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International Monetary Fund
St. Lucia’s 2008 Article IV Consultation underlies that progress has been made in reducing fiscal imbalances, yet public debt and debt servicing payments continue to rise. Tourism accounts for more than three-fourths of exports, and the import content of both consumption and foreign direct investment is high. Although the share of value added from the traditionally dominant agriculture sector has declined sharply in recent decades, crop exports support the incomes of much of the country’s large rural population.
International Monetary Fund
This paper examines Lesotho’s Sixth Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and Request for Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria. Real GDP growth slowed to 3¼ percent in 2003/04 (April-March) owing to the adverse impact of drought on agricultural output and slower-than-envisaged growth in the construction sector. Fiscal performance in 2003/04 was stronger than envisaged in the program, partly reflecting temporary factors. All quantitative performance criteria for December 2003 and indicative targets for March 2004 were met. The IMF staff supports the key macroeconomic objectives of the authorities’ budget for 2004/05.
International Monetary Fund
Botswana’s 2003 Article IV Consultation reports that Botswana’s core economic database is largely adequate for surveillance, although the quality and timeliness of national accounts and key trade data need to be improved. Financial sector reforms, including a partial privatization of the civil service pension scheme, are an important part of the economic strategy. The increased risk associated with these reforms should be addressed through enhanced supervision of the sector. The authorities are making efforts to strengthen monetary management.
International Monetary Fund
In Swaziland, government tax revenue has remained broadly stable over the past decade at a level slightly below 30 percent of gross domestic product. The sources of tax revenue are heavily concentrated, with customs receipts based on a revenue-sharing arrangement under the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) alone contributing more than one-half of total tax revenue, and company and personal income taxes (some 30 percent of tax revenue) and sales tax receipts (another 13 percent) accounting for the bulk of the remainder.