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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation discusses that Mauritius is pursuing an ambitious strategy to foster inclusive growth and reach the high-income country milestone. Several structural challenges, notably, a shortage of suitably skilled workers, an aging population, and declining productivity and cost competitiveness confront Mauritius in meeting these goals. The discussions focused on preserving fiscal sustainability, regaining external competitiveness, and maintaining financial integrity and stability. Several steps have been undertaken to boost skill development, improve the business climate, and build innovation capacity. On the expenditure side, economic activity is expected to be spurred in the near term by public spending on infrastructure projects and sustained in the medium term as those projects and productivity-enhancing reforms improve private-sector competitiveness. It is recommended to pursue fiscal consolidation from the forthcoming budget FY2019/20 to build fiscal credibility and set public debt firmly on a declining path into the medium term.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses key issues related to the economy of Mauritius. In 2015, the economy of Mauritius has grown at moderate rate; inflation is low; and the external position has improved. However, macroeconomic conditions remain stable but the authorities face macrofinancial challenges stemming from the recent collapse of a large financial conglomerate, which affected the real economy, as well as risk exposures and potential spillovers from the massive offshore sector and its sizeable inter-linkages with domestic banking activities. Despite these challenges, the medium-term outlook remains favorable, as economic growth is set to be boosted by continued low fuel prices and the start of important investment programs.
Anh D. M. Nguyen, Mr. Jemma Dridi, Ms. Filiz D Unsal, and Mr. Oral Williams
The perception that inflation dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are driven by supply shocks implies a limited role for monetary policy in influencing inflation in the short run. SSA’s rapid growth, its integration with the global economy, changes in the policy frameworks, among others, in the last decade suggest that the drivers of inflation may have changed. We quantitatively analyze inflation dynamics in SSA using a Global VAR model, which incorporates trade and financial linkages among economies, as well as the role of regional and global demand and inflationary spillovers. We find that in the past 25 years, the main drivers of inflation have been domestic supply shocks and shocks to exchange rate and monetary variables; but that, in recent years, the contribution of these shocks to inflation has fallen. Domestic demand pressures as well as global shocks, and particularly shocks to output, however, have played a larger role in driving inflation over the last decade. We also show that country characteristics matter—the extent of oil and food imports, vulnerability to weather shocks, economic importance of agriculture, trade openness and policy regime, among others, help in explaining the role of shocks.
Kenneth Egesa and Howard Murad
Private cross-border financial flows and stocks have grown to account for an increasingly significant part of overall transactions and positions in many African countries. Direct reporting through enterprise surveys has become a key data source to enable them to be measured accurately. The paper describes a multi-year technical assistance project in The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, and Nigeria, where annual enterprise surveys are now established. To varying degrees, the survey results have been incorporated into the balance of payments and International Investment Position statistics. The case studies may serve as a useful reference for other countries embarking on efforts to establish direct reporting of cross-border financial flows and stocks.
International Monetary Fund
The objective of the paper is to inform Executive Directors of recent work undertaken by the Statistics Department (STA) to further enhance data consistency. STA works to promote high quality statistics as essential pre-requisites for the formulation of appropriate macroeconomic and financial policies. Such work supports IMF surveillance and goals that are articulated in Board papers pertaining to Data Provision to the Fund for Surveillance Purposes; the G-20/IMFC Data Gaps Initiative; and the Fund’s Data Standards Initiatives. All these initiatives are motivated by the Executive Directors’ interest in better and more consistent data. An important element of STA’s work program is the project to improve crosssector data consistency. This project has focused on an initial set of countries that reflect the diverse nature of the IMF’s membership, and on selected data series. Data inconsistencies across macroeconomic datasets (financial, government, external, and national accounts statistics) have been found to exist for most countries, regardless of their size and level of development. Such inconsistencies may arise from a variety of reasons, including methodological differences and different data vintages. The project has been favorably received by member countries and has enhanced cooperation at both the international and national levels. Indeed, because a number of agencies within a country may be involved in compiling macroeconomic statistics, the project has encouraged strengthened national inter-agency cooperation to resolve inconsistencies. In spite of ongoing efforts, many inconsistencies persist, and new inconsistencies may sometimes arise. A significant initial finding is that countries may face challenges in improving cross-sector data consistency. In particular, member country resource constraints often limit the scope of their work in the short– and medium–term. Next steps. The recent work undertaken by STA has yielded significant positive results in a relatively brief period of time. Therefore, next steps involve expanding this work to eventually cover all countries, and monitoring inconsistencies on an ongoing basis so that they are not allowed to persist without follow-up with countries.