IMF Mission: Serbia’s economic results strong

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, led by Donal McGettigan, held in-person meetings with the Serbian authorities during March 14-26, 2024 to discuss performance under Serbia’s Stand-By Arrangement.

“I am pleased to announce that the IMF team and the Serbian authorities have reached a staff-level agreement on the conclusion of the third review under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). The programme remains on track with all end-December 2023 quantitative targets met, and all end-March 2024 indicative targets expected to be met based on available data. The structural reform agenda is advancing. The staff-level agreement is subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board, which is scheduled to consider this review in the second half of June 2024. About EUR 400 million would become available after the Board meeting. Considering the strong accumulation of reserves and fiscal buffers and the reduction in macroeconomic imbalances, the authorities expressed their intention to continue treating the SBA as precautionary”, McGettigan said following the meeting.

As for the Serbian economy, McGettigan noted:” The Serbian economy has been performing well under the Fund-supported program, despite the challenging global and regional environment. Macroeconomic outcomes in 2023 exceeded expectations and are expected to remain strong in 2024. Growth is projected to increase to 3.5 percent in 2024 and to 4.5 percent in 2025, as domestic demand picks up. Lower regional energy prices and resilient exports supported a sharp narrowing of the current account deficit to 2.6 percent of GDP in 2023. For 2024, it is projected to widen moderately as investment and private consumption pick up. Thanks to continued strong FDI inflows, foreign exchange reserves now exceed EUR 25 billion, an all-time high. Inflation is declining and is expected to fall within the National Bank of Serbia’s target range by the summer of 2024. Financial stability has been maintained. With solid revenue performance and falling support to the energy state-owned enterprises, the fiscal deficit narrowed to 2.2 percent of GDP in 2023 and public debt fell to below 53 percent of GDP.”

In terms of risks for the Serbian economy, the IMF mission said:” Risks to Serbia’s economic outlook include geopolitical and energy sector developments, uncertainties over trading-partner growth, and further global financial market instability. The Serbian economy has considerable buffers against uncertainties which include strong foreign exchange reserves and public sector deposits, relatively low public debt, sustainable external debt dynamics, and a well-capitalized and liquid banking system. The SBA and close Fund relations, accompanied by continued prudent policies, provide important additional buffers”.

(Insajder.net, 26.03.2024)

https://insajder.net/prenosimo/zavrsena-misija-mmf-makroekonomski-rezultati-ostaju-jaki-svi-ciljevi-ispunjeni

This post is also available in: Italiano

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