The International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Statistics Department (STA) conducted a technical assistance (TA) mission to the Central Bank of Montenegro (CBM) for the compilation of external sector statistics (ESS) during April 28–May 13, 2021. The mission was funded by Eurostat to meet the European Union (EU)’s acquis1 from the ESS perspective. The mission focused on the compilation of quarterly international investment position (IIP),2 and assisted the CBM in preparing the Reserves Data Template (RDT) as well as in recording of financial intermediary services indirectly measured (FISIM) in balance of payments statistics.
The IMF’s Statistics Department (STA) conducted a technical assistance mission to support the Central Bank of Montenegro (CBM) for the compilation of external sector statistics in Montenegro during January 20–31, 2020. The mission recommended that the CBM compile preliminary quarterly International Investment Position data and submit them to STA for review by the end of December 2020. The mission recommended that the CBM start recording the Economic Citizenship Program (ECP) according to the characteristics of the payments from the applicants by the end of March 2020. The ECP was just introduced in 2019 and details of the program were not made available during the mission. The mission advised that the payments from applicants for the ECP should be recorded in services, current or capital transfers, or direct or portfolio investment, according to the characteristics of the payments. The CBM plans to start recording data based on the information obtained from the international transaction reporting system (ITRS). The mission advised that the CBM approach the agency in charge of the ECP to collect precise information on the characteristics of the payments and cross-check the data from the ITRS.
To support the compilation of external sector statistics (ESS) in Montenegro, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Statistics Department (STA) conducted a technical assistance (TA) mission during December 4–15, 2017. The mission was requested by the Central Bank of Montenegro (CBM), the main ESS compiling agency, and supported by the IMF’s European Department. STA’s mission for the Enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS) during June 28-July 4, 2017 also suggested TA for Montenegro to start compiling international investment position (IIP) and external debt statistics (EDS). The mission focused on assisting the CBM in preparing IIP, EDS, Reserves Data Template (RDT), and addressing persistent net errors and omissions. Compilation of IIP and EDS is required to be qualified for Threshold 2 of the e-GDDS. Montenegro does not participate in the Eurosystem, but it is fully eurorized. Euro circulating in Montenegro should be included in the assets of the IIP for Montenegro, but difficulty in estimating the amount had been preventing the CBM from compiling IIP for several years.
KEY ISSUES Context: Moderate growth is continuing; however credit and wage growth are weak. The level of nonperforming loans (NPLs) remains high and public debt has risen sharply in recent years. Fiscal policy: Medium-term funding needs to roll over existing debt and to fund budget deficits are large. A new highway, budgeted to cost about one quarter of GDP, will cause deficits to widen and add to public debt. The draft 2015 budget shows appropriate restraint on other spending, but a long period of strong fiscal discipline will be needed to manage fiscal risks. Laying out clear long-term plans for managing the public finances would boost credibility and reduce risks to market access. Fundamental expenditure reform, especially of the pension system and the public sector wage bill, would be an essential part of such plans. Financial sector: The banking system’s liquidity appears comfortable; however, profitability is low and lending spreads are high. Regulatory provisioning is set higher than that reported under international accounting standards, but a wide range of provisioning levels across banks and weak incentives to take losses remain concerns. A more transparent and comprehensive reporting environment would be beneficial. Reforms to ensure better enforcement of contracts and collateral would help bring down structural lending risk premia. Structural reform: Higher levels of labor participation and employment are needed to boost potential growth and safeguard the public finances. Ensuring that wages adjust in line with productivity alongside reforms to achieve better employment outcomes and boost productivity would enhance the economy’s ability to respond to macroeconomic shocks, and are even more important in a country that lacks its own currency and with decreasing fiscal buffers.
This Selected Issues paper on the Republic of Kosovo’s 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights growth and Kosovo’s external environment. In the wake of the global financial crisis, Kosovo’s economic growth slowed but remained positive, while most other Western Balkans slipped into recession. Moreover, the annual average growth rate has been among the highest in the Western Balkans since the onset of the financial crisis in 2007. Kosovo’s tax-to-GDP ratio is comparable to the average of Southeastern Europe, although its tax system relies significantly more on indirect taxation—including a high share of trade taxes. Kosovo’s reliance on trade taxes may create budgetary pressures in the event of further trade liberalization.
Francesco Spadafora, Mr. Emidio Cocozza, and Mr. Andrea Colabella
This paper analyzes the impact of the global crisis on six South-Eastern European countries. The main objective is to compare macro-financial conditions and policies in the run-up to the crisis as well as to compare the policy responses to it, so as to highlight, inter alia, possible country-specific constraints. While sharing a common pre-crisis pattern of strong capital inflows and robust growth, a key difference in the conduct of macroeconomicpolicies is that some countries adopted expansionary (and procyclical) fiscal policies. These moves exacerbated external vulnerabilities and compromised the ability to discretionarily use the fiscal instrument in acountercyclical fashion.
This 2008 Article IV Consultation highlights that Montenegro has made significant progress in overhauling its economy. The authorities have taken several welcomed steps to help strengthen financial sector stability. Executive Directors have welcomed the structural reforms implemented over the past few years and financial integration that have helped Montenegro attract substantial foreign direct investment and generate rapid growth with moderate inflation. Directors have also supported the authorities’ actions to bolster financial system stability and reduce vulnerabilities by intensifying supervisory oversight, tightening prudential regulations, and lifting bank capitalization requirements.
Euroization has served Montenegro well by anchoring inflation expectations, and shifted the burden of adjustment to fiscal and structural policies. The paper looks at trends and how developments in the tourism industry have contributed to the shaping of the economy. The lack of monetary and exchange rate policies in Montenegro puts a premium on a well-designed and appropriate fiscal policy. This paper has presented a dynamic analysis of the structure of the banking sector of Central and Eastern European countries.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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