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|Sujet: Haiti's Macroeconomic Outlook and Risks Mer 1 Juin 2011 - 6:39|| |
Haiti's Macroeconomic Outlook and Risks
The macroeconomic framework for FY 2011 has been revised to reflect recent developments. In view of the slippages in the electoral calendar and their impact on economic activity, staff and the authorities agreed to revise down the real GDP growth projection for FY 2011 to 8.6 percent, from 9.8 percent envisaged in the original program. This revised projection assumes a pickup in reconstruction activities in the second half of this fiscal year (March-September 2011). In contrast, the inflation target was revised slightly upward to 9 percent (from 8.6 percent in the original program) to take into account the surge in international food and fuel prices (MEFP, ¶9). (Haiti’s CPI basket has about 50 percent of food components and about 3 percent of fuel component.) In late March 2011, the authorities raised the retail prices of petroleum products by 27 percent on average. The external current account deficit is forecast to reach 4.2 percent of GDP during this fiscal year, on account of higher reconstruction–related imports, to be financed by donor flows and some decline in net international reserves (NIRs).
A continued rise in international fuel and food prices could seriously deteriorate economic and social conditions. The recent increase in domestic petroleum prices did not lead to any significant social unrest. However, there is a risk that further increases in world oil prices could intensify inflationary pressures. Given Haiti’s relatively strong exchange rate pass-through, this effect could be reinforced by the depreciation of the Gourde against the U.S. dollar since January, stemming from lower donor disbursements and higher food and oil imports. The rise in domestic fuel prices could also generate social unrest and exacerbate political instability, thereby negatively affecting growth.
Uncertainties to the outlook are significant. These include a slow pace of reconstruction activities, delays in the disbursements of international assistance, poor quality of capital spending, weak administrative and absorptive capacity, and natural disasters. Political instability could also hold reforms back.