IMF urges Montenegro to toughen budget consolidation in 2013.

By bne IntelliNews February 15, 2013
Montenegro should urgently implement additional budget consolidation measures in order to tame public debt growth and achieve its budget deficit target of 2.73% of GDP in 2013, an IMF mission said in a statement on Feb 14. The statement was issued following the end of the mission's visit to Podgorica in Feb 6-13 to discuss recent economic developments and policy challenges. The IMF said that Montenegro's economic outlook this year remains constrained by problems in the metal sector as well as by the continued deterioration of external environment. It, however, expects a modest economic recovery in the tiny Adriatic state this year. In 2012, the country's economy stalled as a result of bad weather conditions and a slowdown of metals production. Furthermore, bank lending which have been declining in annual terms since May 2009, continued to contract in 2012. According to the IMF, improvement in judicial and administrative procedures could help tackle the issue of rising problematic loans, which hamper credit expansion. An IMF Article IV mission is expected to visit the country in April.

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