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A weak Q4 resulted in GDP growth slowing to an
estimated 2.4% in 2016 overall. While sustained public and private investment
and recovery in exports will lift the growth rate to about 4% in 2017 and then some
5% a year over the medium term, this will remain heavily dependent on continued
external financing. This has led to the negotiation of a new IMF deal, expected
to be concluded in April, as FDI may take time to pick up. The IMF programme
should ensure a reining-in of the fiscal deficit before it adds to already mounting
inflationary pressures, but could also promote financial liberalisation that
initially strengthens the real exchange rate and holds down export growth.
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