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IMF Staff Concludes Visit to Eswatini

August 23, 2019

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF's Executive Board for discussion and decision.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team, led by Mr. Geremia Palomba, IMF Mission Chief for Eswatini, visited Mbabane during August 16-23, 2019 to discuss recent developments and the economic outlook in the context of its regular review of the economy activities.

At the end of the visit, Mr. Palomba issued the following statement:

“Eswatini faces a challenging economic environment. Since 2016, rising government spending and low revenue from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) have increased public debt and contributed to large domestic arrears. International reserves have declined, although remain broadly adequate, and real GDP growth has been sluggish.

“The new government that was appointed in late 2018, continues to formulate its policy agenda to address these macroeconomic challenges. In the absence of policy action, the economic outlook remains fragile.

“Discussions focused on recent economic developments, in particular budget execution and planning, economic prospects, and the scope for further policy action.

“The 2019 Article IV consultation—annual review of the economy—with Eswatini is planned for late 2019.

“The mission thanks the authorities and other counterparts for their hospitality and the productive and open discussions.”

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