The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The enhanced Stability and Growth Pact calls on euro area members and aspirants to set boundaries to fiscal deficits through high-level legislation. A limit on the deficit, such as the deficit ceiling in Bulgaria's organic budget law, serves to protect solvency. The recent crisis clearly indicated that the key challenges are not only to contain the deficit but also to avoid a procyclical stance during upswings and to build a buffer for rainy days. Ideally, fiscal policymaking is guided by a fiscal rule that adapts through the economic cycle. This paper lays out the objectives of fiscal rules and analyzes how these objectives can be met in Bulgaria through either a growth-adjusted balance rule or an expenditure rule complemented by a deficit ceiling.