- The IMF team reached a preliminary agreement with the authorities on a set of policies that aims at completing the seventh Review under the ECF and the extension of the program by one year
- Economic activity should remain strong in 2017, but risks are on the downside as security challenges and tighter financial conditions call for continued vigilance.
- IMF staff and the authorities agreed on the importance of boosting domestic revenue mobilization and staying on a fiscal path that maintains fiscal discipline
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Boriana Yontcheva visited Bamako from May 2 to 12, 2017, to conduct discussions on the seventh review of Mali’s Fund-supported economic program under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) approved in December 2013.
At the end of the visit, Mrs. Yontcheva issued the following statement:
“The IMF team reached a preliminary agreement with the authorities on a set of policies that aims at completing the seventh Review under the ECF and the extension of the program by one year. Consideration by the IMF’s Executive Board is tentatively scheduled for July 2017.
“The team is encouraged by the steady performance of the Malian economy. The economy is estimated to have grown by 5.8 percent in 2016 and inflation remains subdued, owing largely to low international oil prices. The budget deficit of 4% of GDP remained in line with the objectives of the program, with some additional revenues offsetting added elections and security related expenditures. The deficit on the overall balance of payments widened by 2.2 percentage points to 3.9 percent of GDP in 2016.
“The team and the authorities reviewed the fiscal outcome for 2016 and early 2017. All performance criteria for end- December 2016 were met. At the same time, there were some delays in the implementation of the structural benchmarks for end-December 2016. The team is encouraged by the progress that has since been made toward meeting these benchmarks.
“Economic activity should remain strong in 2017, but risks are on the downside as security challenges and tighter financial conditions call for continued vigilance. In the first quarter, social pressure was met by additional budgetary spending. IMF staff and the authorities have agreed on the necessity of keeping spending in line with budgetary resources while protecting social outlays and medium-term public investment. IMF staff and the authorities agreed on the importance of boosting domestic revenue mobilization and maintaining fiscal discipline. In this regard, the team supports the authorities’ goal of achieving an overall fiscal deficit of 3 percent of GDP by 2019, a WAEMU convergence criterion. The team also welcomes reforms, currently being undertaken, aimed at limiting fiscal expenditures through the control of discretionary exemptions. On the revenue side, the team underscored the importance of improving domestic resource mobilization, including by permitting the pass-through of international petroleum price movements to domestic prices at the pump, while adopting appropriate safeguards for vulnerable groups.”
The team met with Prime Minister M. Abdoulaye Idrissa Maiga, Minister of Economy and Finance Dr Boubou Cissé, Minister of Decentralization and Local Taxation, M. Alassane Ag Ahmed Moussa, the National Director of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) Mr. Konzo Traoré, and other high level officials as well as representatives of the civil society, the private sector, and Mali’s technical and financial partners.