Economic growth in Mauritania expected to double in 2019

Mauritania is expected to follow strong growth in the economy, up 6.7% this year. The forecast, compared to last year’s figures (3.6%), is equivalent to an almost double increase. The data were released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and are a result of a report made after the third review of the agreement with the country, which includes a loan of US $ 159.8 million, with a counterpart of reforms.

The agreement aims to consolidate local economic stability, with direct support for inclusive growth and job creation, allowing the country to build international reserves. The proposal of the Mauritanian authorities, according to the IMF, is to invest these resources in education, health, social protection, and public infrastructure.

“Mauritania’s economic stability has been maintained, foreign debt has declined in relation to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), reserves have increased and some fiscal space has been created,” says Mitsuhiro Furusawa, deputy managing director and internal chairman of the IMF Executive Board. For him, structural reform has progressed as planned in Mauritania.

The expected growth for this year will be supported by the growth of non-extractive sectors, strong domestic demand, and recent economic diversification. The country is also developing a large offshore gas field. “But the risks associated with global economic growth, commodity price volatility, adverse weather, and regional security concerns remain high,” Furusawa adds.

Mitsuhiro Furusawa

According to the IMF, broad structural reforms are needed, coupled with strengthened tax and administrative policy. These changes should ensure greater fiscal coverage and reform of budget processes to improve the efficiency of public spending. The organization also suggests a modernization of the exchange policy, allowing greater flexibility of the exchange rate. In this way, the country will suffer less from external shocks.

The agreement between the IMF and Mauritania in December 2017 has a three-year deadline. The latest review will allow the country to withdraw another US $ 22.8 million, bringing the total disbursements so far to the US $ 91.3 million.

With information by ANBA News Agency