Africa > Seychelles

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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Seychelles has made noticeable progress toward economic stability and sustainability under successive Fund programs through prudent macroeconomic policies and bold reforms since the crisis in 2008. Despite significant headway, the country remains vulnerable to external shocks as a small, open, and tourism-dependent economy. Seychelles could face challenges to reconcile its goals to reduce its infrastructure gap, enhance its resilience to climate change, and bolster its medium-term fiscal and external sustainability.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses Seychelles’ First Review Under the Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI) and Request for Modification of Targets. All quantitative targets for end-December 2017, the program’s first review test date, were met. Although there are no structural reform targets due for the first review, the structural agenda for 2018 is proceeding in line with the program. Given the authorities’ strong program implementation and continued commitment to safeguarding macroeconomic stability, the IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for the completion of the first review under the PCI and the modification of the end-June 2018 and end-December 2018 quantitative targets for reserve money.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Context: The robust recovery from the 2008 balance of payments and debt crisis has resulted in improved economic and social outcomes. Continued policy discipline and reforms are needed for the microstate to mitigate its geographical and population constraints and maintain momentum in developing a diversified and resilient economy. Focus: With the fiscal stance anchored by the authorities’ debt reduction objective, macroeconomic discussions concentrated on the smooth functioning of monetary and exchange rate policies. On the structural agenda, the dialogue focused on policies to promote sustained and inclusive growth, particularly on the appropriate role for state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Review: The program is on track. The authorities met the end-December quantitative performance criteria except for narrowly exceeding the ceiling on reserve money. The structural agenda remains broadly on track despite some delays. Staff recommends completion of the second review under the Extended Arrangement and modification of the performance criteria for end-June and end-December 2015, and supports the authorities’ request for a waiver for the end-December 2014 performance criterion for reserve money. Outlook and risks: With the external position having stabilized since the last review, fundamentals are strengthening. However, the economy remains highly vulnerable to global developments, including weakness in the key European markets, while domestic risks center on the role of the SOEs. Recommendations: The authorities’ objective of reducing public debt below 50 percent of GDP by 2018 remains an appropriate and attainable anchor for fiscal policy. The monetary policy framework should be further enhanced by increasing its forward orientation in the context of a flexible exchange rate. Structural measures should focus on fostering inclusiveness and private sector-led growth, while improving economic governance and the focus of SOEs. Data: Data provision is broadly adequate for surveillance. Priority areas include improved GDP statistics, strengthening external sector statistics, and extending coverage of the international investment position.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses Seychelles’ Request for an Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). In the five years following the 2008 balance of payments and debt crisis, the authorities have successfully enacted a comprehensive program of reforms. Despite the success of the program, important risks and challenges remain. To face these challenges, the authorities have requested a successor EFF arrangement with the IMF. This program will help support their macroeconomic policies and protect reserve coverage over the extended period, while they carry out wide-ranging structural reforms necessary to support improvement in macroeconomic conditions, lock-in stabilization, and reduce the country’s vulnerabilities.
Mr. Alexander Culiuc
The paper estimates the impact of macroeconomic supply- and demand-side determinants of tourism, one of the largest components of services exports globally, and the backbone of many smaller economies. It applies the gravity model to a large dataset comprising the full universe of bilateral tourism flows spanning over a decade. The results show that the gravity model explains tourism flows better than goods trade for equivalent specifications. The elasticity of tourism with respect to GDP of the origin (importing) country is lower than for goods trade. Tourism flows respond strongly to changes in the destination country’s real exchange rate, along both extensive (tourist arrivals) and intensive (duration of stay) margins. OECD countries generally exhibit higher elasticties with respect to economic variables (GDPs of the two economies, real exchange rate, bilateral trade) due to the larger share of business travel. Tourism to small islands is less sensitive to changes in the country’s real exchange rate, but more susceptible to the introduction/removal of direct flights.
International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses key findings of the First Review for Seychelles under the Stand-By Arrangement. Developments under the program at end-December 2008 were broadly satisfactory. Although growth was lower and inflation higher than targeted in 2008, the liberalization of the exchange regime and interest rate have removed the severe distortions weighing on the economy, and early signs of stabilization are apparent. The program targets for 2009 have been adjusted, primarily in light of the much more difficult external environment.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for Seychelles argues that sound fiscal policies and smaller governments can be conducive to growth and help reduce a country’s economic vulnerability. Growth in Seychelles has been volatile and underperformed most small states from 1998 to 2005. Seychelles’s revenues, expenditures, and total public debt are higher after an improvement in 2003. Its fiscal balance has worsened and has been weaker in comparison with most small states for most of the period. Seychelles’s expenditure composition is most similar to that of low-growth small states.
International Monetary Fund
On the revenue side of Seychelles, both tax and nontax revenues have shown marked increases during 1998–99 on account of a number of factors. A strengthening of tax administration has yielded significant improvements in tax collections, particularly in the areas of taxes on income and profits, which has increased from 4.4 percent of GDP in 1997 to 6.8 percent of GDP in 1999. Trade taxes on domestic goods and services have grown from about 7 percent of GDP in 1997 to about 8 percent of GDP in 1999.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews economic developments in Seychelles during 1990–95. After growing in 1992 and 1993 by 6.9 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively, real GDP contracted in 1994 by an estimated 1.6 percent, mainly as a result of a sharp decline in tourist receipts and a poor performance in the fishing sector. The annual rate of inflation as measured by the retail price index remained subdued at about 1.6 percent during 1993–94, compared with about 2.6 percent during the preceding two years.