This paper on Romania was prepared by a staff team of the International Monetary Fund as background documentation for the periodic consultation with the member country. It is based on the information available at the time it was completed on September 13, 2012. The views expressed in this document are those of the staff team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the government of Romania or the Executive Board of the IMF.
Interest rate policy in the newly reforming Central and Eastern European countries has generally been geared toward establishing positive real interest rates and defending the exchange rate. The principal instrument for this task has been administrative increases in controlled interest rates. This paper examines the effect of these adjustments on inflation, the real interest rate and the exchange rate. It points out the risk that when financial discipline over enterprises is weak raising nominal interest rates may do little more than raise credit growth, the rate of depreciation and ultimately inflation. Simulations attempt to shed light on the importance of these linkages.
Key medium– and longer–term fiscal issues faced by transition economies are reviewed, including government solvency and the sustainability of the fiscal–financial–monetary program. The paper aims to assist the design and implementation of future Fund programs and to contribute to the debate about fiscal policy in transition economies. After presenting a framework for evaluating the sustainability of the fiscal–financial–monetary program of the state, some numerical material is presented on public debt, (quasi–) fiscal deficits and monetary financing. Eight budgetary issues of special relevance to transition economies are considered next. The lessons from this study are summarized in a number of propositions.
This paper investigates fiscal developments in 112 countries during the 1990s. It finds that, while the overall fiscal balance improved in most of them, the composition of this improvement differed. In nonprogram countries, revenues increased modestly and expenditure declined sharply, while in program countries both revenue and expenditure declined. However, in countries with programs that included structural conditions the adjustment was effected primarily through sharp expenditure compression. We did not find evidence of a statistically significant impact of IMF conditionality. Morever, fiscal improvements are strongly influenced by cyclical factors
This paper computes the default probabilities implicit in the prices of Brady bonds of seven developing countries and examines the factors that determine the high cross-correlation of the probability paths. The term structure of U.S. interest rates and the ratio of long-term foreign debt to GDP, together with a developing market index, explain more than 75 percent of the cross-sectional distribution of the default probabilities. The paper also demonstrates a new way to extract sovereign riskiness, implicit in traded bond prices. This allows the above results to be interpreted as explaining the cross-sectional distribution of sovereign riskiness as well.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For a few months in late 2000 and early 2001, Turkey hovered on the brink of economic collapse. High inflation, a large public debt, a growing current account deficit, and delays in restructuring the economy triggered a loss of confidence among investors and caused a run on the country’s banks. To deal with the crisis, the government undertook a sharp fiscal correction, floated the exchange rate, and initiated wide-ranging structural reforms as part of an ambitious package supported by the IMF. Three years later, Turkey is on its way to becoming a new tiger economy. But it has faltered before. Will it manage to stay the course this time? Michael Deppler and Reza Moghadam—respectively Director and Assistant Director in the IMF’s European Department—spoke with Camilla Andersen of the IMF Survey about the country’s prospects.