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Country Report Mozambique October 2017

Country Report Mozambique October 2017

  • October 2017
  • ID: 359720
  • Format: PDF

Summary

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Outlook for 2018-22



  • The ruling party, Frelimo, is forecast to remain in power, under the leadership of Filipe Nyusi. We expect them to secure re-election in the 2019 polls, but a power struggle between rival factions of Frelimo will stoke political volatility.
  • Tensions between Frelimo and Renamo (an elected party and an armed rebel movement) will further weaken stability, amid protracted talks over political decentralisation and military reform.
  • A liquidity crisis, triggered by an unmanageable debt burden and widespread aid freezes, will continue to destabilise the economy. We expect external debt to be restructured (eventually), but capital inflows will be slow to recover.
  • Fiscal policy will in the near term focus on cushioning the impact of the economic crisis on Mozambicans' livelihoods. However, with this strategy proving unsustainable, we expect financing constraints to force consolidation.
  • Real GDP growth will remain weak (by historical standards) in 2018, owing to fragile domestic demand and low investment. A more robust economic recovery is forecast thereafter, driven by the development of the gas industry.
  • We expect the current-account deficit to contract, to 15.5% of GDP, in 2018 as financing constraints slow import growth and firmer mineral prices support export growth. The deficit will widen thereafter as import demand picks up.


Review



  • In mid-September Frelimo's influential political commission endorsed the incumbent, Mr Nyusi, as the party's presidential candidate in the 2019 election. Mr Nyusi also held on to his role as party leader later in September.
  • Civil society petitioned the Constitutional Council in August over parliament's allegedly unconstitutional approval of the state accounts of 2015, which retroactively legalise dubious sovereign debt guarantees.
  • The World Bank has categorised Mozambique as "fragile", after the country's score in the Bank's Country Policy Institutional Assessment declined sharply on the back of weak economic management.
  • Speaking at a press briefing in mid-September, the IMF confirmed that it will await the publication of a full report on Mozambique's independent debt audit before it progresses towards a new programme with the country.
  • The private-sector business association, Confederação das Associações Económicas de Moçambique, reported in September that arrears from the government to its members amount to some MT29bn (US$474.6m).
  • The Ministry of Transport and Communications has announced that construction of a railway from coal-rich Tete to the port of Macuse is scheduled to begin in late 2018, with completion expected in early 2021.


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