Central African Republic: IMF team finds CAR's growth constrained by low public investment

Bangui, Central African Republic (PANA) - Though the economy of Central African Republic (CAR)  has been on a strong recovery path since the beginning of the year, its growth remains constrained by low public investment spending, weak infrastructure and continued weaknesses in the banking sector, a staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) confirmed Tuesday.

Concluding its 6-13 September visit to CAR, the team observed that, as a result, economic growth is projected at 5.2 percent and inflation at 4 percent, with downside risks if recent inflationary pressures observed in Bangui persist through the year.

“Going forward, the economy is expected to further improve in 2017, supported by the peace and reconciliation efforts underway, continued implementation of appropriate macroeconomic and structural policies, an investment plan with a clear set of priorities, and possible significant assistance from development partners who are expected to meet in Brussels on November 17, 2016," said Samir Jahjah who led the IMF mission.

He noted that CAR's economic activity was picking up, including in the coffee, cotton and forestry sectors while trade and transport also showed better performance than projected.

However, food prices have declined in the first six months of the year before picking-up during the summer on the back of returning refugees and heavy rains that negatively affected the manioc crop.

Jahjah pointed out that fiscal revenue and public expenditure were broadly in line with projections, while arrears clearance has been higher than projected.

"The overall fiscal balance is expected to be in line with the programme objective of a primary deficit of 3.3 percent of GDP in 2016," he said. “The implementation of the government structural reform agenda appears broadly on track and, barring unforeseen events, the government is on track to meet its revenue target for 2016."

During its mission, the IMF team assessed economic and financial developments through end-August, reviewed early progress under the programme supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of the Fund and discussed with the government progress in preparing for the Brussels Donors Conference in November 2016.
-0- PANA AR 13Sept2016

13 september 2016 19:56:26

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