The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has just ended a mission in Congo, is forecasting a 6.4% growth rate for the central African country against 5.0% initially planned by the government in 2013, the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Budget announced Tuesday in a statement.
It also said that inflation is expected to decline to about 4%.
According to IMF statistics, Congo’s economic growth reached 3.8% with inflation rising to 7.5% due to limited supply response to an increase in overall public expenditure.
“The rapid increase in spending has driven up the non-oil primary budget deficit to 64.5% of non-oil GDP against 46.3% in 2011. Medium term prospects for 2013 appear broadly favorable,” according to the statement.
However, the IMF said despite increased investment, fiscal and external positions remain comfortable and an enhanced fiscal rule adopted this year will mitigate the negative macro budgetary effects stemming from the volatility of oil revenues and will guarantee the sustainability of public finances.
Aware that Congo must do more to improve the business climate, strengthen economic governance, improve the quality of social spending and put the economy on a growth trajectory, the IMF wants special attention to be paid to essential actions for progress in employment and poverty reduction.
The IMF mission reviewed the recent developments in macroeconomic terms and the country’s short-term prospects.
It also provided the Congolese authorities with the 2013 schedule of consultations scheduled in Brazzaville from 30 April to 14 May, 2013.
In addition, the IMF team noted the progress made by Congo on macroeconomic stability, dominated in 2012 by the emergency budgetary measures because of the disaster caused by the ammunition depot explosions on 4 March, 2012.
The IMF also urged the Congolese government to quickly pass the legislation required on budget transparency and accountability, following Congo’s successful efforts to comply with the standards of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).