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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
The economy showed resilience through the pandemic, but the war in Ukraine has clouded the outlook, heightened uncertainty, and increased downside risks. With policy support, growth rebounded in 2021 despite the lingering COVID-19 crisis and protracted political uncertainty that hampered investment. Inflation accelerated significantly, pushed by global factors and strong domestic consumption. GDP growth is projected to slow below 3 percent and average inflation to exceed 12 percent in 2022. In this context, policies must navigate difficult trade-offs as they need to support activity, meet needs from the war, and contain inflation, while raising living standards, reducing inequalities, and supporting the green transition.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Recovery was strong in 2021, but there are headwinds from the war in Ukraine. 2021 output was 1 percent higher than in 2019, but 2 percent below pre-Covid trends; unemployment is back to pre-crisis levels. Inflation has picked up (2.5 percent in April), but below other advanced economies. Strong exports/merchanting led to a higher current account surplus. Although the energy mix (nuclear, hydro) has limited exposure to Russia, exposures of commodity traders and indirect channels could be important. Growth is likely to slow to 2¼ percent in 2022 (¾ ppt. drag from the war). Risks are to the downside (war escalation, Covid developments, real estate). Covid outlays are lower in 2022, but still large (1.2 percent of GDP). Outlays related to Ukraine are likely to be accommodated as extraordinary. The Swiss National Bank is closely monitoring inflation, seeing it returning to the 0–2 percent range this year. The authorities reactivated the sectoral CCyB for residential real estate. They are pursuing pension and labor reforms, climate initiatives, energy security, and renewed EU engagement.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Cyprus is highly exposed to the fallout from the war in Ukraine through trade with Russia. This new challenge comes against the background of the lingering effects of the pandemic and financial vulnerabilities dating from the 2012–13 crisis. Growth is projected to slow from 5½ percent in 2021 to around 2 percent this year. Recovery will regain momentum in 2023, and is projected to continue in the medium term, supported by investments and structural reforms in the Recovery and Resilience Plan.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Following a deep recession in 2020 and further contraction in 2021Q1, the euro area economy recovered rapidly in the second and third quarters thanks to high vaccination levels, increasing household and business adaptability to the virus, and continued forceful policy support. Looking ahead, while supply chain disruptions, elevated energy prices, and resurgences of Covid-19 cases—including those related to the Omicron variant—are likely to pose near-term headwinds to growth, the recovery is set to continue in 2022 as the impact of the pandemic on economic activity continues to weaken over time and supply-side constraints ease. Medium-term output losses relative to pre-crisis trends will vary significantly across countries and sectors as will the extent of labor market scarring. Price pressures are building up as production bottlenecks are set to persist for a while. However, inflation—despite increasing significantly in recent months due to transitory factors—is projected to moderate during 2022 and remain below the ECB’s inflation target over the medium term. Uncertainty surrounding the outlook remains high and largely related to pandemic dynamics and legacies, including induced behavioral and preference changes.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

Europe Regional Economic Outlook, The European Recovery: Policy Recalibration and Sectoral Reallocation, October 2021

International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
Fund surveillance needs to evolve to face the economic and financial challenges that will shape the global landscape for years to come. This paper first takes stock of the current economic and financial landscape. To better serve the membership in this context, Fund surveillance should be prioritized around four key priorities: (i) confronting risks and uncertainties: policymakers will need to actively manage the risks of a highly uncertain outlook; (ii) preempting and mitigating adverse spillovers: shifting patterns of global economic integration will bring about new channels for contagion and policy spillovers; (iii) fostering economic sustainability: a broader understanding of sustainability to better account for the impact of economic and non-economic developments on stability; and (iv) unified policy advice: better accounting for the trade-offs and synergies among different policy combinations in the face of limited policy space and overlapping priorities, tailored to country-specific circumstances. These priorities should further enhance the traction of Fund surveillance.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
This paper presents traction as a multidimensional concept and discusses a comprehensive and complementary set of approaches to attempt to measure it based on the Fund’s value added to policy dialogue and formulation and public debate in member countries.
Ljubica Dordevic, Caio Ferreira, Moses Kitonga, and Katharine Seal
The paper employs two complementary strategies. First, it is pursues textual analysis (text mining) of the assessment reports to identify successes and challenges the authorities are facing. Second, it analyzes the grades in the Basel Core Principles assessments, including their evolution and association with bank fragility.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused dramatic loss of human life and major damage to the European economy, but thanks to an exceptionally strong policy response, potentially devastating outcomes have been avoided.