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.
This paper discusses the request from the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities for a Stand-By Arrangement. The global financial and economic crisis hit Bosnia and Herzegovina when the overheating was already raising doubts about the sustainability of the economic expansion. The authorities’ comprehensive financial sector strategy aims at strengthening the banking sector and improving crisis preparedness. IMF staff supports the authorities’ plans to enhance the monitoring of financial stability by establishing a standing committee in charge of crisis prevention and management, and by signing a formal memorandum of understanding on cooperation.
This Selected Issues paper for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) reports that GDP per capita in BiH is similar to that in neighboring Balkan countries. BiH risks are falling behind rather than catching up with other transition economies in terms of its economic development. This could delay the process of convergence to and integration with the European Union, including its ambitions to eventually adopt the euro. Accelerated structural reforms and macroeconomic stability remain key to achieving higher and sustained growth rates.
Connel Fullenkamp, Mr. Thomas F. Cosimano, Michael T. Gapen, Mr. Ralph Chami, Mr. Peter J Montiel, and Mr. Adolfo Barajas
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.
Economic growth in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has been impressive with GDP. The dominance of foreign-owned bank subsidiaries has transformed the financial sector and altered the risks to financial stability. Reforms should focus on strengthening banking supervision and adapting it to the transformation of the financial system in line with recommendations in the Basel Core Principles (BCP) assessment. Although the insurance sector is too small to be systemically important, the unsettled conditions in the sector could weaken confidence in the financial system.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has enjoyed rapid growth and price stability in recent years, but stronger policy ownership, improved policy coordination, and meaningful progress in structural reform are needed to provide the basis for sustained, private sector-led growth. Ensuring the sustainability of public finances in the face of emerging spending pressures and still uncertain domestic liabilities is required. Improving fiscal governance and coordination, reducing financial sector vulnerabilities, and strengthening the private sector while improving competitiveness and the external position is required.
This report summarizes the findings of an evaluation of the technical assistance delivered by MFD to the CBBH. The assessment was conducted during a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina during the period March 15–17, 2006. It covers the period 1997–2005, although MFD TA started earlier: two brief MFD staff visits took place in 1996 to assist the authorities in preparing legislation to establish a currency board and create a market-based central bank.
Ms. Elina Ribakova, Mr. Balázs Horváth, Mr. Dimitri G Demekas, and Mr. Yi Wu
Gravity factors explain a large part of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in Southeastern Europe-a region not comprehensively covered before in econometric studies-but hostcountry policies also matter. Key are policies that affect relative unit labor costs, the corporate tax burden, infrastructure, and the trade regime. This paper develops the concept of potential FDI for each country, and uses its deviation from actual levels to estimate what policies can realistically be expected to achieve in terms of additional FDI. It also finds evidence that above a certain threshold, the importance of some policies for attracting FDI is distinctly different.