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Albania Country Report - August, 2014

  • September 2014
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 17 pages

This report covers the main macroeconomic releases from August 5 to September 6 as well as the financial and political events that took place in Albania during this period.

Last month ratings agency Moody's said it affirmed Albania's B1 government bond rating with a stable outlook welcoming the fiscal consolidation efforts adopted by the new government under the three-year loan-agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Moody's said the measures provide a significant initial response to the sharp deterioration in fiscal strength registered in 2013, especially with respect to revenue generation where Albania continues to perform below regional peers. Moody's has acknowledged as another positive factor the winning of EU Candidate Country status, which according to the ratings agency, represents an anchor for institutional reforms and is a potential driver of foreign direct investments (FDI).

An IMF mission visited Albania in August to review the country's progress under the stand-by agreement The head of the mission urged the authorities to continue with fiscal consolidation next year in order to bring down the public debt. The high level of public debt is considered one of the main risks to Albania's GDP growth outlook. The IMF sees Albania's economy growing by 2.0% this year. Meanwhile, public debt is expected to rise to 72.1% of GDP at end-2014 from 70.5% at the end of 2013.

The latest competitiveness ranking by the World Economic Forum showed Albania's economy losing ground with the country ranked 97th out of 144 countries around the world. The country slipped two places from the previous edition of the ranking. The report showed that corruption, access to financing and inefficient government bureaucracy continue to be the most problematic areas for doing business in Albania.

Key points:

oAlbania's consumer prices increased by 1.8% y/y in July, speeding up from 1.5% y/y June, mainly due to a faster growth in food prices.

oThe general budget deficit narrowed by 38% y/y to ALL 30.8bn in the first seven months of 2014 and equalled to 2.2% of the full-year GDP forecast.

oAlbania's general government debt, including state guarantees, increased by 2.3% on the quarter to ALL 917bn at end-June 2014. The debt accounted for 65.8% of the projected full-year GDP.

oThe country's foreign trade gap widened by 8.6% y/y to ALL 152.1bn in January-July 2014. The shortfall accounted for 10.9% of the projected full-year GDP, up from 10.4% a year earlier.

Table Of Contents

Albania Country Report - August, 2014


Moody's affirms Albania's B1 government bond rating, outlook stable5

IMF urges Albania to continue with fiscal consolidation in 2015 to cut debt5

Albania slips two places in WEF competitiveness ranking5

Central bank keeps benchmark rate at record low 2.5%.6

Yields on Albania's 2-year govt bonds ease on primary auction6



CPI inflation speeds up to 1.8% y/y in July 2014.8

Construction cost index rises 0.2% y/y in Q2 20149


General budget deficit shrinks 38% y/y to EUR 220mn in Jan-July10

Public debt rises 2.3% q/q in Q2 201412


Growth in bank assets speeds up to 5% y/y at end-July.12

Bank lending rises 0.5% y/y in July12

Insurers' gross premiums up 37% to EUR 46mn in Jan-July14


Balance of payments15

Foreign trade deficit widens 8.6% y/y to EUR 1.1bn in Jan-July15



Albania to launch energy market liberalisation in 201516

US TransAtlantic Petroleum buys Albania-focused Stream Oil17

Albania seeks private sector partnership for key road project17

Table 1 CPI Inflation9

Table 2 Construction cost index10

Table 3 General budget balance10

Table 4 Insurance premiums14

Table 5 Foreign trade16

Figure 1 Yields on 2-year bonds6

Figure 2 CPI inflation9

Figure 3 Bank assets12

Figure 4 Bank loans13

Figure 5 Foreign trade16

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