The meeting at the Croatian National Bank held on Friday, November 23, 2001 marked the beginning of visit of the International Monetary Fund Mission to Croatia. The IMF Mission, headed by Mr Hans Flickenschild, will be spending two weeks in Croatia during which it will acquire insight in recent domestic economic and financial developments in view of the performance under the on-going stand-by arrangement with the IMF and possibilities for further successful cooperation.
Members of the IMF Mission showed significant interest in the information suggesting that, according to all available estimates, key macroeconomic indicators for 2001 will be better than expected. In other words, the inflation rate will be lower than the forecasted 4.5 percent, the stability of the national currency continues to be successfully maintained and the level of international reserves is high. In addition, available data indicate that the current account deficit for the whole year will not exceed 4 to 5 percent of GDP. An indicator of economic revival is the estimate of the 4.2 percent growth of GDP, which is above the previous forecasts.
Members of the IMF Mission believe that these are very encouraging results, especially having in mind the currently not very favorable circumstances in world economy. Additionally, the IMF Mission members were interested in the process of legal framework reforms, since these are important for further conducting of monetary policy as well as for the banking system. They were informed that the national payment system law is expected to enter the second stage of the parliamentary procedure, that the new banking law should be put in the parliamentary procedure soon, and that the draft foreign exchange law is to be presented to the public next month, so that parliamentary discussion and adoption of the law could take place in the first quarter of the next year.