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.
This 2009 Article IV Consultation highlights that the credit-fueled boom has resulted in a relatively large nonfinancial private sector debt stock in Estonia. With declining incomes, unemployment increasing sharply, and asset prices depressed, balance sheets of households and firms are under strain, weighing on domestic demand. Nonperforming loans have increased to more than 6 percent of total, and some banks are reporting losses. Executive Directors have supported the authorities’ aim toward speedy adoption of the euro, noting its effects in fostering stability and confidence.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the findings and recommendations made by the IMF mission regarding the balance of payments, international investment position, and secondary income statistics in El Salvador. The mission reviewed progress made on the recommendations for the Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS). Although El Salvador is currently reporting data to the CDIS, there are some topics that need improvement, particularly the positions of the shareholders of the three most important financial groups and their subsidiaries to avoid duplicate entries. The mission agreed with the authorities regarding the monitoring of processing payment vouchers sent to the Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador by banks and other entities paying remittances for amounts exceeding the threshold of US$500 to complete the personal transfers’ estimates.