Hites Ahir, Hendre Garbers, Mattia Coppo, Mr. Giovanni Melina, Mr. Futoshi Narita, Ms. Filiz D Unsal, Vivian Malta, Xin Tang, Daniel Gurara, Luis-Felipe Zanna, Linda G. Venable, Mr. Kangni R Kpodar, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou
Despite strong economic growth since 2000, many low-income countries (LICs) still face numerous macroeconomic challenges, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the deceleration in real GDP growth during the 2008 global financial crisis, LICs on average saw 4.5 percent of real GDP growth during 2000 to 2014, making progress in economic convergence toward higher-income countries. However, the commodity price collapse in 2014–15 hit many commodity-exporting LICs and highlighted their vulnerabilities due to the limited extent of economic diversification. Furthermore, LICs are currently facing a crisis like no other—COVID-19, which requires careful policymaking to save lives and livelihoods in LICs, informed by policy debate and thoughtful research tailored to the COVID-19 situation. There are also other challenges beyond COVID-19, such as climate change, high levels of public debt burdens, and persistent structural issues.
The accumulation of government expenditure arrears is one of the most common problems in public financial management. This technical note defines expenditure arrears and the different types of arrears that arise. The economic impact of chronic expenditure arrears accumulation is highlighted. The note discusses the underlying causes and mechanisms for preventing and controlling the further accumulation of arrears. The note concludes with some strategies for managing and clearing arrears.
Program implementation has been satisfactory, and all assessment criteria were met. The fiscal deficit was reduced to 5.9 percent of GDP despite a significant revenue shortfall. Delays were incurred in the implementation of reforms in the energy sector. The authorities intend to accelerate reforms to improve the business environment by streamlining expenditure and by improving the efficiency of the state to reduce the fiscal deficit to below 4 percent of GDP by 2015. This will restore fiscal buffers and ensure long-term debt sustainability.