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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This report assesses the state of fiscal transparency practices in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia against the IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Code. The report finds that Macedonia meets the standard of good or advanced practice on 13 of the 36 principles, and the basic standard on a further 12 principles. Moreover, in 5 of the areas where Macedonia’s transparency practices do not currently meet basic practice, this could be addressed by publishing data that are already collected for internal management purposes. It is recommended to expand the institutional coverage of fiscal and statistical reports, to include the activities of all institutional units that would be classified as part of the general government under international statistical standards.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper presents an overview of recent economic developments, outlook, and risks of the Albanian economy. Over the past few years, Albania has successfully maintained macroeconomic stability amid a turbulent external environment. A sizable fiscal consolidation is underway, and public debt is projected to start decreasing in 2016. However, growth remains sluggish due to a weak euro area recovery and risk-averse banks. The policy mix focuses on fiscal adjustment, while supporting growth through gradual monetary easing. The key policy priorities are to lower fiscal vulnerabilities through continued consolidation, revive private sector credit by cleaning up bank balance sheets, and continue implementing growth-friendly structural reforms.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Background: In February 2014, the Executive Board approved a three-year Extended Arrangement with access equivalent to SDR 295.42 million (492.4 percent of quota). So far, four purchases totaling the equivalent of SDR 123.1 million have been made, and another one equivalent to SDR 57.76 million will be made available upon completion of the fifth and sixth reviews. Recent Economic Developments: Economic recovery is underway, but growth remains below potential and inflationary pressures are limited. Nonperforming loans (NPLs) have started declining but are still high, and credit growth remains sluggish despite substantial monetary easing.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This paper discusses key findings of the fiscal transparency evaluation for Albania. Many of the fundamental elements of fiscal transparency are now in place. The budget clearly shows the government’s forecasts of revenue and its plans for spending and for financing the deficit. The budget is detailed, showing spending on each of several hundred government programs. Reports on the implementation of the budget are frequent, timely, and comprehensive. Basic data on revenue and spending are published monthly, usually no more than 20 days after the end of the month. Quarterly and annual reports give more detailed information. There are even daily reports listing each government payment.
Zsoka Koczan
In this paper we analyze how Western Balkans public finances adapted to the boom-bust cycle. Large capital inflows into emerging European economies during the mid-2000s resulted in rapid economic growth and convergence to EU income levels. This also resulted in improved fiscal positions of most countries, on the back of strong revenue performance. Yet, since the onset of the global economic crisis, many countries have struggled to adjust to the new situation of lower external financing and lower growth.
International Monetary Fund
The global crisis left Albania fairly unscathed and ushered in the needed economic rebalancing. The policy framework has been challenged in the post-crisis environment significant headwinds. Despite improvement, external imbalances remain elevated. Fiscal consolidation in terms of a more realistic macroeconomic framework will require credible measures and sustained efforts. Financial sector supervision and regulation will need to stay ahead of evolving challenges. Boosting productivity by attracting foreign investment is essential for higher sustainable growth.
International Monetary Fund
Albania enjoyed strong growth with comparatively benign external vulnerabilities before the crisis. Monetary policy provided timely support, and the exchange rate functioned as a shock absorber. However, policy buffers are now exhausted and must be rebuilt. Fiscal tightening has to be quickly effected. Medium-term fiscal policy should be governed by a credible and monitorable fiscal rule. The Albanian economy has to broaden its sources of growth and strengthen competitiveness. Sound macroeconomic statistics are essential for competent policy making and investor confidence.
International Monetary Fund
Inflation in Southeastern European (SEE) countries has been comparable with euro area inflation, partly owing to on the one hand, high initial price levels. On the other hand, the exchange rate regime is of paramount importance, including the inflation-targeting regime pursued in Albania. The analysis also explores additional heterogeneity between SEE and other regions. Two fiscal rules—a debt rule and an expenditure rule with a debt brake—are discussed in the context of Albania’s current economic outlook. Both rules will contribute toward enhancing fiscal sustainability in Albania.