Economic growth is broadening in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. Further ahead, however, growth prospects are tested by a dwindling workforce and weak productivity. Reaching Western European income levels would thus take longer, says the IMF in its Regional Economic Issues update on the region.
Growth is gaining momentum, led by strong external demand while domestic demand is also picking up. The central bank’s foreign exchange intervention policy has helped stem deflationary pressures but inflation is still well below target. Following substantial fiscal adjustment over the past three years, an easing of the fiscal stance is underway and the new government’s medium-term fiscal plans have not yet been fully elaborated. The financial system is sound and resilient to shocks, and improvements in the regulatory and supervisory architecture are ongoing. The challenge for the authorities is to create the conditions for strong and sustainable growth while maintaining macroeconomic stability.
The recovery in Europe continues, supported by strong policy action to contain sovereign debt problems in the euro area. In advanced Europe, lingering uncertainties and market pressures make for moderate and unequal growth, creating challenges for macroeconomic and financial sector policies. The REO also sheds light on the governance issues revealed by the crisis, arguing that better policy frameworks, in particular at the euro area level, promise a stronger Europe. For the first time, the REO devotes a separate chapter to the outlook for emerging Europe, where, after a deep recession, an export-led recovery is under way. However, the rebound is uneven across the region, and policymakers face the difficult challenge of dealing with the legacies of the crisis, while not hurting the recovery. Beyond the short term, the REO argues that the region will need to find new growth engines, as the capital inflows-driven and credit-fueled domestic demand boom needs to give way to more balanced growth. Indeed, the REO emphasizes that active fiscal policy and coordinated prudential measures are key to avoiding a repeat of the boom-bust cycle the region has just endured.
The paper provides quantitative estimates of the impact of the European trade agreements on trade flows. It applies both static and dynamic panel estimation techniques. The results are useful to policymakers because new intra-European trade agreements are being negotiated. In the absence of a further expansion of the European Union, estimates of alternative policies may help to clarify the policy debate. The paper also illustrates that the performance of individual countries under the trade agreements can be explained in terms of their macroeconomic environment. The conclusions are likely to be relevant to the western Balkan countries and Ukraine.
This volume represents the latest developments and policy debate on a very current issue: the rapid growth of banking sector credit to the private sector, which continues to occupy the minds of academics and policymakers alike in many central and eastern European (CEE) countries. The papers, presented by the representatives of international organizations and monetary and supervisory authorities of a number of western and CEE countries, provide discussions on how to assess and respond to excessive credit growth. Case studies represent the challenges faced by policymakers in dealing with rapid credit growth, providing useful lessons for other countries experiencing a similar phenomenon. For more information on how to purchase a copy of this title, please visit http://www.palgrave.com/economics/imf/index.asp.
This Selected Issues paper analyses the impact that rising energy import prices might have on growth and inflation in Ukraine. The paper examines how rising gas prices might elevate macrofiscal risks in Ukraine’s state enterprise sector. It assesses Ukraine’s equilibrium exchange rate mainly based on the macroeconomic balance approach, and provides an account of the monetary framework debate. The paper also summarizes the current framework’s achievements and shortcomings, and looks at traditional criteria for determining whether a peg or float fits Ukraine’s economic characteristics.
This Selected Issues paper presents a snapshot of some economic issues for Ukraine. It analyzes risks for the banking sector stability. It investigates Ukraine’s real equilibrium exchange rate, drawing chiefly from cross-country panel-data analysis, and the experience of other neighboring East-European countries. The results suggest that Ukraine will likely experience significant upward pressure on the real exchange rate, particularly as it orients itself to the European Union. The paper also uses newly available data to give a broad overview of Ukraine’s asset and liability position vis-à-vis the rest of the world.
Mr. Richard Hemming, Mr. Axel Schimmelpfennig, and Mr. Michael Kell
Fiscal problems have long been considered a central feature of financial--that is, currency, debt, and banking--crises. This paper addresses four questions: What are the fiscal causes of crises? Which fiscal vulnerability indicators help to predict crises? Can fiscal variables explain the severity of crises? And what are the fiscal consequences of crises? Its findings are based on statistical analysis of a large data set of fiscal variables for 29 emerging market economies over 1970-2000 and detailed case studies of 11 emerging market crises during the 1990s that focus on structural and institutional dimensions of fiscal vulnerability.
This paper examines key aspects of the ongoing decentralization process in transition economies and identifies areas where the present systems can have potentially adverse impacts on both service delivery and macroeconomic performance. We discuss three critical principles of a sound and efficient decentralized fiscal system-and then show the contrasts between these and actual trends and policies in transition countries.