Economy expert, Goran Nikolic says that, in terms of economic indicators, Serbia occupies fifth place from the bottom out of 50 European states. Commenting on the Prime Minister’s statement that Serbian citizens are going to live much better lives in eight months’ time, Nikolic says that nothing significant will happen in that period economy wise.
The only countries in Europe that have worse economic indicators than Serbia are Ukraine, Moldova, Albania and Macedonia. “When it comes to average salary, we are worse than everyone else”, says Nikolic and adds that, according to the latest available data, average salary in Bulgaria is 20 EUR higher than in Serbia (406 EUR), and in Turkey it is 543 EUR. The average salary in Serbia was the highest in 2008.
“The average salary in March this year is only 0.6% higher compared to March last year. At this pace, we are going to double the average salary in 97 years”, Nikolic explains.
To remind, Serbian PM and president elect, Aleksandar Vucic said yesterday that, by the year end, all citizens would live better because salaries and pensions will go up.
Nikolic disagrees and says that there won’t be any pronounced improvements this year. If civil servant salaries are increased, the consequences will be threefold, he warns. “You can increase GDP, which is great. You are going to have higher salaries which means higher spending, which again means higher production. The second effect is inflation; prices could rise. And the third effect is growing import because you don’t have enough products to satisfy the demand because salaries have gone up”, Nikolic goes on to say.
In regard to economic growth, Nikolic says that there is no more great innovation that would be the driving force behind the growth. Also, there is an ever older population which entails more budget funds for healthcare and pensions. The number of job seekers has fallen, Nikolic warns, and that is the result of the negative birth rate and the fact that between 10,000 and 11,000 people leave Serbia to live abroad each year. Nikolic also comments on investments, and says that it seems it is our destiny to have low paid jobs.
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