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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

After the collapse of socialist regimes in the early 1990s, ensuing conflicts in the region caused major disruptions, and income per capita fell. The pace of recovery was uneven in the second half of the 1990s: some countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia experienced a sharp turnaround in growth, while others such as Serbia and Albania faced high growth volatility. By the end of the decade, however, real GDP per capita in the region had recovered to its pre-1990 level, despite another recession around the turn of the century, when output in Albania, Montenegro, and Serbia shrank by over 10 percent in a single year.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

This chapter reviews macroeconomic developments in the Western Balkans over the past 15 years. The countries of the region underwent substantial changes as they made the transition toward a more market-oriented model. In terms of the external environment, the period is dominated by two events: the introduction of the euro in 1999, and the financial crisis that swept across the globe starting in 2007. The euro brought further integration of capital markets in advanced EU economies; the global financial crisis interrupted capital flows significantly. For the Western Balkans, which had substantial capital needs, both events were very significant.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

In the years since 2000, transition and transformation in the Western Balkans have been particularly significant in the banking sector. These banking systems have undergone significant financial deepening, more so than did those of the New Member States at the same stage of economic transition. In the run-up to the global financial crisis, the banking systems of the Western Balkans relied less on fast-moving wholesale funding than did the New Member States (with the exception of Montenegro), which suggests that a significant part of the precrisis credit expansion in these countries was perhaps part of a long-term trend of financial deepening. But financial development in the Western Balkans over this period has also been uneven. While banking sectors have developed rapidly, growth of nonbank financial services has been lackluster, with equity, pension, and insurance markets remaining shallow and corporate debt markets largely nonexistent, even today.

Mr. James Roaf, Mr. Ruben V Atoyan, Mr. Bikas Joshi, and Mr. Krzysztof Krogulski

Abstract

In the mid-1980s, few would have imagined the dramatic changes that were about to engulf Central and Eastern Europe, notwithstanding the initial steps towards modernization introduced in the Soviet Union by the programs of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). Nor would they have guessed the speed of these changes: by the end of 1991 the political landscape was unrecognizable from just three years earlier.

Mr. James Roaf, Mr. Ruben V Atoyan, Mr. Bikas Joshi, and Mr. Krzysztof Krogulski

Abstract

Most countries faced extreme difficulties during the first years of transition. Output fell dramatically across the board as trade links and internal economic relationships were broken. Inflation skyrocketed as price and foreign exchange controls were removed. The countries with better initial conditions and more aggressive approaches to reform reached stabilization faster. In several other countries, however, conflict or institutional obstacles to market reforms exacerbated the transition challenges.

Mr. James Roaf, Mr. Ruben V Atoyan, Mr. Bikas Joshi, and Mr. Krzysztof Krogulski

Abstract

After the fall of communism, monetary policy had to take on a more active role, requiring policy and institutional changes, including the establishment of independent central banks. A key choice was whether to use monetary aggregates or fixed exchange rates as the basis for the initial stabilization following price liberalization. Most countries later moved away from their initial choice of nominal anchor, eventually tending towards inflation targeting, hard exchange rate pegs, or euro adoption, with a diminishing number of intermediate regimes.

International Monetary Fund

Serbia’s transition to a more sustainable growth model remains incomplete and fragile. A precautionary Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) has been requested to insure against external risks and to provide a policy anchor. The program represents a prudent step in the present uncertain global and regional environment. However, without improving Serbia’s difficult investment climate, the economy cannot deliver sustainable growth. Executive Directors expect that a steadfast program implementation along with responsiveness to new adverse developments will lead the Serbian economy to overcome its present difficulties.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes government spending in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The size of the public sector in BiH is one of the largest in the region, owing mainly to a complex and highly decentralized governance structure. BiH spends a greater share of public resources on current spending items, notably on wages and social transfers. Moreover, poorly targeted social benefits generate adverse incentives with respect to informality and labor force participation. To enhance economic growth, BiH will need to refocus its spending and increase its efficiency, chiefly on spending on human and physical capital.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
L’édition web du Bulletin du FMI est mise à jour plusieurs fois par semaine et contient de nombreux articles sur des questions de politique générale et de politique économique d'actualité. Accédez aux dernières recherches du FMI, lisez des interviews et écoutez des podcasts proposés par les principaux économistes du FMI sur des questions importantes de l'économie mondiale. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
La edición en Internet del Boletín del FMI, que se actualiza varias veces a la semana, contiene numerosos artículos sobre temas de actualidad en el ámbito de las políticas y la economía. Consulte las últimas investigaciones del FMI, lea entrevistas y escuche podcasts de los principales economistas del FMI sobre importantes temas relacionados con la economía mundial. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx