LatinNews Daily - 09 March 2022

In brief: IMF hails progress under its programme in Costa Rica

*The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that it has reached a staff-level agreement with the Costa Rican authorities on policy measures for the completion of the first and second reviews of Costa Rica’s Fund-supported programme – a reference to the three-year US$1.76bn Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement approved by Costa Rica’s congress last year. The statement follows a visit by an IMF mission which held virtual meetings with the Costa Rican authorities from 22 February-3 March. According to an IMF statement, Costa Rica’s authorities have “made important progress under their programme, including with the approval of the public employment bill”, which was approved on 7 March and would introduce a single pay scale and eliminate other salary components, to “ensure fiscal sustainability, improve the equity and efficiency of the public administration, and strengthen social safety nets and tax compliance”. The IMF states that a “proactive response” to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, “including a vigorous vaccination campaign, and sustained export performance have supported a robust recovery in Costa Rica. Nonetheless, the threat of new COVID variants as well as higher global commodity prices and tighter global financial conditions, including from rising geo-political tensions, pose downside risks to Costa Rica’s economic outlook”.

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