The authorities reiterated their firm commitment to the policies and objectives outlined in the May 17, 2010 Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies. They are committed to a reduction in other primary spending by 2 percentage points of GDP. With the medium-term outlook broadly unchanged, the policy discussions focused on the FY2011–12 budget and the authorities’ structural reform agenda. Revenues are projected to fall in 2011–12, reflecting the disappearance of exceptional receipts in 2010–11. On the spending side, the authorities are facing a number of additional commitments—some of which are of a temporary nature.
In response to a request from the authorities and as part of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative (EDDI) 2 project, a government finance statistics (GFS) mission visited Maseru, Lesotho, during January 20–31, 2020. The mission was the last, in a series of five consecutive technical assistance (TA) missions to Lesotho, as part of the EDDI 2 project. The objective of the five-year project, that started in 2015 was to foster compilation and dissemination of GFS and public sector debt statistics (PSDS) consistent with international methodological standards. The work program under the project identified the enhancement of classification of transactions in fiscal accounts and the expansion of the institutional coverage of data to include all significant general government units as key milestones to achieve by the end of the project.
Lesotho’s fiscal and external balances have deteriorated as a result of the global economic downturn and a surge in spending. Undertaking key fiscal adjustments to restore macroeconomic stability is necessary for raising Lesotho’s growth potential. Executive Directors commend the measures taken in the budget to reduce expenditure. Further strengthening of debt management and accelerating structural reforms is crucial for raising Lesotho’s growth potential. Strengthening the institutional and regulatory framework for banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) will help to support financial sector health and stability.
This 2008 Article IV Consultation discusses that Lesotho has made significant progress in macroeconomic performance, but the pace of implementation of key structural reforms has been slow. After a decade of low growth, economic activity surged above historic trends, averaging 6.6 percent during 2006–07, driven by the mining, textile, and construction sectors. However, poverty has seen only a modest decline. Executive Directors have commended the authorities for their prudent macroeconomic management, which has contributed to the recent strong economic performance and a continued build-up of international reserves.