IMF raises Ivory Coast 2013 GDP growth forecast to 8.5%

By bne IntelliNews October 2, 2013

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast Ivory Coast’s economic growth to exceed 8.5% in 2013, lifting its previous projection of 8%. The country’s macroeconomic performance in the first half of 2013 was better than expected, with continued strong GDP growth, and moderate inflation despite increases in some food product prices, Michel Lazare, Assistant Director in the IMF’s African Department, said in a statement after a conclusion of an IMF mission to the West African country. He added that inflation is expected to remain moderate, while economic growth is supported by strong public investment, which should rise to over 7% of GDP with the help of substantial external financing. The IMF has agreed to provide a disbursement of USD 74mn under the USD 616mn Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme to support further the government’s policies.

The IMF commended Ivory Coast’s progress made in the implementation of structural reforms, especially to improve the business climate and strengthen the energy sector. More specifically, the country was praised for preparing an action plan for the regularisation of domestic arrears to suppliers, formulating strategies for developing the financial sector, restructuring public banks, the elaboration of electricity and mining sector codes, the preparation of a medium-term debt strategy and the further strengthening of debt management, as well as for reforms in the agricultural sector.

Separately, Ivory Coast’s Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan said the country would issue between USD 300mn and USD 500mn worth of CFA franc-denominated 7-year bonds on the euro market next year to finance internal debt repayments, according to a Reuters report.

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