IMF Completes Suriname Review, Says Lending Program ‘On Track’ | Investment News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund said on Monday it has reached a staff-level agreement with Suriname on policy reforms for the first review of the South American country’s $688 million loan program.

“Despite difficult social and economic conditions, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Suriname’s economic recovery program is on track,” IMF mission chief Ding Ding said in a statement. communicated. “All the quantitative objectives assessed at the end of December 2021 have been met.

The IMF on Dec. 23 approved Suriname’s three-year, $688 million Extended Financing Facility program, making some $55 million immediately available. The program aims to rebuild Suriname’s foreign exchange reserves and bring the country back to a market-determined exchange rate.

The IMF said inflation, although still high at 60.6% year-on-year in December, has come down since August, with the fiscal deficit and external imbalances falling.

“Surinamese economy is expected to gradually recover during 2022,” Ding said. “Real GDP growth is expected to reach 1.8% with a correction of fiscal and external imbalances and a stabilization of the macroeconomy.

He added that Suriname was committed to reducing inflation and maintaining an exchange rate determined by a floating market.

The country will soon submit to the National Assembly a revised budget for 2022 which targets a primary surplus of 1.7% of GDP, higher cash transfers for the country’s most vulnerable and higher electricity tariffs.

“The government is also working to advance debt relief discussions with private and official creditors,” Ding said.

The policy reform agreement is subject to IMF Executive Board approval.

(Reporting by David Lawder; editing by Jane Wardell)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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