CAR economy has improved: IMF

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The short-term economic outlook in the Central African Republic has improved and the pace of growth is likely to pick up to 3.25 percent this year, an International Monetary Fund official said.

This compares with growth in 2009 of 1.7 % versus 2.0 % in 2008.

Inflation is expected to ease to about 2.5 % in 2010 from 3.5 % last year.

Martin Petri, who led IMF talks with the government, said in a statement the country’s current account deficit would likely remain stable amid higher aid flows and a rise in exports on the one hand and higher oil imports and a larger public investment program on the other.

Petri said the country’s performance under its $107 million IMF program had been “broadly satisfactory.” He expects the IMF to approve the country’s performance under the program and to disburse about $13.2 million of the loan to the government in the second quarter.

He said, however, that additional donor support would help “in managing the fiscal situation while limiting resources to expensive domestic financing”.

The country, which holds deposits of gold, uranium and diamonds, has been bedevilled by internal rebellions that have discouraged large-scale investment.

The country delayed its presidential elections by three weeks to May 16 after donors declared a free and fair election would probably not be possible until rebels had been disarmed under an UN-backed process.

Source: www.af.reuters.com