Serbia: Growth slows at the end of 2018
January 31, 2019
According to a flash estimate released by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia on 31 January, economic growth softened in the final quarter of the year, rounding out an overall weaker H2 compared to the robust growth seen in H1. GDP grew 3.5% in annual terms in Q4, down from the 3.8% expansion logged in Q3.
Weakness in the quarter likely stemmed in good part from the external sector as imports continued to grow robustly and outpace exports in light of solid domestic demand. Moreover, exports appeared to have been dragged on by the 100% import tariffs slapped on Serbian goods by neighboring Kosovo. Nevertheless, the domestic economy should have remained the main driver of growth. Consumer spending appears to have grown at a solid pace in Q4, thanks to a tighter labor market and rising wages, and as shown by strong retail sales throughout the quarter. Fixed investment also likely remained strong on FDI inflows and infrastructure projects.
A full breakdown of the reading by components will be released on 28 February.
Serbia GDP Forecast
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect growth of 3.5% in 2019, unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 3.2% in 2020.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist