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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

IMF Country Report No. 22/5

International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper presents Republic of Kosovo’s Request for Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) and an Arrangement under the Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF). The SBA is expected to be precautionary and will provide liquidity in case downside risks materialize, including from Russia’s war in Ukraine. The RSF will provide affordable financing to support Kosovo’s climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, including through greener electricity production and more efficient energy use, and is expected to catalyze other climate financing. Kosovo is the first European country to access the RSF. The authorities’ prudent fiscal policies and broadly targeted support framework helped rebuild fiscal space while mitigating the impact of the cost-of-living crisis. A strong policy mix is now needed to sustain the recovery and achieve reform objectives. Abiding by the fiscal rule deficit ceiling will provide a moderate impulse to activity in 2023, helping the economy soft land, while contributing to the anchoring of public debt in the medium term. Increasing medium-term growth prospects and reducing the country’s dependence on diaspora flows will require advancing the structural reform agenda and closing infrastructure and governance gaps.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
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.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2021 Article IV Consultation determines that Kosovo’s people and its economy experienced a return to a certain degree of normality in 2021. Increased vaccination rates allowed a relaxation of stringency measures, supported mobility, and created the conditions for a resumption of diaspora travel. The fiscal response to the pandemic has been broadly adequate. Moreover, fiscal policy needs to return to a supportive stance in 2022. Focus, composition, and transparency of public spending needs strengthening including supporting economic resilience. While the objective to intensify vaccinations is both appropriate and commendable, intended policy actions under the “Economic Revival Program” need to be better defined, new social transfer programs should be more targeted, and the growth of existing transfers needs to be contained. Kosovo’s intentions to reduce carbon emissions are commendable. A credible climate and environment mitigation strategy should be centered around carbon pricing, while allocating its proceeds to investment in green projects and to mitigate the impact of higher energy prices on vulnerable households.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This technical assistance report on the Republic of Kosovo presents details of residential property price index (RPPI) mission. The authorities are strongly committed to developing a publicly available RPPI for Kosovo. Transactions data from real-estate companies should be used for the development of the RPPI. The mission assessed the advantages and disadvantages of each available data source. A large real estate company has agreed to provide a dataset to the Kosovo Agency of Statistics (KAS). Pro Real Estate accounts for approximately 60 percent of the residential property market in Kosovo. The KAS should assess the quality of the data and its suitability for use in the compilation of the RPPI. The mission described the practical aspects of assessing the suitability and quality of the dataset. The KAS should assess whether it needs to supplement the data with information from other real estate companies to increase the geographical coverage. The mission increased capacity and knowledge the KAS staff on the methods for RPPI compilation. The main topics covered in the meetings included data visualization, assessing data quality, stratification, weights, subindex calculation and aggregation to high-level indices.