Macedonia's outgoing government has adopted a draft 2016 budget, which lowers the deficit target to 3.2% of GDP from 3.6% planned for this year, finance minister Zoran Stavreski said on September 24. The budget is based on a projected GDP growth of 4% and inflation of 2%.
Total budget revenues are planned to increase by a nominal 6% y/y to MKD176.8bn (€2.9bn). Total expenditures are set to rise 4.7% y/y to MKD195.8bn, so the deficit will narrow by 5.7% y/y to MKD19bn. Stavreski noted that under the fiscal strategy the deficit will decrease to below 3% of GDP as of 2017.
On the revenues side, tax revenues and contributions are seen at MKD101.5bn (up 6.5%) and MKD49.2bn (up 4.2%), respectively. On the expenditure side, capital expenditures are planned to go up 12.9% to MKD25.1bn. The draft budget also provides for increases in pensions, social benefits and salaries.
Macedonia will hold early elections on April 24, 2016. The polls will be organised by a new government, headed by a new PM, that will be sworn in on January 15.
Prior to that, on October 20, the main opposition party SDSM will nominate new ministers of interior and labour and social affairs, whereas VMRO-DPMNE will nominate deputy ministers with veto rights on election-relates matters in these two ministries. SDSM will also nominate deputy ministers with veto rights in the ministries of finance, agriculture and information society and administration. These new ministers and deputy ministers will keep their positions in the government that will take office on January 15.
The assets of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), the largest lender in the country, contracted by 28.9% y/y to AZN8.7bn ($5.1bn) in 2017, the state-controlled bank reported on January 10. ... ... more
Macedonia issued on January 11 a seven-year €500mn Eurobond with an annual interest rate of 2.75%, the finance ministry said. This is the sixth Eurobond issue placed so far by Macedonia’s ... more
Iran’s economy is starting to recover more rapidly from years of international sanctions but the country urgently needs to shore up its banks, a senior International Monetary Fund official told ... more