This 1999 Article IV Consultation highlights that macroeconomic developments in Latvia were severely affected by the Russian economic crisis. Real GDP declined by 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 1998, and further contraction is estimated for the first quarter of 1999. As a consequence, the rate of unemployment rose to 10.1 percent in May, up from 7 percent a year earlier. Meanwhile, inflation has continued to fall amid continued tight monetary policy and weak domestic demand, reaching 1.9 percent in May.
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix examines the developments in the intergovernmental fiscal relations for the Republic of Estonia. The paper highlights that intergovernmental relations in Estonia have been marked in recent years by a strong push in the direction of fiscal decentralization. This trend has been part of the broader process of structural change, including privatization and liberalization of markets in Estonia. The paper analyzes the evolution of the financial sector. It also examines European Union accession and the economic policy of Estonia.