Recent economic developments. Supported by a large policy package, Serbia’s economy rebounded quickly from the initial COVID-19 shock, recording a 1 percent contraction of real GDP in 2020. Job losses have mostly been contained to the informal sector, thanks to policy measures aimed at preserving formal employment. A supplementary budget for 2021 was adopted in April boosting capital expenditure and extending policy support to households and corporates, against the background of third and fourth waves of infections and related containment measures, as well as a weaker-than-expected economic recovery in key trading partners. Inflation remains low. After rising again in late February, infections tapered, helped by new containment measures and the rapid vaccine rollout.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused dramatic loss of human life and major damage to the European economy, but thanks to an exceptionally strong policy response, potentially devastating outcomes have been avoided.
Mr. Luis Brandao-Marques, Mr. R. G Gelos, Mr. Thomas Harjes, Ms. Ratna Sahay, and Yi Xue
Central banks in emerging and developing economies (EMDEs) have been modernizing their monetary policy frameworks, often moving toward inflation targeting (IT). However, questions regarding the strength of monetary policy transmission from interest rates to inflation and output have often stalled progress. We conduct a novel empirical analysis using Jordà’s (2005) approach for 40 EMDEs to shed a light on monetary transmission in these countries. We find that interest rate hikes reduce output growth and inflation, once we explicitly account for the behavior of the exchange rate. Having a modern monetary policy framework—adopting IT and independent and transparent central banks—matters more for monetary transmission than financial development.
The near-term outlook is broadly positive, with robust growth and low inflation. However, growth potential remains constrained by weak external competitiveness, high informality, low labor force participation, and a large infrastructure gap. In a complex political environment, the structural reform progress has been slow and fiscal risks have increased.
Mr. Shekhar Aiyar, Mr. Wolfgang Bergthaler, Jose M Garrido, Ms. Anna Ilyina, Andreas Jobst, Mr. Kenneth H Kang, Dmitriy Kovtun, Ms. Yan Liu, Mr. Dermot Monaghan, and Ms. Marina Moretti
Europe’s banking system is weighed down by high levels of non-performing loans (NPLs), which are holding down credit growth and economic activity. This discussion note uses a new survey of European country authorities and banks to examine the structural obstacles that discourage banks from addressing their problem loans. A three pillared strategy is advocated to remedy the situation, comprising: (i) tightened supervisory policies, (ii) insolvency reforms, and (iii) the development of distressed debt markets.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses key findings and recommendations of the Detailed Assessment of Observance of the CPMI–IOSCO (Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures–International Organization of Securities Commissions) Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Major achievements have been made in modernizing the payment system. Resiliency of the interbank payment system was demonstrated against the severe floods of May 2014. The currency board arrangement has helped protect the payment system from credit risks. The formal assessment of the real-time gross settlement system suggests that many of the standards are observed. The legal basis is relatively sound, but finality and netting arrangements require greater legal certainty and protection at the law level.