This paper reviews the performance of Guinea-Bissau Under the program supported by Emergency Post-Conflict Assistance (EPCA). Guinea-Bissau has made progress in stabilizing its fiscal situation under difficult circumstances and is moving steadily to implement structural reforms. Four of the six end-March quantitative indicators were met; the other two are expected to be met for the year as a whole. All structural indicators were implemented, albeit with some delay. The authorities recognize the importance of accelerating structural fiscal reforms to further build capacity and improve confidence in the economy.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
KEY ISSUESContext. Guatemala’s economy has performed solidly since the 2008–09 crisis. Output has converged to potential, inflation is under control, and macroeconomic policies remain prudent. However, risks to the outlook are tilted downwards, while buffers are modest and space for counter-cyclical policies is thin. Long-term inclusive growth is constrained by low investment in physical and human capital, institutional weaknesses, and lack of security.Near-term policies are broadly appropriate. With the output gap closed, the broadly neutral fiscal stance is adequate. The monetary stance is slightly expansionary, but inflation is at the bottom of the target range. The authorities should stand ready to tighten monetary policy if inflationary pressures re-emerge.Fiscal sustainability should be enhanced over the medium term. Though the debt-to- GDP ratio remains moderate, the ability to implement counter-cyclical fiscal policies is limited, not least by Guatemala’s high government debt-to-revenue ratio. Debt stabilization requires moderate tightening of the budgetary stance over the medium term. The emphasis should be on revenue mobilization, given the overall low level of spending. Consolidating gains from the 2012 tax reform, which has so far proved disappointing, will be critical.Efforts to upgrade the monetary and exchange policy framework should continue. Anchoring low and stable inflation will require measures to bolster monetary policy transmission, including by expanding exchange rate flexibility. This should provide an additional shock absorber and reduce incentives for dollarization. It would also establish the inflation target as the undisputed primary objective of the central bank.Further strengthening of the financial system is necessary. The 2014 FSAP update found that Guatemala has made significant progress in financial regulation and that the banking system appears to be generally sound. However, efforts are still needed to improve consolidated supervision and the regulation of off-shore banks. The time is also ripe for a phased move to Basel III standards.Structural reforms are vital to achieving long-term inclusive growth. Paving the way towards high, inclusive growth will depend upon raising the low tax-to-GDP ratio to supportpriority public spending, thereby addressing critical social and developmental needs.
This 2008 Article IV Consultation highlights that Djibouti’s macroeconomic performance improved significantly, but inflation pressures are intensifying. Real GDP growth accelerated to 5.3 percent in 2007, driven mainly by foreign direct investment concentrated in the construction and port services. Executive Directors have welcomed Djibouti’s strong economic growth driven by large foreign direct investments in the port and other key sectors of the economy. Directors have also emphasized the importance of maintaining the fiscal consolidation objective, with a view to controlling inflation and creating fiscal space to finance the poverty reduction strategy.