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Jordan’s economy shows positive improvement: IMF

Jordan’s economy shows positive improvement: IMF

AMMAN, May 16 (Xinhua): The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Wednesday there have been signs of positive improvement in Jordan’s economy and there was a need to continue reforms, the state-run Petra news agency reported. There have been some signs of improvement in the economy with the reopening of the borders with Iraq, and exports to Iraq and Gulf countries are rising, IMF Mission Chief Martin Cerisola said, adding that there is a need to continue reforms. There are also positive signs in terms of rise in tourism revenues and remittances of expatriates, said Cerisola. He added that continued reforms will enhance the living conditions of the Jordanians, adding that the IMF will continue to urge donor countries to support Jordan for it to cope with the pressure of hosting a large number of Syrian refugees and to support fiscal reforms. In a report released Wednesday, the IMF said Jordan has continued to preserve macro-economic stability in a difficult environment and it will still need substantial donor involvement. The report, which indicated that global, regional, and domestic environments are expected to remain difficult, highlighted that Jordan will continue to face the burden of hosting Syrian refugees at a time of low growth, high unemployment, and sizable financial needs. “The recent London Initiative demonstrated that the international community is determined to continue to support Jordan in its efforts to tackle rigidities, reform the economy, and reduce its indebtedness,” the report said. “Implementation will be key to preserve stability and enhance growth and employment; adjustment and reform on the part of the authorities, and the fulfillment of pledges on the part of the donor community,” the report added. Jordan weathered a series of severe and highly persistent shocks for several years now, including protracted regional conflicts, the hosting of Syrian refugees, the disruption of critical export markets and transportation routes, and rising borrowing costs, the report highlighted. The IMF stressed that the steadfast implementation of policies and reforms is critical for stability and growth, adding that Jordan’s programme is rightly focused on addressing lingering issues. Brazil’s economy fell 0.68 percent in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the final quarter of 2018, according to a preliminary report released Wednesday by the Central Bank. The Economic Activity Index (IBC-Br), which acts as a preview of the official gross domestic product (GDP), indicated that the largest economy in Latin America shrank by 0.28 percent in March from a month ago, while the accumulated 12-month period saw a growth of 1.05 percent. The report also said that Brazilian economy grew by 0.23 percent year-on-year during the first quarter of 2019. The IBC-Br acts as a preview to the statistical results from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) which will be released on May 30. If IBGE confirms the decline released by the Central Bank, it will be the first negative result since the fourth quarter of 2016, when Brazil’s economy declined 0.6 percent. Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said on Tuesday the government rivised down its GDP growth projection for 2019 to 1.5 percent.

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