By Staff Reporter
- This last review of Benin’s ECF arrangement confirms the improved growth performance during the program.
- Real GDP growth is expected to reach about 5½ percent in 2014 for the third consecutive year.
- This performance has closed the gap in per capita GDP growth between Benin and the Sub-Saharan African (SSA) average which was about 2 percentage points on average between 2005 and 2011.
- Thanks to prudent fiscal policy, macroeconomic performance remains satisfactory and progress has been achieved in structural reforms.
- All performance criteria were met except for the ceiling on non-concessional borrowing.
- The implementation of the new approach to customs reform is moving ahead well despite some delays.
- The government is tackling emerging issues in several areas to reduce risks to the good macroeconomic performance.
- Weak performance of domestic revenues requires a comprehensive tax administration reform which has been initiated.
- While non-performing loans (NPLs) in the banking sector have risen since 2012 and might increase further due to problems in a group of companies, they do not constitute a systemic risk.
- Discussions are underway among the central bank, the government, and the commercial banks on how to limit any further rise in NPLs.
Please see the full report-http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2014/cr14150.pdf