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IMF Staff Conclude Mission for Pilot Report Clustering Assessment of Baltic Countries

Press Release No. 14/82 March 4, 2014

As part of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) ongoing effort to group the assessment of countries with common economic issues and policies, IMF staff met today in Riga with officials from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, joined by observers from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. The meeting follows or coincides with team visits to Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius.

The three Baltic countries have close trade and financial links with the Nordic countries and each other. They have adopted a similar economic model, and face common economic challenges. Discussions with government and central bank officials focused on some of the common challenges, such as resuscitating credit growth to support a sustained economic recovery, securing vibrant export growth for the future, and addressing high unemployment.

The results of the discussions and analysis will be presented in a Baltic Cluster Report to the IMF Executive Board, tentatively scheduled for discussion in early May, in conjunction with the annual assessments (so-called Article IV reports) for the three Baltic countries. The report is expected to be published after the Board discussion.

The Baltic Cluster Report is part of an IMF pilot project on clustering Article IV consultations, which looks at logical groups of economies and considers policies in an integrated way. These consultations also aim to fill the gap between bilateral surveillance (on the ground appraisals of individual countries) and multilateral surveillance (oversight of the global economy).