Paraguay’s Fifth Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement and Request for Waiver of Performance Criteria are discussed. The overall fiscal position remains in surplus, the exchange rate weakened slightly with respect to the U.S. dollar, but considerably with respect to the Brazilian real, and international reserves continue to rise. There have been delays in implementing the structural reform agenda. The authorities need to maintain momentum and deepen the structural agenda to reduce vulnerabilities, strengthen institutions, and lay the basis for growth.
The staff paper for the Third Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement on Paraguay focuses on the macroeconomic framework and medium-term scenario, risks, and capacity to repay the IMF. There have been delays in implementing some structural measures, especially related to the approval of banking legislation, owing to a shift in the political environment and congressional delays. Macroeconomic performance has been better than envisaged under the program. The authorities have adopted a new strategy involving a two-stage approach that they believe is politically feasible to achieve but will require more time to implement.