Friday, 29 September 2017 - 20:09
IMF projects SL economic growth to be below 4.5% in 2017


International Monetary Fund says Sri Lanka's growth this year will be below 4.5% of GDP.

This was disclosed by an IMF staff team which concluded a 12-day visit to Sri Lanka today (29).

The IMF team was in Sri Lanka from 18th of September.

They were here to hold discussions on the third review of the Sri Lankan authorities’ economic program that is being supported by a three-year Extended Fund Facility.

The program aims to support the authorities’ ambitious reform agenda to put public finances on a sustainable footing and create space for social and development program.

The IMF team said that the passage of the landmark Inland Revenue Act is a major achievement which in turn will support the government’s ambitious social and developmental program.

"Macroeconomic performance has been mixed with drought and floods taking a toll on growth and inflation", it added.

The IMF team observed that the rebuilding of net international reserves should continue to strengthen economic resilience.

They also commended Sri Lanka for achieving all quantitative performance targets through end-June 2017.

“Progress, on the other hand, has been mixed in implementing structural reforms—especially in relation to state-owned enterprises and public financial management”, it added.

The IMF team head Jaewoo Lee said, "“Overall, macroeconomic performance has been mixed. Growth has been subdued and inflationary pressures have increased reflecting the drought since late 2016 and the floods earlier this year. Growth is projected to remain below 4.5 percent for 2017, and to rebound next year as agricultural production normalizes and infrastructure projects pick up. The current account deficit is projected to widen somewhat this year due to higher imports of food and fuel related to the drought and floods".

The mission met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera, State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne, Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, other public officials, and representatives of the business community, civil society, and international partners, during their stay in Sri Lanka.

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