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.
This paper discusses the first phase, to be constructed from 2015 to mid-2019, comprises a 41-kilometer section that is to provide an efficient and safe transport link between Podgorica and the poorest northern region in Montenegro. It runs through the mountainous terrain in the center of the country that is economically undeveloped. Due to its large cost (25 percent of 2017 GDP), the first phase of the highway has used up most of Montenegro’s fiscal space and will crowd out other productive spending. For the foreseeable future, the second and third parts of the highway could only be financed with concessional funds, because loans would destabilize the debt sustainability of Montenegro. The government’s main motivation for this large project is the need to improve connectivity, particularly to Europe through Serbia, boost tourism and trade, improve road safety, and strengthen national security. The highway is a part of Montenegro’s plans to integrate the Montenegrin transport network with those of neighboring countries.
In this paper we analyze how Western Balkans public finances adapted to the boom-bust cycle. Large capital inflows into emerging European economies during the mid-2000s resulted in rapid economic growth and convergence to EU income levels. This also resulted in improved fiscal positions of most countries, on the back of strong revenue performance. Yet, since the onset of the global economic crisis, many countries have struggled to adjust to the new situation of lower external financing and lower growth.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (Bah) economy started to lose steam in early 2012 as growth slowed in Europe. Intensification of the euro area crisis further affected Bin's growth outlook. However, measures such as limiting the expenditure at the central government level and targeting overall general government spending by 1 percentage point of GDP in 2013 aim to improve the economy. Comprehensive reforms of rights-based benefits are also identified, which are imperative for both medium-term fiscal sustainability and improving the functioning of labor markets.
Staff Report for the 2012 Article IV consultation, prepared by a staff team of the IMF, following discussions that ended on October 2, with the officials of Croatia on economic developments and policies. Based on information available at the time of these discussions, the staff report was completed on October 23. The views expressed in the staff report are those of the staff team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Executive Board of the IMF.
In this study, the economic stability of Croatia is overviewed after the global crisis. The reforms outlined in the government’s economic recovery program (ERP) are in progress. Judicial reforms are instituted to strengthen bankruptcy procedures for companies. To improve the medium-term growth prospects of the economy, there is a need to tackle the structural rigidities. Executive Directors agreed that monetary policy should aim at gradually building up reserves in order to increase Croatia’s resilience to external vulnerabilities, while exercising caution toward shifts
Inflation in Southeastern European (SEE) countries has been comparable with euro area inflation, partly owing to on the one hand, high initial price levels. On the other hand, the exchange rate regime is of paramount importance, including the inflation-targeting regime pursued in Albania. The analysis also explores additional heterogeneity between SEE and other regions. Two fiscal rules—a debt rule and an expenditure rule with a debt brake—are discussed in the context of Albania’s current economic outlook. Both rules will contribute toward enhancing fiscal sustainability in Albania.
Croatia’s economy is also saddled with more pervasive rigidities and higher government involvement than many of its transition peers. The Croatian National Bank (CNB) pursued proactive policies, which helped ensure financial sector stability. A stable nominal exchange rate provided an anchor for inflation expectations and financial stability, but also contributed to the accumulation of vulnerabilities. Croatia’s fiscal policy did not take sufficient advantage of the boom years to create adequate space for demand management. Economic recovery is expected to be gradual, with positive growth resuming in the second half of 2010.
This paper estimates revenue and expenditure pro-cyclicality with respect to output and domestic absorption in new member states of the European Union and Croatia to assess whether these countries used the boom years of 2003-07 to create sufficient fiscal space. The current crisis has found many countries short of fiscal space. As these countries enter a different phase of capital inflows, some with large vulnerabilities and inflexible monetary policy options, the role of fiscal policy becomes more important. This paper also looks at these issues to see how fiscal policy can play a more effective role in demand management in these countries.
The first analysis focuses on external stability, an important issue in view of Croatia’s external imbalances and the requirements of the IMF’s 2007 Decision on Bilateral Surveillance. The paper shows that the real exchange rate is broadly in line with economic fundamentals and that external debt dynamics are sustainable as long as macroeconomic policies remain strong. The second analysis finds significant inefficiencies in Croatia’s social spending. It also discusses several reform measures to reduce inefficiencies in public spending and generate budgetary savings to reduce the general government deficit.