This paper analyzes factors that determine recent economic growth in the low-income countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.2 The main findings are as follows: (1) productivity gains in export-oriented sectors and expansion of exports may have become the main sources of growth in five of the seven CIS-7 countries, while in the early years of transition the output recovery was mainly driven by consumption; (2) economic growth has concentrated in agriculture and the raw material sectors, and, thus, is vulnerable to changes in external conditions; and (3) structural reforms matter for growth, which is consistent with previous research on growth in transition countries.
The Moldovan economy is recovering steadily following the recession triggered by the global crisis. The key challenge is to ensure fiscal, financial, and external sustainability while igniting new engines of growth. Monetary policy strikes the right balance between keeping inflation low and supporting the recovery. The monetary policy framework could benefit from more flexibility. Stepping up exports is a key to achieving high and sustainable growth over the medium term. Bringing the energy sector to financial sustainability should remain high on the government’s agenda.