Haiti’s economic recovery advanced, says IMF

imf_894262034WASHINGTON D.C., United States, Tuesday June 3, 2014, CMC – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says preliminary data for Haiti’s first half 2014 fiscal year suggest that economic activity, measured by Gross Domestic Product, advanced in line with a three to four percent projection.

“Inflation remained low and it is projected to be in the mid-single digits by the end of the fiscal year,” said Gabriel Di Bella, who led an IMF mission to the French-speaking Caribbean country from May 14 to 23.

“The fiscal deficit was lower than programmed, largely due to delays in approving the budget, while domestic revenues have been close to projections,” he said and added, “Monetary policy was adequately geared towards protecting reserves while ensuring a low and stable inflation”.

On Saturday, Di Bella said measures aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of fiscal policy with respect to the establishment of the Treasury Single Account are being implemented.

To this end, he said continued close cooperation between the ministry of finance and the central bank will be “essential,” noting that efforts to improve effectiveness of public investment and debt management is also ongoing.

The IMF mission underscored a need to implement measures in these areas together with well-designed programmes to protect the most vulnerable.

It stated that a lower fiscal deficit will maintain appropriate international reserve buffers, “which are essential to the effective implementation of monetary policy, and as a cushion to withstand unanticipated shocks”.

Di Bella said IMF staff and the Haitian authorities will continue working during upcoming weeks with the objective of finalising discussions in the eighth and final review of the Extended Credit Facility, in order to present the related documents for consideration of the IMF Executive Board before end-August, 2014.

During their visit to Haiti, IMF officials met Minister of Economy and Finance Marie Carmelle Jean-Marie; Governor of the Bank of the Republic of Haiti (BRH) Charles Castel; and other senior government officials, representatives of the private sector, and development partners.

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