Ending a fact-finding mission to Mauritania, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), declared here Tuesday that the Mauritanian economy remained strong despite a ravaging drought that affected the country.
The IMF mission, led by Amin Mati, was in Mauritania from 29 April to 14 May as part of the fourth review of the country’s economy under the of Extended Credit Facility (ECF).
It said that economic growth (4% of the Gross Domestic Product – GDP – in 2011) remained strong despite the effects of drought and the downturn in external demands.
The mission emphasized, however, that the real growth rate of the GDP remained below initial forecasts because of the decline in agricultural production.
However, the mission noted that inflation remained under control at 5.75 despite rising food and oil prices at the international level.
According to the IMF, the year 2011 was marked by greater resilience of the Mauritanian economy to external shocks — thanks to the implementation of a policy focused on consolidating macroeconomic stability in a difficult national and international context.
Indeed, fiscal performance was better than expected, with a basic budget deficit equivalent to 0.2% of the GDP, reflecting a good collection of revenues, including those generated by the mining sector, which did more than offsetting the emergency expenses caused by a solidarity programme initiated in 2011 (fight against the effects of drought).
Moreover, the good performance of the mining exports “improved the current account deficit of the balance of payments, doubling the foreign exchange reserves that reached an unprecedented level of US$ 501.6 million, which meant 3.5 months of imports.”
Under the Extended Credit Facility, IMF agreed to grant the Mauritanian government resources estimated at US$ 120 million, disbursed on the basis of a macro-economic performance agreement.