The government of Estonia places a high importance on openness and transparency, both for their citizens and for regional and international partners. This is evidenced from various earlier reports on transparency and the implementation of many subsequent improvements in fiscal transparency practices. The objective of the assessment was to identify areas of fiscal risk vulnerabilities and reform priorities to ensure further improvements in transparent practices.
The literature on the drivers of capital flows stresses the prominent role of global financial factors. Recent empirical work, however, highlights how this role varies across countries and time, and this heterogeneity is not well understood. We revisit this question by focusing on financial intermediaries’ funding flows in different currencies. A concise portfolio model shows that the sign and magnitude of the response of foreign currency funding flows to global risk factors depend on the financial intermediary’s pre-existing currency exposure. An analysis of a rich dataset of European banks’ aggregate balance sheets lends support to the model predictions, especially in countries outside the euro area.
Balance sheets convey vital information about economic prospects and risks. Balance sheet analysis captures the role that financial frictions and mismatches play in creating fragility and amplifying shocks. This is key to understanding the macroeconomic outlook, identifying vulnerabilities, and tracing the transmission of potential shocks and policies. This paper reviews the use of balance sheet analysis in the Fund’s bilateral surveillance and introduces some practical examples of how it can be deepened. Recent evaluations of IMF surveillance––including the 2014 TSR––have emphasized the importance of strengthening balance sheet analysis and coverage of macro-financial issues. This paper is a first step that highlights useful examples of such analysis conducted by staff over the last decade, documents the data and tools that have been used, and mentions some limitations. In addition, it discusses recent improvements in the coverage and quality of balance sheet data through initiatives launched in the wake of the global crisis, as well as key remaining gaps, addressing which requires international collaboration.
Between 2000 and 2007 nonfinancial private sector credit expanded rapidly in the Baltic countries, resulting in a non-negligible build-up of debt. Could this legacy debt hold back the economic recovery of the region? This paper analyzes the setting in each of the three countries and, with the help of an experimental Debt Overhang Index (DOI), draws tentative conclusions for domestic demand.
This paper assesses Estonia’s flexibility from two angles. The paper focuses on one aspect of that performance—the ability to sustain competitiveness. Then, a more forward-looking angle is the flexibility of Estonia’s labor and product markets. Estonia has made great progress in achieving real convergence in the last decade. Current account deficits are integral to convergence. A key question raised by this analysis is whether the large external imbalances and the counterpart buildup in external obligations will be smoothly reversed.