This 2003 Article IV Consultation highlights that real GDP of Ukraine grew by more than 4½ percent in 2002, marking the third year of Ukraine’s economic expansion following the 1998/99 financial crisis. As in 2001, growth was not only supported by robust consumer spending, reflecting large wage increases, but also by an increase in net external demand. Consumer price inflation fell to near zero in 2002, reflecting primarily the good harvests in 2001/02 and the resulting sharp drop in food prices. Low inflation was also supported by a tightening of fiscal policy and delays in increasing administered prices.
This paper focuses on Georgia’s Second Review Under the Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), a Request for Waiver of Performance Criteria, and a Request for Rephasing of Disbursements. The IMF staff considers that recent strong macroeconomic performance in a difficult external environment and efforts to reestablish the momentum of key structural reforms warrant completion of the second review. The IMF staff supports authorities’ request for waivers of performance criteria and their request for higher disbursements.
This paper focuses on the Republic of Armenia’s 2002 Article IV Consultation, First and Second Reviews Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and a Request for Waiver of Performance Criteria. The PRGF-supported program approved in 2001 focuses on revenue mobilization, the clearance of government arrears, and a decline in the deficit of the energy sector. Performance during the first year of the program was mixed. Tax collection was sluggish, and delays with structural reforms in the energy, water, and irrigation sectors led to the nonobservance of several quantitative performance criteria under the program.
This paper analyses the economic costs of current agricultural policies in Turkmenistan. It argues that the opportunity cost of continuing with these policies is very high for the budget, the average farmer, and the economy as a whole. The paper calls for the development of nontraditional agricultural crops, which are more profitable than wheat and cotton in the international commodity markets, and a comprehensive and sustained reform strategy for the agricultural sector.
Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Jeromin Zettelmeyer, Mr. Eduardo Borensztein, and Mr. Andrew Berg
What are the relative roles of macroeconomic variables, structural policies, and initial conditions in explaining the time path of output in transition and the large observed differences in output performance across transition economies? Using a sample of 26 countries, this paper follows a general-to-specific modeling approach that allows for differential effects of policies and initial conditions on the private and state sectors and for time-dependent effects of initial conditions. While showing some fragility to model specification, the results point to the preeminence of structural reforms over both initial conditions and macroeconomic variables in explaining cross-country differences in performance and the timing of the recovery.
This paper examines the level and structure of fiscal revenues from the Baltics, Russia, and other former Soviet Union countries’ (BRO) energy sector and suggests reforms in energy tax policy. Revenues from the oil and gas sectors are about half the level that might be expected from international comparisons. Low oil revenues result from infrastructure constraints on oil exports, weak tax administration, and inappropriate tax structures. Low gas revenues are due to low statutory tax rates, a tax structure that does not capture monopoly or resource rents, and weak tax administration. Taxation of oil products could be increased.
This paper reviews economic developments in Georgia during 1990–96. Following the implementation of tight financial policies and the liberalization of prices, trade, and the exchange system, growth resumed in 1995 and accelerated in 1996, against the background of a stable exchange rate and declining inflation. At the same time structural reform continued to advance, laying the ground for increased private sector activity and sustained growth in the medium term. Following the introduction of the lari in October 1995, a gradual remonetization of the economy took place, and gross international reserves were replenished.
Ukraine has made impressive progress in restructuring and stabilizing its economy over the past two years, and yet much remains to be done to revive output and establish a market economy. The 16 papers included in this volume, edited by Peter K. Cornelius and Patrick Lenain, were presented at a seminar sponsored by the IMF and the World Bank in July 1996, which brought together government officials, academics, and staffs of international organizations to discuss a comprehensive medium- term strategy for Ukraine. The papers cover the medium-term macroeconomic framework; wages, poverty, and social safety net reform; private sector development; trade policies and sectoral reforms; and institution building and good governance.
This paper reviews economic developments in Ukraine during 1991–95. In October 1994, Ukraine finally embarked upon a comprehensive program of economic reform and stabilization. Although the efforts made in late 1994 were far reaching, the short-term results were not encouraging: inflation remained stubbornly high, the exchange rate weak, activity declined, and the rate of accumulation of external arrears dangerously rapid. By the first half of 1995, the performance .of the economy was more encouraging. Inflation slowed to monthly rates of about 5 percent. Exports to western markets also expanded strongly.