Middle East and Central Asia > Iraq

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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation and Proposal for Post-Program Monitoring highlights that Iraq’s social conditions remain harsh following the war with ISIS, with slow progress at reconstruction, weak public services and a lack of job opportunities. In the absence of policy changes, a widening budget deficit is expected to divert resources away from essential investment to rebuild the country and improve public services, while eroding reserves and posing risks to medium-term sustainability. Expenditure rigidities and limited fiscal buffers imply a significant vulnerability to oil price shocks in a context of volatile prices. The fiscal and external positions are expected to continue to deteriorate over the medium term absent policy changes—with reserves falling below adequate levels and fiscal buffers eroded. In a context of highly volatile oil prices, the major risk to the outlook is a fall in oil prices which would lower exports and budgetary revenues, leading to an even sharper decline in reserves or higher public debt. Geopolitical tensions, the potential for social unrest in a context of weak public services and lack of progress in combatting corruption pose further risks.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights a double shock facing Iraq as a result of the conflict with the Islamic State and the plunge in oil prices. In 2016, real GDP increased by 11 percent owing to a 25 percent increase in oil production, which was little affected by the conflict with the Islamic State. Falling oil prices have driven the decline in Iraq’s international reserves from $54 billion at the end of 2015 to $45 billion at the end of 2016. Medium-term growth prospects are positive. Growth will be driven by the projected moderate increase in oil production and the rebound in non-oil growth supported by the expected improvement in security and implementation of structural reform.
International Monetary Fund
The Mauritian economy showed strong performance owing to its sound macroeconomic policies. Executive Directors emphasized the need to remain competitive and address the growing unemployment problem. They commended the efforts to support the developments in financial services, free port activities, and information and communications technology. They appreciated the tightening of the monetary policy and stressed the need to strengthen the financial position and ensure fiscal sustainability. They welcomed the assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of the IMF, which provided technical assistance to Mauritius.