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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

Growth is strengthening and broadening across Europe, driven by buoyant domestic demand (Figure 1.1). Following a pickup in economic activity in the second half of 2016, the European economy accelerated further in the first half of 2017, with growth outcomes surprising on the upside in most countries.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

The countries of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESEE) have made major progress in raising living standards over the past two and a half decades. This progress was supported by a radical transformation of their economies and institutions. Using case studies and empirical analysis, this chapter explores the role of internal and external factors, particularly accession to the European Union (EU), in supporting reforms to strengthen the effectiveness of the judiciary. The findings suggest that, beyond initial conditions, an enabling environment for judicial reforms was created by factors and policies that (1) improved the distribution of resources and opportunities, (2) upgraded rules and procedures to recruit and train civil servants, and (3) increased transparency and accountability. The European Union and the Council of Europe (CoE) acted as strong external anchors in catalyzing reforms. However, there were also some reversals of reforms, and the sustainability of reforms appears to depend mainly on domestic factors. These findings might offer insights in particular for countries aiming to join the European Union, but also for others seeking to improve the effectiveness of their judiciary.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

Income convergence in the Western Balkans has stalled at low levels.1 Measured in purchasing-power-parity (PPP) terms, income levels in the region today are less than 30 percent what they are in the euro area (Figure 3.1). Equally noteworthy, the ratio has not changed since 2008. This is in sharp contrast to the experience of the New Member States of the European Union (EU), where relative incomes have continued to grow strongly since the global financial crisis and are now at nearly two-thirds those of the euro area. There are many reasons for this disappointing performance,2 including an unfinished transition, exemplified in some countries by a large swath of inefficient state-owned enterprises; shortcomings in the rule of law and the business environment; limited human capital, exacerbated in some countries by significant emigration of qualified human resources, or “brain drain”; and scant and poor-quality public infrastructure. While acknowledging these issues, this chapter focuses on another important plank for the region’s development: the health of its banking sectors. Implicit is the assumption that, even if reforms in the other areas bring about high-quality bankable projects, their potential, and with it overall economic growth, will not be fully realized if banks are not in a good position to fund them.

International Monetary Fund

This paper reviews the progress report on implementation of the National Strategy for Socio-Economic Development (NSSED) during 2004 in Albania. The NSSED established a multiyear plan to combat poverty and strengthen governance. The main implication of the Integrated Planning System for the NSSED is that it will evolve into a comprehensive strategic planning framework. Its focus will accordingly shift toward medium to long-term planning, ensuring that a coherent, costed, mutually consistent sector and cross-cutting strategies are developed that serve as the policy basis for the annual Medium-Term Budget Program process.

International Monetary Fund

The Selected Issues paper analyzes the determinants of growth in Albania, the macroeconomic underpinnings for growth, the role of remittances in the economy, and the policy response to rapid credit growth. It also analyzes the official estimates with estimates from various macroeconomic surveys, and discusses the implications for the structure of the balance of payments. It also provides a framework for analyzing the budgetary impact of remittances in Albania, and examines the acceleration of credit growth and the policy options available to address the resulting macroeconomic and prudential concerns.

Ms. Marina Primorac

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund
The Selected Issues paper analyzes the determinants of growth in Albania, the macroeconomic underpinnings for growth, the role of remittances in the economy, and the policy response to rapid credit growth. It also analyzes the official estimates with estimates from various macroeconomic surveys, and discusses the implications for the structure of the balance of payments. It also provides a framework for analyzing the budgetary impact of remittances in Albania, and examines the acceleration of credit growth and the policy options available to address the resulting macroeconomic and prudential concerns.
Zsoka Koczan
The boom and bust in capital flows to the New Member States of the European Union have received a considerable amount of attention; foreign direct investment and bank flows to the region and countries’ participation in regional supply chains have been well-documented. Relatively little has, however, been written about capital flows to the Western Balkans economies, which are often perceived to be ‘late arrivals’ to large capital flows. This paper aims to examine how capital flows to the Western Balkans compare with flows to the New Member States, in terms of levels as well as dynamics. We find that while financial integration took off somewhat later in the Western Balkans than in the New Member States, it has increased rapidly, despite still much lower capital account openness. Capital inflows as a share of GDP are comparable to those observed in the New Member States, (perhaps surprisingly) diverse in terms of source countries and broadly similar in composition, though with equity shares higher than they were in the New Member States at comparable levels of GDP per capita.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

THE SOVIET experience teaches at least one cautionary lesson: development strategies emphasizing state-administered investment may produce rapid growth at first but are prone to eventual stagnation.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

The European recovery is strengthening and broadening appreciably. Real GDP growth is projected at 2.4 percent in 2017, up from 1.7 percent in 2016, before easing to 2.1 percent in 2018. These are large upward revisions—0.5 and 0.2 percentage point for 2017 and 2018, respectively—relative to the April World Economic Outlook. The European recovery is spilling over to the rest of the world, contributing significantly to global growth. In a few advanced and many emerging economies, unemployment rates have returned to precrisis levels. Most emerging market European economies are now seeing robust wage growth. In many parts of Europe, however, wage growth is sluggish despite falling unemployment.