Europe > Montenegro

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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
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.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper focuses on Montenegro’s export sector performance and challenges. Montenegro has run a persistent trade deficit since its independence. Montenegro’s goods exports have decreased, while goods imports have been more or less stable. A comparison reveals a relatively weak recovery of goods exports for Montenegro. Montenegro’s goods exports to the euro area have declined over time despite euroization. Foreign demand explains services exports well, but less so goods exports. Business climate surveys indicate high nonprice barriers in Montenegro’s export sector. The share of high-value-added export goods has been diminishing over time. Services exports also signal narrow productivity gains. Weak productivity growth may hinder the export sector.
Zsoka Koczan
Emerging Europe has undergone a major economic transformation over the past 25 years. Most countries experienced initial drops in output during transition, followed by recovery in the second half of the 1990s. The path of transition in the Western Balkans has however been particularly uneven. The effects of transition also seem to have been more traumatic and persistent in the Western Balkans, and nostalgia for the past appears to be more prevalent here than in other former communist regions. Such dissatisfaction has important implications for the political economy of further reforms. This paper aims to inform policy by complementing the analysis of standard macro-level measures of inequality and poverty with a household-level analysis of subjective perceptions of poverty. We find that many more people appear to feel poor than are classified as such using purely income-based measures. Uncertainty, in particular related to expectations of future income and vulnerability to shocks, appears to be a key driver behind this discrepancy.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
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.
International Monetary Fund
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.
International Monetary Fund
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.
Mr. Jiro Honda
This paper examines the effects of IMF financial assistance on economic governance in developing countries, based on panel data analyses of perceived governance indicators. It uses a two-stage approach to address possible endogeneity issues. The results show that successful implementation of IMF programs is associated with improvements in the quality of economic governance. Specifically, the paper finds statistically robust results that IMF concessional programs through the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility tend to enhance the rule of law and strengthen control of corruption. Through this exercise, however, no statistically significant effect is observed for assistances under the General Resource Account.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews economic developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1990–95. It describes the monetary arrangements that have evolved in the Federation and Republika Srpska, and summarizes the financial developments. The paper provides an overview of balance-of-payments developments and the external financing requirements associated with the authorities’ priority reconstruction program. It describes the exchange rate and trade systems of the two Entities. An assessment of macroeconomic statistics in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a summary of IMF technical assistance activities are also provided.