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Operation Disclosure GCR/RV Intel Alert for October 23, 2017

Operation Disclosure https://operationdisclosure.blogspot.com/ RV/INTELLIGENCE ALERT - October 23, 2017 CERTAIN THINGS ARE CURRENTLY...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

IMF Completes Second Review of Iraq's 2017 Article IV Consultation

IMF Executive Board Completes Second Review of Iraq’s Stand-By Arrangement and the 2017 Article IV Consultation


August 1, 2017
  • The authorities are appropriately maintaining the peg of the Iraqi dinar to the U.S. dollar, which provides a key anchor to the economy.
  • Measures to prevent money-laundering, counter the financing of terrorism, and strengthen the anti-corruption legislation need to be implemented.
  • The authorities are implementing a sizable fiscal adjustment, mostly through retrenchment of inefficient capital expenditure while protecting social spending.
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the second review of Iraq’s three-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), which is designed to support Iraq’s economic reform program and restore fiscal balance over the medium term. The completion of the second review allows the authorities to draw the equivalent of SDR 584.2 million (about US$ 824.8 million), bringing total disbursements to SDR 1494.2 million about US$ 2109.7 million. The SDR 3.831 billion arrangement (about US$5.34 billion at the time of approval of the arrangement) was approved in July, 2016 (See Press Release No. 16/321) and the first review was completed on December 5, 2016 ( See Press Release No. 16/540).

As part of the completion of the second review, the Board also approved Iraq’s request for waivers of non-observance and applicability of performance criteria, and modification of performance criteria. Further fiscal consolidation was achieved in 2016, but at a slower pace than programmed because of weak control of investment expenditure and humanitarian needs. To move the program forward, the authorities are implementing strong corrective measures as prior actions and are committed to further fiscal measures in 2018 to ensure external and debt sustainability.

The Executive Board today also concluded the 2017 Article IV Consultation with Iraq. A respective press release will be issued separately.

Following the Executive Board’s decision, Mr David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director, issued the following statement:

The economic policies implemented by the Iraqi authorities to deal with the shocks facing Iraq—the armed conflict with ISIS and the ensuing humanitarian crisis and the collapse in oil prices—are appropriate. In the fiscal area, the authorities are implementing a sizable fiscal adjustment, mostly through retrenchment of inefficient capital expenditure while protecting social spending. The authorities are appropriately maintaining the peg of the Iraqi dinar to the U.S. dollar, which provides a key anchor to the economy. Performance under the Stand-By Arrangement has been weak in some key areas, but understandings have been reached on sufficient corrective actions to keep the program on track. Resolute implementation of the authorities’ program, together with strong international financial support, will be key.

Further fiscal consolidation measures are needed in 2017-18 to keep the program on track. The composition of the fiscal adjustment should be improved over time by increasing non-oil revenue and reducing current expenditure. In addition, reforming the electricity sector and state-owned enterprises will make room for larger and more effective investment expenditure that supports growth and job creation.

Significantly improving public financial management will be important. Arrears need to be assessed and paid following verification, and expenditure commitment and cash management should be strengthened to prevent the accumulation of new arrears.

Measures to bolster financial sector stability include strengthening the legal framework of the Central Bank of Iraq, restructuring state-owned banks, and eliminating an exchange restriction and a multi-currency practice. Measures to prevent money-laundering, counter the financing of terrorism, and strengthen the anti-corruption legislation also need to be implemented.

Implementation of the budget-sharing agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government would put both the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government in a better position to address the shocks to the Iraqi economy.

