This Selected Issues paper analyzes the fiscal challenges in Lithuania. Lithuania’s fiscal position has strengthened in recent years. However, medium term challenges are significant given the severe demographic pressures from population aging and net emigration. Lithuania’s net financial worth of the general government is relatively strong compared with other countries in the region although contingent liabilities from the pension system are sizable. The recent reform of the pension system will help make the system more fiscally sustainable. Upcoming reforms should be carefully designed, considering their trade-offs, to ensure social sustainability; reduce old-age poverty; and limit adverse impact on labor supply and informality.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Bulgarian economy is performing well. Growth has been on an upward trend and is estimated to reach 3.8 percent in 2017 and 2018, driven by strong exports, easier financial conditions, and growing confidence. The current account remained in surplus in 2017, despite rapid wage growth. The economy shows signs of a closing output gap. Headline inflation turned positive in 2017 and inflationary pressure is rising. Fiscal outcomes have been stronger than budgeted in recent years, reflecting mainly revenue overperformance and under-execution of capital spending. The main challenge is to translate this recent recovery into sustained and inclusive growth and convergence with other European Union countries.
Olivier Basdevant, Mr. Andrew W Jonelis, Miss Borislava Mircheva, and Mr. Slavi T Slavov
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the economies of South Africa and its neighbors (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe) are tightly integrated with each other. There are important institutional linkages. Across the region there are also large flows of goods and capital, significant financial sector interconnections, as well as sizeable labor movements and associated remittance flows. These interconnections suggest that South Africa’s GDP growth rate should affect positively its neighbors’, a point we illustrate formally with the help of numerical simulations of the IMF’s GIMF model. However, our review and update of the available econometric evidence suggest that there is no strong evidence of real spillovers in the region after 1994, once global shocks are controlled for. More generally, we find no evidence of real spillovers from South Africa to the rest of the continent post-1994. We investigate the possible reasons for this lack of spillovers. Most importantly, the economies of South Africa and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa might have de-coupled in the mid-1990s. That is when international sanctions on South Africa ended and the country re-integrated with the global economy, while growth in the rest of the continent accelerated due to a combination of domestic and external factors.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This report is an overview of the performance of the European Banking Authority (EBA) against its mandates, given economic conditions prevailing in the banking sector in the European Union (EU). Banks remain a key contributor to the EU financial and professional services industry. Outlook for the sector remains challenging as asset quality has been deteriorating. Priority should be given to increasing its supervisory convergence and quality assurance tasks; regulatory and supervisory actions; and strengthening transparency and the reliability of data.
The research summaries in the September 2012 issue of the IMF Research Bulletin are "Surges in Capital Flows: Why History Repeats Itself" (by Mahvash S. Qureshi) and "The LIC-BRIC Linkage: Growth Spillovers" (by Issouf Samake, Yongzheng Yang, and Catherine Pattillo). The Q&A covers "Seven Questions on Monetary Transmission in Low-Income Countries" (by Prachi Mishra and Peter Montiel). "Conversations with a Visiting Scholar" features an interview with IMF Fellow Olivier Coibion. Also included in this issue are details on the IMF Fellowship Program, visiting scholars at the IMF, a listing of recently published IMF Working Papers and Staff Discussion Notes, and an announcement on IMF Economic Review's first Impact Factor.
This Selected Issues Paper states that Israel’s growth performance is impressive, with real GDP growing at a faster pace than many other OECD countries. The secular Jewish population enjoys a high level of living standards, whereas most Arab and Haredi people are poor, with poverty incidence reaching 60 percent for both groups. Low employment in Arab and Haredi communities is mainly accounted for by the low employment rate of Arab women and Haredi men.
IMF research summaries on measures of financial integration (by Martin Schindler) and on sovereign wealth funds and financial stability (by Tao Sun and Heiko Hesse); regional study on cross-border labor flows in new European Union member states (by Rudolfs Bems); listing of contents of Vol. 56 No. 1 of IMF Staff Papers, a special issue on frontiers of research on financial globalization; a listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during December 2008–March 2009; and a listing of recent IMF Working Papers.
This paper presents findings of the Third Review under the poverty reduction and growth facility arrangement for Kenya. The sharp spending increase budgeted for 2007/08 could exert pressures on domestic prices and compromise project quality, but the authorities are taking steps to mitigate these risks. Authorities are committed to fully implementing the budget only if nonfood inflation remains low and project quality is maintained. Some aspects of governance have improved, but challenges remain. Structural reforms in public financial management need to be broadened and financial sector reforms accelerated.
The paper investigates whether the market size of a regional trade agreement (RTA) is a determinant of foreign direct investment (FDI) received by countries participating in the RTA. This hypothesis is tested on a sample of 71 developing countries during the period 1980-99. Evidence is found that the RTA market size had a positive impact on the FDI received by member countries, even more so in the 1990s when such agreements were revived and became more widespread. The size of domestic population also seemed to matter, possibly because of its effect on the availability of the labor supply. It appears, however, that not all countries in the RTA benefited to the same extent from the RTA: countries with a relatively more educated labor force and/or a relatively more stable financial situation tended to attract a larger share of FDI at the expense of their RTA partners. This evidence suggests it is essential for all RTA countries to improve their business environment to the best available in the region. Finally, a partial negative correlation between the FDI received by RTA countries and that received by non-RTA countries possibly reflects a diversion of FDI from non-RTA to RTA countries. As an illustration, FDI benefits are simulated from the creation of a regional trade agreement between Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.
The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.