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Bolivia: 2015 Article IV Consultation-Press Release Staff Report and Statement by the Executive Director for Bolivia

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Bolivia: 2015 Article IV Consultation-Press Release Staff Report and Statement by the Executive Director for Bolivia by International Monetary Fund

Facilitated by prudent macroeconomic management in the context of a commodity boom, Bolivia has achieved strong macroeconomic performance and poverty reduction over the past decade. However, given Bolivia's large dependence on commodities, the collapse of commodity prices poses significant challenges to the authorities' capacity to deliver on the objectives laid out in the Patriotic Agenda 2025, while maintaining debt and external sustainability. These objectives include eradication of extreme poverty, better access to health and education, and state-led industrialization. Outlook and risks. Real GDP growth is projected to stay relatively strong at 4.1 percent in 2015, supported by twin deficits, and expected to decelerate to 3.5 percent over the medium term given the new commodity price normal and lingering impediments to private investment. Risks are titled to the downside. Key external risks include a sharp slowdown in key trading partners, additional softness in oil prices, and further dollar strength. Bolivia-specific risks center on uncertainties related to natural gas reserves and long-term export contracts, and excessively large credit cycles under the new financial services law. Policy recommendations. With the end of the commodity boom, a rethink of policies to anchor strong and durable growth is needed. Two overarching imperatives are to improve the non-hydrocarbons primary balance and allow greater exchange rate flexibility. Given large buffers, the authorities can take a measured approach to meeting these objectives. It will also be important to: adopt a credible medium-term fiscal framework, strengthen the monetary policy framework to uphold the central bank's operational independence and credibility, clarify commodity-related investment regimes, and improve the business climate. Regarding the financial sector, key provisions of the regulations-the credit quotas and interest rate caps-may need to be modified if material risks build up.

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Ebook Details
Pages: 85
Size: 7.1 MB
Date published:   2015
ISBN: 9781513557687 (DRM-EPUB)
9781513565569 (DRM-PDF)

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