The European recovery is strengthening and broadening appreciably. Real GDP growth is projected at 2.4 percent in 2017, up from 1.7 percent in 2016, before easing to 2.1 percent in 2018. These are large upward revisions—0.5 and 0.2 percentage point for 2017 and 2018, respectively—relative to the April World Economic Outlook. The European recovery is spilling over to the rest of the world, contributing significantly to global growth. In a few advanced and many emerging economies, unemployment rates have returned to precrisis levels. Most emerging market European economies are now seeing robust wage growth. In many parts of Europe, however, wage growth is sluggish despite falling unemployment.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes government spending in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The size of the public sector in BiH is one of the largest in the region, owing mainly to a complex and highly decentralized governance structure. BiH spends a greater share of public resources on current spending items, notably on wages and social transfers. Moreover, poorly targeted social benefits generate adverse incentives with respect to informality and labor force participation. To enhance economic growth, BiH will need to refocus its spending and increase its efficiency, chiefly on spending on human and physical capital.
The global financial crisis unmasked Serbia’s unsustainable pre-crisis growth model. Looking back, the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) provided effective insurance against a financial meltdown, initiated the needed re-balancing of the economy, but could not prevent large job losses. Looking ahead, the transition to a more sustainable growth model remains incomplete and fragile. The export-led recovery is expected to continue picking up steam, but labor market conditions will remain difficult. The current account deficit is expected to remain relatively high, requiring significant capital inflows to maintain external balance.
Fiscal policy seeks to equilibrate the public sector's financing needs with the private sector's demand for investment and a sustainable balance of payments. Correct measurement of the public sector's net use of resources is therefore an important prerequisite for managing the macroeconomy. This volume, edited by Mario I. Blejer and Adrienne Cheasty, is organized around four issues: the adequacy of summary measures of the fiscal deficit, conventional and adjusted deficits, coverage (size) of the public sector, and the public sector's intertemporal budget constraint.
This paper discusses issues related to the sequencing of the reforms that are necessary to transform the economies in Eastern Europe into market economies. It is first argued that the transition path of these economies will be smoother and less costly if a clear statement of the ultimate goals of the reforms is made at the outset. Interdependence between different aspects of the reforms implies that an appropriate strategy is to move on a broad front from the very beginning of the transformation process dealing simultaneously with macroeconomic stabilization, price reforms and convertibility, and privatization of state enterprises. It is also argued that a rapid reform process is preferable to a gradual one.