A day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its world economic forecast for 2016, Ecuador’s Minister of Economic Policy claimed that IMF predictions are almost always wrong.
“They never get it right,” said Patricio Rivera, suggesting that the IMF annual forecasts are a joke. “Their 2016 and 2017 predictions for Ecuador will be just as wrong as their other predictions,” he said.
According the IMF’s ‘Global Economic Prospects’, released on Tuesday, Ecuador’s GDP will fall 4.5% in 2016 and 4.3% in 2017. The IMF said that low oil prices and a strong U.S. dollar were mostly to blame.
In an interview with GamaTv, Rivera compared past examples of IMF predictions with final numbers. “In 2008, they said our economy would grow 2.9%. It grew by 6.4%,” he said. “In 2009, they predicted negative growth of 2% but we ended up with a positive 0.6%. In 2011, they said we would grow 3.2% when the final growth was 7.9%. Going back for 13 years, they have always gotten it wrong, and have always underestimated our economy.”
Rivera said that the IMF bases its forecasts on erroneous assumptions. Among the ones used for 2016, was that Ecuador would be unable to obtain additional financing for its budget deficit. “They didn’t bother to ask us about it,” he said. “If they had, they would have better data to work with.”
Rivera said his office will provide the IMF with updated information.
Acknowledging that the country faces a “very complex and difficult” set of circumstances, Rivera said he expects to see economic improvement by the end of 2016. “I think we will see the economy regain some vitality and become a little more dynamic, but we don’t deny that these are not the best of times,” he said.