Western Hemisphere > Honduras

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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The protracted pandemic and two tropical storms have hit Honduras hard. Despite authorities’ responses, these shocks continue to weigh on activity; reconstruction needs are high while the outlook remains uncertain. The authorities plan to rebuild a more climate-resilient economy, given Honduras’ vulnerabilities to climate change. Presidential elections are scheduled for November 2021.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper highlights Honduras’ First Reviews Under the Stand-By Arrangement and the Arrangement Under the Stand-By Credit Facility, and Request for Modification of Performance Criteria. Despite headwinds to growth and a challenging external environment, the Honduran authorities remain fully committed to the economic program supported by the IMF. They have maintained prudent macroeconomic policies—the fiscal position is in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Law, inflation is within the central bank’s target band, and the current account deficit has narrowed despite adverse terms of trade—and have taken initial steps on structural reforms to promote sustained, inclusive growth. Important measures to strengthen the governance and anti-corruption frameworks have been incorporated into the program, adding to the ongoing efforts to strengthen the institutional framework in the central bank and in public finances, and to improve the business environment. The authorities are expected to protect the revenue mobilization efforts made over the past years to reduce the infrastructure gap and increase social spending. These efforts seem to be critical to reduce poverty and inequality, while maintaining a prudent fiscal position that secures debt sustainability over the medium term.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses Honduras’s 2019 Article IV Consultation and Request for a Stand-By Arrangement and an Arrangement Under the Standby Credit Facility. Supported by a Fund program that expired in December 2017, Honduras has reduced macroeconomic imbalances, institutionalized fiscal prudence, and laid the groundwork for a modern monetary policy framework. The authorities are committed to maintain prudent policies and to build on previous achievements to make progress in solving long-standing issues. The authorities’ economic program aims at maintaining macroeconomic stability, while enacting economic and institutional reforms to foster inclusive growth. Honduras needs to foster inclusive growth through reforms and better governance. Policy priorities include: reforms to increase the quality of fiscal policy, sustaining revenue mobilization efforts, protecting investment and social spending, and securing financial sustainability of the public electricity company; and reforms to enhance transparency and governance in the budget.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The IMF-supported program (2014-17) succeeded in reducing Honduras' macroeconomic imbalances. The next step is to adopt institutional reforms to entrench macroeconomic stability to put Honduras on a higher potential growth path.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that the real output of Honduras in 2015 grew at 3.6 percent, slightly higher than projected. From the demand side, growth was supported by the recovery in private consumption—which responded positively to a reduction in gasoline prices and strong remittances inflows—and a boost in investment. On the supply side, the recovery in manufacturing and agriculture supported greater activity. The outlook for 2016 remains favorable. Real GDP through the second quarter of 2016 grew by 4.1 percent (year over year) broadly consistent with IMF staff projection of 3.6 percent for 2016. This projected growth performance is supported by scaled up public infrastructure investment and a supportive monetary policy stance.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper uses efficiency frontiers for benchmarking of social spending in Honduras. The results reveal significant room to improve public health and education spending efficiency with potentially large fiscal savings. From an input-oriented point of view, Honduras performs poorly in education and health spending efficiency. From an output-oriented point of view, health spending efficiency appears to be in line with regional comparators, while there is room to improve efficiency in secondary education. In health and education spending, the priority is to tackle the disconnection between compensation benefits and labor productivity.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses Honduras’ First Reviews Under the Stand-by Arrangement (SBA) and Standby Credit Facility (SCF). Program implementation for the first reviews has been strong. All 2014 performance criteria and indicative targets were met, most with significant margins. The authorities have also created fiscal space within the program to increase social spending and support efforts to reduce poverty. On the structural side, December 2014 and March 2015 benchmarks were also generally observed. The revised program proposed for 2015 envisages further strengthening fiscal and net international reserves targets. The IMF staff supports the completion of the first reviews under the SBA and the SCF Arrangements.
Koffie Ben Nassar, Edder Martinez, and Anabel Pineda
This paper analyzes the determinants of banks’ net interest margins in Honduras during 1998 to 2013—a period characterized by increasing banks’ net interest margins, foreign bank participation and consolidation. In line with findings in the previous literature, we find that operating costs are the most important drivers of banks’ net interest margins. We also find that competition among banks has led to higher concentration and that funding by parent banks positively impacts foreign banks’ net interest margins. Together, these results suggest that banks, particularly foreign banks, are under pressure to consolidate and reduce operating costs in order to offer competitive interest margins. We conclude that further structural reforms and consolidation may lower banks’ net interest margins.
Mr. Andrew J Swiston, Ms. Florencia Frantischek, Mr. Przemek Gajdeczka, and Alexander Herman
This paper examines the financial strength of central banks in Central America and the Dominican Republic (CADR). Some central banks are working off the effects of intervention in distressed financial institutions during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Their net income has improved since then owing to lower interest rates, a reduction in interest bearing debt, and recapitalization transfers. Claims on the government have fallen, but remain high and are typically reimbursed at below-market rates, and capital is negative when adjusting for this. Capital is sufficient to back a low inflation target given that the income position is supported by unremunerated reserve requirements. Capital is likely to increase over time, but only gradually, leaving countries vulnerable to macroeconomic risks. The capacity of CADR central banks to engage in macroeconomic stabilization would benefit from increased emphasis on low inflation as the primary objective of monetary policy and a stronger commitment by governments to recapitalization.