assessments of the investment climate. The paper reviews the evolution of several multilateral and bilateral real exchange rate indices for The Gambia, and summarizes the results of a regression analysis that tests for misalignment of the exchange rate. The paper also evaluates the degree of autonomy extended to the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) under the provisions of the new Central Bank of The Gambia Act, 2005.
This paper presents key findings of the Fourth Review for the Gambia under the three-year arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). The Gambia remains at high risk of debt distress. Overall performance under the PRGF-supported program has been satisfactory, but downside risks to achieving program objectives have increased. IMF staff supports the authorities’ requests for a waiver for nonobservance of the fiscal basic balance performance criterion, augmentation of access, and modification of quantitative performance criteria for end-March 2009.
This Selected Issues paper examines economic developments in The Gambia during 1994–98. Although real output growth slowed significantly in the early 1990s and turned negative in 1994/95, both 1997 and 1998 were characterized by an upswing in real economic activity. The 1994/95 output decline of 3.4 percent was primarily owing to a significant downturn in tourist activity. The recovery in the tourist sector and the more favorable weather conditions led to real GDP growth of 4.9 percent in 1997 and an estimated real growth rate of 4.7 percent in 1998.
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix for The Gambia underlies that the exchange rate is broadly in line with fundamentals, although data weaknesses and uncertainties prevent a definitive assessment. The Gambia’s current account deficit is higher than economic fundamentals would predict, and a depreciation of 11 percent would be needed to restore sustainability. The external sustainability approach suggests that 4–6 percent depreciation is needed for the current account deficit to be consistent with constant net foreign assets as a share of GDP.
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 paper reviews economic developments in The Gambia during 1990–95. Economic activity slowed down in 1993/94 and contracted by at least 4 percent in real terms in 1994/95. With the drop in re-export trade and the disruption of the tourist season, domestic government revenues declined by more than 4 percent of GDP during 1993/94–1994/95; foreign grants fell by an additional 2 percent of GDP, owing to the suspension of balance-of-payments assistance following the military coup.
This paper applies intertemporal models of precautionary saving to compute an optimal level of international reserves for The Gambia. The analysis focuses on current account shocks specific to a low-income economy with a significant import component and complements a more standard, rule-of-thumb reserve adequacy assessment. The results suggest a central range from 4.5 months to 7 months of imports, which is broadly aligned with the recent actual coverage. Notwithstanding parameter sensitivity, the simulations allow for more informed policy decisions that balance flexibility with a prudent approach to reserve use.
This paper discusses the request from Gambian authorities for a three-year arrangement under the extended credit facility (ECF). The Gambian economy performed well during the previous IMF arrangement, which expired at the end of March 2011; however, there were slippages under the program. The authorities requested a new three-year ECF arrangement, with a large initial disbursement, but relatively low access overall. The initial disbursement would support stability during the current drought crisis, while remaining disbursements would encourage fiscal adjustment and catalyze donor support for the poverty reduction strategy.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus, World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn, and World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Mike Moore issued a joint statement to the Third WTO Ministerial Conference in Seattle, Washington, on November 30. Camdessus also addressed the conference separately. Extracts from the joint statement, issued as News Brief 99/78, and Camdessus’s statement follow.
The Gambian economy showed strong growth and low inflation during the global crisis under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF), despite a sharp drop in tourism and remittance receipts. Executive Directors appreciated the macroeconomic policy framework and stressed the importance of achieving the MDGs and targets on poverty-reducing expenditures. They encouraged strengthening of fiscal performance to anchor macroeconomic stability and reduce the debt burden. Directors strongly supported tax reform and welcomed budget procedures and their execution. Directors supported recent improvements in debt management and stressed the importance of debt sustainability.