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Albania Country Report - May, 2014

  • June 2014
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 25 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

This report covers the main macroeconomic releases from May 8 to June 5 as well as the financial and political events that took place in Albania during this period.

A few months after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to provide Albania with a EUR 331mn credit to support the authorities' reform programme, the government signed two loan agreements totalling USD 220mn with the World Bank. The financing is aimed at supporting reforms to improve the country's fiscal sustainability through strengthening public financial management as well as at modernising the country's financial sector.

In a new forecast published in May, the World Bank confirmed expectations for Albania's economic growth saying it sees the GDP rising by 2.1% in 2014, in line with the government's forecast as well as estimates of the IMF. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) also reiterated its forecast for a 1.7% growth in 2014. Both the EBRD and the World Bank said that growth will be supported by the government's plans to clear arrears to companies that had surged to more than 5% of GDP. Yet, it will exert pressure on the country's fiscal position.

Finance minister Shkelqim Cani said the government could borrow next year up to EUR 500mn via a second Eurobond issue or a syndicated loan.

Albania's general budget deficit narrowed by 73.1% y/y in January to April 2014 thanks to a 9.1% y/y increase in revenues coupled with a 5.9% y/y drop in expenditures. The end-April gap accounted for 0.5% of the projected full-year GDP, down from 1.8% in the same period a year earlier.

Consumer prices in the country grew by 1.7% y/y in April, slowing down from 2.2% in the previous month with the overall trend again determined by food prices that expanded by 1.8%.

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