IMF: Suriname's ailing economy to contract by 9 percent

PARAMARIBO, Suriname (AP) " The International Monetary Fund is projecting an economic contraction of 9 percent this year in struggling Suriname.

A visiting IMF team says that without major policy adjustments, Suriname "risks deepening instability" with sharp exchange rate depreciation and accelerating inflation. It says international reserves are "critically low."

The economy of the South American nation has been in a freefall amid collapsing global commodity prices and the local currency's resulting slide against the U.S. dollar.

The IMF is calling for tight controls on public wage costs, higher fuel taxes and a phasing out of power subsidies. It says a value-added tax should also be put in place by 2018.

Suriname's finance ministry says in a Friday statement that local authorities "see the glass as half full rather than half empty."

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This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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