Table 1. Iraq: Selected Economic and Financial Indicators, 2013–22
(Quota: SDR 1,663.8 million)
(Population: 37.5 million; 2016 est.)
(Poverty rate: 23 percent, 2014)
(Main export: Crude oil)
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
2022
Est.
Prog.
Prog.
Proj.
Proj.
Proj.
Proj.
Economic growth and prices
Real GDP (percentage change)
7.6
0.7
4.8
11.0
-0.4
2.9
1.7
2.0
2.1
2.1
Non-oil real GDP (percentage change)
12.4
-3.9
-9.6
-8.1
1.5
2.0
3.0
3.9
4.0
4.1
GDP deflator (percentage change)
0.0
-0.7
-26.9
-12.9
12.9
2.3
2.9
3.8
4.4
4.7
GDP per capita (US$)
7,021
6,517
4,869
4,533
4,958
5,091
5,194
5,362
5,569
5,806
GDP (in US$ billion)
234.6
234.7
179.8
171.7
192.7
202.9
212.3
224.8
239.5
256.2
Oil production (mbpd) 1/
3.0
3.1
3.7
4.6
4.6
4.7
4.8
4.8
4.9
4.9
Oil exports (mbpd) 1/
2.4
2.6
3.4
3.8
3.8
3.9
3.9
4.0
4.0
4.1
Iraq oil export prices (US$ pb)
102.9
96.5
45.9
35.6
45.3
45.4
44.9
45.2
45.9
47.1
Consumer price inflation (percentage change; average)
1.9
2.2
1.4
0.4
2.0
2.0
2.0
2.0
2.0
2.0
(In percent of GDP)
National Accounts
Gross domestic investment
26.9
25.7
24.4
20.6
19.7
19.1
18.6
18.2
18.2
18.0
Of which: public
17.4
18.0
15.1
11.4
11.1
10.5
9.8
9.3
9.1
8.8
Gross domestic consumption
69.5
69.9
81.6
87.8
86.4
85.1
85.3
84.3
83.4
82.2
Of which: public
21.0
18.3
22.3
22.9
23.7
22.2
21.1
19.7
18.3
16.9
Gross national savings
28.1
28.3
18.0
11.9
13.4
12.4
14.5
15.0
16.1
17.4
Of which: public
11.6
13.0
3.0
-2.3
6.6
6.3
8.7
8.9
9.9
11.1
Saving - Investment balance
1.1
2.6
-6.5
-8.7
-6.3
-6.7
-4.1
-3.2
-2.1
-0.6
(In percent of GDP, unless otherwise indicated)
Public Finance
Government revenue and grants
42.2
38.2
30.3
27.4
35.9
36.4
35.6
34.5
33.7
33.0
Government oil revenue
38.6
36.0
27.5
23.2
31.8
31.7
30.6
29.4
28.3
27.5
Government non-oil revenue
3.5
2.1
2.8
4.1
3.9
4.6
4.8
5.0
5.2
5.4
Grants
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.1
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
Expenditure, of which:
48.0
43.5
42.6
41.5
41.0
41.1
37.2
35.0
33.1
31.1
Current expenditure
30.6
25.5
27.5
30.1
30.0
30.7
27.4
25.8
24.0
22.3
Capital expenditure
17.4
18.0
15.1
11.4
11.1
10.5
9.8
9.3
9.1
8.8
Primary fiscal balance
-5.4
-5.1
-11.7
-13.4
-3.8
-3.7
-0.5
0.7
1.8
3.1
Overall fiscal balance (including grants)
-5.8
-5.4
-12.3
-14.1
-5.1
-4.7
-1.7
-0.5
0.6
2.0
Non-oil primary fiscal balance (percent of non-oil GDP)
-67.6
-56.1
-45.1
-44.6
-47.8
-43.4
-39.6
-35.4
-32.0
-28.7
Memorandum items:
Tax revenue/non-oil GDP (in percent)
1.9
1.7
1.0
3.9
4.6
5.5
5.6
5.6
5.7
5.9
Total government debt (in percent of GDP)
31.2
32.0
54.5
66.7
63.8
65.3
64.3
61.6
57.5
52.1
Total government debt (in US$ billion)
73.1
75.2
98.0
114.6
122.9
132.6
136.5
138.4
137.7
133.4
External government debt (in percent of GDP)
25.3
24.8
36.8
39.3
38.3
40.9
40.4
36.9
32.8
27.9
External government debt (in US$ billion)
59.3
58.1
66.1
67.5
73.7
83.0
85.7
82.9
78.5
71.4
(In percent, unless otherwise indicated)
Monetary indicators
Growth in reserve money
12.6
-9.6
-12.6
7.1
1.3
3.6
4.0
5.8
5.8
5.9
Growth in broad money
15.9
3.6
-9.0
7.2
4.1
4.9
4.0
6.5
7.1
8.3
Policy interest rate (end of period)
6.0
6.0
6.0
4.0
(In percent of GDP, unless otherwise indicated)
External sector
Current account
1.1
2.6
-6.5
-8.7
-6.3
-6.7
-4.1
-3.2
-2.1
-0.6
Trade balance
9.9
10.9
-0.1
-1.8
0.8
1.8
1.7
2.1
2.5
3.3
Exports of goods
38.3
39.6
31.4
29.1
32.4
32.0
30.7
29.6
28.5
27.8
Imports of goods
-28.4
-28.7
-31.5
-30.9
-31.7
-30.2
-29.0
-27.4
-26.0
-24.4
Overall external balance
-1.3
-10.0
-7.1
-3.6
-0.9
-2.7
-1.1
-0.6
0.2
0.8
Gross reserves (in US$ billion) 2/
77.8
66.7
53.7
45.2
41.4
40.8
39.7
37.1
36.0
36.5
In months of imports of goods and services
10.8
10.9
9.2
6.7
6.2
6.0
5.8
5.4
5.2
5.3
Exchange rate (dinar per US$; period average)
1,166
1,166
1,166
1,180
Real effective exchange rate (percent change, end of period) 3/
6.6
4.7
6.8
5.9

Sources: Iraqi authorities; and IMF staff estimates and projections.
1/ Includes Kurdistan Regional Governement (0.55 mbpd) only in projection.
2/ Starting 2014 includes US$ account balances from oil revenues.
3/ Positive means appreciation.

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