Analysis 16 Nov 16

Serbia Warned Against Euphoria Over Fiscal Results

Belgrade has won praise from the IMF for cutting the budget deficit - but the job of fiscal consolidation is far from over and big wage and pension hikes are still risky.

Milos Damnjanovic
BIRN
Belgrade
James Roaf, head of the IMF mission for Serbia [left], with Serbian Minister of Finance Dusan Vujovic and the governor of National Bank, Jorgovanka Tabakovic. Photo: Beta

In spite of another positive assessment of Serbia’s efforts at fiscal consolidation by the IMF mission, which recently visited Belgrade, experts and Serbia’s own Fiscal Council warn against premature euphoria.

They say the time for fiscal consolidation is not yet over and Serbia should be cautious about increasing spending, following announcements on October 30 that pensions and salaries in the public sector will go up.

While praising what Serbia has achieved, they say the problem of costly public companies whose big debts are currently covered from the budget remains to be addressed.

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