Serbia GDP Q4 2016


Serbia: GDP growth moderates in final quarter of 2016 but stays solid

February 28, 2017

Revised data published by the statistics office (SORS) on 28 February showed that GDP expanded 2.5% year-on-year in Q4, confirming the preliminary estimate published on 31 January. The result represented only a mild deceleration compared to the 2.8% expansion in Q3 and led the economy to expand 2.5% in 2016 as a whole, the strongest expansion since 2013. Sequential data confirmed the softening suggested by the annual data as GDP increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.2% in Q4, which came in below the 0.5% rise in Q3.

A more comprehensive data set showed that private consumption picked up momentum in Q4 and accelerated to a 1.0% expansion (Q3: +0.5% year-on-year). Furthermore, government spending increased a notable 2.3% in Q4, which was up from the 0.8% rise in Q3. That said, gross fixed capital formation lost impetus in the final quarter, increasing 2.6%. This was a deceleration from the substantial 6.2% expansion in Q3 and the slowest pace since Q1 2015.

On the external front, exports of goods and services continued showing double-digit growth in the fourth quarter (Q4: +13.8% yoy; Q3: +10.7 yoy), while imports, although still in good shape, increased just 5.9% in Q4 (Q3: +5.7% yoy). As a result, the contribution from net exports to overall economic growth increased from 1.7 percentage points in Q3 to 2.8 percentage points in Q4.

The National Bank of Serbia expects the economy to expand 3.0% in 2017. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the economy to record 2.8% growth in 2017, which is unchanged over the previous month’s projection. For 2018, the panel sees GDP increasing 3.1%.

Author:, Senior Economist

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Serbia GDP Chart

Serbia GDP Q4 2016

Note: Year-on-year changes of GDP in %.
Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia (SORS) and FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast.

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