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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

This paper discusses the robust growth that continues in most Central and Southeastern European economies as well as in Turkey. Accommodative macroeconomic policies, improving financial intermediation, and rising real wages have been behind the region’s mostly consumption-driven rebound, while private investment remained subdued. In the near-term, strong domestic demand is expected to continue supporting growth amid continued low or negative inflation. The Russian economy went through a sharp contraction last year amid plunging oil prices and sanctions. Other CIS countries were hurt by domestic political and financial woes, as well as by weak demand from Russia. In 2016, output contraction is projected to moderate to around 1½ percent from 4¼ percent in 2015 as the shocks that hit the CIS economies gradually reverberate less and activity stabilizes. In the baseline, a combination of supportive monetary policy and medium-term fiscal consolidation remains valid for many economies in the region.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This staff report on the Republic of Kosovo’s 2013 Article IV Consultation focuses on economic and financial developments. Kosovo’s economy is excessively dependent on inflows from the diaspora. It is found that while these inflows support incomes, they finance primarily consumption and investments in nontradables, such as real estate or services, and contribute little to the build-up of productive capacity. Goods exports are less than 10 percent of GDP and concentrated in sectors with a low-value added component, notably metals. A coherent strategy is needed to improve competitiveness, foster the development of a tradable sector, and lay the basis for self-sustained growth.
Ms. Claudia H Dziobek, Mr. Alberto F Jimenez de Lucio, and Mr. James A Chan
This note addresses the following main issues: • Statistical definitions of government (Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001) • Institutional structure of government and public sector • What is a precise definition of government and why it is relevant • Potential pitfalls of lacking a precise definition of government • Definitions of government in IMF-supported programs • Applications for fiscal rules and other fiscal policy design
Mr. Serhan Cevik and Mr. Mohammad Rahmati
This paper provides a broad empirical analysis of the determinants of post-conflict economic transitions across the world during the period 1960–2010, using a dynamic panel estimation approach based on the system-generalized method of moments. In addition to an array of demographic, economic, geographic, and institutional variables, we introduce an estimated risk of conflict recurrence as an explanatory variable in the growth regression, because post-conflict countries have a tendency to relapse into subsequent conflicts even years after the cessation of violence. The empirical results show that domestic factors, including the estimated probability of conflict recurrence, as well as a range of external variables, contribute to post-conflict economic performance.
International Monetary Fund
Since its independence in 2006, Montenegro has experienced an economic and financial roller coaster ride. The baseline is predicated on continued improvements in cost competitiveness and productivity-raising foreign direct investment (FDI). Avoiding a relapse into recession will thus require strengthening the health of the banking system and removing impediments to restructuring the economy. Montenegro’s attractiveness to investors will depend on reducing macroeconomic and structural vulnerabilities. The business environment needs to be further improved. Redressing solvency issues and improving liquidity were jointly seen as priority tasks.
International Monetary Fund
This paper proposes a framework for updating the PRGT eligibility list, based on transparent criteria and a regular review process, including policies for phasing in changes in eligibility. The premise is that access to scarce resources for concessional Fund financing should be preserved for members with a low level of income and related economic and financial vulnerabilities. From this perspective, there are several potential anomalies in the current eligibility list, which has been established primarily on the basis of IDA eligibility, and was last reviewed in 2003.
Connel Fullenkamp, Mr. Thomas F. Cosimano, Michael T. Gapen, Mr. Ralph Chami, Mr. Peter J Montiel, and Mr. Adolfo Barajas

Abstract

Given the large size of aggregate remittance flows (billions of dollars annually), they should be expected to have significant macroeconomic effects on the economies that receive them. This paper directly addresses the two main issues of interest to policymakers with regard to remittances--how to manage their macroeconomic effects, and how to harness their development potential--by reporting the results of the first global study of the comprehensive macroeconomic effects of remittances on recipient economies. In broad terms, the findings of this paper tend to confirm the main benefit cited in the microeconomic literature: remittances improve households' welfare by lifting families out of poverty and insuring them against income shocks. The findings also yield a number of important caveats and policy considerations, however, that have largely been overlooked. The main challenge for policymakers in countries that receive significant flows of remittances is to design policies that promote remittances and increase their benefits while mitigating adverse side effects. Getting these policy prescriptions correct early on is imperative. Globalization and the aging of developed economy populations will ensure that demand for migrant workers remains robust for years to come. Hence, the volume of remittances likely will continue to grow, and with it, the challenge of unlocking the maximum societal benefit from these transfers.

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix paper examines the issue of dollarization in Albania against the background of rapidly evolving banking, policy and prudential systems, and of growing importance of monetary policy as a tool for demand management. The period covered is 1998—the immediate aftermath of the pyramid scheme collapse—to the present, which is a period of impressive, though gradual, transformation rather than of abrupt structural changes. The paper also analyzes the poverty situation in Albania, and discusses the poverty alleviation mechanisms that have worked.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews economic developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1990–95. It describes the monetary arrangements that have evolved in the Federation and Republika Srpska, and summarizes the financial developments. The paper provides an overview of balance-of-payments developments and the external financing requirements associated with the authorities’ priority reconstruction program. It describes the exchange rate and trade systems of the two Entities. An assessment of macroeconomic statistics in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a summary of IMF technical assistance activities are also provided.