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 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.
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.
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. External Relations Dept.
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This paper compares the pattern of macroeconomic volatility in 17 Latin American countries during episodes of high and low growth since 1970, examining in particular the role of policy volatility. Macroeconomic outcomes are distinguished from macroeconomic policies, structural reforms and reversals, shocks, and institutional constraints. Based on previous work, a composite measure of structural reforms is constructed for the 1970-2004 period. We find that outcomes and policies are more volatile in low growth episodes, while shocks (except U.S. interest rates) are similar across episodes. Fiscal policy volatility is associated with lower growth, but fiscal policy procyclicality is not. Low levels of market-oriented reforms and structural reform reversals are also associated with lower growth.