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Haiti’s Economy “Continues to Grow,” But Must Accelerate Reconstruction: IMF

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - June 14, 2012

Above: Jacmel during Carnival

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haiti’s economy is moving in a positive direction, though at a level below that projected by the International Monetary Fund’s Extended Credit Facility arrangement, the IMF said following the conclusion of its mission to Haiti.

“The economy continues to grow, albeit below the levels projected in the ECF-supported programme, which remains broadly on track,” the fund said in a statement. “The slowdown in public investment, associated with the process of political transition over the recent months, was offset by sustained dynamism in the commercial sector and manufacturing industries as well as a good harvest.”

The IMF mission visited Haiti from June 4 to June 8 in Port-au-Prince.

According to the fund, Haiti’s real GDP is projected to grow by between 4.5 and 5.5 percent this year.

That number is below a projection by the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, which, in April, projected a rate of 7.8 percent for 2012.

If the fund’s other projections held to form, that number would still represent the highest economic growth in the Caribbean.

Haiti’s fiscal position also “firmed,” according to the fund, as a result of what it called strong domestic revenue collection and lower capital expenditures than initially forecast in the budget.

“The new government would need to accelerate the pace of reconstruction against the backdrop of political stability and security,” the fund said. “Raising poverty-reducing expenditures and investment levels will remain key fiscal policy objectives.”

The government of Haiti and the IMF mission reached an agreement ad referendum on the “broad outlines of a macroeconomic and structural reform programme” that covers the remainder of 2012 and the 2013 budget year.

Haiti’s authorities will continue to focus on preserving macroeconomic stability, supporting economic recovery and further reducing poverty.

The fourth review under the ECF will be taken up by the IMF’s Executive Board in July.

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