The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the disbursement of $4.4 million for Seychelles following the completion of the fourth and fifth reviews of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement by the Executive Board, a statement from the organisation said. The total IMF disbursement to Seychelles is $13.2 million approx.
A three-year loan was approved in June 2014 for Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Ocean. The loan of $17.6 million is to support the island nation’s economic reform programme, which started in 2008. “Macroeconomic activity has been robust in 2016. The external current account deficit is estimated to have narrowed, supported by low international commodity prices and strong tourism receipts,” the IMF statement said. Tourism is the main contributor to the Seychelles’ economy; in 2016 around 304,000 visitors came to the island nation, compared to 275,000 in 2015.
IMF took note of the initiatives announced in last year’s State of the Nation’s Address (SONA) by James Michel, the President at the time, and said, “The authorities’ attempts to ensure that the benefits of economic growth are widely shared should be balanced with measures to safeguard hard-earned macroeconomic stability.”
It added that, “Implementation of the SONA initiatives could put pressure on domestic inflation and credit growth in coming months. In this context, the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) should stand ready to further tighten policy stance if needed to contain inflationary pressures.”