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International Monetary Fund

The Selected Issues paper analyzes the determinants of growth in Albania, the macroeconomic underpinnings for growth, the role of remittances in the economy, and the policy response to rapid credit growth. It also analyzes the official estimates with estimates from various macroeconomic surveys, and discusses the implications for the structure of the balance of payments. It also provides a framework for analyzing the budgetary impact of remittances in Albania, and examines the acceleration of credit growth and the policy options available to address the resulting macroeconomic and prudential concerns.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper explores Albania’s current account (CA) deficit that improved in 2016, but remains sizable. The EBA-Lite model results indicate that the external position is moderately weaker than implied by fundamentals and desirable policy settings. Adjusting for Albania’s specific circumstances, the current account gap is estimated at -1.0 percent and the real effective exchange rate is overvalued by about 6 percent, reflecting Albania’s low national saving and large FDI inflows. Though Albania has benefitted from the recent tourism boom in the region, the outlook for exports remains challenging. Despite its cost competitiveness, exports are narrowly concentrated in a few low-value added sectors while new investments in the nonenergy tradable sector are limited. To close Albania’s competitiveness gap and strengthen its external position, the authorities should complete key infrastructure projects to reduce transportation costs and address energy sector reliability; increase domestic savings; improve governance and the rule of law; and raise labor market efficiency by reducing skills shortages.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper discusses the origins of the pyramid schemes and the way the authorities handled them. The paper analyzes the economic effects of the pyramid schemes, concluding that despite the descent into anarchy triggered by the schemes’ collapse, their direct effects on the economy are difficult to specify and appear to have been limited. The paper also argues that prevention of pyramid schemes is better than cure and that government and international financial institutions should be vigilant in clamping down on frauds.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
On March 1, IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler announced the establishment of the International Capital Markets Department in the IMF. Below are edited excerpts from a March 2 press briefing by Kõhler and First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer on that decision and on the IMF's response to financial crises, including Turkey (www.imf.org/imfsurvey).
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
John Lipsky's visit to South Africa and Mali, Latin American growth, Uruguay repays loan, Eastern Europe, Albania's economy, Belarus and Morocco, U.S. current account deficit, Francis Warnock, IMF governance, fiscal adjustment.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Group of Seven Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors met in Canada on February 8–9 to discuss the global economy, the importance of fostering development, and ongoing efforts to combat the financing of terrorism. The Managing Director of the IMF participated in the meeting.