This paper discusses a request from Samoa's authorities for a Disbursement Under the Rapid-Access Component of the Exogenous Shocks Facility (ESF-RAC). The tsunami that hit Samoa on September 29, 2009 has undercut Samoa’s economic resilience and prospects for a quick recovery from the global recession. Real GDP is likely to contract in 2010. The authorities have requested a disbursement equivalent to 50 percent of quota (SDR 5.8 million) under the IMF’s ESF-RAC. IMF staff supports the request on Samoa’s low public debt and credible commitment to sound macroeconomic policies.
This 2005 Article IV Consultation for Samoa reports that the combination of sound economic management and structural reform had led to robust growth, low inflation, sound public finances, and a comfortable external position. With continued commitment to sound macroeconomic and reform policies, Samoa became one of the best managed economies in the Pacific Island region. The level of public debt has steadily declined from more than 90 percent to about 50 percent. Samoa also made progress toward the Millennium Development Goals.
This 2003 Article IV Consultation highlights that Samoa’s GDP growth slowed to 1.9 percent in 2001/02. This slowdown reflected mainly a steep decline in agriculture and a sharp contraction in construction activity. Although underlying inflation has remained low, headline inflation accelerated in this period, rising from 1.1 percent in 2000/01 to 9.8 percent in 2001/02 as a result of food supply shortages. Supervision in the financial sector has been enhanced by bringing all nonbank institutions under the supervisory regime of the central bank, and guidelines governing the supervision of these institutions are currently being developed.