Guinea-Bissau continued to grow strongly, its fiscal position improved significantly and the country’s authorities have requested a one-year extension of the Extended Credit Facility programme, according to the main conclusions of the talks held in Bissau by a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an official statement said.
The IMF mission led by Tobias Rasmussen visited Guinea-Bissau from 21 March to 3 April 2018 for talks on the fifth evaluation of the IMF-supported programme in Guinea-Bissau under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the request by the authorities to extend the programme for another year.
The statement said that the agreement to extend the programme is subject to the approval of the IMF Board of Directors, which, at the beginning of June 2018, should consider the staff report and potentially approve payouts to Guinea Bissau of around US$4 million.
The document said the implementation of the programme had been satisfactory, with all the quantitative performance criteria and indicative targets for the fifth evaluation being met, with structural reforms moving forward, albeit with delays in some cases.
Economic activity remained dynamic, supported by high cashew prices, increased investment and prudent economic management, with real GDP growth estimated at 5.9% in 2017, average inflation of 1.1% and an external current account deficit of 0.5% of GDP.
In addition, as government revenues grew strongly and spending was contained, the total budget deficit on the basis of commitments fell sharply from 4.7% of GDP in 2016 to 1.5% in 2017. (macauhub)