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Karim Barhoumi, Seung Mo Choi, Tara Iyer, Jiakun Li, Franck Ouattara, Mr. Andrew J Tiffin, and Jiaxiong Yao
The COVID-19 crisis has had a tremendous economic impact for all countries. Yet, assessing the full impact of the crisis has been frequently hampered by the delayed publication of official GDP statistics in several emerging market and developing economies. This paper outlines a machine-learning framework that helps track economic activity in real time for these economies. As illustrative examples, the framework is applied to selected sub-Saharan African economies. The framework is able to provide timely information on economic activity more swiftly than official statistics.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
A technical assistance (TA) mission was conducted by IMF’s Regional Technical Assistance Center for Southern Africa (AFS)1 during June 8–12, 2020 to assist Statistics Botswana (SB) in improving the quality of the national accounts statistics. The mission was conducted remotely respecting the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak. Reliable national accounts are essential for informed economic policymaking by the authorities. It also provides the private sector, foreign investors, rating agencies, donors and the public in general with important inputs in their decision-making, while informing economic analysis and IMF surveillance. Rebasing the national accounts is recommended every five years. Rebasing requires comprehensive surveys and ideally, supply and use tables (SUT) to support coherence checking of data.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation focuses on Botswana near- and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before COVID-19 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity, and financial markets. Gross domestic product growth is forecasted to pick up to 4.4 percent in 2020 and 5.6 percent in 2021 as the diamond industry recovers somewhat, and a new copper mine comes on stream. Growth will ease back to around 4 percent over the medium term. Risks to the outlook include faster-than-anticipated slowdown in key trading partners, shifts in consumer preferences to synthetic diamonds, and climate shocks. The size and pace of the planned adjustment are consistent with Botswana’s fiscal space, but the composition of the adjustment should protect efficient capital and social spending. Furthermore, given that buffers are being eroded, it is critical that consolidation starts as envisaged in FY2020, as it would help start addressing external imbalances and contribute to a gradual rebuilding of buffers over the medium term. In order to strengthen the monetary transmission mechanism and deepen the domestic financial market, there is a need to develop the secondary market for government securities, leverage Fintech, facilitate the attachment of collateral, and improve credit information.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper presents the Technical Assistance report National Accounts Mission in Botswana. As a result of recommendations made during the previous mission, Statistics Botswana (SB) have revised the release date for the rebase of national accounts estimates from March 2020 to December 2020 and updated the workplan accordingly. SB has made progress in finalizing the statistical frame and associated weights to compile gross value added (GVA) estimates for industries in the economic survey and estimates of GVA for the other industries. Once the business frame is determined, SB will have to reconcile the establishments that responded to the economic census ensuring that there is good coverage of industries as well as size of establishments. The previous mission strongly recommended that the release date for the rebased estimates be revised given the workload in rebasing the national accounts. The two temporary staff that have been with the national accounts for approximately 18 months as reported by the previous mission have been extended for a further two years. This is very positive news as they demonstrated a good understanding of the national accounts and a willingness to build their capacity.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
In response to a request for IMF technical assistance (TA) made by the Botswana authorities and in consultation with the IMF’s African Department, a government finance statistics (GFS) TA mission from the IMF’s Statistics Department (STA) visited Gaborone during April 13–26, 2016. The mission is part of the GFS Module of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development-funded Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative 2. The main objective of the mission was to continue to assist the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) in the compilation and dissemination of fiscal statistics in accordance with the guidelines of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 and Public Sector Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users.