Serbia’s gross domestic product contracted for the second consecutive three-month period in the second quarter as Europe’s debt crisis continued to damp demand for the Balkan nation’s exports.
Economic output shrank 0.6 percent from the same period a year earlier after a 1.3 percent decline in the first quarter, the Statistics Office in Belgrade said in a flash estimate today. It gave no further details. The central bank had forecast 0.7 percent growth.
Serbia is trying to avoid a second recession in three years and the government, sworn in on July 27, is preparing anti- crisis measures to stop the economic decline and trim unemployment, which reached 25.5 percent in April. The slowdown has boosted the budget deficit, current-account gap and public debt, which have all exceeded targets agreed with the International Monetary Fund in 2011.
Economic growth this year will largely be driven by consumption, rather than net exports or investments, according to central bank’s April report. The central bank sees net foreign investments declining to 400 million euros ($489.9 million) this year from 1.8 billion euros in 2011.
The IMF sees Serbia’s full-year economic growth at 0.5 percent. The Statistics Office will release more detailed GDP figures on Sept. 28, it said in an e-mail.
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