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Thomas Reichmann and Mr. Richard T. Stillson

Countries facing temporary balance of payments problems may use Fund resources, usually in the form of stand-by arrangements, to support programs designed to correct maladjustments in their balance of payments. The authors of this article recently conducted a study of such programs. They report here on their analysis and their evaluation of the policies followed by a selected number of countries which used Fund resources under stand-by arrangements.

John W. Lowe

The International Finance Corporation, an affiliate of the World Bank which provides finance for private sector projects in the developing countries, has been involved in providing finance for agribusiness since 1964. This article discusses the Corporation’s experience in this sector.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights that during the past two years, macroeconomic developments in Nicaragua have been generally favorable. Real GDP grew by an average of 5¼ percent during 2011–2012, and the annual average inflation was 7¼ percent during the same period. Looking ahead, the macroeconomic outlook also remains broadly positive. Real GDP is expected to grow by 4¼ percent in 2013 and then stabilize at its potential level of 4 percent over the medium-term. Inflation is projected to remain at about 7 percent supported by the crawling-peg exchange rate system that has helped anchor inflation expectations.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights that during the past two years, macroeconomic developments in Nicaragua have been generally favorable. Real GDP grew by an average of 5¼ percent during 2011–2012, and the annual average inflation was 7¼ percent during the same period. Looking ahead, the macroeconomic outlook also remains broadly positive. Real GDP is expected to grow by 4¼ percent in 2013 and then stabilize at its potential level of 4 percent over the medium-term. Inflation is projected to remain at about 7 percent supported by the crawling-peg exchange rate system that has helped anchor inflation expectations.
International Monetary Fund
This paper is a report of Nicaragua’s performance under the 2007–11 program. The period was marked by a stern financial crisis, price shocks, and disasters, but the program maintained the macroeconomic stability. Although the program had several hurdles, its achievements were remarkable—approval of tax reforms, improvements in banks' framework, power and electricity framework, dwindled poverty rate, and strong foreign relations. Overall, the Board is in high spirits in the triumph of the program in a critical situation though it had some flaws.
International Monetary Fund
Nicaragua's economic performance in 2010 was satisfactory. Real GDP grew, supported by strong consumption and investment. Bank credit started recovering while the financial system remained liquid and profitable. Exchange-rate and monetary policy have contributed to macroeconomic stability. The authorities plan to improve public financial management and also to adopt a legal framework and remain committed to contain the macroeconomic risks from external aid flows. They also welcomed the sixth review and Financing Assurances under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement.
International Monetary Fund
The Nicaraguan economy continued to post robust growth in the first half of 2011. The Seventh Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and Financing Assurances Review highlights that all quantitative performance criteria for end-June 2011 were met and the structural agenda is broadly on track. The fiscal performance of the central government was stronger than envisaged. The deficit in the external current account is projected to remain large and to be financed by resilient capital flows.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights Nicaragua’s robust macroeconomic performance in 2016. Real GDP grew by 4.7 percent in 2016, supported by strong domestic demand, while inflation remained subdued at 3.1 percent as of the end of 2016, owing largely to the contribution of food prices. The current account deficit for 2016 is estimated to have narrowed to 8.6 percent of GDP, compared with 9 percent in 2015. This consolidation is largely explained by maquila exports, which have been better captured owing to improvements in statistical compilation. The current account deficit remained financed by foreign direct investment and other long-term inflows.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes Nicaragua’s social security system, which is projected to run out of liquid reserves by 2019, several years earlier than anticipated. To avoid burdening the budget, reforms to the system are urgently needed. A deep actuarial, economic, and operational analysis is needed to design a comprehensive reform program. Such a program must ensure that the defined-benefit, pay-as-you-go system can sustain itself for another generation of workers and that improved health care benefits can be maintained. A politically acceptable, pragmatic solution appears within reach. However, the authorities should act quickly to avoid a costly bailout of the system.
International Monetary Fund
Economic performance in Nicaragua has been better than envisaged; nonetheless, vulnerabilities remain and will be compounded by electoral uncertainties. The decision to use part of the strong revenue performance to lower the fiscal deficit is appropriate. Exchange-rate and monetary policy remain broadly adequate. Fiscal adjustment should set the stage for a strong program of fiscal consolidation following the elections. Continued vigilance in the financial sector will be critical. Improvement in reporting and monitoring of foreign aid flows and transparency is necessary.