This paper presents a new dataset on the dynamics of non-performing loans (NPLs) during 88 banking crises since 1990. The data show similarities across crises during NPL build-ups but less so during NPL resolutions. We find a close relationship between NPL problems—elevated and unresolved NPLs—and the severity of post-crisis recessions. A machine learning approach identifies a set of pre-crisis predictors of NPL problems related to weak macroeconomic, institutional, corporate, and banking sector conditions. Our findings suggest that reducing pre-crisis vulnerabilities and promptly addressing NPL problems during a crisis are important for post-crisis output recovery.
This Selected Issues paper analyses the implications of global value chains (GVC) participation for Latvia’s competitiveness and exposure to risks. Using a structural model, it assesses Latvia’s competitiveness through different real effective exchange rate (REER) measures and examines the main factors behind differences in the measures. Based on this analysis, the paper suggests policy options to strengthen Latvia’s competitiveness. The paper also estimates the impact of an appreciation of the GVC related REER measure on value added export growth and real GDP growth, and finds sizable effects, suggesting that a rapid labor market tightening could lead to erosion in competitiveness and reduction in growth. Finally, trade tension induced tariff hikes may have significant cost for Latvia, especially in terms of value added produced in the country. Trade tension induced tariff hikes are likely to have moderate costs for Latvia in terms of value added produced in the country. In this regard, policies aimed at enhancing product sophistication or quality and export market diversification could mitigate Latvia’s exposure to trade shocks in GVCs.