Pre-pandemic, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) economy was growing, but at a pace below the more successful countries in Eastern Europe. The pandemic generated a substantial output contraction in 2020. Early in the pandemic, the authorities successfully implemented restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus and took measures to support firms and households. However, the ongoing second wave poses additional challenges. A gradual recovery is expected for the second half of 2021. Political disagreements about policy coordination at the BiH State level have hampered program implementation under the 2016 EFF arrangement and the deepening of the single economic space. The challenge is to deal with the pandemic and put the economy on a higher medium-term growth trajectory.
Kosovo has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite policy support, economic activity is estimated to have fallen 6 percent in 2020 on account of the combined effect of strict domestic containment measures and international travel restrictions. The fiscal deficit increased to 7.7 percent of GDP, given the large fall in tax revenues and the implementation of mitigation and recovery measures of 4.2 percent of GDP. The current account deficit is estimated to have increased to 7.5 percent of GDP mainly due to a large decline in diaspora-related inflows, most notably in tourism. Gross international reserves declined but remain adequate in part due to the purchase under the IMF’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) in April 2020 and the use of other external financing. Banks have weathered the recession well to date, and the high pre-COVID19 liquidity levels and ample capital buffers bode well for the system’s stability.
This paper on Bosnia and Herzegovina presents the report on the government finance statistics technical assistance mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Further on developing reconciliation processes, the mission provisionally finalized research to establish reconciliation procedures, without fully eliminating statistical discrepancies. On the compiling of nonbudgetary public sector units, the mission continued the development of compilation processes as started during the May 2018 mission. Considering the differences in outcomes on balance sheet transactions between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ compilation process, further research is required to test the plausibility of these compilation processes and outcomes. The mission will liaise with IMF’s European Department on an appropriate implementation procedure in coordination with other reporting units in Bosnia and Herzegovina that are also revising fiscal surveillance to the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 framework. The mission succeeded in resolving statistical discrepancies—at least from accounting technical point of view.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses details of the mission conducted to support the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities, with a specific focus on the Republic of Srpska (RS), in improving government finance statistics (GFS) for decision making. The mission rounded off research to establish appropriate reconciliation procedures, although some statistical discrepancies remain. The goal is to use the compilation and reconciliation procedures for quarterly and annual GFS reporting to Eurostat and the IMF’s Statistics Department. The May 2018 mission initiated the development of a standardized compilation procedure for nonbudgetary public sector units, and more specifically extrabudgetary units. The report recommends focussing on investigating possibilities into incorporating these compilation files into the wider GFS and macroeconomic statistics compilation. On analysis of the financial statements, the mission assessed that Accrued revenues and received donations also require and adjustment to following the European System of National and Regional Accounts 2010 and Government Finance Statistics Manua 2014 recording.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the findings and recommendations of the IMF mission regarding compilation of Government Finance Statistics in Bosnia and Herzegovina as per the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 and the European System of National and Regional Accounts 2010. On the compilation of Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) tables, the mission assisted the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the completion of derivation tables for net lending / net borrowing of the budgetary governments of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Srpska. The mission also recommended implementing a coding system for statistical adjustments to the source data; applying the superdividend test; and further implementing derivation tables for the compilation of EDP tables.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights the macroeconomic conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) have remained stable. BiH has made progress in reducing internal and external imbalances in recent years, thanks to a prudent fiscal position, and a strong monetary anchor provided by the currency board. However, job creation has been limited, unemployment has remained high, particularly among the youth, and the income convergence with the European Union has stalled. Fiscal stability has been maintained, mainly through continued restraint on current government spending. Progress in improving budget composition has been limited and reforms of state enterprises have not progressed as envisaged.
This paper discusses the first phase, to be constructed from 2015 to mid-2019, comprises a 41-kilometer section that is to provide an efficient and safe transport link between Podgorica and the poorest northern region in Montenegro. It runs through the mountainous terrain in the center of the country that is economically undeveloped. Due to its large cost (25 percent of 2017 GDP), the first phase of the highway has used up most of Montenegro’s fiscal space and will crowd out other productive spending. For the foreseeable future, the second and third parts of the highway could only be financed with concessional funds, because loans would destabilize the debt sustainability of Montenegro. The government’s main motivation for this large project is the need to improve connectivity, particularly to Europe through Serbia, boost tourism and trade, improve road safety, and strengthen national security. The highway is a part of Montenegro’s plans to integrate the Montenegrin transport network with those of neighboring countries.