This paper discusses key findings of the First Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement for Mongolia. The paper reveals that economic activity in Mongolia is slowing and inflation is falling, broadly in line with what was anticipated at the time the program was approved. The authorities’ strong policy implementation is working to stabilize the economy. The biweekly foreign exchange auctions are also working well, and the authorities remain committed to allowing exchange rate flexibility in line with market conditions.
This paper discusses key findings of the Second Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement for Mongolia. All end-June performance criteria for the Second Review were met. The authorities have also implemented all but two of the end-June structural benchmarks, albeit with some delay. The creation of a screen-based system for interbank foreign exchange transactions has not been completed. However, the foreign exchange auction system established under the program is working well. The authorities’ strong policy implementation under the program is working to stabilize market conditions and lower inflation.
This paper discusses key findings of the Fourth Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement for Mongolia. All end-December performance criteria were met, and the indicative limit on the fiscal deficit was met with a comfortable margin. Inflation, after falling rapidly into negative territory for the past few months, has swung upward and could reach 8 percent. The flexible exchange rate regime continues to work well, and the central bank has intervened sparingly in recent months. The key macromanagement priorities in the period ahead will be to contain inflation and maintain fiscal discipline.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Mongolia discusses that economy growth accelerated to 8.6 percent in the first quarter of 2019, over fiscal balance turned into surplus in 2018, and gross international reserves have increased by $2 1/2 billion since 2016. The recovery stems from a stronger policy framework, significant official financing and a rebound in external demand. Notwithstanding the progress, Mongolia remains vulnerable to external shocks given its high debt levels and the economy’s dependence on mineral exports. Structural reforms progressed in several key areas: the budget process is more resilient to political pressure and quasi-fiscal activities were curtailed. In order to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth, it is necessary to advance the current reform efforts by strengthening the rule-based fiscal policy framework, ensuring financial sector soundness and improving governance. Risks are tilted toward the downside in the near term. Shocks to mineral demand can lead to sharp fall in exports, weakening growth outlook and fiscal accounts. A slowdown in growth could trigger financial instability given still inadequate capital buffers at some banks and overindebted households.
Mongolia has made impressive progress in developing its economy over the past ten years. Medium-term prospects are promising as mining output is projected to expand by more than 20 percent per annum, on average, over the next five years. However, the prospects for sustained, rapid and inclusive non-mineral growth depend on the implementation of the stability-oriented fiscal framework that has been adopted in the aftermath of the 2008/09 balance of payments (BOP) crisis. This framework was designed to dampen volatility, mitigate risks to economic and financial stability, and strengthen long-term natural resource management. The expansionary fiscal policy of the past year is causing double-digit inflation and BOP pressures. Public spending needs to be reined in, in order not to risk undermining stability and growth prospects, and in view of Mongolia’s vulnerability to a downturn in commodities exports.
Despite the negative impact of the severe winter on agriculture, other indicators are pointing to a strong recovery. Exports are growing rapidly, fueled by the rebound in copper prices and a rapid growth in coal exports. Rephasing of purchases by combining the fifth and sixth reviews is requested owing to the delay in completing the fifth review, and earlier-than-planned Board discussion of the sixth review. The sixth review is the final review. The fiscal responsibility law will help secure a lasting fiscal discipline.