NAIROBI (Reuters) – Ethiopia outlook is favourable but its government needs to step up its anti-inflation and foreign currency rebuilding measures, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.
The Horn of Africa country expects its economy to expand by 10.1 percent in the 2009/10 fiscal year, up from 9.9 percent in the previous year.
“Non-food inflation remains close to 20 percent and has began rising in recent months,” IMF said in a statement.
“The economic outlook remains generally favorable with continued strong growth expected. Ongoing efforts to lower inflation and rebuild foreign reserves will require a tight rein on money growth and achieving interest rates that are positive in real terms.”
The statement issued at the end of an assessment mission by the fund to Ethiopia said although the country’s public external debt had risen in recent years due to large infrastructure investments, it remained within a moderate risk range. It gave no growth forecast figures.
“The authorities are encouraged to reinforce financial sector supervision, promote private sector development and financial deepening, and improve the national account statistics,” the fund said.
IMF has agreements with Ethiopia, which together with assistance from other organisations, have helped the country’s foreign reserves position to improve to 2.2 months of imports cover, the fund said.