Risk Potential for Financial Crises for the Central and East European Transition Countries still high
Since the mid-nineties there have been several financial crises in Central and Eastern Europe. Among the countries affected are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Romania - all countries with which the European Union is in the midst of accession negotiations. The prevention of financial crises is also important due to the output losses which occurr in the affected countries. Additionally, contagion effects can influence the economic situation in third countries such as those of the EU. For this reason, the IWH analyses on a regular basis the risk potential of the EU-accession countries as well as for Turkey and Russia. Since the beginning of 1999 at least two different phases in the development of the risk potential can be distinguished for the majority of the Central and Eastern European countries. The first phase is marked by an increase in the risk potential across all countries in the region because of the contagion and spill-over effects following the Russian financial crisis in August 1998. The risk potential was considerably reduced with the phasing out of these effects and a worldwide economic recovery. However, since mid-2000 a second phase has set in. The weaker international environment has again led to a sizable increase in the crisis vulnerability of several countries, where a host of signals indicate an urgent need for economic policy actions.