This Selected Issues paper examines corporate productivity growth in Bulgaria using firm-level data. Firms with a higher share of innovative assets and lower financial distress are estimated to have higher productivity growth. Foreign, larger, and younger firms and firms in the tradable sectors also generally had faster productivity growth. The convergence of productivity to frontier firms may have slowed after the global financial crisis for existing firms. The evidence points to technological convergence for both total factor productivity and labor productivity to industry leaders. The result is robust with the coefficient statistically significant at the 1 percent level in all specifications. Policies that support R&D and innovation, improve business environment, and reduce debt service burden could potentially help raise productivity growth. Bulgaria’s R&D spending lags behind other EU countries and there is ample room for improvement. A better business environment supported by stronger institutions could help improve company’s profitability and financial health, raise investment, and attract more foreign direct investment, all conducive to raising productivity growth.
Was the postcrisis growth slowdown in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CESEE) structural or cyclical? We use three different methods—production function approach, basic multivariate filter, and multivariate filter with financial frictions—to evaluate potential growth and output gaps for 18 CESEE countries during 2000-15. Our findings suggest that potential growth weakened significantly after the crisis across most countries in the region. This decline appears to be largely due to stagnant productivity and weaker capital accumulation, which were associated with common external factors, including trading partners’ slow potential growth, but also decline in global trade and stalled expansion of global value chains. Our estimates suggest that output gaps in 2015 were largely closed in many countries in the region.
The paper analyzes the export performance and external competitiveness in FYR Macedonia. It describes the trends in the account balance, external vulnerabilities, and different approaches to estimate the equilibrium real exchange rate; and reviews economic growth experience and prospects and reveals areas of weakness. It also discusses many different factors responsible for Macedonia's high unemployment rate and examines the main factors behind the low level of intermediation.
The extensive growth model introduced under central planning in the 1950s resulted in rapid industrialization and initially high growth. The efforts to bring the banking system on a sound footing following the 1996–97 crises have hardened budget constraints, but they have yet to result in a reorientation of banking sector activities toward private sector lending. The following statistical data are presented in detail: industrial sector, services by branches, income accounts, financial performance of state-owned enterprises, monetary survey, the exchange rates, and so on.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on the adoption of new technology and globalization in the United States of America, and assesses the change in the productivity growth and revised estimates, the developments in the labor market, equity prices, and the technology boom. The paper analyzes how the monetary policy influences economic conditions in emergency markets; reviews the developments in financial consolidation; discusses the key provisions contained in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) Act, the implications of the GLB Act for financial consolidation, and regulatory and supervisory practices.