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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

This Selected Issues paper focuses on the Baltic model, Baltic–Nordic links, and convergence. The Baltic countries form a distinct group within a tightly integrated Nordic–Baltic region. They are following similar approaches to economic policy, broadly in line with those of Northern European and the Anglo-Saxon countries. Their macroeconomic policies are generally robust. The paper examines the possible causes of the creditless recoveries in the Baltic countries. It characterizes their experience in comparison with other episodes of creditless recoveries in both advanced and emerging market economies, and also investigates demand and supply constraints to credit expansion in the Baltics.

Abstract

This book, edited by J.B. Zulu, Ian S. McCarthy, Susana Almuiña, and Gabriel Sensenbrenner, presents the proceedings of the special Joint Meetings on Central Banking Technical Assistance held in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1994, and provides detailed information on important issues in central banking, including a comparative sample of 31 countries. The arrangements concerning such issues as the size and composition of the policymaking board, the role of the central bank in monetary and exchange rate policy, resolution of conflict between the central bank and the government, public accountability, relations with the markets, and credit to the government are reviewed.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have experienced strong economic growth since gaining their independence following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1999. Economic growth has gone hand in hand with the rapid expansion of the financial sector. But now that the transition to a market economy is largely complete, the financial sector is faced with new challenges as the three countries prepare to join the European Union (EU) on May 1. Will the Baltics be able to sustain their impressive economic performance? Their financial sectors appear, for the most part, to be well placed to take on a more important role in financial intermediation. But can governments do more to help banks and capital markets prepare for the future? These issues are addressed in a new IMF Occasional Paper, Capital Markets and Financial Intermediation in the Baltics, by Alfred Schipke, Christian H. Beddies, Susan M. George, and Niamh Sheridan.

International Monetary Fund
This report provides the details of the IMF's projections and estimates on Estonia's basic data; gross domestic product by expenditure, origin, and income approach; real gross domestic product by origin; employment by sector; balance of payments; foreign direct investment inflows and outflows by countries; foreign direct investment outflows and inflows by sectors during 1996–2000; maturity and currency composition of deposits and loans; general government revenue and expenditure during 1996–2001; gross external debt; foreign assets; net external debt during 1997–2000, and so on.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents an update to the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) for Banking Supervision, Data Module, Fiscal Transparency Module, Insurance Supervision, Payment Systems, Securities Supervision, and Transparency in Monetary and Financial Policies for the Republic of Estonia. Beginning from January 1, 2002, the unified Estonian Financial Supervision Authority is responsible for banking, insurance, and securities market supervision. Relevant provisions to the Credit Institutions Act (Article 84) were extended to managers of shareholders and to companies in which managers hold a qualifying interest.
International Monetary Fund
Despite enduring one of the sharpest contractions in the EU, Estonia has been successful in its all-out efforts to join the euro area. Core prices have also begun increasing but at a moderate rate. Recent wage increases have defied not only high unemployment but also increases in vacancies and long-term unemployment. Executive Directors welcomed the authorities’ medium-term goal of returning to budget surpluses to restore fiscal reserves and keep public debt at low levels. Directors observed that the financial sector had weathered the crisis relatively well.
International Monetary Fund
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.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for Bulgaria highlights that the rapid credit expansion has not raised significant financial stability issues, but has been a key factor in the sharp weakening of the external current account. Although the deficit has been mostly financed by foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, deficits of this magnitude cannot be sustained as privatization inflows will dry up with the completion of the government’s privatization program. Concurrent with the surge in bank credit, the external current account has weakened, reaching a deficit of 8½ percent of GDP in 2003.