Liberia made strong macroeconomic gains under a successful ECF program initially approved in 2008 for three years and later extended to May 2012 (see Press Release No. 12/165). The short-to medium-term outlook remains favorable, although subject to considerable risks. Following an initial post-conflict boost, economic growth has averaged 7 percent a year since 2009 (mostly from non-mining activities before the resumption of ironoreexports in late 2011), while inflation has been largely contained at or near single digits. With the resumption of ironore
. Economic activity remains robust in 2012, with inflation moderating at or near single digits and the exchange rate is stable. Following resumption of ironoreexports in 2011—for the first time since the end of the civil war—real GDP growth is estimated at close to 9 percent in 2012, driven by mining, construction, and services albeit growth in agriculture and forestry remains sluggish. Foreign direct investment is increasing. Following spikes in food and fuel prices in 2011 and early 2012, U.S. dollar-denominated inflation declined to under 4 percent by end-June and is
6.1 percent in 2010, reflecting increased activity in agriculture and the resumption of ironoreexports. Inflation increased to 11.4 percent in 2011, largely because of the surge in global food and fuel prices, which also contributed to the widening of the external trade deficit. The exchange rate of the Liberian dollar remained stable and gross international reserves stood at 3.0 months of import cover at the end of 2011.
My authorities’ overriding policy objective over the near to medium term is to restructure the economy so that it will grow
but with higher long-term ironoreexports on the basis of investment agreements (ii) the balance of payments data for services are revised upwards reflecting new estimates of receipts and payments; and (iii) government domestic debt owed to the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) was excluded from the analysis to bring the public DSA in line with the definition of public sector. The macroeconomic impact of the iron ore sector is substantial as indicated in comparisons of debt indicators in relation non-iron ore GDP ( Figure 1 ).
Figure 1. Liberia: Comparison to
The 2012 Article IV Consultation with Liberia discusses the economic developments and policies of the country. Liberia recorded strong macroeconomic performance under the three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement, but poverty continued to be pervasive. The short- to medium-term outlook has remained favorable, although subject to considerable risks. Following resumption of iron ore exports in 2011, real GDP growth is estimated at 9 percent in 2012, supported by strong growth in the mining sector and expansionary fiscal policy for infrastructure investment. IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for a successor arrangement under the ECF.