Press Release: IMF Staff Completes Review Mission to Niger

May 18, 2015

Press Release No. 15/226
May 18, 2015

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Cheikh Anta Gueye visited Niamey from April 27 to May 8, 2015 for the sixth review of Niger’s financial and economic program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF)1. The ECF arrangement for Niger was approved on March 16, 2012 (see Press Release No.12/90). The discussion covered the implementation of the program as well as economic and financial developments in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015, the medium-term outlook and the policies needed to consolidate macroeconomic stability and foster inclusive growth.

At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Gueye issued the following statement:

“Niger’s overall macroeconomic performance has been generally satisfactory. Despite a deterioration of the security context in the region, real gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 rebounded to 6.9 percent, from 4.6 percent in 2013. Growth was driven by agriculture and services. Average inflation receded to negative 0.9 percent in 2014 thanks in particular to an improved food supply in part due partly to the government’s food aid program, which helped to attenuate the increase of prices of food products.”

“Weak revenue collections, unanticipated security expenditure and a shortfall in external budget assistance adversely impacted fiscal outcomes and, as a result, most of the program’s fiscal targets for end-2014 were missed.”

“However, the economic outlook for 2015 and the medium-term remain favorable. Although real GDP growth is expected to recede to 4.3 percent in 2015, average growth is projected to average 7 percent during 2016-2018, mainly as a result of the expansion of the extractive industries sector and an increase in public investments. Inflation would remain contained below 2 percent, well below the 3 percent WAEMU convergence criterion. The medium-term prospects remain subject to substantial external and domestic risks, including the negative externalities of regional conflicts and the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters.”

“The fiscal shortfalls in 2014 and continuing economic pressures in early 2015, including from the regional security situation, complicate budgetary execution in 2015. The budgetary framework will need to reflect the new priorities on security and human and capital development needs while improving efficiency in public investment and preserving fiscal and external sustainability.”

“The mission wishes to express its gratitude to the authorities for their warm hospitality and the frank and constructive discussions.”

“The mission met with the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, other senior government officials, private sector and civil society representatives, as well as development partners in Niger.”

1 The Extended Credit Facility (ECF) is the IMF’s main tool for medium-term financial support to low-income countries. It provides for a higher level of access to financing, more concessional terms, enhanced flexibility in program design, and more focused, streamlined conditionality. Financing under ECF currently carries a zero interest rate, with a grace period of 5½ years, and a final maturity of 10 years.


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