This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that Montenegro’s economy is growing strongly, boosted by the implementation of large investment projects, including the construction of the Bar-Boljare highway. Growth should continue over the medium term, albeit at a more moderate pace as highway construction ends. The IMF staff projects the economy to expand by 3 percent in 2018 and 2.5 percent in 2019, with fiscal consolidation also acting as a moderate drag on growth. Although the implementation of large publicly financed infrastructure projects has added to economic growth, the accompanying use of fiscal resources has contributed to a large increase in government debt. Economic growth should remain strong in 2018, notwithstanding fiscal consolidation, and maintain momentum over the medium term.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the long-term growth prospects and the output gap in Montenegro. Historical growth in Montenegro was driven mostly by capital with some contribution from labor, while total factor productivity (TFP) contributed negatively. Going forward, in the baseline growth accounting framework with no reforms, employment will likely have a slightly negative contribution because of demographic dynamics unless both labor force participation and unemployment improve significantly. The highway project will contribute to capital accumulation in the near term, but the contribution from capital accumulation will likely fall despite relatively high investment ratios. Based on historical performance, the contribution from TFP is likely limited and constitutes the main bottleneck for long-term growth prospects in the no-reform baseline.
Dmitriy Kovtun, Alexis Meyer-Cirkel, Ms. Zuzana Murgasova, Mr. Dustin Smith, and Suchanan Tambunlertchai
Labor markets in the Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) are characterized by some of the highest unemployment and low employment rates in Europe. We analyze the poor labor market outcomes in these countries by comparison with the New Member States of the European Union and advanced European economies. Our findings suggest that long-lasting labor market weaknesses in the Western Balkans have structural roots: the institutional setup of the labor markets, labor cost factors, and especially the unfinished transition process. Finally, we offer policy recommendations for boosting job creation.
This 2012 Article IV Consultation highlights that three years after the sudden end of Montenegro’s boom, there has been considerable progress toward recovery. Fiscal imbalances have proved difficult to rein in, reflecting a large fall in revenue after the collapse of the boom. Executive Directors have commended the authorities’ efforts to stabilize the economy, and welcomed the progress made since the financial crisis. Directors have also recognized the sizable public expenditure adjustment over the past few years, but underscored the need for further high-quality deficit reducing measures.
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.
This 2010 Article IV Consultation highlights that Montenegro has been hard hit by the global financial crisis. Contagion and concerns about the robustness of the banking system have triggered large deposit withdrawals and a credit crunch. Moreover, the unwinding of the real estate boom has generated strong negative wealth effects that depressed demand. The authorities have taken wide-ranging measures to stabilize the financial system and rekindle lending activity. Foreign parents have also stepped in with substantial liquidity infusion.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Montenegro, IMF membership, Peru loan, Lebanon, Murilo Portugal interview, IMF technical assistance (TA), Vietnam and WTO, Colombia, foreign direct investment, gender and economics, Arab economies, France and 35-hour week.