Republic of Madagascar: Fourth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility and Request for Modification of Performance Criteria-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Republic of Madagascar
This paper discusses Madagascar’s Fourth Review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and Request for Modification of Performance Criteria. Madagascar’s economic recovery continued in 2018, notwithstanding challenges related to the presidential election in November/December 2018. While some economic pressures developed in the second half of 2018, economic conditions remained generally positive. The discussions focused on maintaining progress on the key objectives of the program, especially boosting fiscal space for priority investment and social spending by containing lower priority spending. The main challenges involved fuel pricing and transfers to the public utility, JIRAMA. Other issues included structural reforms to promote inclusive growth, most notably in investment capacity, the financial sector, and governance. The outlook continues to be generally positive. Pursuit of economic reforms should yield results, while the pressures in 2018 from higher oil prices and pre-electoral weakness in confidence abate under the baseline. As a low-income country with an open economy, Madagascar remains vulnerable to exogenous shocks.