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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is facing considerable challenges just as it has rebounded from the Covid-19 pandemic. Spillovers from the war in Ukraine are fueling inflation and weighing on domestic spending and external demand, while domestic political tensions are hampering economic policies and reforms.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
Albania is preparing a Medium-Term Revenue Strategy (MTRS) to finance its development spending of an estimated 2.2–3.0 percent of GDP over five years. Revenue mobilization will be supported by comprehensive tax policy and administration reforms. International and regional comparisons suggest that there is room for additional revenues as well as improvement in the composition of tax revenues. This report presents options for tax policy reform to raise at least an additional 1.34 percent of GDP in revenues over five years and to improve the quality and efficiency of the tax system, that will enable the mobilization of further domestic revenues.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Pre-pandemic, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) economy was growing, but at a pace below the more successful countries in Eastern Europe. The pandemic generated a substantial output contraction in 2020. Early in the pandemic, the authorities successfully implemented restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus and took measures to support firms and households. However, the ongoing second wave poses additional challenges. A gradual recovery is expected for the second half of 2021. Political disagreements about policy coordination at the BiH State level have hampered program implementation under the 2016 EFF arrangement and the deepening of the single economic space. The challenge is to deal with the pandemic and put the economy on a higher medium-term growth trajectory.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Kosovo has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite policy support, economic activity is estimated to have fallen 6 percent in 2020 on account of the combined effect of strict domestic containment measures and international travel restrictions. The fiscal deficit increased to 7.7 percent of GDP, given the large fall in tax revenues and the implementation of mitigation and recovery measures of 4.2 percent of GDP. The current account deficit is estimated to have increased to 7.5 percent of GDP mainly due to a large decline in diaspora-related inflows, most notably in tourism. Gross international reserves declined but remain adequate in part due to the purchase under the IMF’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) in April 2020 and the use of other external financing. Banks have weathered the recession well to date, and the high pre-COVID19 liquidity levels and ample capital buffers bode well for the system’s stability.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper presents Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). RFI is expected to help provide support for scaling up priority spending on health and social assistance, while preserving debt sustainability. Preserving the currency board arrangement and raising the resilience of the banking system play a crucial role for restoring external and internal balances. High frequency monitoring of the banks, including their liquidity positions and asset quality, is crucial at this juncture. Economic activity is tentatively projected to decline by 5 percent in 2020 on account of a pronounced fall in exports and remittances and reduced domestic demand and supply. High political uncertainties pose additional downside risks. Despite a recent easing of political tensions, the complexity of the political environment is a downside risk, which could lead to policy slippage and weakened response measures. The IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for a purchase under the RFI considering the urgent nature of the external financing needs caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 crisis.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper on Bosnia and Herzegovina presents the report on the government finance statistics technical assistance mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Further on developing reconciliation processes, the mission provisionally finalized research to establish reconciliation procedures, without fully eliminating statistical discrepancies. On the compiling of nonbudgetary public sector units, the mission continued the development of compilation processes as started during the May 2018 mission. Considering the differences in outcomes on balance sheet transactions between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ compilation process, further research is required to test the plausibility of these compilation processes and outcomes. The mission will liaise with IMF’s European Department on an appropriate implementation procedure in coordination with other reporting units in Bosnia and Herzegovina that are also revising fiscal surveillance to the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 framework. The mission succeeded in resolving statistical discrepancies—at least from accounting technical point of view.