The latest in a series of papers published by the International Monetary Fund on economies in transition examines the experience of disinflation in Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union between 1993 and 1997. The paper reviews the economic policies underlying the dramatic drop in inflation during those years as well as other variables that facilitated the disinflation and notes that the adjustment of fiscal fundamentals as the driving force behind the disinflation, while nominal anchoring arrangements played a less prominent role. This was contrary to developments in countries, for example, in Latin America, that had experienced high inflation for a long period of time.
This 2009 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s vulnerability at the outset of the global crisis was its large current account deficit in the context of the exchange rate peg to the euro. At the same time, it benefited from a small fiscal deficit, modest public debt, and significant international reserve buffers. Executive Directors have praised the Macedonian authorities for the conduct of macroeconomic policies, which contributed to a modest downturn in Macedonia’s economy relative to other countries in the region.
The economy of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia suffered a setback owing to the Kosovo crisis. The impact of the crisis, however, was less severe. Inflation remained low, the balance-of-payments position and the fiscal situation improved, and indicators of external vulnerability remained satisfactory. The National Bank of Macedonia faced contrasting challenges in the conduct of monetary policy. The pace of structural reforms picked up and a value-added tax was introduced. However, structural weaknesses in the financial system have prevented a more vigorous economic recovery.
This Selected Issues Paper assesses Macedonia’s public debt markets and presents recommendations for their further development. Macedonia’s domestic debt market is in the early stages of development and is small by regional standards. The paper also analyzes the main causes of euroization in Macedonia. It discusses the nature of monetary policy in Macedonia where despite an exchange rate peg owing to imperfect capital mobility, there exists some degree of autonomy in the conduct of monetary policy in the short term.
This paper evaluates the 2003 Article IV Consultation and a Request for a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRM). The Article IV policy discussions focused on regaining a sustainable fiscal and external position, restarting economic growth and job creation, and addressing vulnerabilities resulting from public sector indebtedness, banking sector fragility, and euroization of bank and government balance sheets. FYRM has also requested IMF support of the program under an SBA in the amount SDR 20 million.
Almost all transition countries experienced an initial spike in inflation at the outset of the reform process as price controls were removed. The speed of the subsequent disinflations, however, varied markedly, partly reflecting the different times when countries gained monetary and political independence. Some Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries had managed to reduce inflation to the two-digit range already by the end of 1992, while inflation remained close to or above 1,000 percent in the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union (BRO). Subsequently, inflation continued to fall gradually in the Central and Eastern European countries, albeit with some notable exceptions. But it fell sharply in the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union, where, by the end of 1997, it exceeded 100 percent only in one country. As a result, median 12-month inflation in the whole transition group fell from 950 percent at the end of 1992 to 11 percent at the end of 1997.
By the end of 1992, major results in stabilizing inflation had been achieved only in the Central and Eastern European countries: inflation had dropped below 60 percent in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovak Republic (Table 1).2 Hungary had always remained well below this threshold.3 Inflation in the ruble zone was high and rising at this time. It surged dramatically in many countries that exited the ruble zone and established independent currencies and new central banks thereafter.
This 2001 Article IV Consultation highlights that after three consecutive years of generally favorable performance, the economy of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRM) suffered a setback in 2001 because of a six-month security crisis. Output declined markedly and new outlays on security operations and weak revenues contributed to a large expansionary fiscal swing. Owing to a deterioration of the external current account position, the foreign exchange loss was heavy. However, the impact on reserves was cushioned by sizable privatization inflows in early 2001.