Middle East and Central Asia > Mauritania, Islamic Republic of

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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose severe social and economic hardships in Mauritania, with a sharp contraction of output expected in 2020. The authorities have responded swiftly to the shock with measures to contain the pandemic and alleviate its fallout. They are prioritizing health spending and targeted support to the most vulnerable households and sectors in the economy. Nevertheless, conditions have weakened since the emergency disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility in April 2020 (SDR 95.68 million, about US$130 million or 74.3 percent of quota) and wider external and fiscal financing gaps are projected.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper focuses on the Islamic Republic of Mauritania’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. The economic and social impact of the pandemic is rapidly unfolding, with a contraction of output expected in 2020. The authorities have responded swiftly with measures to contain the pandemic and alleviate its fallout. Going forward, prioritizing health spending and targeted support to the most vulnerable households and sectors in the economy remains critical. The authorities are committed to full transparency and reporting of resources deployed for the emergency response, to audit crisis-mitigation spending once the crisis abates, and to publish the results. At the same time, they remain committed to the economic reform program supported by the ongoing ECF arrangement with the IMF. The program aims at using the fiscal space to increase priority spending on education, health and social protection and infrastructure, while mobilizing domestic revenues and maintaining prudent borrowing policies to preserve debt sustainability.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Islamic Republic of Mauritania’s Third Review of Arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility. The program aims at entrenching macroeconomic stability, supporting inclusive and job creating growth, and building international reserve buffers. The authorities plan to use the prospective fiscal space prudently for priority social spending—education, health, and social protection—and public infrastructure. The economic outlook has improved, buoyed by more favorable terms of trade and the upcoming development of a large offshore gas field. Growth is projected to accelerate to 6 3/4 percent this year, supported by a recovery in extractive sectors and continued broad-based non-extractive growth reflecting strong domestic demand and budding diversification. Downside risks related to global economic developments, commodity price volatility, and regional security concerns remain elevated. Considerable challenges remain to entrench macroeconomic stability, support inclusive growth, and build resilience to shocks. The prospective fiscal space should be used prudently for priority social policies and public infrastructure.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Mauritania’s First Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement. The outlook is positive, although considerable challenges remain to achieve high and inclusive growth. Vulnerabilities remain elevated and sustained reforms are needed to entrench macroeconomic stability; achieve inclusive growth that creates employment and reduces poverty; and improve the business climate and governance. Policy implementation has been satisfactory and the program is on track. All end-December 2017 performance criteria and eight of the ten structural benchmarks for December 2017–March 2018 were met; the remaining two were implemented with a one-month delay. The IMF staff recommends completion of the first review under the three-year ECF arrangement.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses the Islamic Republic of Mauritania’s Sixth Review under the Three-Year Extended Credit Facility Arrangement and Request of Nonobservance of Performance Criterion. Mauritania’s current account deficit has been significantly widened due to higher infrastructure and mining-related imports. Planned projects are concentrated in agriculture, energy, and infrastructure—all three sectors with large investment needs and in line with Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper priorities. Nonrenewable resources are playing an important role in the economy, but the fiscal policy formulation does not incorporate the challenges associated with resource revenue exhaustibility and volatility and, therefore, does not prevent pro-cyclical fiscal policy.
Mr. Robert Blotevogel
I propose a new approach to identifying exogenous monetary policy shocks in low-income countries with capital account restrictions. In the case of Mauritania, a domestic repatriation requirement is the key institutional characteristic that allows me to establish exogeneity. Unlike in advanced countries, I find no evidence for a statistically significant impact of exogenous monetary policy shocks on bank lending. Using a unique bank-level dataset on monthly balance sheets of six Mauritanian banks over the period 2006–11, I estimate structural vector autoregressions and two-stage least square panel models to demonstrate the ineffectiveness of monetary policy. Finally, I discuss how a reduction in banks’ loan concentration ratios and improvements in the liquidity management framework could make monetary stimuli more effective.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Mauritania successfully weathered several exogenous shocks during 2011–12. Political upheaval in neighboring countries has not had detrimental economic effects so far, but political uncertainty remains high. Resilient growth and a continued buildup of external and fiscal buffers characterize better-than-expected macroeconomic developments. Ambitious structural reforms are vital for generating broad-based inclusive growth, promoting employment, and reducing poverty. The authorities will continue to improve transparency and economic statistics. Policy actions laid the foundation for a sound macroeconomic performance, although important challenges and vulnerabilities remain.
International Monetary Fund
Despite a relatively high GDP growth rate over the past decade (2000–10), economic growth in Mauritania has not been able to make a significant dent in poverty. Rapid and sustained poverty reduction requires inclusive growth that allows people to contribute to and benefit from expanding economic activity. Mauritania needs to make greater progress toward inclusive growth by enhancing the distributional impact of public spending and by improving the quality of pro-poor spending. The Executive Board recommends effective monetary policies to meet the challenges.
International Monetary Fund
The Islamic Republic of Mauritania’s macroeconomic developments have remained broadly positive, despite high international fuel and food prices and the near-term drought impact. Supported by a rapid growth in manufacturing industries, non-oil output is expected to grow by 4.8 percent in 2011 despite the drought-related downturn in agricultural production. A low price pass-through and a prudent monetary policy helped contain inflation. Booming mining exports helped narrow the current account deficit and boost foreign exchange reserves to unprecedented levels.
International Monetary Fund
In this study, despite recovery in the aftermath of the global crisis, the following challenges faced by Mauritania are discussed: vulnerability to external shocks, an insufficiently diversified economy, weak business climate, lack of fiscal space, and high unemployment and poverty rates. The poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP) provides a good framework. Monetary, exchange rate, and financial sector policies are explained. Debt management and the improvement of the quality of public services by fiscal reforms and private sector by the implementation of the investment code are discussed.