This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Estonia discusses that the outlook is favorable for the near term, however, for slower economic activity for the medium term. Th economy has performed well in recent years, supported by prudent management and effective structural reforms. Growth remains strong and unemployment is at a record low. Inflation is above the euro-area average, consistent with Estonia’s convergence process. Wages are rising, reflecting a tight labor market and skill shortages at the high end of the labor market. Absent reforms to boost productivity and manage demographic challenges, however, growth will slow notably. The authorities need to guard against potential overheating in the near term while taking advantage of sizable fiscal buffers in the medium term to support innovation and labor supply and reduce inequality. The report recommends that it is imperative to consider changes that preserve the pension system’s viability and sustainability, while promoting policies that address inequality. This includes raising female labor participation through broader implementation of gender pay transparency and flexible childcare arrangements.
The evolution of risk management has resulted from the interplay of financial crises, risk management practices, and regulatory actions. In the 1970s, research lay the intellectual foundations for the risk management practices that were systematically implemented in the 1980s as bond trading revolutionized Wall Street. Quants developed dynamic hedging, Value-at-Risk, and credit risk models based on the insights of financial economics. In parallel, the Basel I framework created a level playing field among banks across countries. Following the 1987 stock market crash, the near failure of Salomon Brothers, and the failure of Drexel Burnham Lambert, in 1996 the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision published the Market Risk Amendment to the Basel I Capital Accord; the amendment went into effect in 1998. It led to a migration of bank risk management practices toward market risk regulations. The framework was further developed in the Basel II Accord, which, however, from the very beginning, was labeled as being procyclical due to the reliance of capital requirements on contemporaneous volatility estimates. Indeed, the failure to measure and manage risk adequately can be viewed as a key contributor to the 2008 global financial crisis. Subsequent innovations in risk management practices have been dominated by regulatory innovations, including capital and liquidity stress testing, macroprudential surcharges, resolution regimes, and countercyclical capital requirements.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economy of Estonia is gathering steam after several years of subdued growth. Real GDP grew by 4.9 percent in 2017, more than double the rate achieved a year earlier. Growth remains broad-based, and supported by strong private and public investment—the latter partly reflecting increased absorption of European Union structural funds—and favorable external conditions. However, output runs above its sustainable level, and supply-side constraints are becoming more binding. The outlook is positive. Over the medium term, growth is set to remain at about 3.5 percent, supported by the continuing recovery of main trading partners, domestic investment, accommodative financial conditions, and continued strong market sentiment.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the findings and recommendations made by the IMF mission about the compilation of Coordinated Direct Investment Survey and Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey (CPIS) in El Salvador. The mission recommended the authorities to research the nature of the information available that may be useful for starting the CPIS. This entails discussions regarding the forms designed during the mission for requesting information from new sources. It was also recommended to continue efforts to improve the coverage of surveys applied to nonfinancial private sector enterprises, with emphasis on the largest enterprises that are still reluctant to respond to the balance-of-payments questionnaires.
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.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Estonia’s economic growth has slowed following the rebound from the deep recession in 2009. Although Estonia’s economic and institutional fundamentals are among the strongest in the region, the economy is expected to expand by only a modest 1.6 percent in 2015. Growth is primarily driven by private consumption, which benefits from strong wage growth as labor market slack diminishes for demographic reasons. The economy should gather speed going forward. Growth is projected at 2.5 percent for 2016 and should average about 3 percent over the next few years.
Andrés Fernández, Mr. Michael W Klein, Mr. Alessandro Rebucci, Mr. Martin Schindler, and Martin Uribe
This paper presents a new dataset of capital control restrictions on both inflows and outflows of 10 categories of assets for 100 countries over the period 1995 to 2013. Building on the data in Schindler (2009) and other datasets based on the analysis of the IMF’s Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions (AREAER), this dataset includes additional asset categories, more countries, and a longer time period. The paper discusses in detail the construction of the dataset and characterizes the data with respect to the prevalence and correlation of controls across asset categories and between controls on inflows and controls on outflows, the aggregation of the separate categories into broader indicators, and the comparison of this dataset with other indicators of capital controls.
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that in 2013, Estonia’s recovery from the crisis continued but at a slower pace. Real GDP growth was 0.8 percent, with private consumption providing the main support, although net exports made a negative contribution. Inflation declined to about 3½ percent, but stayed above the euro average. Public finances remained strong, with a fiscal deficit of 0.2 percent of GDP and a gross public debt of 10 percent of GDP. Real GDP growth is projected at 2.4 percent in 2014, rising toward expected potential growth of 3 to 3.5 percent in the medium term.