This paper highlights Bulgaria’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) sector and to assess its performance in a regional perspective. A detailed and rich firm-level dataset of state-owned and private firms was compiled for this note to compare key performance indicators of SOEs to private firms in the same sector and to similar firms in Croatia and Romania for a regional comparison. In some network industries, such as energy, SOEs are heavily loss-making. Large amounts of debt have been piled up notably in the energy and transport sectors which, to the extent that it is classified outside the general government accounts, can pose significant risk to public finances in the form of contingent liabilities if the SOEs run into financial difficulties. SOE profitability and resource allocation efficiency largely lag private firms in the same sectors, even when isolating SOEs engaged in competitive market activities and hence classified outside of general government. Coupled with comparably poor output quality, these challenges have the potential to impair competitiveness and productivity across the economy.
This paper discusses the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and National Development Strategy (NDS) for the Republic of Moldova. The NDS “Moldova 2020” presents a vision of cohesive long-term sustainable economic development based on a diagnostic study of constraints to economic development. Areas such as health, culture, social protection, and environmental protection are crucial for the country’s sustainable development. The focus of the NDS is to increase the budget coverage of adequate policies in these sectors as a result of accelerated economic development. Such a focus also requires the sustainability of foreign assistance currently provided to the country.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes household savings ratio in Spain. The household savings ratio has fallen to its lowest historical rate in 2012, as households cut back savings to support consumption in response to negative income shocks. Household savings fell across all households, but the declines were likely more material among lower income and highly indebted groups. Declining household income and savings slowed deleveraging and put household balance sheets under pressure. Looking ahead, households may need to restrain consumption further to free resources for repaying debt. Household savings rates will likely stay below historical levels for some time then slowly increase.
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.
Traditional fiscal indicators focused on measures of current deficits and debt miss the potentially important implications of current policies for future public finances. This could be problematic, including in the case of Europe, where population aging is expected to pose additional fiscal costs not captured by such indicators. To better gauge the state of public finances in the EU27 countries, this paper derives forward-looking fiscal measures of intertemporal net worth both directly from the European Commission’s Aging Working Group’s long-run indicators and using a comprehensive public-sector balance sheet approach. These measures could be used as an "early warning" mechanism and also as a communication device with the public. Current estimates indicate that, on existing policies, the intertemporal net worth of the EU27 is deeply negative, even in excess of its GDP level, and is projected to worsen further over time. This suggests that Europe’s current policies need to be significantly strengthened to bring future liabilities in line with the EU governments’ capacity to generate assets.
This paper reviews the trade-offs in Switzerland, focusing on challenges for fiscal policy coordination. It reviews the benefits and costs of a highly decentralized government, describes the Swiss institutional architecture, and analyzes Switzerland’s fiscal performance. It also discusses the specific policy challenges related to population aging, reviews the Swiss National Bank works on government financial assets and liabilities, describes the Swiss, Dutch, and the U.K. pension systems, respectively, on the regulation and supervision of the occupational pension pillar, recent reforms, and policy implications.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the potential financial vulnerabilities of the corporate sector in Mexico. It provides an overview of salient features of the Mexican corporate sector. The paper also presents the formal stress tests that estimate the potential effects of some macroeconomic and financial shocks, such as a sharp depreciation of the exchange rate, a sustained increase in interest rates, a slowdown in demand, and a prolonged international market closure on the corporate sector.
Luxembourg's impressive growth performance has been accompanied by regional specialization of production, high labor mobility, export-propelled growth, and the dominance of regional growth fluctuations. Luxembourg's public pension system faces the challenges of population aging and Luxembourg's small, open, and highly specialized economy. Luxembourg's labor market performance holds a seeming paradox, favorable labor market outcomes are coupled with rigid labor market institutions. The supervision of cross-border financial activities raises the difficult challenge of obtaining a complete, consolidated view of the operations of international banking institutions.
This paper assesses macroeconomic developments and progress in institution building during 1994-1998. The five year interim period envisaged in the peace accords has ended, and the paper takes stock of what happened in this period. The paper was prepared in the Spring of 1999 and draws on work done by IMF staff visits to West Bank and Gaza in the fall of 1998 and Spring of 1999. It analyzes developments in a number of areas and draws lessons for the future.