Convergence in WAEMU: No state has met the three leading criteria in 2018

In terms of convergence in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), no state has met in 2018 the three criteria of first rank, according to the UEMOA Commission based in Ouagadougou.

These first-order criteria concern the ratio of the overall fiscal balance, including grants, to nominal GDP, greater than or equal to -3%, the average annual inflation rate of up to 3% per year and the ratio of the outstanding amount of the domestic and external debt relative to nominal GDP, less than or equal to 70%.

The report on multilateral surveillance in the UEMOA prepared by the WAEMU Commission reveals the first criterion that « only Togo has met this criterion ». By state, various fortunes are noted: Benin (-4.0%), Burkina Faso (-4.9%), Ivory Coast (-4.0%), Guinea-Bissau (-5.1%) Mali (-4.7%), Niger (-4.1%), Senegal (-3.7%) and Togo (-0.8%). « In 2019, projects the UEMOA Commission, all member states would respect this criterion ».

Regarding the inflation rate, all Member States met this criterion in 2018. By country, the inflation rate is as follows: Benin (0.8%), Burkina Faso (1.9%), Côte d Ivory (0.6%), Guinea-Bissau (0.4%), Mali (0.0%), Niger (2.7%), Senegal (0.5%) and Togo (0.9%) .

With regard to the ratio of outstanding domestic and external debt to nominal GDP of less than or equal to 70%, only Togo with a rate of 73.9% did not meet this criterion. By country, this ratio is 56.2% for Benin, 42.3% for Burkina Faso, 48.6% for Côte d’Ivoire, 50.1% for Guinea-Bissau, and 36.6% for Mali. , 45.4% in Niger and 54.0% in Senegal. According to the WAEMU Commission, in 2019 all states would meet this criterion.

Regarding the second-ranking criteria relating to the ratio of payroll to tax revenue, less than or equal to 35% and the tax burden rate, greater than or equal to 20%, the state of convergence also reveals their non-respect by all States.

Only two states have a payroll ratio on tax revenues below 35%.

These are Niger (34.7%) and Senegal (34.3%). For the other Member States, the ratio varies between 52.1% (Burkina Faso) and 36.6 (Togo).

As regards the tax pressure rate, no State has met this criterion in 2018. By Member State, the situation is as follows: Benin (14.1%), Burkina Faso (17.2%), Côte d’Ivoire ( 16.2%), Guinea-Bissau (9.3%), Mali (11.8%), Niger (15.2%), Senegal (15.2%) and Togo (18.4%). According to the WAEMU Commission, Togo would be the only State to meet this criterion in 2019.

As the year of the convergence horizon is set in 2019, the forecasts of the WAEMU Commission officials indicate that all Member States would respect the three primary criteria. « However, they note, this would not be enough to bring the Union into a stable phase in 2020 because of the non-respect of the provisions on sustainability ».

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