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PRISTINA (Kosovo), October 19 (SeeNews) – Kosovo’s economic growth further accelerated in the second quarter fuelled by investments and exports but unemployment remained high, EU Candidate Countries' & Potential Candidates' Economic Quarterly (CCEQ) report said.
Kosovo’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 4.6% year-on-year in the second quarter from 3.8% in the previous quarter, the report said on Tuesday. Economic activity was mainly driven by a 15.8% rise in investments as works on the Route 6 highway to Skopje intensified. Moreover, in the first eight months, exports expanded by 22.5% as Ferronikeli, the largest exporter of metals in Kosovo, resumed work after a break in 2016, and has been slowly regaining lost markets in 2017, the report added.
However, the jobless rate rose to 30.6% in the first half of the year from 27% the year before, with youth unemployment at 50.7%, down from 52.4%.
Kosovo's inflation rate remains heavily dependent on price developments in its main trading partners, namely the EU. The annual inflation was stable at 1.7% in the first eight months. Food, energy and fuel prices were the main drivers of price growth.
According to the report, strong credit growth has continued throughout the year. Loans to enterprises increased by 8.7% in the eight months through August, those to households by 12.3%. The already low non-performing loans ratio decreased further to 3.9%.
Total public debt in June stood at 15.7% of GDP, whereas average weighted interest rate continued declining to 1.92% owing to the large share of concessional loans from international financial institutions.