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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Lebanon highlights that Lebanon’s economic position continues to be very difficult, with very low growth, high public debt and large twin deficits. While financial stability has been maintained, deposit inflows, critical to finance the budget and external deficits, slowed down during the past year, reducing the authorities’ room for manoeuvre. The new government has taken some important policy steps to start the needed policy adjustment, which could help raise confidence among investors and donors. The highest priority is the implementation of a sustainable fiscal adjustment that will bend down the path of the public debt-to-gross domestic product ratio through a combination of revenue and expenditure measures. This needs to be complemented by structural reforms and concessionally financed investment to raise Lebanon’s growth potential and help external adjustment, as well as policies to build further buffers in Lebanon’s financial sector. Structural reforms should prioritize reforming the electricity sector, removing impediments to and lowering the cost of doing business, as well as improving governance and reducing corruption.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses Honduras’s 2019 Article IV Consultation and Request for a Stand-By Arrangement and an Arrangement Under the Standby Credit Facility. Supported by a Fund program that expired in December 2017, Honduras has reduced macroeconomic imbalances, institutionalized fiscal prudence, and laid the groundwork for a modern monetary policy framework. The authorities are committed to maintain prudent policies and to build on previous achievements to make progress in solving long-standing issues. The authorities’ economic program aims at maintaining macroeconomic stability, while enacting economic and institutional reforms to foster inclusive growth. Honduras needs to foster inclusive growth through reforms and better governance. Policy priorities include: reforms to increase the quality of fiscal policy, sustaining revenue mobilization efforts, protecting investment and social spending, and securing financial sustainability of the public electricity company; and reforms to enhance transparency and governance in the budget.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses three important sectors of Belize economy: financial, sugar market, and energy. Belize’s banking system has continued to strengthen since the 2014 Article IV Consultation in June 2014. Despite recent improvements, some banks’ balance sheets are still weak and exposed to adverse macroeconomic developments. The sugar sector makes a very important contribution to Belize’s economy. The sector is estimated to account for about 4-5 percent of GDP, 9-10 percent of total exports, 8 percent of employment, and 5-6 percent of foreign exchange earnings. But the reform of EU sugar regime, scheduled to take full effect in 2017, will most likely cause a significant drop in the EU sugar price.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This paper discusses Honduras' First Reviews Under the Stand-by Arrangement (SBA) and Standby Credit Facility (SCF). Program implementation for the first reviews has been strong. All 2014 performance criteria and indicative targets were met, most with significant margins. The authorities have also created fiscal space within the program to increase social spending and support efforts to reduce poverty. On the structural side, December 2014 and March 2015 benchmarks were also generally observed. The revised program proposed for 2015 envisages further strengthening fiscal and net international reserves targets. The IMF staff supports the completion of the first reviews under the SBA and the SCF Arrangements.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This paper discusses Honduras' First Reviews Under the Stand-by Arrangement (SBA) and Standby Credit Facility (SCF). Program implementation for the first reviews has been strong. All 2014 performance criteria and indicative targets were met, most with significant margins. The authorities have also created fiscal space within the program to increase social spending and support efforts to reduce poverty. On the structural side, December 2014 and March 2015 benchmarks were also generally observed. The revised program proposed for 2015 envisages further strengthening fiscal and net international reserves targets. The IMF staff supports the completion of the first reviews under the SBA and the SCF Arrangements.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq have led to a massive influx of refugees, putting enormous pressure on Jordan’s limited resources, and to disruptions in trade routes, less tourism, and a hesitant investment sentiment. At the same time, the near complete halt of gas flows from Egypt required imports of expensive fuel for electricity generation, contributing to large losses at the national electricity company and adding to the already high public debt. Jordan’s program has helped the economy weather these shocks. Gradual consolidation by the central government and public utilities, aided by lower oil prices, ensured that public debt is broadly stabilizing this year and, together with a prudent monetary policy, has preserved macroeconomic stability and supported confidence.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

The Syrian crisis and the associated inflow of refugees continue to dominate Lebanon’s short-term outlook, compounding long-standing policy weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Political paralysis has set in, with virtually no progress on the structural front. Growth has remained modest and insufficient to make a dent in rising poverty and unemployment. A welcome improvement in the primary fiscal position in 2014 was largely due to temporary factors, and will not be sustained absent adjustment efforts—implying that, without additional effort, Lebanon’s already-sizable public debt burden will only worsen. Financial conditions have nonetheless remained stable, as deposit inflows continue to fund the economy and sizeable buffers support the credibility of the exchange rate peg.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

The Syrian crisis and the associated inflow of refugees continue to dominate Lebanon’s short-term outlook, compounding long-standing policy weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Political paralysis has set in, with virtually no progress on the structural front. Growth has remained modest and insufficient to make a dent in rising poverty and unemployment. A welcome improvement in the primary fiscal position in 2014 was largely due to temporary factors, and will not be sustained absent adjustment efforts—implying that, without additional effort, Lebanon’s already-sizable public debt burden will only worsen. Financial conditions have nonetheless remained stable, as deposit inflows continue to fund the economy and sizeable buffers support the credibility of the exchange rate peg.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

The paper discusses the economic developments and policies in Sri Lanka in recent years. Substantial adjustments in energy prices and operational and financial reforms have helped to improve the performance of state owned enterprises (SOEs) and have reduced the burden on the budget and the banking system. Despite challenging global and domestic market conditions, overall soundness of the financial sector has improved with higher levels of capital, liquidity, and healthy earnings. The Sri Lankan economy is expected to return to a high growth trajectory, though conditional on recovery in external demand.

International Monetary Fund
This paper is a report of Nicaragua’s performance under the 2007–11 program. The period was marked by a stern financial crisis, price shocks, and disasters, but the program maintained the macroeconomic stability. Although the program had several hurdles, its achievements were remarkable—approval of tax reforms, improvements in banks' framework, power and electricity framework, dwindled poverty rate, and strong foreign relations. Overall, the Board is in high spirits in the triumph of the program in a critical situation though it had some flaws.