Despite the difficult circumstances due to the pandemic, the Republic of Serbia not only shows positive economic indicators but also records the highest GDP growth in Europe and ranked first among 38 economies.
The three main macroeconomic variables (along with GDP): industry, exports and imports, and retail trade, show that the Serbian economy is growing even in these unfavorable circumstances.
Strong export growth is a consequence of a strong increase in manufacturing exports (by almost 27%) while continued solid growth will be supported by further growth in investment in export-oriented sectors, as well as a recovery in external demand (with the expected successful vaccination process worldwide).
Furthermore, in the period January-May, industry grew by 10.3% and retail by almost 13%.
During the pandemic, the implementation of infrastructure projects continued. The share of state capital investments in GDP increased to 5.4% in 2020, from 4.9% in 2019, while in 2021 they should reach 7% of GDP.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has also increased Serbia's growth forecast for this year to 6%, which is twice as much as its September 2020 estimate.
The EBRD emphasizes that domestic economic activity will be strongly supported by additional government spending on health subsidies for salaries and one-time payments to pensioners and other categories of the population.
The structure of the economy is specific in Serbia, a large share is made up of activities such as agriculture and food industry, which showed growth during the crisis. However, Serbia has a very small share of tourism in GDP, as well as the automotive and other industries most affected by the crisis.
What is more, strong anti-crisis measures, primarily fiscal, but also monetary policy that will continue in 2021, along with relatively mild anti-epidemiological measures from mid-May 2020, and favorable trade relations have further improved the position of Serbia.
It can be concluded as realistic that Serbia can expect an improvement in economic parameters in the next five years, which will be reflected in the growth of living standards; salaries, pensions, etc.
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