May 7, 2018 / 6:00 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Burkina Faso on track for GDP growth of around 6 pct this year - IMF

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ABIDJAN, May 7 (Reuters) - Burkina Faso’s economy is on track to grow by around 6 percent this year, in line with the last two years’ average, the International Monetary Fund said in a statement on Monday.

The West African nation, which agreed a programme with the Fund in March, is aiming to reduce its fiscal deficit, which ballooned to an unprecedented 7.7 percent of GDP last year.

Burkina Faso’s deficits have typically ranged from 2 to 4 percent of GDP in recent years. It will aim to reduce the deficit to 3 percent by 2019 in line with its pledge to meet the West African Economic and Monetary Union convergence criterion.

An IMF mission visited Burkina Faso - a gold and cotton exporter - from May 2 to 4 to begin monitoring implementation of the programme, which is supported by a $158 million credit facility.

“This performance reflects considerable resilience in the face of external shocks, notably three significant terrorist attacks in Ouagadougou over the last two years,” Dalia Hakura, who headed the mission, said in the statement.

She said Burkina Faso was also having to deal with a deteriorating security situation in its northern border regions and poor rainfall in 2017, which had hit food production.

Reporting by Joe Bavier Editing by Kevin Liffey

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