IMF warns Liberia of imminent economic hardship

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF). Photo: RR

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) assessment of Liberia’s economy under the 2019 Article IV Mission has warned that a gross decline in growth could cause severe suffering and hardship on the population.

IMF’s latest findings stipulate that “Liberia’s macroeconomic stability has proved elusive despite improved revenue collection in the first half of Fiscal Year 2019, and that the fiscal stance has loosened significantly.

The assessment report indicates that growth for 2018 is estimated at 1.2 per cent, while the forecast for 2019 on current policies has been revised down to 0.4 per cent from 4.7 per cent.

In this regard, the IMF noted with emphasis that revenue reforms have considerable potential to directly expand the resource envelope and facilitate a needed increase in social spending.

The IMF team lead by Mika Saito, conducted the assessment from February 25 to March 8, 2019 in Monrovia.

In a statement following the assessment, Ms. Saito said “Liberia’s economic situation is challenging, and strong policy actions will be required to maintain as favorable an outlook as anticipated at this time last year.”

She went on further to say that “this is detrimental to the living standards of the most vulnerable Liberians, who earn and spend primarily in Liberian dollars and threatens the success of (President Weah’s) pro-poor agenda.”

The IMF team met with President George Weah, Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as with the Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia Nathaniel Patray and other private sector representatives and development partners.

© Bur-csa – A.H – N.W / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV) – Follow us on Twitter : @ADVinfo_eng