Cameroon records solid growth, but needs better fiscal performance, investment climate


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Aided by continued political stability, Cameroon's economy grew at a solid pace in 2004, the IMF said in its annual economic review. But although average per capita income rose, it remained below the levels of the early 1990s. The IMF Executive Board welcomed the country's sound growth, low inflation, narrowing external current account deficit, and the progress made in reforming the health and education sectors. The regional currency union has helped Cameroon maintain macroeconomic stability with low inflation, but serious challenges remain.

Cameroon's fiscal position deteriorated in 2003-04. If this continues, it could undermine macroeconomic stability, growth, and poverty reduction. In 2005, the authorities intend to strengthen fiscal performance and financial management through an ambitious program that seeks to mobilize nonoil revenue and contain nonpriority spending while increasing investment spending. The Board stressed the need to improve fiscal reporting and strengthen debt management, including by developing and implementing a realistic debt-servicing plan.

Further, the authorities should clarify the external debt position of public enterprises to allow for a comprehensive debt sustainability assessment.

Limited progress has been made in removing long-standing...

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