The program will help
Fiscal consolidation over the medium term aims to anchor public debt to the current level and shifting spending toward capital investment to address infrastructure bottlenecks.
The EFF-supported program will help
The Executive Board's approval allows for an immediate disbursement of SDR30 million (or about
Following the Executive Board discussion,
“The Georgian authorities have adopted an economic program aimed at promoting growth while maintaining macroeconomic stability.
“The central bank will continue to strengthen its ability to meet inflation targets. While the financial sector has shown resilience to depreciation, the central bank is introducing macroprudential instruments to address currency mismatches, concentration risks, and systemically important banks. The authorities have also announced a comprehensive set of de-dollarization measures. The introduction of deposit insurance will help strengthen the financial safety net.
“Fiscal policy will aim to reduce the deficit gradually through measures to raise revenue and cut current expenditures, while spending on infrastructure investment will rise, supporting growth. Efforts will be made to increase efficiency in public healthcare while maintaining adequate healthcare coverage, especially for the most vulnerable. Control and disclosure of fiscal risks are being strengthened.
“Structural reforms are critical for the success of the program, enabling higher inclusive growth and economic diversification. The reform effort will focus on capital market development, pension reform, a PPP framework, public financial management, private sector governance and competition, and education reform.
“Risks to program implementation are significant, but should be mitigated by the authorities' determined commitment to the policy package and the broad political support for the program.”
Recent Economic Developments and Outlook
As in other countries in the region, growth in
The fiscal deficit reached 4.1 percent of GDP in 2016, higher than the originally budgeted deficit of 3.0 percent of GDP. Current spending overruns and higher budget lending were only partially offset by higher-than-envisaged excise and corporate profit tax revenues.
The exchange rate was volatile in 2016, prompting the
Real GDP growth is projected at 3.5 percent in 2017, and inflation is projected to remain above the NBG's target (4 percent) in 2017 due to the lagged effects of exchange rate depreciation, higher commodity prices, and the excise tax increases, until it converges to the NBG target by 2018.
Following parliamentary elections in
The authorities' reform program, supported by the EFF, aims to strengthen financial stability, reduce external imbalances, enhance fiscal credibility, increase infrastructure investment, and undertake structural reforms. In particular, the program envisages:
Fiscal consolidation over the medium term anchored on limiting debt to the current level, while shifting spending from current toward capital investment to address infrastructure bottlenecks.
Structural reforms aimed at promoting savings, private sector investment, and improved competitiveness .
Unlocking bilateral and multilateral support to help finance infrastructure investment and build foreign exchange reserves over the program period.
Fiscal Consolidation while Creating Space for Investment: The authorities' program aims to reduce current spending as well as increase revenues to create space for public investment. The cuts include better management of the wage bill, efficiency gains in current spending, and new spending controls on local governments. Efforts to increase efficiency in public healthcare are designed not to undermine adequate healthcare coverage, especially for the most vulnerable. On the revenue side, the government has increased taxes to offset revenue losses from the corporate income tax reform and partly finance additional capital spending. The authorities are committed to take additional measures, if needed, to meet the fiscal target.
Enhancing the Inflation Targeting Framework and Continued Exchange Rate Flexibility: The NBG remains committed to price stability, and to exchange rate flexibility. Inflation will be monitored regularly, with a view to ensuring consistency with the NBG's medium-term inflation targets. The NBG will continue allowing the exchange rate to adjust with market conditions. The program will also aim to build up international reserves. The NBG will continue improving liquidity management and strengthening monetary policy, including by improving its communication.
Strengthening the financial sector : The authorities have reaffirmed the independence of the NBG in conducting its financial stability mandate. In line with the
Structural reforms: Structural reforms will promote job creation, economic diversification, and more inclusive growth. Capital market development, together with pension reform, will mobilize domestic savings and support private sector investment. Education reform will increase productivity and adapt skills to labor market demands. Enhancing governance and competition will help advance the economy toward emerging market status.