This paper discusses Romania’s Ex-Post Evaluation of Exceptional Access under the 2013 Stand-by Arrangement. Romania experienced strong economic growth in 2016, resulting in a closed output gap. Private consumption was boosted by an expansionary and procyclical fiscal policy and wage increases. The cyclically adjusted budget deficit grew by 1.5 percent of GDP in 2016, reflecting large tax rate cuts and wage increases. Growth is expected to reach 4.2 percent in 2017—supported by continued stimulus to private consumption from a new round of fiscal relaxation and wage increases—and to moderate to 3.5 percent in the medium term.
This first and second reviews under the Stand-By-Arrangement analyzes Ex Post Evaluation of exceptional access for Romania. Efforts are needed to strengthen monetary policy transmission. The banking system remains well capitalized, but the authorities need to accelerate the resolution of nonperforming loans and closely monitor risks from parent bank deleveraging. The Romanian authorities continue their efforts to reach the goals of a broad structural agenda, with a focus on structural reforms in the energy, transport and healthcare sectors, and continue the reform of the state-owned enterprises.
This 2004 Article IV Consultation on Romania highlights commendable progress under its home-grown IMF-supported program. Economic activity is picking up after a four-year slump, inflation remains low, the financial sector is stable, and the fiscal and external positions are improving. The 2014 budget aims to protect the gains under the program, continue the downward debt-to-GDP trajectory, and advance the reform agenda. Debt has fallen considerably owing to completion of a large part of the debt-land swap, but remains high. The authorities have taken welcome steps to strengthen the nonbank financial institutions supervisory framework.
This paper discusses Romania’s Seventh and Eighth Reviews Under the Stand-by Arrangement and Request for Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria. Continued strong fiscal consolidation would enable Romania to exit the EU Excessive Deficit Procedure by mid-2013; prudent monetary policy kept core inflation low, and close supervision buttressed banking sector stability. Fiscal and international reserves buffers and a well-capitalized banking sector provide a cushion against shocks. Market sentiment toward Romania improved as political uncertainty subsided in the aftermath of the December 2012 parliamentary elections, which the ruling coalition won. Structural reforms, however, advanced slowly, and the recovery has lagged behind that in most other European emerging economies.
Significant progress has been made in macroeconomic stabilization under two successive SBAs but the economic recovery remains fragile. Growth is expected to remain subdued in the near term and to only gradually recover over the medium term, with risks to the outlook mostly on the downside. With strong trade and financial sector linkages, Romania is exposed to the euro area crisis. Fiscal and external reserves provide a buffer and the banking sector remains well-capitalized. At the same time, the political situation has become more unsettling with three governments in 2012, uneasy cohabitation between the President and the governing coalition that has sought to remove him, and parliamentary elections to be held in the fall. The political uncertainty has contributed to accelerated exchange rate depreciation and higher financing costs, and has dented confidence.
Growth in Romania is likely to moderate in 2012, weighed down by the euro area slowdown. The Fifth Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement highlights that Romania’s overall track record under the program continues to be strong. All performance criteria for the fifth program review were met, except for accumulation of central government arrears, which was missed by a small margin. The indicative target on local government arrears accumulation was also missed. Progress was made on the large and difficult structural agenda, although more action is needed.
This 2011 Article IV Consultation highlights that Macedonia is poised to achieve low but positive growth under the baseline scenario of a shallow recession in the euro area. Under a downside scenario, growth would be weaker, and external financing pressures could arise. In the near term, the government would need to reduce expenditure growth to meet the 2012 deficit target. A key longer-term challenge would be to reconcile the competing objectives of higher public investment and increases in pensions and public wages while preserving low public debt and low taxes.
This paper discusses Romania’s fourth review under the Stand-By Arrangement and request for modification of performance criteria. The authorities are treating the arrangement as precautionary. Additional funds under the program are provided by the European Union. The economy grew by 2.5 percent in 2011, driven by an exceptional agricultural harvest and strong industrial output growth. Domestic demand strengthened as construction and retail sales started to recover, fuelled by higher real disposable incomes.