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

  • 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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  • May 2014 Capital Flows to Emerging Market Economies
    May 29, 2014

    Private capital inflows to emerging markets are benefiting from a supportive global environment, including an improving macro outlook and strong risk appetite. The crisis in Ukraine is weighing heavily on flows to Russia, however, which is likely to result in a decline in aggregate capital flows to EMs in 2014. This projected decline also reflects reduced inflows to China, given the government’s efforts to discourage short-term capital inflows. Capital flows to EMs remain vulnerable to a possible escalation of the Ukraine crisis and surprises in the timing, pace and magnitude of eventual Fed policy tightening.

    Following the publication of the May 2014 Capital Flows Report, Charles Collyns hosted a teleconference on May 29, 2014. The recording of the briefing and the Q & A session is now available for replay.

    Download the teleconference

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  • Emerging Europe: Diverging Challenges
    May 28, 2014

    Economic performance, policies and the near-term outlook have become increasingly divergent across Emerging Europe despite the improving external environment. The five Central European EU members (EU5) look set for a sustainable recovery, but growth will be slow in Turkey, with Russia and Ukraine likely to slip into recessions. Low inflation and the lack of macroeconomic imbalances should leave scope for the authorities in the EU5 to pursue pro-growth policies. Financial pressures and political tensions will constrain policy options elsewhere, though weaker growth has intensified political pressure to ease policies in Russia and Turkey. The Russia/Ukraine standoff presents the biggest risk to the region, especially if tensions escalate further.

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