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Aldo W. Zanzi

This paper highlights that the financial activity of the IMF reached a new peak in the first three quarters of 1981 in terms of the number of arrangements with members involving high conditionality on the use of the IMF’s resources, the total amount of resources committed under existing arrangements, and the magnitude of actual purchases. There were 25 stand-by arrangements in effect at the end of September 1981, as well as 16 extended arrangements. The total amount of resources made available to member countries in the first nine months of 1981 was SDR 9.3 billion.

International Monetary Fund

This 2002 Article IV Consultation highlights that despite frequent shocks and an uncertain policy environment in Vanuatu, macroeconomic stability has been maintained. Real GDP growth was 2½ percent in 2000 owing to an agriculture-led recovery. However, the economy contracted by 2 percent in 2001, owing to the effects of several major cyclones and a global downturn in agriculture and tourism. Inflation remained subdued, increasing from 2½ percent in 2000 to 3¾ percent in 2001. The current account surplus declined from 2 percent of GDP in 2000 to ¾ percent in 2001.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Devastating Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu on March 13, destroying a large share of housing, infrastructure, tourist facilities, crops, and livestock. Estimated damage and losses to the economy exceed 60 percent of GDP.

International Monetary Fund

This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that Vanuatu’s real GDP growth rebounded to 2.4 percent in 2003, and the recovery continued in 2004 with growth of an estimated 3 percent. The improvement was bolstered by a strong supply response to a recovery in export prices and the liberalization of trading in two key exports (cocoa and copra), the discovery of new markets for kava following the ban by several countries in 2002, and higher tourist arrivals with an expansion in airline capacity to Vanuatu. Progress has also been made in strengthening Vanuatu’s financial sector.

International Monetary Fund

This 2006 Article IV Consultation highlights that following two years of contraction, output growth in Vanuatu recovered beginning in 2003, spurred by stronger performance in construction and a pickup in tourist arrivals. Growth reached 7 percent in 2005 and an estimated 5½ percent in 2006, well above the average for Pacific island countries. The overall external balance has benefited from rising foreign direct investment, aid, and private capital inflows, with reserves increasing to more than 7 months of imports. If good macroeconomic policies continue and political stability is maintained, near-term prospects are positive.

International Monetary Fund

The staff report for Vanuatu’s 2009 Article IV Consultation discusses economic developments and policies. Vanuatu is well placed to take countercyclical measures should growth slow more than expected. Although close monitoring of banks is necessary given the rapid growth in the private sector credit last year, the wide differential in policy rates between Vanuatu and its major trading partners suggest that there is some scope for monetary easing if things deteriorate more than expected.

International Monetary Fund

Vanuatu showed signs of a moderate rebound in economic activity owing to its good macroeconomic fundamentals and a supportive international community. Executive Directors encouraged the authorities to tighten monetary policy in response to rising inflation pressures. They emphasized the need to strengthen fiscal buffers to safeguard the hard-earned fiscal soundness. Directors underscored the need to safeguard external buffers by maintaining an adequate level of foreign exchange reserves. They encouraged further efforts to strengthen the regulatory and supervisory framework that covers the whole financial system.

Regional Office for the Asia and the Pacific

Vanuatu has a comparatively favorable economy and cautious macroeconomic policies that have helped maintain stability and confidence. Financial sector policies also have been appropriately cautious. The economy must maintain low debt in the longer term, but as funding is needed for infrastructure, maintenance, and social services, new revenue measures have to be identified. This revenue could help strengthen the state while maintaining growth potential, especially in the tourism and agricultural sectors. The financing options for new large infrastructure projects have to be assessed.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Eighteen months after Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu, the economy continues to recover from the cyclone's extensive damages. Reconstruction efforts are beginning to yield positive results, allowing increasing use of Port Vila's international airport, the reopening of damaged hotels, and the return of tourists to the islands. These encouraging developments augur well for a full recovery in the near future.