Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Mr. Eduardo Borensztein, and Mr. Dimitri G Demekas
This paper analyzes the declines in economic activity experienced by Bulgaria, the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (CSFR), and Romania in the period since the initiation of market-oriented reforms in these countries. The paper reviews developments in the three countries and empirically investigates two questions that are key to the interpretation of the output decline: First, to what extent does the output fall reflect “structural change” (or a reallocation of resources across sectors) rather than a conventional recession? Second, to what extent have demand-side or supply-side forces been dominant in generating the output decline?
This paper highlights that world economic activity slowed in 1989 to about 3 percent from an exceptionally rapid rate of 4 percent in 1988. The growth of output is expected to moderate further in 1990, to 2¼ percent, before picking up to about 3 percent in 1991. The slowdown reflects the restrictive monetary policies that have been implemented in most industrial countries to deal with pressures on productive capacity and rising inflation. Output growth is expected to decline further in 1990 in North America and the United Kingdom.