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International Monetary Fund improves Russian Federation 2017 economic growth forecast to 1.4 percent

20 Mai 2017

However, after its Article IV consultation to the country, the International Monetary Fund staff team led by Paolo Mauro, which visited Pretoria, Johannesburg, and Durban from May 3 to May 16, said the economy will see improved growth due to an end of to its worst drought in a century.

'Following last year's near-stagnation, there are signs that a modest improvement in the pace of economic growth is underway. The rate of real GDP growth is projected at 1 percent in 2017.

The International Monetary Fund improved its forecast for Russia's economic growth this year to 1.4 percent, saying easier financial conditions and higher oil prices would help drive a recovery, a regular IMF report showed on Friday. In 2016, Russia's economy is estimated to have contracted by 0.5 percent after contracting nearly 4 percent the previous year. Manufacturing output rebounded in March from a decline in the previous month as the economy recovers from last year's 0,3% expansion in GDP, which was the slowest since a 2009 recession.

That would require reforms of the labour market as well as state-owned companies, it said.

The IMF said the country will have to battle "declining business and consumer confidence and rising impatience with longstanding inequalities" by "reigniting growth and rendering it more inclusive".

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It also urged South Africa to ensure that its communication of its strategy was "clear and consistent".

"We definitely think it's a step in the right direction, but obviously we will be following the implementation of the budget in the coming months", Mlachila said.

A large, sustained, and well-paced fiscal adjustment is needed to achieve budget balance over the medium term. "In line with the inflation targeting framework, it would thus be appropriate for policy rates to remain on hold, and for the central bank to stand ready to increase rates if inflation expectations were to rise", said Mauro.

The lender welcomed the government's affirmation of fiscal goals following the appointment in March of Malusi Gigaba, who replaced Pravin Gordhan as finance minister. The fund called for a "mild but steady" reduction in the deficit over the next few years to reduce the likelihood of a sizeable increase in the cost of government borrowing.

"Such reforms should focus on stronger governance, enhanced transparency and imposition of penalties for failure to adhere to public procurement guidelines, and quantification of public service obligations".

International Monetary Fund improves Russian Federation 2017 economic growth forecast to 1.4 percent