Solomons economy ‘making gains’ but challenges remain: IMF

The IMF says the Solomons is making gains, but there are challenges ahead.

Solomon Islands has made considerable gains in terms of macroeconomic stability and strengthening institutions over the past six years.

This was the finding of an International Monetary Fund team after a visit to the Solomon Islands this month.

The team, led by Alison Stuart, said the country’s policy buffers were built up and institutional reforms had been completed.

It said growth remained solid at 3.5 percent in 2016 and was projected at 3.2 percent for 2017 and 3 percent for 2018.

The growth is buoyed by infrastructure spending and fisheries and agriculture, although logging production is slowing.

But Ms Stuart said the fiscal setting was challenging and heightened the need for public management reforms and fiscal adjustment in 2018.

“In particular on expenditures, we suggested that the Government to in the 2018 budget to reline expenditures in line with the national development strategy,” she said.

“We (the IMF team) think that this could be done by restraining expenditures on the tertiary education scholarships which had increase substantially this year, and on constituency development funds and shipping grants.”

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