Africa > Malawi

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 58 items for :

  • Type: Journal Issue x
  • Financial and monetary sector x
Clear All Modify Search
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Malawi, a fragile state with one of the highest incidences of poverty, food insecurity and frequent weather-related shocks, has been severely affected by the pandemic. There are signs of gradual recovery and daily COVID-19 positive cases remain relatively low: real GDP growth in 2021 is projected to pick up to 2.2 percent from 0.9 percent in 2020 helped by a good harvest. However, inflation is expected to increase to 9 percent in 2021 from 8.6 percent in 2020, driven by increases in prices of fuel, fertilizer and food, leaving real per capita growth in the negative region.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This evaluation assesses how well IMF-supported programs helped to sustain economic growth while delivering adjustment needed for external viability over the period 2008–19. The evaluation finds that the Fund’s increasing attention to growth in the programs has delivered some positive results. Specifically, it does not find evidence of a consistent bias towards excessive austerity in IMF-supported programs. Indeed, programs have yielded growth benefits relative to a counterfactual of no Fund engagement and boosted post-program growth performance. Notwithstanding these positive findings, program growth outcomes consistently fell short of program projections. Such shortfalls imply less protection of incomes than intended, fuel adjustment fatigue and public opposition to reforms, and jeopardize progress towards external viability. The evaluation examines how different policy instruments were applied to support better growth outcomes while achieving needed adjustment. Fiscal policies typically incorporated growth-friendly measures but with mixed success. Despite some success in promoting reforms and growth, structural conditionalities were of relatively low depth and their potential growth benefits were not fully realized. Use of the exchange rate as a policy tool to support growth and external adjustment during programs was quite limited. Lastly, market debt operations were useful in some cases to restore debt sustainability and renew market access, yet sometimes were too little and too late to deliver the intended benefits. The evaluation concludes that the IMF should seek to further enhance program countries’ capacity to sustain activity while undertaking needed adjustment during the program and to enhance growth prospects beyond the program. Following this conclusion, the report sets out three recommendations aimed at strengthening attention to growth implications of IMF-supported programs, including the social and distributional consequences.

Irina Bunda, Luc Eyraud, and Zhangrui Wang
The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, which has hit financial systems across Africa, is likely to deteriorate banks’ balance sheets. The largest threat to banks pertains to their loan portfolios, since many borrowers have faced a sharp collapse in their income, and therefore have difficulty repaying their obligations as they come due. This could lead to a sharp increase in nonperforming loans (NPLs) in the short to medium term.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Presidential elections in June 2020, a re-run of the canceled 2019 elections, resulted in a change of government, with President Chakwera securing 59 percent of the vote. The new administration is facing a rapid acceleration of COVID-19 cases in Malawi and adverse spillovers from continued deterioration of the global and regional economic situation, significantly worsening the macroeconomic outlook. Consequently, an additional urgent balance of payments need of 2.9 percent of GDP has arisen—bringing the total external financing gap in 2020 to 5.0 percent of GDP. The authorities have requested an additional disbursement of 52.1 percent of quota (SDR 72.31 million) under the “exogenous shock” window of the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF), where 30 percent of the disbursement would finance the government budget. This follows the May 1, 2020 Board approval of a 47.9 percent of quota RCF disbursement (without budget support). The authorities have cancelled the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and expressed a strong interest in discussing a new ECF—better aligned with their new long-term growth and reform strategy—once conditions permit.
International Monetary Fund
The temporary increase in access limits under IMF emergency financing instruments will expire on October 5, 2020, unless extended. Access limits under emergency instruments (the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI)) were increased in April 2020 for a period of six months, from 50 to 100 percent of quota annually and from 100 to 150 percent of quota cumulatively. The increased limits are subject to review and can be extended before their expiration. It is proposed to extend the period of higher access limits for emergency financing for a period of six months, through April 6, 2021. Against a background of continued pandemic-related disruption, staff expects there could be significant demand for emergency lending in the October 2020–April 2021 period, including from countries with pending requests and from countries that received emergency support at levels less than the maximum amounts available. A six-month extension would give more time for countries to benefit from higher access limits under emergency financing.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper assesses and disseminates experiences and lessons from low-income countries (LICs) in Sub-Saharan Africa that were selected by the Africa Department in 2015-16 as pilots for enhanced analysis of macro-financial linkages in Article IV staff reports. The paper focuses on the common characteristics across the pilot countries and highlights the tools used in the analysis, the challenges encountered, and the solutions deployed in overcoming them.