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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

In 2008, the IEO undertook an evaluation on the IMF governance and concluded that effectiveness had been the strongest aspect of IMF governance, while accountability and voice had been the weakest. Since then, IMF governance has been strengthened aided by quota and voice reforms to address misalignments in shares and chairs as well as numerous improvements in governance procedures and practices. The update finds that IMF governance has proven its effectiveness in supporting the Fund to fulfill its mandates, but concerns remain on voice and accountability. Challenges remain related to representation and voice, interaction between governance bodies, the selection process for management, and the role of the G20 in IMF governance. Addressing these challenges will take time and may be subject to difficult tradeoffs between governance objectives such as preserving effectiveness while ensuring appropriate representation.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

Economic growth is broadening in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. Further ahead, however, growth prospects are tested by a dwindling workforce and weak productivity. Reaching Western European income levels would thus take longer, says the IMF in its Regional Economic Issues update on the region.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This evaluation assesses the IMF’s response to the global financial and economic crisis, focusing on the period September 2008 through 2013. It assesses the IMF’s actions to help contain the crisis and navigate a global recovery, assist individual economies to cope with the impact of the crisis, and identify and warn about future risks.

Mr. James Roaf, Mr. Ruben V Atoyan, Mr. Bikas Joshi, and Mr. Krzysztof Krogulski

Abstract

The past 25 years have seen a dramatic transformation in Europe’s former communist countries, resulting in their reintegration with the global economy, and, in most cases, major improvements in living standards. But the task of building full market economies has been difficult and protracted. Liberalization of trade and prices came quickly, but institutional reforms—such as governance reform, competition policy, privatization and enterprise restructuring—often faced opposition from vested interests. The results of the first years of transition were uneven. All countries suffered high inflation and major recessions as prices were freed and old economic linkages broke down. But the scale of output losses and the time taken for growth to return and inflation to be brought under control varied widely. Initial conditions and external factors played a role, but policies were critical too. Countries that undertook more front-loaded and bold reforms were rewarded with faster recovery and income convergence. Others were more vulnerable to the crises that swept the region in the wake of the 1997 Asia crisis.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

Europe's contraction is ending, but the recovery is fragile. Policymakers should look beyond the crisis to secure a durable upswing and address the threats to potential growth from the crisis and the continent's well-known structural rigidities. The report's analytical work stresses the uncertainty surrounding potential growth estimates, and the more volatile environment faced by emerging economies in a tightly integrated region. In the near term, this calls for measures to restore the financial sector to health and for continued macroeconomic support, while preparing for the exit from extraordinary interventions in a coordinated and transparent fashion. Higher longer-term growth through structural change will support the recovery, smooth the exit, and help emerging markets to adjust to lower capital inflows in the crisis' aftermath. Published biannually in May and October.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

Europe is facing slower growth as a result of protracted financial turbulence and spillovers from the U.S. Meanwhile, inflation has risen sharply. Policymakers in advanced economies will have to continue to support financial markets and balance risks to real activity with the need to anchor inflation. Emerging Europe is well placed to continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace, amid concerns about overheating and external imbalances in several countries. Sound macroeconomic policies and structural reforms will be necessary to ensure a soft landing in these countries and smooth convergence throughout the region.

Mr. Abdul d Abiad, Mr. Ashoka Mody, Ms. Susan M Schadler, and Mr. Daniel Leigh

Abstract

The central challenges facing the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia as they work to catch up to advanced European Union (EU) income levels are discussed in this new book. Focusing on the region’s growth performance, and outlining two growth scenarios that illustrate the range of investment and productivity growth rates under the income catchup objective, the authors draw upon extensive resources to identify strengths and weaknesses.

Mr. Philippe Egoume Bossogo, Mr. Jerald A Schiff, Ms. Miho Ihara, Mr. Tetsuya Konuki, and Ms. Kornelia Krajnyak

Abstract

More than a decade after the start of the transition process, unemployment rates remain in the double digits in a number of Central and Eastern European countries. That unemployment rates have failed to decline, even in countries experiencing good growth, is puzzling. In this paper the authors examine three interrelated questions: How has the transition from central planning to market economies affected labor market performance? How have labor market institutions and policies influenced developments? Why have regional differences in unemployment persisted? The authors take an eclectic methodological approach: construction of a new data set and a simple analytical model; econometric estimation; and case studies. They find that faster-performing countries have better unemployment records; that labor market policies have some, but not dominant, influence over labor market outcomes; that policies not typically viewed as labor market policies can nevertheless significantly affect labor markets; and that market processes cannot be relied on to eliminate regional differences in unemployment.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Upon entry into the European Union, countries become members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), with a derogation from adopting the euro as their currency (that is, each country joining the EU commits to replace its national currency with the euro, but can choose when to request permission to do so). For most of these countries, adopting the euro will entail major economic change. This paper examines likely economic developments and policy challenges for the five former transition countries in central Europe--the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and Slovenia--that joined the European Union in May 2004 and operate under independent monetary policies but have not yet achieved policy convergence with the rest of the euro area.

Mr. Mark R. Stone

Abstract

Examines the steps involved in restructuring the corporate sector. Large-scale corporate restructuring made necessary by a financial crisis is one of the most daunting challenges faced by economic policymakers. The government is forced to take a leading role, even if indirectly, because of the need to prioritize policy goals, address market failures, reform the legal and tax systems, and deal with the resistance of powerful interest groups.