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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

After a decade of sluggish growth, in part the result of external shocks, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s economic growth reached 4 percent for two years in a row in 2004-05 and is expected to stay at that rate in 2006. Inflation has also remained under control, the current account deficit has narrowed, international reserves have increased, and the fiscal position is sound, the IMF said in its recent economic review.

International Monetary Fund

The paper analyzes the export performance and external competitiveness in FYR Macedonia. It describes the trends in the account balance, external vulnerabilities, and different approaches to estimate the equilibrium real exchange rate; and reviews economic growth experience and prospects and reveals areas of weakness. It also discusses many different factors responsible for Macedonia's high unemployment rate and examines the main factors behind the low level of intermediation.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.
International Monetary Fund
The paper analyzes the export performance and external competitiveness in FYR Macedonia. It describes the trends in the account balance, external vulnerabilities, and different approaches to estimate the equilibrium real exchange rate; and reviews economic growth experience and prospects and reveals areas of weakness. It also discusses many different factors responsible for Macedonia's high unemployment rate and examines the main factors behind the low level of intermediation.
Dmitriy Kovtun, Alexis Mayer Cirkel, Ms. Zuzana Murgasova, Mr. Dustin Smith, and Suchanan Tambunlertchai
Labor markets in the Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) are characterized by some of the highest unemployment and low employment rates in Europe. We analyze the poor labor market outcomes in these countries by comparison with the New Member States of the European Union and advanced European economies. Our findings suggest that long-lasting labor market weaknesses in the Western Balkans have structural roots: the institutional setup of the labor markets, labor cost factors, and especially the unfinished transition process. Finally, we offer policy recommendations for boosting job creation.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

The broad-based GDP growth supported by public investment, improved credit and labor market conditions, and robust exports is expected to moderate in the near term. Domestic political uncertainties and the crisis in Greece constitute significant downside risks. Fiscal policy space built up in pre-crisis years has largely been depleted. Rebuilding policy space and buffers to preserve macroeconomic and financial stability is a priority now.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Conservative policies, together with external official assistance, provided Macedonia with buffers to confront spillovers from the global crisis and deal with domestic shocks. External and financial stability have been maintained despite a difficult external environment. The start of EU accession negotiations remains uncertain. Some key recommendations of earlier Article IV Consultations have been implemented; others remain outstanding. Macedonia is well positioned to return to growth, although the external outlook presents a key risk. Policies should remain focused on boosting medium-term growth.