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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Tourism is driving a strong economic recovery in Seychelles. Real GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 10.6 percent in 2022, up from 7.9 percent in 2021. However, the recovery is uneven across sectors of the economy. The authorities have already begun to rebuild policy buffers and have taken measures to protect the poorest as the country transitions from the COVID-19 outbreak. The primary fiscal deficit in 2022 is expected to narrow to 1.1 percent of GDP, reflecting an extraordinary consolidation of 13.6 percentage points over the last two years. Risks to debt sustainability have been significantly reduced with the public debt-to-GDP ratio projected at around 68 percent at end-2022, thereby registering a 21-percentage-point reduction in two years.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Seychelles’ economic recovery in 2021 vastly outperformed projections, fueled by a faster-than-expected rebound of the tourism sector. The recovery is expected to continue in 2022 with projected real GDP growth of 7.1 percent as the tourism sector shows resilience to COVID-19 waves and geopolitical tensions. The recovery has been accompanied by a significant fiscal overperformance.
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 Selected Issues paper discusses measures to enhance resilience to climate and natural disasters in Seychelles. Rising sea levels, changing rainfall patterns, increasingly intense and frequent tropical cyclones, and massive coral bleaching are compounding economic and social risks in Seychelles. A policy mix focused on combining adaptation and mitigation strategies is ideal for Seychelles. Such policies should not only be aligned with Seychelles’ Nationally Determined Contribution, but also with the technical and financial capacity of the government. Experience from other small states suggests that small policy changes can still have a significant impact. To the extent adaptation and mitigation measures are inadequate, insurance policies and innovative financial instruments need to be exploited further.
Manoj Atolia, Ms. Grace B Li, Ricardo Marto, and Mr. Giovanni Melina
Why do governments in developing economies invest in roads and not enough in schools? In the presence of distortionary taxation and debt aversion, the different pace at which roads and schools contribute to economic growth turns out to be central to this decision. Specifically, while costs are front-loaded for both types of investment, the growth benefits of schools accrue with a delay. To put things in perspective, with a “big push,” even assuming a large (15 percent) return differential in favor of schools, the government would still limit the fraction of the investment scale-up going to schools to about a half. Besides debt aversion, political myopia also turns out to be a crucial determinant of public investment composition. A “big push,” by accelerating growth outcomes, mitigates myopia—but at the expense of greater risks to fiscal and debt sustainability. Tied concessional financing and grants can potentially mitigate the adverse effects of both debt aversion and political myopia.
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.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
On December 19, 2013, the Executive Board of the IMF completed the eighth and final review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Seychelles. The completion of the review enables a disbursement of SDR 3.3 million, which will bring total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR 26.4 million. Strong policies have fostered economic growth, brightening Seychelles’ near-term outlook. With the completion of this review, the EFF arrangement comes to an end. The program’s key objective of placing the economy firmly on the path to external and fiscal sustainability has been achieved, based on the successful implementation of the debt restructuring, robust fiscal consolidation, and the resumption of growth.
International Monetary Fund
This paper is an account of Seychelles’ monetary efforts to establish its position in 2012. After the recovery in 2008, the country had solid growth through 2011. The important threat was external risks, which could lower tourist inflows, and piracy. Alternatively, the authorities were vigilant, and organized the state by strengthening state enterprises, introducing new reforms to eradicate obstacles to the private sector, and the increasing bills for monetary purposes. The Executive Board acknowledges that these policies enhanced a positive outlook for the country.
International Monetary Fund
The fiscal policy stance continues to be appropriate, facilitating a reduction in public debt. Seychelles has made a good start on its second stage of reforms under an Extended Fund Facility (EFF)-supported program, despite a difficult international environment, showing strong resilience to the double crisis it confronted. The economy is reaping the benefits of strong macroeconomic stabilization policies. Seychelles remains highly exposed to external shocks. Progress on the ambitious program of tax and public finance management reform is encouraging, but important steps still lie ahead.