In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
This paper provides the details of the IMF's projections and estimates on Nicaragua's gross domestic product by expenditure; value added in agriculture and manufacturing; central government operations; operations of the rest of the general government and public utility enterprises; summary balance of payments; trade account indicators; public sector external debt and debt service; summary accounts of the central bank and the financial system; consumer price index; resource balance and financing of investment, and so on. It also provides the statistical appendix report on real, fiscal, monetary, and external sectors.
This paper reviews economic developments in Nicaragua during 1990–96. During 1990–95, Nicaragua made substantial progress in policy implementation to reduce macroeconomic imbalances and to transform itself to a market-based economy. Fiscal and monetary policies were strengthened; most price controls were eliminated; and the foreign exchange and trade systems were liberalized. A program of public asset divestment was implemented and public employment and military outlays were cut substantially. An extensive reform of the banking system was initiated by allowing private sector participation in financial intermediation; interest rates were liberalized; and banking supervision was established.
The low-income country debt crisis had its origins in weak macroeconomic policies, and official creditors’ willingness to take risks unacceptable to private lenders. Payments problems were initially addressed through nonconcessional reschedulings and new lending that maximized financing while containing the budgetary costs for creditors. This led to an unsustainable buildup in debt stocks. More recently, debt ratios have improved, reflecting both adjustment and substantial debt relief. The paper estimates debt relief initiatives since 1988 have cost creditors at least $30 billion, and possibly much more. This compares with the estimated costs of about $27 billion under the enhanced HIPC Initiative.
Opportunities for growth and investment in Central America could well improve in the coming years, as the region’s ties with the world economy grow closer. This integration, however, also presents important challenges for economic policy to ensure that growth can be sustained and can benefit the poor. This book stresses the importance of keeping fiscal policy on a sustainable path; strengthening public investment in basic infrastructure, primary health care, and primary and secondary education; and managing the risks associated with partial dollarization.
Nicaragua showed weak economic performance owing to trade shocks, a decline in investment, and slippages in the fiscal and monetary areas, under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility Arrangement. Executive Directors noted that an effective implementation of the fiscal program under the Staff Monitored Program (SMP), together with the envisaged privatization and structural reforms, is crucial for maintaining macroeconomic stability. They welcomed the steps to deepen trade liberalization, improve liquidity management, and strengthen the banking system.
This report reviews progress and issues in implementing the enhanced HIPC Initiative. In addition to updating information on the delivery of HIPC debt relief and its estimated costs, it discusses two particular issues: the decline in the participation of commercial and non-Paris Club bilateral creditors to the Initiative; and the preliminary list of countries that satisfy the indebtedness eligibility criterion under the extended HIPC sunset clause.