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Mr. R. B. Johnston, Mrs. Piroska M Nagy, Mr. Roy Pepper, Mr. Mauro Mecagni, Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Mario I. Bléjer, and Mr. Richard J Hides

Abstract

This study reviews Albania's historical and political background, as well as economic developments in 1991. It describes the centrally planned economic system up to the onset of reform and analyzes economic performance in the 1980s.

International Monetary Fund

The study first examines Albania’s projected debt dynamics for the period 2001–10 and then describes the present public debt situation. The paper also provides a simulation of debt dynamics under macroeconomic conditions. The sensitivity of debt dynamics is also tested. The key features and financial stability of the Albanian pension scheme are also discussed. The following statistical data are included in detail: basic indicators, consumer price subsidies, agricultural production, population, labor force, employment, fiscal accounts, tax revenue shares, exchange rate, monetary survey, balance of payments, and so on.

International Monetary Fund
The economy of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia suffered a setback owing to the Kosovo crisis. The impact of the crisis, however, was less severe. Inflation remained low, the balance-of-payments position and the fiscal situation improved, and indicators of external vulnerability remained satisfactory. The National Bank of Macedonia faced contrasting challenges in the conduct of monetary policy. The pace of structural reforms picked up and a value-added tax was introduced. However, structural weaknesses in the financial system have prevented a more vigorous economic recovery.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper aims to determine how much of the economic slowdown of Albania is owing to cyclical conditions and how much to a reduction in potential growth. The analysis shows that average growth in 2009–14 dropped by 3.2 percentage points relative to 1997–2008, of which 2.8 percentage points are due to lower potential growth. Albania has significant potential to improve its export competitiveness. However, Albania’s competitiveness has shown narrow improvements over the past five years, with weak productivity growth and continued concentration in low-skilled labor-intensive sectors with limited value added. This paper also explores the factors underpinning Albania’s relatively low level of general government revenues.
International Monetary Fund
This paper describes economic developments in Albania during the 1990s. Macroeconomic performance deteriorated in 1996, as the fiscal stance was weakened ahead of the parliamentary elections in May. Although two large public sector wage increases contributed, it was mainly revenue shortfalls that drove the domestically financed budget deficit to more than 10½ percent of GDP—the highest level since 1992. Reflecting higher demand in the economy, the trade deficit increased from 19½ percent of GDP to 25 percent of GDP, and inflation nearly tripled to 17½ percent.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Funding the IMF; Middle East and Central Asia economic outlook; Is globalization a choice?; Latin American reform; Trade conference; Aid effectiveness; Long-term interest rates in G7 countries; Wage flexibility; Joint external debt website launched.
Dmitriy Kovtun, Alexis Mayer Cirkel, Ms. Zuzana Murgasova, Mr. Dustin Smith, and Suchanan Tambunlertchai
Labor markets in the Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) are characterized by some of the highest unemployment and low employment rates in Europe. We analyze the poor labor market outcomes in these countries by comparison with the New Member States of the European Union and advanced European economies. Our findings suggest that long-lasting labor market weaknesses in the Western Balkans have structural roots: the institutional setup of the labor markets, labor cost factors, and especially the unfinished transition process. Finally, we offer policy recommendations for boosting job creation.