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Albania halves 2020 GDP growth fcast to 2% on coronavirus impact

Albania halves 2020 GDP growth fcast to 2% on coronavirus impact GDP, Creative Commons.

TIRANA (Albania), March 24 (SeeNews) – Albania’s government has decided to cut its 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 2.0% from 4.1% originally projected in the budget law due to the adverse impact of the coronavirus disease on the economy, the finance ministry said.

Budget deficit in 2020 is now projected at 68.7 billion leks ($592.4 million/551.9 million euro) equivalent to 3.9% of GDP, up from 29.3 billion leks, or 1.6% of GDP forecast in the budget adopted by the parliament in December, the ministry said in a press release on Sunday.

Public debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to increase to 68.8% of GDP in 2020, from 62.2% of GDP projected in the budget, the ministry added.

The ministry also said a total of 12 billion leks will be allocated from the budget to help businesses and people cope with the impact of the coronavirus disease.

Last week, Albania’s prime minister Edi Rama said the government has prepared a $370 million relief package to support the coronavirus-affected sectors of the economy, boost health expenditures as well as help people in need.

After the first coronavirus case in Albania was confirmed on March 9, the authorities closed all borders and gradually suspended all flights from the country's sole international airport of Tirana, excluding only flag carrier Air Albania which maintains service to and from Turkey’s Istanbul.

Albania has confirmed its fifth death from the coronavirus infection as the number of cases registered in the country jumped to 123 on Monday, the ministry said. The number of recoveries reached 10.

(1 euro = 121.854 leks)

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