World Bank: Economic growth forecast for Serbia

Serbia’s economic growth is projected to accelerate from 2.5 pct in 2016 to about 3.5 pct over the medium term, driven by an increase in investment and a recovery of consumption, the World Bank announced in a report Monday.

Serbia’s growth is projected to be at 2.8 pct in 2017 and 3.5 pct in 2018, said the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia Economic Update.

Private consumption is expected to grow by 0.5 pct in 2016, by 1.2 pct in 2017 and by 2.7 pct in 2018.

Government spending will grow by 2 pct after a 1.5 pct drop last year, decline by 1.1 pct in 2017 and grow again by 1.9 pct in 2018.

“The recovery of the Serbian economy continued in 2016. Growth of 2.9 pct in the first half of the year translated in the creation of new jobs – the employment rate rose to 45.9 pct, a record high level since 2008,” the report said.

“Welfare and job opportunities to soften the negative influence must remain an important part of the political agenda,” the forecast states, which also estimates that poverty, measured by the sum of USD5 a day relative to purchasing power parity, would go down slightly from 13.9 percent in 2016 to 13.5 percent in 2017 and to 12.8 percent in 2018.

WB says in the report that there is a risk of electricity and other fuels’ prices going up which can create added pressure especially on impoverished homes, despite the expansion of privileges to buyers threatened by energy costs.

(Tanjug, Beta, 22.11.2016)

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