Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Optimistic prediction for 2018

Resultado de imagem para standard bank maputo
Standard Bank's chief economist in Maputo, Fausio Mussa, in a 4 July presentation, predicted that the Metical will remain at MT 60 = $1 this year but improve to MT 50 = $1 by the end of next year. Inflation will average 18.3% this year but fall to 11.9% in 2018 - still well above 2012-5 average of 3.3%. Mussa argued that "monetary policy tightening was severe enough" to restore macro-economic stability in Mozambique, but at a price of a sharp cut in imports (from $10.6 bn In 2015 to $8.0 bn in 2016) and a "collapse in economic activity not always reflected in GDP statistics". He hopes for "a private sector led recovery but prospects [are] highly contingent to progress in natural gas" and on an IMF programme to improve confidence and release increased donor assistance - which, with IMF and donor disappointment over obstruction of the Kroll report, now seems unlikely. The drop In donor grants is dramatic, to one fifth the level of five years ago - aid grants were $1 bn in 2013 but are forecast to fall to just $216 mn this year. The gap has been filled by borrowing, with foreign debt nearly doubled from $5.8 bn in 2013 to a forecast $10.8 bn this year. (Detailed graphs are in the attached pdf version of this newsletter.)

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