International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
San Marino's economic activity showed remarkable resilience throughout the pandemic. After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, San Marino faced an unprecedented energy price shock which, compounded with a food price shock, led to high inflation and real income erosion. However, strong external demand amidst global supply chain constraints and an elevated inflow of tourists have boosted economic activity so far this year. At the same time, San Marino secured beneficial energy import prices this year and next that have resulted in tariffs below regional peers at minimal fiscal costs. Despite a strong economy, the fiscal position in 2021 remained relatively weak. However, greater reliance on domestic debt along with a large share of long maturing and low interest debt is supporting favorable debt dynamics given higher inflation. Banks' capitalization and profitability improved in 2021, deposits continued to grow, while credit contracted. Progress halted recently while vulnerabilities remain given very large nonperforming assets and weak capitalization.
San Marino entered the pandemic with substantial vulnerabilities and still struggling from the consequences of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). However, the economy has shown significant resilience supported by a timely and targeted policy response. Fiscal support was substantially scaled up after external borrowing was secured, including through a debut Eurobond. The banking system was rationalized, partly capitalized, its liquidity substantially improved, and a strategy is being adopted to address exceptionally high nonperforming loans (NPLs). Some of these measures, while effective, have increased official public debt substantially.
International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper provides background for a further round of discussions on the Fifteenth General Review of Quotas (hereafter 15th Review). The paper builds on work presented in previous staff papers and Directors’ views expressed in three meetings of the Committee of the Whole in September 2017 and February 2018. No proposals are presented at this stage, pending further Board guidance on possible approaches to narrowing the current differences of views.
This 2020 Article IV Consultation discusses that San Marino is now facing very significant challenges owing to the recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, which has taken a heavy toll on local population and businesses. The staff report reflects discussions with the Sammarinese authorities in January 2020 and is based on the information available as of January 31, 2020. It focuses on San Marino’s near- and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before COVID-19 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity, and financial markets. It, therefore, does not reflect the implications of these developments and related policy priorities. The outbreak has greatly amplified uncertainty and downside risks around the outlook. Staff is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work on assessing its impact and the related policy response in San Marino and globally. With no credible measures to restore banking system health and in the face of a continued weak external environment, economic growth is projected to remain subdued in the coming years. Slow progress in repairing the banking system and failure to restore fiscal sustainability are the key and material risks.
This Article IV Consultation highlights that deep-rooted weaknesses in the banking system have undermined economic activity and are now threatening financial stability and fiscal sustainability. Significant deposit outflows have left the banking system with low liquidity, while persistent losses and high non-performing loans (NPLs) resulted in sizable recapitalization needs, particularly in the state-owned bank. Growth is projected to remain subdued in the coming years, reflecting continued banking sector deleveraging and a less favorable external environment, most notably in Italy. Slow progress in repairing the banking sector, and full and upfront recognition of the state’s financial commitments to the banking system are the key risks. Urgent actions are needed to restore banking sector viability and credit supply, safeguard public finances, and promote sustained economic growth. It is recommended to strengthen labor supply by better targeting social benefits and further relaxing the hiring process of non-residents.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that San Marino’s economy rebounded in 2016, on the back of recovering domestic demand and important gains in employment. However, the growth momentum slowed in 2017 amid financial sector uncertainties around a sizable loss at the largest bank and a closure of a small bank. Only moderate growth is projected in the near and medium term. The economy is projected to grow at 1.3 percent in 2018, driven by domestic demand. Private consumption is expected to recover gradually, and an externally financed investment project will add a significant boost to investment, which otherwise lacks support from the deleveraging banking sector.
This Selected Issues paper presents scenarios to assess debt dynamics and discusses key considerations in developing a medium-term fiscal strategy and adjustments.in San Marino. San Marino faces new fiscal challenges. Recent interventions in the financial sector are set to increase the debt to gross domestic product (GDP) level, although the eventual level of public debt remains highly uncertain. The government has granted banks the right to convert tax credits to government bonds, thus creating contingent liabilities. Going forward a fiscal strategy is needed. The scenario analysis in this paper suggests that the debt-to-GDP ratio could rise to 55–90 percent of GDP. Such levels would be high for San Marino and well above the level observed in other European microstates. At the same time, government deposits have been decreasing to a low level. A medium-term fiscal strategy could thus aim at containing the debt-to-GDP ratio and rebuilding deposits. The analysis in this paper offered considerations that could be helpful in determining fiscal adjustments needed to reach such targets.