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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that the earthquakes in April and May and protests and trade disruptions following the promulgation of a new constitution in September have exacerbated the macroeconomic policy challenges facing the Nepalese economy. Real GDP growth is estimated to have decelerated to 3.4 percent in 2014/15 (mid-July 2014 to mid-July 2015) from 5.5 percent in 2013/14. Growth is expected to gradually rebound to about 5.5 percent by 2016/17, as economic activity recovers from the earthquake and reconstruction gains momentum. Inflation is projected to rise to about 8.5 percent over the next 12 months. The medium-term outlook depends importantly on the authorities’ reform efforts.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Article IV Consultation highlights that following a prolonged period of tepid growth, economic activity in Nepal has picked up, reflecting cyclical factors and some structural improvements, especially in electricity supply. Discussions focused on policies needed to stem rising balance of payments pressures, safeguard financial stability, and structural reforms to ensure high, sustainable and inclusive growth. Continued improvements in revenue performance are seen to be important to maintain a strong fiscal position and meet capital spending needs. The IMF staff welcomed the authorities’ efforts to increase domestic revenue mobilization. The authorities broadly agreed with the IMF staff’s assessment and fiscal policy advice. The authorities noted that the transition to fiscal federalism and the pickup of reconstruction. Progress has been made with putting in place a fiscal federal framework but more needs to be done to ensure sustainability, make budgets more realistic and spending more efficient, and build implementation capacity.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2020 Article IV Consultation focuses on Nepal’s near and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before coronavirus disease 2019 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity and financial markets. During recent years, strong growth in Nepal has been supported by greater political stability, improved electricity supply, and reconstruction activity following the devastating earthquakes in 2015. Additional policies are needed to continue to support inclusive growth, while safeguarding macroeconomic and financial stability. Fiscal policy should remain prudent, and the transition to fiscal federalism carefully managed. Macroprudential measures should remain in place to limit the build-up of financial sector risk. Recent reforms to boost foreign investment need a supportive implementation environment. Strengthening the implementation of monetary policy requires a well-functioning interest rate framework that reduces volatility in short-term interest rates. Less short-term interest rate volatility would support financial market development and improve policy signaling and transmission. The IMF staff emphasizes the need to introduce a standing deposit facility as a first step toward establishing a reliable implementation track record for the interest rate corridor.
Mr. Jan Kees Martijn, Markus Berndt, Abu Shonchoy, and Mr. Paolo Dudine
This paper studies the spending and absorption of aid in PRGF-supported programs, verifies whether the use aid is programmed to be smoothed over time, and analyzes how considerations about macroeconomic stability influence the programmed use of aid. It finds that PRGF-supported programs allow countries to use most or almost all increases in aid within a few years. The paper finds some evidence that the programmed absorption of aid is higher in countries where reserve coverage is above a certain threshold, whereas programmed spending does not seem to depend on inflation. Finally, it shows that the presence of a PRGFsupported program does not constrain the actual spending and absorption of aid.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

KEY ISSUESContext: Successful elections for a new Constituent Assembly and formation of a new government have stabilized the political situation.Macroeconomic situation and outlook: Nepal’s macroeconomic situation remains broadly favorable. Growth is projected to recover in 2013/14 owing to good monsoons, robust growth in services, and increased public spending. Inflation is moderating, in line with developments in India. High remittance inflows are supporting a strong external position, as well as high reserve money growth. Risks to the outlook are slightly tilted to the downside, involving slower-than-expected growth in countries hosting Nepali workers and domestic financial sector risks.Medium term prospects: While remittances are expected to continue to support the external position, the outlook for growth depends on improving the environment for private investment. This requires a decisive boost in public capital spending, and structural reforms in key areas.Financial sector: Despite progress, significant vulnerabilities remain. The recent assessment under the FSAP, Nepal’s first, raised concerns about asset quality and interconnectedness, as well as financial sector infrastructure—including the legal framework—and supervision and crisis preparedness. At the same time, a largely unsupervised cooperatives sector is growing rapidly.Key policy recommendations: Monetary policy should aim at controlling the volatility and level of excess reserves in the financial system, implying a modest tightening of monetary conditions. The exchange rate peg to the Indian rupee provides a useful nominal anchor for the economy, and the real exchange rate is broadly in line with fundamentals. Capital spending needs to be boosted to provide key infrastructure, and reforms implemented to support private investment, which will help generate sustained economic growth and employment opportunities. In the financial sector, further reforms to bolster regulation and supervision, and improve financial infrastructure are needed to reduce risk and increase access to finance.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

KEY ISSUES Context: Nepal has been trapped in a low-investment, low-growth equilibrium. The authorities' aim is to graduate from least-developed country status within 7 years. Macroeconomic situation and outlook: The earthquakes in April and May have held back growth. Together with the recent unrest and disruptions to trade routes, they also pushed up inflation. Growth is expected to gradually rebound as economic activity recovers and reconstruction gains momentum. High remittance inflows are supporting a strong external position, as well as high broad money growth. The outlook is subject to considerable downside risk, involving continued political and economic instability and slower-than-expected growth of government capital spending. Medium-term prospects: While remittances are expected to continue to support the external position, the outlook for growth depends importantly on the authorities' reform efforts. Experience in other fragile states shows that natural disasters can have permanent effects on potential growth. This underscores the importance of a decisive boost to public capital spending and reforms to strengthen the business climate. Key policy recommendations: Fiscal policy needs to support post-earthquake reconstruction and medium-term growth through higher public investment. Stronger public financial management (PFM) will be key to the swift and efficient implementation of higher capital spending. Along with efforts to improve the business climate, this should support private investment needed to generate sustained higher economic growth and employment opportunities. The exchange rate peg to the Indian rupee provides a useful nominal anchor to the economy, and the real exchange rate is broadly in line with fundamentals. Money growth should be contained to a level consistent with supporting the peg. The monetary operations framework needs to be strengthened to put the central bank in a position to better control the growth of broad money in the face of strong inflows of remittances and aid. Financial sector reforms should continue to focus on bolstering regulation and supervision, and improving financial infrastructure, to reduce risk and increase access to finance.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Nepal's economy is rebounding following a slowdown caused by the 2015 earthquakes and trade disruptions at the southern border. The upswing has been supported by the new government's efforts to revitalize the reform agenda. The key challenge is to put policies in place that will extend the cyclical recovery into a sustained period of high and inclusive growth.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

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