Report to Caribbean Centre for Money and Finance (CCMF)

Summary

The Surinamese economy has continued to fare well, growing at an estimated 4.5% in 2012, although growth decelerated compared to 2011 (4.7%). Mining exports and increased public investments were the main drivers.

Inflation has fallen sharply from the 2011 level, whereas conditions in the foreign exchange markets have remained stable. At year-end, the international reserves reached a historical peak of over US$ 1 billion.


As the macroeconomic policy framework continued to be strong and the external indicators outlook improved, Suriname’s credit rating was upgraded twice. Within barely a year after two upgrades in the summer of 2011, Fitch allotted the country a BB-/stable outlook rating in July 2012(similar to that of Standard & Poor’s). In August 2012, Suriname was also upgraded by Moody’sto Ba3/positive.

Real Sector

World market conditions for both gold and oil remained buoyant in 2012, providing the backbone for mining production and exports. Gold recorded the best performance, with export values increasing by 14%, mainly as a result of higher average prices. Oil exports rose modestly despite a slight decline in production. Conversely, the bauxite industry kept performing sluggishly due to low world market prices and relatively high production costs.

Year-over-year inflation declined consistently during 2012, from 15.3% at the beginning of the year to 4.4% at end-December. Most notable price increases were in the categories of foodstuffs and housing and utilities.

Public sector

The fiscal deficit widened from 1.9% of GDP in 2011 to an estimated 2.8% in 2012, mainly on account of a strong increase in government expenditure, driven by a pent-up demand for goods and services after two years of frugal budgets, and a strong increase in capital expenditure. In December, wages of civil servants were raised by 10%, retroactive to January 2012. Wage increases for the first two months were paid out in December; the remainder of the retroactive increase will be paid in the current year.

External sources covered about 80% of total central government financing, entirely from disbursements of long-term bilateral and multilateral loans. Most of the domestic financing was provided by the issuance of domestic Treasury bills. Total government debt increased to 25.2% of GDP at end-2012, with domestic debt amounting to 11.7% of GDP. About two thirds of this amount is debt owed to the Central Bank of Suriname.
Monetary sector

Reflecting the strength of the domestic demand, broad money widened by 21%. The Central Bank of Suriname decided to keep the current reserve requirement ratios unchanged at 25% for domestic currency deposits and at 40% for foreign currency deposits.

Credit to the private sector increased by about 16% in nominal terms. Whereas foreign currency credit growth was strong, domestic credit growth was marginal. The credit dollarization ratio rose by one percentage points to 42%.
The deposit dollarization ratio fell by 4 percentage points to 52% at end-2012.

The average lending rate rose by about 10 basis points, while the average deposit rate increased by 40 basis points.

External sector

Favorable developments of the balance of payments resulted in an increase of USS180 million in international reserves, which reached a historical peak of one billion U.S. dollars at end-2012. This is equivalent to about 5 months of imports. If imports of the mining sectors are excluded, as they are being financed by the mining companies themselves, coverage amounted to almost 8 months of imports.

The external current account remained positive for the seventh consecutive year with a surplus of US$ 240 million. This was mainly driven by exports of the mining sector. Sustained increases of international gold prices hereby positioned gold as the dominant export commodity.

Exchange RatesMarch 09th and until further notice

Currency Buying Selling
USD 14,018 14,290
EUR 16,628 16,959
GBP 19,396 19,782
ANG 7,699 7,852
AWG 7,784 7,939
BRL 2,438 2,485
TTD 2,063 2,103
BBD 6,907 7,044
XCD 5,190 5,293
PER 100 GYD 6,657 6,790

Gold CertificatesMarch 09th and until further notice

Coupon SRD
5 gram 7.814,97
10 gram 15.629,94
50 gram 78.149,69
100 gram 156.299,39
500 gram 781.496,94
1000 gram 1562993,88
Gold LME: USD 1.701,00 /tr.oz.

Inflation

  Average End-of-period
2012 5.0 4.3
2013 1.9 0.6
2014 3.4 3.9
2015 6.9 25.1
2016 55.5 52.4
2017 22.0  9.2 
2018 6.8# 5.4 
2019 4.4#  4.2 
2020 34.9 60.8
     
2020 Month-to-month Year-to-year
Jan 0.7 4.2
Feb 2.5 7.0
Mar 9.9 17.6
Apr 7.8 26.0
May 4.8 31.5
Jun 3.3 35.2
Jul 2.5 38.2
Aug 1.7 40.0
Sep 4.2 45.1
Oct 7.1 54.4
Nov 1.5 56.3
Dec 3.0 60.8
     
2021 Month-to-month Year-to-year
Jan 2.6 63.8
Feb 1.3 61.9
Mar* 2.1 50.4

*) Preliminary figures

# 10-months inflation (Computations without data for May and June)

 

Minimum Exchange RatesMay 10th until further notice

Currency Buying Selling
USD 14,018 14,290
EUR 16,898 17,234
GBP 19,466 19,853
ANG 7,699 7,852
AWG 7,784 7,939
BRL 2,649 2,701
TTD 2,062 2,102
BBD 6,907 7,044
XCD 5,190 5,293
PER 100 GYD 6,657 6,790
CNY 2,173 2,215

Maximum Exchange RatesMay 10th until further notice

Currency Buying Selling
USD 15,990 16,300
EUR 19,275 19,658
GBP 22,204 22,645
ANG 8,781 8,956
AWG 8,879 9,056
BRL 3,022 3,081
TTD 2,352 2,398
BBD 7,878 8,035
XCD 5,920 6,037
PER 100 GYD 7,594 7,745
CNY 2,478 2,526

Gold CertificatesMay 10th until further notice

Coupon SRD
5 gram 8.338,72
10 gram 16.677,45
50 gram 83.387,24
100 gram 166.774,48
500 gram 833.872,39
1000 gram 1.667.744,79
Gold LME: USD 1.815,00 /tr.oz.

Inflation

  Average End-of-period
2012 5.0 4.3
2013 1.9 0.6
2014 3.4 3.9
2015 6.9 25.1
2016 55.5 52.4
2017 22.0  9.2 
2018 6.8# 5.4 
2019 4.4#  4.2 
2020 34.9 60.8
     
2020 Month-to-month Year-to-year
Jan 0.7 4.2
Feb 2.5 7.0
Mar 9.9 17.6
Apr 7.8 26.0
May 4.8 31.5
Jun 3.3 35.2
Jul 2.5 38.2
Aug 1.7 40.0
Sep 4.2 45.1
Oct 7.1 54.4
Nov 1.5 56.3
Dec 3.0 60.8
     
2021 Month-to-month Year-to-year
Jan 2.6 63.8
Feb 1.3 61.9
Mar* 2.1 50.4

*) Preliminary figures

# 10-months inflation (Computations without data for May and June)

 

Balance sheet