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SA's economic growth faces risks from public debt, state firm bailouts - IMF

The IMF says risks related to potential SOE’s bailouts will further constrain the country’s fiscal policy.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday kept South Africa’s economic growth forecast for 2018 unchanged at 1.5% but warned that the economy faced several headwinds, mainly the rapid rise in public debt and potential bailouts to state firms.

“The IMF’s concerns on fiscal policy relates to the rapid increase in public debt as a share of GDP, which has doubled over the last decade, depleting fiscal buffers and constraining fiscal policy space,” National Treasury said in a statement quoting the IMF’s article IV statement following a two-week-long country visit by the lender’s officials.

“Risks related to potential SOE’s (state-owned enterprises) bailouts will further constrain fiscal policy.”