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IMF wraps up reviews of economic programme under 3-year arrangement

By JT - Aug 01,2015 - Last updated at Aug 01,2015

AMMAN – The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday completed the seventh and final review of Jordan’s economic programme supported by a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), enabling the disbursement of around $396.3 million. 

The three-year SBA in the amount of about $2 billion was approved by the executive board on August 3, 2012. 

Following the executive board’s decision, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair Mitsuhiro Furusawa said in a statement that Jordan’s IMF-supported programme has helped the country to successfully weather severe external shocks, including the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. 

Gradual fiscal consolidation, aided by lower oil prices, ensured that public debt is expected to start stabilising this year and, together with a prudent monetary policy, has preserved macroeconomic stability and supported confidence.  

“Although growth has slowed down in the first quarter of this year, the current account deficit is narrowing, foreign reserves remain at an adequate level and inflation is low," Furusawa said, adding that policies are on track to meet their 2015 targets with fiscal structural reform moving forward, financial policies appropriately focused on further enhancing the resilience of the sector and progress being made towards fostering private sector development.

However, the IMF executive said continued public sector adjustment is needed to put the high public debt firmly on a downward path, including through steadfast implementation of the energy strategy. 

“There is also a need to move on structural reforms geared to job creation, and focused on labour market reform as well as improvements in the business climate and the quality of public institutions," he said. 

The official underlined the Jordan 2025 vision — a 10-year framework for economic and social policies — as an “opportunity to address these challenges and an important step will be to anchor it in a medium-term macro-fiscal framework”.

 

He concluded that a “close fund” engagement with Jordan will continue, including through post-programme monitoring.

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