In this paper, we estimate the aggregate and sectoral fiscal multipliers of EU Structural Investment (ESI) Funds and of public investment at the EU level. We complement these results with a specific application to the case of Slovenia. We first analyze aggregate data and find large and significant multipliers and strong crowding-in of private investment. Our main findings show that positive shocks to ESI Funds are followed by an increase in output that ranges from 1.2 percent on impact, to 1.8 percent after 1 year, and by an increase in private investment between 0.7 and 0.8 percent of GDP. We address country heterogeneity by dividing countries according to key characteristics that have been known to affect multipliers. In particular, we find higher multipliers in a group of CEE countries that are important recipients of European funds and are characterized by fixed exchange rate regimes and sound public investment governance (e.g. Croatia and Slovenia). We also complement the aggregate analysis by estimating the effect of different types of public investment and the effect of public investment on different sectors of the economy.
This Article IV Consultation highlights that the continued structural reforms are key to ensure long-term prosperity, while strengthening the economy’s resilience to shocks. Effective implementation of the recently enacted reforms of vocational training, apprenticeship, and adult education would help address skill shortages, support employment of younger and older people, and boost productivity growth. Macro-financial legacy issues remain in bank and corporate balance sheets, including small and medium enterprises’ nonperforming loans. Structural challenges persist with low productivity growth, skills shortages, high tax wedge, heavy regulatory system, and extensive presence of state-owned enterprises. Policies should focus on fiscal and structural reforms to rebuild fiscal buffers and increase productivity. Slovenia’s external position in 2018 is assessed as substantially stronger than suggested by fundamentals and desirable policies; however the current account is expected to revert toward its norm in the medium term. Continued structural reforms are key to ensure long-term prosperity, while strengthening the economy’s resilience to shocks. Effective implementation of the recently enacted reforms of vocational training, apprenticeship, and adult education would help address skill shortages, support employment of younger and older people, and boost productivity growth.
When the euro was introduced in 1998, one objective was to create an alternative global reserve currency that would grant benefits to euro area countries similar to the U.S. dollar’s “exorbitant privliege”: i.e., a boost to the perceived quality of euro denominated assets that would increase demand for such assets and reduce euro area members’ funding costs. This paper uses risk perceptions as revelaed in investor surveys to extract a measure of privilege asscociated with euro membership, and traces its evolution over time. It finds that in the 2000s, euro area assets benefited indeed from a significant perceptions premium. While this premium disappeared in the wake of the euro crisis, it has recently returned, although at a reduced size. The paper also produces time-varying estimates of the weights that investors place on macro-economic fundmentals in their assessments of country risk. It finds that the weights of public debt, the current account and real growth increased considerably during the euro crisis, and that these shifts have remained in place even after the immediate financial stress subsided.
This Selected Issues paper takes the case of Slovenia to analyze credit growth and economic recovery in Europe. The findings reveal that following the global financial crisis recovery in Slovenia significantly lags typical postrecession recoveries for both typical and financial-crisis-driven recessions. Credit dynamics have also been much more subdued. Controlling for Slovenia’s double-dip recession and the slowdown in global growth after the global financial crisis reveals that Slovenia’s recovery is not atypical. The cross-country study also finds that bank-specific factors are the key determinants of bank lending. Bank credit to the private sector also has a positive but modest impact on economic activity, mainly through the investment channel.
This Selected Issues paper examines social spending reform and fiscal savings in Slovenia. Rising expenditure has been at the root of Slovenia’s fiscal deterioration since the onset of the crisis. The paper explores reform options to reduce Slovenia’s social spending over the medium and long term. It discusses key features of the pension system, and analyzes the evolution of pension spending in the absence of reforms. The paper also examines the health and education spending and provides a framework to assess their efficiency relative to other countries.
The Macedonian labor market exhibits a high unemployment rate, yet does not demonstrate obvious and large enough constraints on the demand or supply side. Considerable achievements can be made by maintaining macroeconomic stability, attracting FDI, and closing the educational gaps. The second paper assesses ways in which the Macedonian financial sector could better contribute to growth and real convergence, taking stock of where the sector stands and its recent developments. Streamlining bankruptcy procedures, improving collateral and systematic collection and publication of real estate sales data, and revisiting the interest rate cap may serve to moderately boost credit supply.
The global crisis exacerbated the Slovenian economy’s previous imbalances in the fiscal, financial, and real sectors. The authorities agreed that fiscal consolidation including pension, health care, and financial management is essential for sustainable recovery. The Bank of Slovenia emphasizes that banks’ governance and capitalization should be enhanced, regardless of ownership. The authorities suggested that structural reforms in labor and product markets are critical to boost potential growth. The authorities agreed that maintaining competitiveness is crucial for Slovenia as it has a small and export-dependent economy.
This paper explores inflation determinants within the EU and implications for new members' euro adoption plans. Factor analysis partitions observed inflation in EU25 countries into common-origin and country-specific (idiosyncratic) components. Cross-country differences in common-origin inflation within the EU are found to depend on gaps in the initial price level, changes in the nominal effective exchange rate, the quality of institutions, and the economy's flexibility. Idiosyncratic inflation is generally small in magnitude. Nonetheless, the results show that country-specific shocks have systematically pushed down headline inflation, potentially influencing the assessment of compliance with the Maastricht inflation criterion.
This paper assesses the relative efficiency and flexibility of public spending in Slovenia compared to the advanced and new EU member states. Spending on health care, education, and social protection is relatively high in Slovenia without achieving correspondingly better outcomes. Inefficiencies appear to stem from the financing mechanisms for social services, institutional arrangements, and the weak targeting of social benefits. In addition, the composition of spending appears to be strongly tilted towards nondiscretionary items that reduce the fiscal room for maneuver. Greater flexibility is needed to facilitate the reallocation of relatively inefficient expenditure into higher priorities. In this manner, medium-term expenditure rationalization can focus on reducing inefficient outlays rather than restraining traditionally flexible components of the budget, such as public investment.
This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic performance of Slovenia strengthened in 2006, supported by a recovery in investment and continued growth spillovers from the European Union. Declining real interest rates in the run-up to euro adoption on January 1, 2007 helped sustain credit growth and domestic demand. The strong economy boosted job creation, while unemployment declined and capacity utilization reached record high levels. Growth is projected to slow down slightly in 2007–08, as the investment boom decelerates.