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International Monetary Fund

1. This statement provides information on recent developments in Libya that has become available since the staff report was circulated to the Executive Board on April 3, 2007. The thrust of the staff appraisal remains unchanged. 2. On Wednesday, April 18, the Libyan authorities informed staff verbally that they have decided to freeze the implementation of the planned wage increase in the civil service (an increase of 80 percent on average) that was to take effect this month (April 2007). The government is now reviewing this issue. In the absence of more

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1. On behalf of the Libyan authorities, we thank staff for their continued engagement with Libya, as well as for the much appreciated technical assistance support. The authorities highly value the views of Executive Directors regarding economic developments in Libya. Recent Developments 2. Underpinned by a fiscal stimulus, as well as the liberalization of the trade, service, and tourism sectors, overall economic activity, notably in the non-oil sector, continued to grow during the past year. This was coupled with considerable fiscal and external surpluses

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). 5 Non-oil GDP growth was driven largely by rapid growth in construction, transportation, communications, and storage. The CPI declined by 9.8 percent, driven mostly by increased competition resulting from trade liberalization and exemptions from all taxes and customs duties granted to public enterprises ( Box 1 ). Figure 1. Libya: Selected Economic Indicators, 1997–2003 Sources: Libyan authorities; and Fund staff estimates. 1/ New series beginning 2000. Table 1. Libya: Demographic, Social, and Human Development Indicators, 1997

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and current account surpluses are expected, along with a buildup in official reserves to about 24 months of imports. The key challenge facing the authorities in the medium and long term is to achieve sustainable high rates of economic growth to generate employment opportunities for a rapidly growing labor force. The authorities agreed that this goal would not be achievable without a drastic reduction in the dominant role of the public sector. Executive Board Assessment Executive Directors commended the Libyan authorities for the reform measures taken to

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continuously declined in recent years as a result of increased competition from private sector imports. Figure 1. Libya: Real GDP and Inflation, 1999–2005 (Annual changes in percent) Source: Libyan Authorities and Fund staff estimates. 8. The fiscal stance continued to be expansionary, with the non-oil fiscal deficit widening to 36 percent of GDP 3 ( Table 3 , Figure 2 ). However, reflecting higher hydrocarbon revenues, which reached 47 percent of GDP, the overall surplus remained stable at about 10.5 percent of GDP. Non-oil revenue declined by 3

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.5 24.3 41.6 48.5 Gross official reserves 14.3 19.5 25.6 39.3 59.2 (In months of next year’s imports) 19.4 21.9 23.3 30.2 28.5 Sources: Libyan authorities; and IMF staff estimates. 1 Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country’s economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a

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.5 38.2 43.4 Imports of goods 8.8 11.2 13.1 17.4 Current accounts balance 7.4 17.4 25.2 23.8 In percent of GDP 22.3 38.4 45.8 34.0 Net foreign assets of CBL 25.9 39.3 58.7 78.8 of which :Net international reserves 16.2 23.0 27.9 35.7 (In months of next year’s imports) 14.4 17.4 16.2 15.7 Real effective exchange rate (percent change) -8.50 9.11 -3.14 0.40 Sources: Libyan authorities; and Fund staff estimates. 8 Under Article IV of the IMF

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.53 1.62 1.69 1.75 1.89 Libyan crude oil price (US$/bbl) 24.4 28.2 36.9 51.9 62.5 59.1 Sources: Libyan authorities; and Fund staff estimates and projections. 1/ Growth rates are related to GDP at factor cost. 2/ Up to 2002, data reflect the authorities’ estimates, which in staff view could be over-estimated. For 2003 onwards, data are staff estimates and projections. 3/ At official exchange rate prior to 2002. Figure 2. Libya: Real GDP and Inflation (Annual changes in percent) Sources: Libyan

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This 2005 Article IV Consultation underlies that in 2004, Libya’s macroeconomic performance was satisfactory, owing mainly to higher oil prices and increased oil output. Real GDP grew 4½ percent while consumer prices declined. The favorable developments in the oil market contributed to a significant improvement in the external current account surplus, which reached some 24 percent of GDP. In 2005, macroeconomic performance remained relatively strong. Real GDP growth was about 3½ percent, and inflation low. In contrast to previous years, economic growth is estimated to have been generated mainly in the non-oil economy.