São Tomé and Príncipe economy sees higher spending and lower revenue

The São Tomé and Príncipe government needs to “increase revenues and ensure the promotion of the private sector,” given that the country’s economy is under “enormous pressure,” the head of a mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in São Tomé on Wednesday.

Xiangming Li, who started negotiations with the São Tome government to draw up a three-year programme aimed at “helping to grow the economy and improve the quality of life of citizens,” said the pressure is due to the fact that expenditure grew sharply in 2018 and revenue fell.

The head of the IMF mission said at the end of the first meeting with the Minister of Planning, Finance and the Blue Economy, Osvaldo Vaz, that the support programme usually lasts three years, “so if we can draw it up and start it this year, it will last until 2022,” according to the STP Press news agency.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of São Tomé and Príncipe reported on Wednesday that it had observed “a deterioration of the main macroeconomic indicators, especially deceleration of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), an increase in inflation and budget deficits. ”

“As for the monetary aggregates, there was a contraction of credit to the economy, although there was an increase in liquidity in the economy,” the central bank statement said.

The Central Bank statement followed a meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Tuesday, which, after analysing the “national and international economic environment,” decided to keep the benchmark interest rate at 9.0% and the liquidity rate at 11.0%. (Macauhub)