The IMF improved El Salvador’s economic growth prospects for 2023.

The technical staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded on February 8 the evaluation of Article IV -a periodic consultation carried out with all signatory nations of agreements on macroeconomic and fiscal results- and in their conclusions they described it as “robust.” the dynamics of economic activities in El Salvador.

After the unveiling of the document, the president of the Central Reserve Bank (BCR), Douglas Rodríguez, pointed out that, in summary, the assessments of the multilateral representatives indicated that in 2022 the changes that the country is experiencing under the president’s administration would deepen. Nayib Bukele since 2019

The official also highlighted that in the report, the IMF left the prospects for economic growth at 2.8% at the end of 2022, the same percentage that the BCR had projected months before.

«For many years, the country had not grown more than 2%. Even with the economic shocks that we have had, we have grown much more than the average of the last decades. Let’s imagine how much we would have grown without these situations,” Rodríguez said.

In addition, after the review, the agency highlighted that El Salvador could grow 2.4% in 2023, when in October 2022 it had published that growth would be 1.7%.

“In this review, the IMF was able to raise its projection from 1.7 to 2.4% […] We as BCR project growth between 2 and 3%,” he added.

The agency accompanied the improvement of its prospects for the country with recognition of the actions taken by the government to reduce crime rates, as this meant an important boost for the local economy.

“Mainly [the IMF] highlighted an unprecedented improvement in security, through the Territorial Control Plan; they recognized the success of the measures and strategies promoted by President Bukele on the issue of security, which have given an important economic boost to El Salvador and have allowed Salvadorans to live peacefully,” he said.

The head of the BCR said that the IMF’s conclusions reflect the fact that the reduction in crime has allowed companies to continue investing in the territory, since the money that was previously paid in “rent” to the gangs is now used to expand businesses and generate more employment.

On the other hand, Rodríguez mentioned the section of the report that highlights the strong income that the country had as a result of tourism.

«[The representatives of the IMF] highlighted the diversification of the economy through the revitalization of tourism in Surf City. Last year, there was a historic upturn in tourists. There were 2.5 million tourists who visited the country, according to data from the Ministry of Tourism, and who have left more than $2.4 billion in foreign currency,” he pointed out.

Likewise, in the statements of the technical staff of the multilateral, the reduction of trade costs and the reduction of time to carry out administrative procedures are pondered, based on the trade facilitation initiatives carried out by the Executive; At the same time, the impact that the Anti-Evasion Plan of the Ministry of Finance (MH) has had on the increase in income to the State coffers is recognized, as well as how healthy the national financial system remains.