This paper highlights that 10 new members joined the European Union on May 1, 2004, in the biggest enlargement of the community since its inception. However, the core economic concern is the weak growth performance of Europe—and particularly of the 12 countries at the epicenter of European integration that use the euro as their common currency—relative to the rest of the world and especially the United States. The paper highlights that underlying this concern are the problems of sagging long-term trends in the growth of productivity, and the use of labor resources.
Slovenia is among the most successful transition economies of central and eastern Europe. The authorities have consistently maintained conservative macroeconomic policies, which together with the relatively favorable starting point, allowed them the luxury of a gradual pace of reform. This approach to economic policy has delivered macroeconomic stability while maintaining social consensus and political continuity; at the same time, however, it has delayed the restructuring in certain sectors. Developments in 1999 have shaped by changes in the external environment and temporary domestic factors.
The spike in Slovenian inflation in 2007–08 has shown how structural bottlenecks may hamper Slovenian growth in the future. This Selected Issues paper investigates the role of supply factors and demand-side effects in explaining this surge. The paper concludes that the spike in Slovenian inflation in 2007–08 was a consequence of cost-push and demand-pull factors. The supply-side factors, including the spike in commodity prices and demand-pull factors related to the business cycle, explained approximately two-thirds of the surge.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
The Republic of Slovenia, being the most successful transition economy in Central and Eastern Europe, has achieved significant economic convergence with the European Union, and has built up an impressive record of sustained, broad-based growth, reflecting strong competitiveness and investment. However, Executive Directors emphasized the need to maintain strong monetary and fiscal policies, and accelerate structural reforms. They commended the comprehensive action plan prepared by the authorities to strengthen prudential standards, improve liquidity management, and deepen the money market.
This Selected Issues paper for Romania reports that the practice of nonpayment and arrears accumulation has been widespread in Romania. Managers of enterprises that remain in the pipeline for privatization for long periods of time have little incentive to reduce arrears. The state contributed to growth of arrears by accepting nonmonetary tax and utility payments, using tax offsets in procurement, and tolerating payment arrears. These practices have been prevalent at all levels of state and local government, as well as state utility companies.
The first analysis focuses on external stability, an important issue in view of Croatia’s external imbalances and the requirements of the IMF’s 2007 Decision on Bilateral Surveillance. The paper shows that the real exchange rate is broadly in line with economic fundamentals and that external debt dynamics are sustainable as long as macroeconomic policies remain strong. The second analysis finds significant inefficiencies in Croatia’s social spending. It also discusses several reform measures to reduce inefficiencies in public spending and generate budgetary savings to reduce the general government deficit.
This report evaluates the Observance of Standards and Codes on Fiscal Transparency Module for the Republic of Slovenia. Slovenia meets the requirements of the fiscal transparency code in many important respects. The basic legislation and practices are in line with many Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and European Union countries, and there is generally a clear specification of the roles and responsibilities of different institutions. The basic policies for provision of information are consistent with international practices and procedures for budget preparation.
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix examines external competitiveness and the exchange rate for the Slovak Republic. The paper describes two simple types of competitiveness indicators: (i) real effective exchange rate measures, which examine underlying fundamentals thought to influence external performance; and (ii) indicators of actual export performance. The results suggest that the unfavorable outcomes in the merchandise trade balance and the current account from 1996 to 1998 reflected, at least in part, competitiveness problems. The paper also presents an assessment of banking conditions and the supervision system in the Slovak Republic.