International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Upon taking office in December last year, Argentina's new government faced pervasive macroeconomic imbalances, microeconomic distortions, and a weakened institutional framework. These encompassed unsustainably high consumption levels, historically low levels of investment, and large fiscal deficits financed by money creation, which led to high inflation. Distortions at the micro level included an extensive network of administrative controls (for example, trade barriers, foreign exchange restrictions, and price controls) and a business environment that eroded competitiveness and undermined medium-term growth. There was also an important weakening of the institutional framework for economic policymaking, perhaps most evident in the loss of credibility of the national statistics agency.
An External Sector Statistics (ESS) technical assistance (TA) mission was conducted remotely to Brunei Darussalam, during July 26–29, 2020, aimed at improving the quality of ESS, in line with the authorities’ request. This is the most recent TA mission on ESS to Brunei Darussalam following a previous one that took place more than 16 years ago by the IMF’s Statistics Department.
The first review of the three-year PRGF arrangement approved on May 2, 2001, has been delayed to give the authorities time to rectify weaknesses in program execution during a four-month consolidation period by meeting specified revenue and expenditure targets set for that period. The medium-term macroeconomic framework underpinning the poverty reduction strategy paper is consistent with that of the initial poverty reduction growth facility (PRGF)-supported program approved. The public enterprise restructuring and privatization program remains a key element of the structural reform agenda.