This Selected Issues paper presents a brief overview of developments and prospects for the petroleum sector of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The paper conducts a comprehensive assessment of fiscal vulnerability, fiscal sustainability, and fiscal stance in Kazakhstan, focusing on the government’s non-oil budget balance while taking into account some of the key characteristics of resource-rich countries. The paper states that the key issue is how much the government should consume and save out of oil revenues and how these decisions should change in response to changes in key aspects of fiscal vulnerability in Kazakhstan.
The declines in economic activity experienced by Bulgaria, the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, and Romania in the period since market-oriented reforms were initiated are analyzed. After reviewing developments in these three countries, the paper empirically investigates two questions that are central to an 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 macroeconomic recession? Second, to what extent have demand-side or supply-side forces been dominant in generating the output decline?