Zimbabwe meets IMF reform plan targets

Malcom Sharara

Harare - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed satisfaction with the progress Zimbabwean authorities have made in meeting set targets under its 15-month Staff-Monitored Programme.

IMF mission head Domenico Fanizza said Zimbabwe has met all the qualitative and structural targets set for the period to June 2015.

“We are pleased in particular that the authorities have successfully implemented most of the programme so far and we can say now that the authorities have met all the required structural benchmarks," said Fanizza.

“I am confident the authorities will continue to implement reforms and that we will be able to conclude the programme successfully and then seek support from creditors,” he said.

The IMF mission is in Harare from August 31 to September 11 to conduct a second review under the Staff-Monitored Programme approved by management in November 2014.

Zim remains in debt distress

In a statement, the IMF said economic difficulties in Zimbabwe have intensified this year.

"Growth has slowed more than anticipated and we expect it to remain weak in 2015.

"Despite the favourable impact of lower oil prices, the external position remains precarious and the country in debt distress," said the IMF.

It however acknowledged that Zimbabwean authorities are committed to laying the foundation for sustained strong, private sector-led growth.

Going forward the IMF expects Zimbabwe to reduce public sector employment costs to make room for capital and social spending.

The IMF also anticipates a further decline in nonperforming loans in the banking sector.

Source http://www.fin24.com/Economy/Zim-meets-IMF-reform-plan-targets-20150909