Infrastructure investment proposed by the Guinea-Bissau government under the State Budget for 2018 is welcome as it helps to fill serious gaps, but the process has to be very well managed, said the team from the International Monetary Fund which was on a mission to the country from 17 to 23 January.
The visit by the mission led by Tobias Rasmussen was intended to assess the proposed State Budget for 2018, approved at a Council of Ministers meeting, the fiscal and debt implications of a proposed increase in public spending on infrastructure construction and to review recent developments in the country’s banking sector.
“Economic activity continues to show dynamism, supported by sound budgetary management. Inflation remains low and fiscal revenue shows a robust increase, with real GDP growth continuing at around 5.5% in 2017. The resumption of public and private investment is giving new impetus to growth, offsetting a likely stabilisation in cashew prices following the sharp increases of last year,” said the statement issued in Washington.
Regarding the 2018 budget, the IMF considers that the version approved by the Council of Ministers “reflects the authorities’ efforts to improve revenue mobilisation and create a fiscal cushion for priority spending, in line with the objectives of the IMF-supported programme.”
The IMF team is expected to return to Guinea-Bissau next March to begin talks with the authorities on the fifth review of the Extended Credit Facility. (macauhub)