Serbia GDP Q1 2017


Serbia: Upwardly-revised Q1 GDP print still weak despite robust private consumption growth

June 1, 2017

GDP expanded 1.2% year-on-year in Q1, according to revised data published by the Statistical Office (SORS) on 1 June. This was an upgrade to the flash estimate of 1.0% released on 4 May but still a considerable deceleration from Q4 2016’s 2.5% print and the weakest growth since Q4 2015. Sequential data confirmed the sluggishness, with growth at 0.1% quarter-on-quarter, below Q4 2016’s 0.3% print.

The report showed that government consumption decelerated considerably to 0.5% in Q1 (Q4: +2.3% yoy). Likewise, fixed investment growth slowed to an over two-year low of 1.3% (Q4: +2.6% yoy). On the upside, private consumption growth picked up for another quarter and accelerated to 1.9% (Q4: +1.0% yoy), the strongest reading in six years.

On the external side, growth in exports of goods and services fell to single digits (Q1: +8.7% yoy; Q4 2016: +13.8% yoy) following four quarters of double-digit growth, although the result was still strong. Imports, on the other hand, climbed to 10.9% (Q4: +5.9% yoy), the highest reading since Q2 2016. As a result, the external sector’s contribution to GDP growth in Q1 was minus 2.4 percentage points, the sector’s most negative contribution to overall growth since Q3 2014.

The National Bank of Serbia expects the economy to expand 3.0% in 2017 and 3.5% in 2018. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the economy to grow 2.9% in 2017, which is unchanged from last month’s projection. For 2018, the panel sees GDP increasing 3.2%.

Author:, Economist

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Serbia GDP Chart

Serbia GDP Q1 2017 2

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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