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Dec 08, 2017 16:14 EEST
December 8 (SeeNews) - Serbia's fiscal council said on Friday it expects the country's economy to expand by 4% in 2018, higher than the 3.5% growth projected by the government in the draft budget for next year.
The government forecast is too conservative, the fiscal council said in a report evaluating the 2018 draft budget.
However, the fiscal council expects Serbia's gross domestic product GDP to grow by 1.8% in 2017, below the government forecast of 2%, due to the drought and the lower production of the hydro power plants of state-owned power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS).
Excluding the one-off effects of the drought, the Serbian economy would expand by 2.8% in 2017, but such growth rate would still stand below the 3% estimate of the government issued at the beginning of this year, the fiscal council said.
In September, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it expects Serbia's economic growth to slow to 2.3% in 2017 from 2.6% last year, before accelerating to 3.5% in 2018.
Serbia's Fiscal Council was established in 2011 to assess the compliance of the government's fiscal policy with the fiscal rules.
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