KEY ISSUES Context. Raising growth and ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability remain the two critical issues of the FSM. The reform agenda, in particular, the tax reform package and growth-enhancing reforms, hinges on achieving a national consensus in a loosely federated nation. Outlook. The economy stagnated in FY2014 (ending September) with real growth estimated at 0.1 percent, reflecting a slowdown in the implementation of infrastructure projects. Inflation dropped to 0.7 percent in FY2014 on account of falling oil prices. The current account strengthened due to a tax windfall from a company’s sale of shares launched on a foreign stock exchange and an increase in fishing license fees. Growth in FY2015 is expected to remain almost flat at 0.3 percent, while damages caused by the recent typhoon Maysak could dampen the economy. Fiscal sector. The authorities have started some reforms in view of the expiration in 2023 of grants provided under the Compact of Free Association with the U.S. State governments have started fiscal consolidation while the Unified Revenue Authority (URA) has been established. The authorities agreed that more needs to be done to achieve fiscal sustainability, in particular, by implementing the tax reform package that includes replacing the state sales taxes with a VAT. They noted that further reforms hinge on achieving a national consensus. Investment climate. Land tenure issues continue to constrain private sector development and the authorities should redouble efforts in expediting the land survey and registration process. On tourism, the authorities expressed optimism that the recent extension of the runway at the main island airport in Pohnpei could lead to more eco- tourism that preserves the cultural heritage and pristine nature of the country. Financial sector. Credit unions are currently not being supervised and a new legislation is underway to put them under the supervision of the Banking Board. The authorities have requested further TA from PFTAC and the Legal Department of the Fund.
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|Size: ||6.9 MB|
|Publisher: ||INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND|
|Date published: || 2015|
|ISBN: ||9781513507637 (DRM-EPUB)|
|Read Aloud: ||not allowed|