Analysis 25 Sep 17

Serbia's Economic Slowdown Alarms Experts

Serbia’s economic growth has slowed down this year, statistics show – and independent experts dispute official claims that this is mainly due to recent bad weather. 

Milos Damnjanovic
BIRN
Belgrade
President Vucic has lately devoted far more attention to raising public sector salaries than to economic reform, claims the author. Photo: Beta

Latest data published by the Serbian Statistical Office last week showed that economic growth in the country in the second quarter of 2017 was a modest 1.3 per cent of GDP.

This meant the economy slowed down for a second consecutive quarter. Figures for the first quarter, published in June, showed economic growth at 1.2 per cent of GDP, which was less than half the 2.5-per-cent growth achieved in the final quarter of 2016.

The drip feed of disappointing economic data has seen officials and economic analysts close to them scrambling to justify Serbia’s anaemic economic performance.

Most blamed the summer's record heat wave, codenamed “Lucifer”, which brought a heavy drought that decimated agriculture across the region.

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