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
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.
Bulgaria’s potential output growth in future could be markedly lower, and it may take considerable time for the excess labor and resources to be absorbed by other sectors, in particular by the export sector. This suggests that the natural level of rate of unemployment will rise and remain higher, and the full employment level is likely to decline. There is a requirement of significant improvements in labor productivity and competitiveness, as well as reforms to further improve labor mobility and participation.
This paper reviews the influence of the tropical climate on economic development. The paper highlights that the effect of climate is clearly not the only ruling constraint on economic development. It is claimed that climatic factors severely hamper development through their impact on both human beings and their agriculture. Human economic activity is directly and adversely affected through the widespread extent and impact of diseases; and tropical agriculture suffers in the quality of its soils, its rainfall, and its multiplicity of pests and diseases.
The paper analyzes the export performance and external competitiveness in FYR Macedonia. It describes the trends in the account balance, external vulnerabilities, and different approaches to estimate the equilibrium real exchange rate; and reviews economic growth experience and prospects and reveals areas of weakness. It also discusses many different factors responsible for Macedonia's high unemployment rate and examines the main factors behind the low level of intermediation.
This paper assesses key aspects of Bulgaria’s competitiveness. The behavior of a variety of a real exchange rate indicators and export performance is also examined in this study. The Balassa–Samuelson effect refers to the impact of differential productivity growth rates in the tradables and nontradables sectors on the real exchange rate. The following statistical data are also included in detail: total and private agricultural production, income accounts, labor force, employment and unemployment, monetary survey, foreign assets of the banking system, and so on.
This paper reviews economic developments in the Republic of Moldova during 1993–97. In 1993, the authorities adopted a comprehensive program of financial stabilization supported by a stand-by arrangement with the IMF. By 1995, the fiscal deficit had been cut to 5¾ percent of GDP and annual inflation had fallen to 24 percent. Exports and imports recovered rapidly, with the current account deficit narrowing to 8½ percent of GDP. In 1996, the authorities adopted a three-year program supported by resources under the extended IMF facility to accelerate and deepen the structural reforms.
KEY ISSUES 2014 marked the tenth anniversary of accession to the EU of the first group of Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. The first NMS Policy Forum was launched in the fall of 2014 as a platform for discussing policy frameworks and issues relevant for non-euro area NMS. It brought together representatives of the six CEE countries that are EU members but are not yet in the euro area - Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania (NMS-6), as well as the ECB, the European Commission and the IMF. Discussions focused on four themes: Euro adoption: A once sizeable country risk premium associated with joining the euro area has mostly vanished, as the euro crisis has exposed flaws in the euro area’s institutional framework. Further, the crisis has illustrated both risks and benefits from adoption: monetary autonomy has proven helpful for absorbing shocks, while foreign currency mismatches—that can be much reduced with euro adoption—have shown to be a key vulnerability. Flexible labor markets, fiscal and macro-prudential policy space, and income convergence are prerequisites for successful adoption. Opting into the Banking Union (BU) before euro adoption: The lack of equal (or fully equivalent) treatment of the BU members and non-euro area opt-ins—regarding their role in the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), as well as access to common liquidity and fiscal backstops—makes opting into the BU before euro adoption less attractive. Countries that would benefit most from early opt-in are those that see the BU as a way to enhance the quality and credibility of bank supervision or to gain access to larger industry-funded common backstops. The EU’s fiscal framework and pension reform: In the wake of the crisis, many NMS abolished second pillar pension funds. Further reforms to the EU’s fiscal framework are warranted to remove disincentives for setting up and maintaining second pension pillars and, more generally, for structural reforms. Making the most of the EU single market and EU Services Directive: Structural reforms to strengthen human capital, skills match, labor market efficiency, and foreign investment environment will help NMS to reap full benefits from EU integration. Further liberalization of trade in services will likely benefit the NMS-6 more than other EU members.
This paper provides an assessment of Greece’s competitiveness, export performance, and national saving and investment. It examines the Greek tax ratio and structure, and places them in the EU context. It also reviews the design of the various tax categories, and identifies the scope for further simplifying the tax system and broadening the tax base. The paper discusses that it would be desirable to raise the tax ratio through expanding the tax base before considering raising tax rates.
This Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix paper assesses Romania’s external competitiveness by reviewing recent developments in a range of standard indicators and estimating equilibrium real exchange rates. The results suggest that, although Romania’s historical cost advantage vis-à-vis trading partners has eroded since end-2004, on account of a strong real exchange rate appreciation, some undervaluation still remains. Furthermore, evidence suggests that the recent weak output and export performance in some of the traditional exporting sectors mainly reflects the transition toward higher value-added products.