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SHARMINI COOREY, MAURO MECAGNI, and ERIK OFFERDAL

Many transition economies have been unable to reduce inflation to low levels on a sustained basis. Monetary growth has been a dominant factor. Relative price adjustment and nominal wage shocks are also partly to blame, but their impact on inflation can be modified by monetary and exchange rate policy.

Michael G. Martin

Why have the prices of gold been so volatile and risen so sharply above the levels of the early 1970s? The author comments on the factors affecting supply and demand that played a role in the dramatic turns of the market.

Ara Stepanyan, Agustin Roitman, Gohar Minasyan, Ms. Dragana Ostojic, and Mr. Natan P. Epstein
In the face of sharply lower oil prices and geopolitical tensions and sanctions, economic activity in Russia decelerated in late 2014, resulting in negative spillovers on Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and, to a lesser extent, on Baltic countries. The spillovers to eastern Europe have been limited. The degree of impact is commensurate with the level of these countries’ trade, remittances, and foreign direct investment (FDI) links with Russia. So far, policy action by the affected countries has focused on mitigating the immediate consequences of spillovers.
International Monetary Fund

The First Review Under the Three-Year Arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility of the Republic of Moldova analyzes macroeconomic and structural policy measures to support the adjustment and promote growth. Moldova is facing serious external shocks that will have long-lasting effects. All quantitative performance criteria and indicative targets were met with the exception of the international reserves target, which was missed because of the shocks. Financial sector development is to be promoted by encouraging foreign competition in the banking system.

International Monetary Fund

This paper discusses key findings of the Second Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). Program performance has been generally satisfactory. The quantitative performance criteria were observed, as was most of the structural conditionality. One structural performance criterion was missed at end-December: the increase in tariffs for district heat and water was briefly delayed in Chisinau. IMF staff supports completion of the review and granting a waiver for nonobservance of the structural performance criterion. The authorities’ commitment to implement supplementary measures provides assurance that the program’s objectives remain attainable.

International Monetary Fund

Moldova’s economy has nearly recovered from the 2009 recession, with GDP growing by almost 7 percent in 2010. GDP rebounded by 6.9 percent in 2010 after declining by 6 percent in 2009. The key objectives for 2011 are to advance fiscal consolidation, keep inflation under control despite adverse shocks, and support balanced growth. The growth momentum is expected to continue in 2011 and beyond, leading to a temporary widening of the current account deficit. The 2011 budget seeks to maintain the pace of fiscal consolidation with emphasis on permanent reduction in current spending.

International Monetary Fund

Moldova showed improved growth prospects and decline in poverty despite a series of consecutive shocks under the economic program. Executive Directors commended the balanced macroeconomic policies and urged to maintain macroeconomic stability. They also appreciated the strong monetary policy by National Bank of Moldova (NBM), disciplined fiscal policies, financial sector stability and consolidation of education and health care networks, and stressed the need to strengthen tax administration while maintaining the deficit target. The need for modernization of energy sector and effective implementation of Anti Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CLT) law were also found to be essential.