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World Bank lifts Serbia's 2017 GDP growth projection to 2.8%

World Bank lifts Serbia's 2017 GDP growth projection to 2.8% Source: minsvyaz.ru

BELGRADE (Serbia), January 11 (SeeNews) - The World Bank said it increased its projection for Serbia's economic growth in 2017 to 2.8%, half of a percentage point higher than the forecast made in June. 

Serbia's 2016 GDP growth rate is estimated at 2.5%, up 0.7 percentage point compared to the June forecast, the World Bank said in its January 2017 Global Economic Prospects Report.

The World Bank expects Serbia's economy to grow by a real 3.5% annually in each of 2018 and 2019.

Growth accelerated in Albania, Croatia, Romania, and Serbia reflecting strong domestic demand supported by low energy prices, faster investment growth helped by the disbursement of EU structural funds and labour market improvements, according to the report posted on the World Bank's website.

According to the World Bank, emerging and developing economies in the Western Balkans region, which comprises Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, are expected to grow by3.2% this year, 3.6% in 2018 and 3.7% in 2019.

Heightened uncertainty in advanced economies in Europe or elsewhere could have a significant impact on trade, external balances, and regional growth prospects in the Western Balkans, given the strong ties with the European Union. If this risk materialises, the scope for the countercyclical policies could be limited for many countries, the World Bank said. 

In November, the World Bank said Serbia's sharp economic upswing would drive GDP growth in the entire Western Balkans region in the short term. However, it warned that Serbia needs to carry out structural reforms to ensure faster growth of the economy and the creation of new jobs.

Author Radomir Ralev
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