International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper looks at revenue mobilization efforts in Honduras. The country has made considerable progress over the last years, helping to stabilize its fiscal position. Although tax revenue collection ratios in Honduras are high, the statutory rates are aligned with regional peers. A formal benchmarking exercise supports the evidence pointing to Honduras’s relatively good collection performance. The authorities’ future revenue mobilization strategy should prioritize reforms aiming at increasing efficiency and compliance. The cost-benefit assessment of existing tax exemptions in terms of their policy objectives may offer guiding principles to prioritize reforms going forward. Compared to peers, statutory tax rates are similar and tax collection ratios are generally higher—a benchmarking exercise suggests that the current revenue envelope is close to its frontier. Going forward, there is a need to sustain revenue mobilization efforts, which will be instrumental to maintaining a sound fiscal position, reducing the infrastructure gap, and increasing social spending. Rationalizing large tax expenditures could contribute to these efforts.
The boom and bust in capital flows to the New Member States of the European Union have received a considerable amount of attention; foreign direct investment and bank flows to the region and countries’ participation in regional supply chains have been well-documented. Relatively little has, however, been written about capital flows to the Western Balkans economies, which are often perceived to be ‘late arrivals’ to large capital flows. This paper aims to examine how capital flows to the Western Balkans compare with flows to the New Member States, in terms of levels as well as dynamics. We find that while financial integration took off somewhat later in the Western Balkans than in the New Member States, it has increased rapidly, despite still much lower capital account openness. Capital inflows as a share of GDP are comparable to those observed in the New Member States, (perhaps surprisingly) diverse in terms of source countries and broadly similar in composition, though with equity shares higher than they were in the New Member States at comparable levels of GDP per capita.
This 2008 Article IV Consultation highlights that over the last decade, Albania’s macroeconomic performance has generally been strong and per capita GDP in U.S. dollar terms more than doubled. Strong fiscal policy, largely based on major improvements in tax administration, lowered public debt from 66 percent of GDP in 2001 to 53 percent in 2007. Risks to domestic and external stability have receded somewhat. Domestic credit growth, though still elevated, has decelerated from past highs. The authorities have adapted regulatory and supervisory regimes to keep abreast with the rapidly developing financial system.
The main challenges for this review were to further redress long-running problems in the energy sector and to balance fiscal policy requirements for development spending with macroeconomic stability. The financial position of the state-owned electricity company (KESH) deteriorated significantly more than anticipated. The authorities have adopted a two-pronged solution to the electricity crisis. The authorities are prioritizing the strengthening of regulation to assure financial stability in a rapidly maturing financial system. The proposed conditionality for the Fifth Review is consistent with program goals, and the program is fully financed.
Executive Directors commended the authorities for their policies to maintain macroeconomic stability, which had resulted in favorable growth performance and zero inflation, and welcomed improvements in tax collection and encouraged the authorities to continue with their efforts to strengthen tax administration. The authorities are urged to proceed rapidly with structural reforms, in particular by improving governance further to ensure sustained growth and poverty reduction. Macroeconomic data, although adequate for program monitoring, continue to suffer from serious deficiencies, especially in the real sector.
In this study, the following statistical data are presented in detail: GDP by sector of origin, construction of cost index, consumer price subsidies, agricultural production, production and yields of selected fruits, consumer price index, population, labor force, and employment, employment and wages in budgetary institutions, fiscal accounts, central government expenditure shares, tax revenue shares, interest rate shares, monetary survey, credit in state-owned banks, balance sheet of the bank of Albania, area under cultivation, production, and yields of selected agricultural crops, and so on.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.