Côte d’Ivoire: Ivorian economy registers 8% expansion against drought impact

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (PANA) -  An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission and authorities in Côte d’Ivoire on Thursday reached an ad referendum agreement on the first review of the country's three-year economic and financial programme supported by the Fund.

Concluding the mission's visit to Abidjan from 22 March to 6 April 2017, IMF team leader, Mr. Dan Ghura said the outcome of the review was subject to approval by IMF management and the Executive Board consideration, which is expected in June 2017.

Côte d’Ivoire's programme is supported by the IMF through arrangements under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

“Performance under the IMF-supported programme was good in 2016. Preliminary estimates show that the economy expanded by about 8 percent last year despite the impact of the drought," Mr. Ghura remarked, noting that the current account deficit stayed low at about 1 percent of GDP.

Meanwhile, inflation remained contained at about 1 percent, benefiting from price stability in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) zone. Also, fiscal budget deficit, at 4 percent of GDP, was in line with the programme objectives, as a small revenue shortfall was offset mostly by downsizing non-priority public investment.

“Recent events and external shocks that affected Côte d’Ivoire warrant revisions of the economic and fiscal projections for 2017," Mr. Ghura said, pointing out that the drop in world cocoa prices by over 35 percent has reduced the country’s exports and fiscal revenues.

In addition, rising international oil prices have lowered the fuel tax base; social demands gave rise to additional budget spending; but the country's economic growth is expected to remain strong in 2017.

“The IMF staff and the authorities agreed on the need to respond to the recent negative shocks in a way that keeps the economy on a strong and sustainable growth path, preserves macroeconomic stability, contributes to regional reserves accumulation, and takes due account of existing social conditions," said a statement of the Fund's mission.

"Specifically, the programme includes a moderate easing of the budget deficit ceiling for 2017 and adherence to the WAEMU budget deficit criterion of 3 percent of GDP by 2019. The IMF staff and the authorities agreed on importance of boosting domestic revenue mobilization."

The IMF staff and the Ivorian authorities also agreed on the need to carry on with structural reforms sustaining private sector-led economic growth.

According to Mr. Ghura, the Fund's staff team welcomed the ongoing fiscal administration reforms, which facilitate tax payments.

"Completion of the restructuring of the debts of the national oil refinery should bolster its financial stability. Also, a resolution of liabilities in the energy sector would ensure the sector’s financial viability," he added.

The IMF team met with Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Minister of Finance Adama Koné, Minister of Budget and State Holdings Abdourahmane Cissé, Minister of Oil, Energy and Development of Renewable Energies Thierry Tanoh, Minister of Public Service and Modernization of Administration Pascal Abinan Kouakou, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly, BCEAO National Director Chalouho Coulibaly and other senior government officials.
-0- PANA AR 6April2017

06 april 2017 19:35:46

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