Recently, the World Bank presented a new report on the state of the economies of Europe and Central Asia and prospects for 2019. Below we have presented the main points of this report.
Economic development and prospects
The Europe and Central Asia region faces a more complex economic context than previously thought, in part, due to slowing global growth and increasing uncertainty about future prospects. Growth in emerging and developing countries in the region slowed to 3.1% in 2018 and is projected to decline to 2.1% in 2019.
The possibility of a sharp decline in energy prices may pose a risk to energy exporters, such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia.
Increased political uncertainty can undermine the credibility of the region and affect the immediate economic prospects. Political disagreements between the European Union and some Central European countries may deter international investors and reduce fiscal transfers.
Slowing or disrupting current structural reforms pose a risk in several countries, especially in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine and Turkey.
Also, in the long term, the region faces a number of challenges, including aging populations, declining productivity, weakening investment, and climate change.
The state of the financial sector
Developing the financial sector can play an important role in promoting growth and reducing poverty, by encouraging investment in personal health care, education, and business. Increasing financial availability can also help distribute the savings of an aging population and increase access to finance.
Now there are large differences in financial availability in the Europe and Central Asia region. Unlike the Euro-zone, where most adults already have a bank account, in developing countries at the end of 2017, about 116 million adults did not have a bank account, most of whom lived in Russia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Romania.
In general, the number of bank account holders in the developing countries of the region has significantly increased from 45% in 2011 to 65% in 2017. Indeed, some countries are among the best world leaders in terms of account ownership, although with a very low base.
For more detailed acquaintance with the World Bank report you can follow the link.