Serbia: Economy cools in Q1 2019
According to a flash estimate released by the Statistical Institute on 30 April, the economy lost ground at the outset of 2019. GDP growth slowed to 2.3% in annual terms in Q1 2019, down from the 3.4% expansion registered in Q4 2018.
The slowdown can partly be attributed to fragility in the industrial sector, which saw output contract in the quarter. Moreover, despite appearing to have gained momentum in Q1, export growth was likely once again outpaced by robust import growth, weighing on the external sector. Nevertheless, household spending should have supported growth, as reflected by brisk retail sales throughout the quarter, and given the tighter labor market and rising wages. Moving forward, the economy is expected to remain bogged down by softer growth conditions in 2019 amid intensifying headwinds from a sluggish Eurozone.
A full breakdown of the reading by components will be released on 31 May.