Côte d’Ivoire: IMF team finds impressive economic performance in Côte d’Ivoire

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (PANA) - Ivoirien authorities and an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team have made good progress in discussing policies that could be supported by the Fund's new  arrangements, with a view to cementing Côte d’Ivoire’s impressive economic performance over the past four years, according to an IMF statement released Friday.

A staff team from the IMF, led by Mr. Dan Ghura, visited Abidjan from 24 June to 7 July, 2016, to negotiate a new three-year economic programme that could be supported by the IMF through arrangements under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the Enhanced Credit Facility (EFF).

At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Ghura remarked that  Côte d’Ivoire had an impressive economic performance in the context of the previous programme supported by the IMF through an ECF Arrangement.

“Solid macroeconomic performance continued in 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. Real GDP growth is estimated at 8.5 percent in 2015, driven by strong investment and private consumption, notwithstanding the adverse impact of lower-than-expected rainfall on agriculture," he said. "The latter contributed to an increase in year-on-year inflation to 2.3 percent in May 2016."

According to the IMF team, strong revenues, an under execution of externally-financed capital spending, and expenditures containment measures helped limit the 2015 fiscal deficit to 3 percent of GDP and have contributed to satisfactory budget execution in the first quarter of 2016.

Basing on this progress, Mr. Ghura said that macroeconomic prospects for the remainder of 2016 and the medium term were favourable, "provided policies are geared towards mitigating external and domestic risks".

Côte d’Ivoire’s real GDP growth is projected at about 8 percent in 2016, supported by the dynamism of the secondary and tertiary sectors.

Meanwhile, the budget deficit is expected to widen somewhat beyond the 3.5 percent of GDP target of the 2016 Finance Law, on the back of higher spending, including for security, health and education.

“The Ivorian authorities and the IMF team concurred that to preserve public debt sustainability and support the regional international reserve pool, the government’s budget deficit should converge to the WAEMU norm of 3 percent of GDP by 2019. This would require boosting domestic revenue mobilization,” Mr. Ghura said.

In the statement, the IMF mission has taken note of the authorities’ plans to accelerate the restructuring of public banks.

In addition, it affirmed that it was encouraged by the government’s intentions to address fiscal risks emanating from some public enterprises in financial difficulties.

“A follow-up IMF mission is expected to visit Abidjan in September this year when details of the draft 2017 Budget under preparation will be available, with a view to continued discussions on a new IMF-supported economic and financial programme,” Mr. Ghura added.
-0- PANA AR/VAO 8July2016

08 july 2016 13:42:17

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