Western Hemisphere > Honduras

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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The near-term outlook has worsened, while a recovery is expected for next year. Amid a weak health system and a surge in infections over the summer, the gradual reopening of the economy has faced setbacks and the pandemic is having a stronger and more protracted social and economic impact than expected. While the policy response to the Covid-19 shock was appropriately designed, there have been implementation challenges and delays. The authorities’ monitoring system of pandemic-related spending and civil society oversight helped identify missteps to implement corrective actions, for which they are receiving technical assistance from FAD and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). More recently, Honduras is also facing the challenge to respond to two tropical storms, which the authorities intend to manage within the contour of the current economic program.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper presents Honduras’ Second Reviews Under the Stand-By Arrangement and Arrangement Under the Stand-By Credit Facility, Requests for Augmentation and Rephasing of Access, and Modification of Performance Criteria. The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and external spillovers are expected to hit Honduras hard, and the augmentation of access will support the authorities’ response to mitigate the impact. The completion of the reviews will help Honduras meet urgent balance of payments needs stemming from the pandemic, including increased health care and social spending. The authorities continue to take steps to improve the institutional framework in the electricity sector. Important measures have been incorporated into the program. These aim at improving governance and facilitating the unbundling of the national electricity company. Tariffs continue to reflect the cost of electricity provision while providing subsidies to the poor. The augmentation of access under the Stand-By Arrangement and the Arrangement under the Standby Credit Facility should help the authorities cover external financing needs to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
Dmitry Plotnikov
This paper presents a structural model of crime and output. Individuals make an occupational choice between criminal and legal activities. The return to becoming a criminal is endogenously determined in a general equilibrium together with the level of crime and economic activity. I calibrate the model to the Northern Triangle countries and conduct several policy experiments. I find that for a country like Honduras crime reduces GDP by about 3 percent through its negative effect on employment indirectly, in addition to direct costs of crime associated with material losses, which are in line with literature estimates. Also, the model generates a non-linear effect of crime on output and vice versa. On average I find that a one percent increase in output per capita implies about ½ percent decline in crime, while a decrease of about 5 percent in crime leads to about one percent increase in output per capita. These positive effects are larger if the initial level of crime is larger.
Ms. Kimberly Beaton, Mr. Roberto Garcia-Saltos, and Mr. Lorenzo U Figliuoli

Abstract

Abstract: Accelerating economic growth in Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic (CAPDR) remains an elusive task. While the region performed relatively well in the post-global financial crisis period, over the last five years obstacles to growth have become more evident and new challenges have emerged. In response, the region has strengthened macro-financial frameworks but more progress will be required to pave the way to sustained growth and prosperity. This book considers the structural factors underlying the region’s growth outlook and assesses its macroeconomic and financial challenges to help shape the policy agenda going forward. The book first identifies the structural determinants of growth in the region related to: capital formation; employment; demographic factors, including immigration; productivity; and violence. It then highlights the importance of creating fiscal space through the design and implementation of fiscal rules and mechanisms to increase accountability (better quality of public spending, adequate policies to reduce income inequality and sustainable retirement plans). Finally, it presents recent evidence on the importance of a supportive financial sector for growth (including through financial inclusion and development).

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper looks at revenue mobilization efforts in Honduras. The country has made considerable progress over the last years, helping to stabilize its fiscal position. Although tax revenue collection ratios in Honduras are high, the statutory rates are aligned with regional peers. A formal benchmarking exercise supports the evidence pointing to Honduras’s relatively good collection performance. The authorities’ future revenue mobilization strategy should prioritize reforms aiming at increasing efficiency and compliance. The cost-benefit assessment of existing tax exemptions in terms of their policy objectives may offer guiding principles to prioritize reforms going forward. Compared to peers, statutory tax rates are similar and tax collection ratios are generally higher—a benchmarking exercise suggests that the current revenue envelope is close to its frontier. Going forward, there is a need to sustain revenue mobilization efforts, which will be instrumental to maintaining a sound fiscal position, reducing the infrastructure gap, and increasing social spending. Rationalizing large tax expenditures could contribute to these efforts.
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 2019 Article IV Consultation discusses that structural reforms, strengthened policy frameworks and the ongoing smooth political transition have laid the foundations for sustained growth in El Salvador. The discussions focused on policies that build on these achievements and address fiscal vulnerabilities, boost long-term growth, and strengthen the governance, anticorruption and Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism frameworks. Continued US dollar appreciation led to a significant decline in inflation and widening of the current account deficit. The authorities agreed that debt would continue to drift upward in the absence of measures, and that weaker-than-expected global growth could have a negative impact on the domestic economy. The authorities emphasized their commitment to guarantee a smooth political transition by sharing information with the new administration and by inviting the Audit Office to oversee the handover process. It is recommended to improve the governance and anticorruption frameworks by increasing the fiscal transparency of the 2020 budget laws, strengthening audit and spending controls, and promptly implementing electronic invoicing.