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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2021 Article IV Consultation determines that Kosovo’s people and its economy experienced a return to a certain degree of normality in 2021. Increased vaccination rates allowed a relaxation of stringency measures, supported mobility, and created the conditions for a resumption of diaspora travel. The fiscal response to the pandemic has been broadly adequate. Moreover, fiscal policy needs to return to a supportive stance in 2022. Focus, composition, and transparency of public spending needs strengthening including supporting economic resilience. While the objective to intensify vaccinations is both appropriate and commendable, intended policy actions under the “Economic Revival Program” need to be better defined, new social transfer programs should be more targeted, and the growth of existing transfers needs to be contained. Kosovo’s intentions to reduce carbon emissions are commendable. A credible climate and environment mitigation strategy should be centered around carbon pricing, while allocating its proceeds to investment in green projects and to mitigate the impact of higher energy prices on vulnerable households.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Recent developments, outlook, and risks. Kosovo’s economy has continued to perform well, despite a challenging external environment. Real GDP growth moderated to 3¼ percent in 2023 amid subdued external demand. Inflation has decelerated sharply, reaching 2 percent y/y in the first quarter of 2024. Growth is projected to accelerate to 3¾ percent in 2024, driven by domestic demand. Key risks to the outlook include commodity price spikes due to geopolitical tensions, weaker activity in advanced European economies, and an escalation of tensions in northern Kosovo.