This paper presents The Gambia’s First Review of the Staff-Monitored Program and Request for a 39-Month Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The IMF-supported program aims to help The Gambia to be better prepared for external shocks, pursue high and inclusive growth, lessen debt vulnerabilities, strengthen public financial management, and bolster domestic revenue mobilization. The ECF arrangement is essential to help the authorities deal with the challenges posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. The Gambian authorities’ commitment to prudent policies and institutional improvements has supported robust economic growth, while voluntary debt service deferrals from their main external creditors have helped attain debt sustainability. The authorities should remain committed to fiscal consolidation in the medium-term to ensure debt sustainability. The vulnerabilities identified in the 2019 Financial Sector Stability Assessment should be addressed to ensure soundness of the financial sector and improve legal and supervisory framework for banking supervision. The authorities should leverage the financial inclusion strategy, including through mobile banking, while strengthening the oversight of nonbanking institutions and monitoring of risks involved in mobile banking.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation explains that St. Lucia’s near-term growth prospects are favorable, supported by large infrastructure investment and robust tourist inflows. However, longer-term growth continues to be impeded by high public debt, lingering vulnerabilities in the financial system, and structural impediments to private investment. Diminishing policy buffers further weaken the country’s resilience to external shocks against the backdrop of aprecarious global outlook. Completion of long pending legislative initiatives, alongside stronger regional and domestic financial oversight, should provide banks with incentives to strengthen their balance sheets and increase the efficiency of financial intermediation. There is also a need to draw on supervisory and regulatory tools to respond to emerging risks from rising overseas investments of the banks and the rapid expansion of lending by credit unions. The authorities are recommended to should step up efforts to address the institutional, financing and capacity gaps in its climate and disaster response strategy. Supply-side reforms are needed to unlock potential growth by improving the business environment, reducing energy costs, enhancing labor productivity, and further diversifying the economy.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Republic of Nauru highlights that it remains vulnerable to climate change and has a narrow economic base and limited capacity. Development challenges are increased by unavailability of land and high incidence of noncommunicable diseases. Growth was stronger than expected in FY2018 but slowed in FY2019. The outlook is subdued, with growth expected to reach 2 percent in the medium term. Revenues are projected to decline, necessitating a fiscal adjustment. Risks are skewed to the downside and include the scaling down of Regional Processing Centre activity and revenues, volatile fishing revenues, climate change, and delays in fiscal and structural reforms. Fiscal adjustment is required to avoid a breach of the fiscal anchor, contain debt, and maintain the Trust Fund contributions. New sources of economic growth and income are needed to support Nauru’s development agenda. Policies should be implemented in the near term to support private sector activity, including through financial sector development, state-owned enterprises reform, and land rehabilitation. The effectiveness of education and health spending needs to be improved to meet development goals.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that the GDP growth in St. Lucia reached 3 percent in 2017, sustained by robust activity in several sectors. Favorable external conditions, coupled with hotel expansions and the addition of new flights, generated a strong recovery in tourism, with stay-over arrivals rising by 11 percent, the fastest growth in the Caribbean. Backed by strong tourism inflows, the current account balance strengthened. Unemployment declined from 21.3 percent in 2016 to 20.2 percent in 2017, but youth unemployment remains high at 38.5 percent and labor force participation has fallen. The short-term outlook is favorable, but prospects beyond that are sobering. GDP growth is expected to remain buoyant in the near term.
This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is enjoying its second year of vigorous economic growth. Financial sector indicators have strengthened, but balance sheet vulnerabilities remain. Executive Directors have welcomed St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ recent strong macroeconomic performance, marked by robust economic growth, fiscal consolidation, and declining debt levels. Directors have also stressed that continued fiscal consolidation is needed to lower the public debt-to-GDP ratio, and create room to raise social spending.
The strategy that has the best chance of allowing the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) to achieve fiscal sustainability after FY2023 involves substantial fiscal consolidation. The alternative (policy action) scenario involves a substantial fiscal adjustment starting in FY2009. Projections show that this strategy can succeed in achieving budgetary self-sufficiency. Fiscal consolidation will be difficult, and will have to be accompanied by structural reforms to improve real growth. Substantial fiscal consolidation in the short term is necessary to achieve budgetary self-sufficiency after 2023.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), scattered across an area of nearly 1 million square miles in the Central Pacific, is heavily dependent on external grants. As in past consultations, the current discussions have focused on policies to put public finances on a secure footing and improve growth prospects. Recent economic performance has been lackluster. Exports have been held back mainly by structural problems. The fiscal position has improved in FY2006, but the overall balance has been slightly negative at about ½ percent of GDP.
This Selected Issues paper for the Solomon Islands reviews budget trends in the past decade and assesses medium-term budget prospects. Aid flows and revenue from import tariffs and logging are projected to decline. Spending pressures are likely to pick up considerably, owing to the need to increase spending on infrastructure and operations and maintenance. Demands for higher wages and greater public employment opportunities are likely to persist. As aid flows are scaled back, the government will need to provide at least some of the services currently provided by donor programs.
The staff report for the Second Review Under the Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility on Dominica focuses on macroeconomic framework and fiscal policy. The program has been based on the expectation that Dominica will achieve a collaborative debt restructuring with its creditors that meets the residual near-term financing needs and ensures medium-term debt sustainability. The authorities continue to make progress in implementing the structural reform agenda, which aims to address the root causes of the macroeconomic imbalances and to remove impediments to growth.
This 2001 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Republic of Palau faces a number of development challenges. Substantial improvements in human and physical infrastructure are needed to sustain higher growth rates. About 80 percent of the land area is on the Babeldaob Island, which is virtually inaccessible now, but it is expected to develop rapidly after the completion of a Japan-funded bridge in 2002 and a United States-funded island access road in 2004. Asset balances have been declining as a result of drawdowns to finance fiscal deficits, as well as recent investment losses.