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 paper investigates the non-performing loans (NPLs) in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (CESEE) in the period of 1998–2011. The paper finds that the level of NPLs can be attributed to both macroeconomic conditions and banks’ specific factors, though the latter set of factors was found to have a relatively low explanatory power. The examination of the feedback effects broadly confirms the strong macro-financial linkages in the region. While NPLs were found to respond to macroeconomic conditions, such as GDP growth, unemployment, and inflation, the analysis also indicates that there are strong feedback effects from the banking system to the real economy, thus suggesting that the high NPLs that many CESEE countries currently face adversely affect the pace economic recovery.