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.
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.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Since 2014, the CBBH has been exposed to a negative spread on the reinvestment of the reserve requirements. Until 2014, the CBBH remunerated reserve requirements on the basis of the returns achieved on their reinvestment in the euro area money market. In 2014, when the European Central Bank (ECB) cut the deposit facility rate below zero, the CBBH decided not to follow the ECB in the remuneration of reserve requirements and to floor such remuneration to zero. Subsequently, in 2016, the CBBH decided to remunerate excess reserves at 50 percent of the ECB deposit facility rate and to continue remunerating reserve requirements at 0 percent. This exposes the CBBH to a negative spread of about 0.25 percent and 0.45 percent between the reinvestment yield and the remuneration of excess reserves and reserve requirements, respectively.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Assistance (TA) report on Bosnia and Herzegovina highlights that the negative spread in a context of structural lower returns on foreign exchange reserves and sizable capital inflows has led to a gradual and steady erosion of the currency board coverage ratio. The Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CBBH) requested Technical Assistance to review its reserve requirement framework. The mission recommends aligning the remuneration of reserve requirements on foreign exchange liabilities to the CBBH’s opportunity cost. The mission also recommends prescribing the fulfilment in foreign currency of the reserve requirements for foreign currency liabilities. It also suggested altering the remuneration scheme of domestic reserve requirements. In order to be neutral from an intermediation perspective, the reserve requirement remuneration should be aligned to the market-neutral uncovered interest rate parity rate, whereas the remuneration of excess reserves may take place significantly below the market-neutral rate but at or above the foreign currency remuneration rate. The CBBH may benefit from a constructive dialogue with the Area Department or TA to set the new rates of remuneration of domestic reserve requirement and excess reserves.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses details of the mission conducted to support the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities, with a specific focus on the Republic of Srpska (RS), in improving government finance statistics (GFS) for decision making. The mission rounded off research to establish appropriate reconciliation procedures, although some statistical discrepancies remain. The goal is to use the compilation and reconciliation procedures for quarterly and annual GFS reporting to Eurostat and the IMF’s Statistics Department. The May 2018 mission initiated the development of a standardized compilation procedure for nonbudgetary public sector units, and more specifically extrabudgetary units. The report recommends focussing on investigating possibilities into incorporating these compilation files into the wider GFS and macroeconomic statistics compilation. On analysis of the financial statements, the mission assessed that Accrued revenues and received donations also require and adjustment to following the European System of National and Regional Accounts 2010 and Government Finance Statistics Manua 2014 recording.
This technical assistance report (TA) report specifies mission’s efforts to support the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities, with a specific focus on the Republic of Srpska (RS), in improving government finance statistics (GFS) for decision making. This mission’s focus has been to continue developing reconciliation processes, to develop a compilation process for nonbudgetary public sector units, and to discuss classification questions in context of GFS compilation per the European System of National and Regional Accounts 2010 and the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014. This mission initiated the development of a standardized compilation procedure for nonbudgetary public sector units, and, more specifically extra-budgetary units. The August 2017 mission mapped out flows between the budget, the health fund, the health institutions, and patients (household), concerning the provision of health care and its funding. This mapping is expected to help serve the classification of functional expenditure of the health fund and the health care providers.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the findings and recommendations made by the IMF mission to assist the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Srpska (RS), Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the compilation and dissemination of government finance statistics in accordance with the guidelines of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 (GFSM 2014) and the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010). It was found that the chart of accounts used by the RS is very comprehensive and facilitates the bridging of the national codes to GFSM 2014 and ESA 2010 codes. Some amendments and extensions may be performed to further improve the bridging to GFSM 2014 and ESA 2010.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the recommendations made by the IMF mission to assist the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CBBH) with the compilation of government finance statistics (GFS) in accordance with the guidelines of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 (GFSM 2014) and the European System of National and Regional Accounts 2010 (ESA 2010). It was recommended that the CBBH that compiles GFS and the statistical office of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which compiles national accounts statistics, coordinate the coding to ESA 2010. The CBBH will also examine budget items in the chart of accounts for which no unique GFS code could be assigned during the mission.
The economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is strongly connected to Europe through trade and financial channels, continues to pay a high price for the tough conditions in the area. The paper discuss that, following low demand in its trading partners, exports slumped in 2012 by 7.5 percent, dragging the economy to an export-led recession that resulted in a contraction of economic activity by 0.7 percent. The share of government spending in GDP fell by almost a percentage point, offsetting completely the automatic stabilizers.