Middle East and Central Asia > Armenia, Republic of

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Victoria Babajanyan, Daniel Baksa, Mr. Martin Fukac, Eduard Hakobyan, Arshaluys Harutyunyan, Narek Karapetyan, Babken Pashinyan, Garik Petrosyan, and Luis-Felipe Zanna
This paper presents an overview of the Ararat Fiscal Strategy Model (AFSM), which is a structural, New-Keynesian, DSGE, small open economy model with a rich fiscal block that includes several expenditure and revenue instruments, and types of debt. The AFSM is now a formal part of the Ministry of Finance analytical toolkit to do macroeconomic fiscal policy scenario analysis, which feeds into policy discussions, budget planning, and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework. The model was applied to assses the macroeconomic impact of the “first wave” of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Armenian economy, including the mitigating effects of policy responses. AFSM simulations revealed a potential severe impact in 2020, with declines in GDP and consumption of 12.9 and 11.7 percent, respectively, and a cumulative loss of GDP of 38 percent for the period 2020-2023. They also highlighted a significant fiscal outlook deterioration that would increase public debt-to-GDP ratios by 18.8 percentage points over 2020-23. The package of counter-cyclical fiscal measures of 3.6 percent of GDP, however, was estimated to cushion the 2020 GDP decline by almost 2 percentage points, as well as protect jobs. A second AFSM application related to the 2018 public investment under-execution showed the importance of improving the efficiency of public investment to have positive macroeconomic and fiscal effects.
Iulia Ruxandra Teodoru and Klakow Akepanidtaworn
The COVID-19 crisis raises the risk of renewed financial sector pressures in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) region in the period ahead. Bank distress and its economic and fiscal fallout have been recurring features of many CCA countries, as seen after the global financial crisis and the 2014–15 oil price shock. Strong policy responses have delayed the full impact of the COVID crisis so far, but financial sector risks will increase once public support is phased out. If these risks are not preemptively addressed, banks’ ability to lend during the recovery phase could be impaired and there may be a need for costly public interventions, as in the past.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Armenia’s economy has been hit hard by twin shocks: the COVID-19 pandemic (now in its second wave), and the recent military hostilities involving the Nagorno- Karabakh conflict zone. Reflecting these shocks, growth is expected at -7¼ percent this year, with the fiscal deficit and debt rising considerably. Nonetheless, the authorities have responded promptly with healthcare and anti-crisis measures to limit the pandemic’s impact while protecting vulnerable groups and safeguarding macroeconomic stability.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Republic of Armenia’s Second Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement, Requests for Augmentation of Access, Modification of Performance Criteria, and Monetary Policy Consultation Clause. Following a strong performance in 2019, the Armenian economy was hit hard by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. The government has proactively responded to the crisis, adopting widespread containment measures while supporting vulnerable individuals and firms in the most affected sectors. The fiscal deficit is projected to widen considerably in 2020, reflecting the impact of the cycle on revenues and higher current spending for healthcare and economic support to vulnerable households and firms. The authorities are committed to pursuing their medium-term goal of debt sustainability once the crisis abates, and public debt is expected to decline over the medium-term in line with Armenia’s fiscal rule, while maintaining space for investment and social spending. The augmentation of access under the Stand-by Arrangement will provide much needed support, allowing the authorities to mitigate the pandemic and support affected households and businesses.