Economic Research
Photo of Lubomir Mitov

Lubomir Mitov

Chief Economist
Europe
Coverage: Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria

Bio

From 1982 to 1992 he served at various positions at the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations of Bulgaria. From 1992 to 1996 he worked as senior economist at the World Bank Resident Mission in Sofia. Mr. Mitov joined the IIF in 1996 as senior economist and from 2000 to 2012 served as deputy director of the Institute’s European Department. In 2012 Mr. Mitov was appointed as Chief Economist for Europe. He has authored numerous studies and papers on economic issues in countries in transition.

Education

Master’s degree in 1982 and Ph.D. degree in 1989 from the Moscow State University of International Relations

Publications

  • Poland: Cold Winds From Moscow
    August 20, 2014

    Real GDP growth has slowed in Poland during the second quarter and inflation has dropped. The crisis in Ukraine has already hit growth by restricting exports and diminishing confidence in the economy. The recent imposition of the ban on food imports by Russia is likely to hit growth further. These developments represent a challenge to authorities as the government is readying for the parliamentary election next year.

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  • Turkey: Facing Economic and Political Challenges
    August 14, 2014

    Even though the near-term outlook for Turkey has improved, the underlying structural issues remain unaddressed and vulnerability to shifts in market sentiment very high. A low savings rate necessitates high current account deficits to sustain growth. Structural reforms are needed both to boost domestic savings and to provide scope for better-quality investment. Advancing such reforms would be difficult, however, with a high degree of polarization contributing to lingering uncertainty surrounding the political agenda.

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  • Ukraine: Fighting for Survival
    July 31, 2014

    The escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine deepened the economic crisis that follows years of economic mismanagement and widespread corruption. Output has contracted sharply, the currency lost half of its value, deposit withdrawals continued and tax collection imploded. These developments prompted the IMF to revise the standby arrangement approved in May. However, with the economy unlikely to stabilize until the war in the East is stopped, even the revised program will be difficult to implement and a large financing gap is likely to emerge for which there is presently no source of funding.

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  • Russia: Sanctions Begin to Bite
    July 25, 2014

    The sanctions imposed by the U.S. on July 16 represent a further escalation and for the first time target major Russian entities. Even though their immediate impact on the sanctioned entities should be manageable, the broader impact on the Russian economy is likely to be much stronger and longer lasting. The mere threat of sanctions has already caused foreign capital inflows to reverse, for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis. With sanctions likely to escalate and broaden further, capital outflows look set to accelerate, pushing Russia into recession and intensifying the already significant financial pressures in domestic banks and corporations.

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  • Bulgaria: Road To Nowhere
    July 17, 2014

    Economic performance has remained lackluster amid growing political tensions and sharply deteriorated policies. Near-term risks should be contained thanks to still-large buffers, and the October 5 election is likely to produce a more prudent government. However, the lack of reforms and the recent sharp fiscal deterioration raise concerns for the medium term. The economy will continue to languish and financial stability will eventually be undermined, unless reforms advance and the political culture plagued by pervasive cronyism, red tape and corruption is changed.

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  • Weekly Insight: Navigating Through Squalls
    July 17, 2014

    • Safe-haven shift overshadows favorable early Q2 earnings reports
    • Risks for crowded trades as markets evaluate Fed policy signals
    • Russia—U.S. sanctions intensify
    • Portugal— market worries contained despite bank strains
    • EM monetary policy— a tale of three central banks
    • China—”mini-stimulus” reviving growth
    • Euro Area growth—setback in May
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  • Bulgaria: A Self-Inflicted Banking Crisis
    July 03, 2014

    Deposit runs on the two largest domestically-owned banks have stirred concerns about the banking system and financial stability. However, these pressures appear to have been caused by a spat between politically-connected business interests rather genuine financial problems. A well-capitalized and liquid banking system should keep risks of a broader disruption limited, yet the bank runs highlight the threats pervasive cronyism presents to the economy and financial stability.

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