KEY ISSUES Backed by sound policies, economic performance since the 2013 Article IV Consultation has been positive. In response to fiscal stimuli and credit recovery, growth is picking up from the low levels that followed the credit-boom-and-bust-cycle. Careful central bank policies kept inflation low and the financial sector stable, despite shilling volatility. Lower export demand and high infrastructure-related imports widened the current account deficit, but reserves and debt remain at comfortable levels. Performance under the PSI is on track. All end-December 2014 quantitative assessment criteria and most indicative targets and structural benchmarks were met. Key highlights include an exceptionally strong revenue performance and progress in public financial management. The inflation targeting mechanism triggered consultations with staff as average core inflation fell below the inner limit of the band. Risks to the program stem from the upcoming election, regional unrest, and capacity constraints. The envisaged policy mix should achieve further economic gains in the fiscal year starting in July. Despite the election, the authorities are committed to keeping fiscal policy within a budget that favors large infrastructure investment and sustains tax revenue collections in the context of low inflation. They also intend to closely oversee the spillovers and feedback loops between the real economy and the financial sector.1 The planned oil production, infrastructure upgrades, and regional integration bring encouraging medium-term prospects for growth and employment. The strategy will be supported by foreign direct investment; enhanced domestic revenue mobilization through additional tax collection and efforts to improve access to bank services; and increased borrowing at non-concessional but favorable terms. Staff recommends conclusion of the 2015 Article IV Consultation and supports the authorities' request to complete the fourth PSI review. It also supports the authorities' decision to modify two end-June 2015 ACs and to increase the continuous ceiling on the contracting or guaranteeing of new nonconcessional debt.
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|Size: ||5.4 MB|
|Publisher: ||INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND|
|Date published: || 2015|
|ISBN: ||9781513501475 (DRM-EPUB)|
|Read Aloud: ||not allowed|