UDC 338.1(497.11) 338.23(4-672EU)
Biblid: 1451-3188, 14 (2015)
Vol. 15, No 52-53, pp. 135-149

Оriginal article
Received: 01 Jan 1970
Accepted: 01 Jan 1970


Nikolić Goran (Институт за европске студије, Београд), goranvnikolic@gmail.com

The growth of the Serbian economy in late 2014 and early this year is to a large extent the result of recovery of the activities that were affected by the floods (energy, construction), and there is no reliable basis that a sustainable economic recovery has begun, although the growth in retail and merchandise exports are good signals. However, the potential drivers of economic growth on the demand side - exports and investment stagnate or decline, stocks rise, lending activity is stagnant or declining. Fiscal deficit since the beginning of 2015 strongly decreases, as late 2014 and early 2015 came into force the fiscal consolidation measures. The Plan published in Fiscal Strategy (2015) implied ambitious fiscal consolidation measures, which would permanently reduce the annual government expenditures by as much as 1.7 billion euros. This suggests that by measures of fiscal consolidation government deficit should be reduced from 6.6% of GDP (2014) to 3.8% of GDP in 2017. According to the official projections of key macroeconomic indicators for Serbia in the period 2015-2017 (Fiscal Strategy), we can expect the moderate path of economic recovery. After the fall of GDP in 2015 from 0.5% caused by the implementation of austerity measures (fiscal consolidation and decline in domestic demand), we expect GDP growth in 2016 and 2017. (same opinion is presented in the April forecast of 2015 by the IMF). The cumulative rate of real GDP growth of 3%, are apparently designed optimistic because it is unlikely to record the growth of economic activity in 2016. (this forecast assumes that private consumption achieve real growth of 1%, which is unrealistic). Government’ plan is that increase of GDP from 2016 to 2017 to be based on the growth of investment and exports of goods and services at an average annual real rate of 5% (thanks to the growing import demand of EU, that is eurozone countries), with practical stagnation of private consumption and a significant decline in government spending. Prerequisite for the balance of payments sustainability is to increase exports and the net inflow of foreign capital. On the production side of GDP, in the period 2015-2017, the largest contribution is expected from the growth of industrial production and recovery of the construction sector, while the service sector will negatively affect economic activity. It is expected that total employment slowly decline in 2015 after a sharp decrease in recent years, while in 2016 are expected a slight increase in employment in the private sector. An important contributor to the growth of Serbian GDP will be stronger than expected recovery of the eurozone. In April 2015, IMF is forecasting 1.5% real GDP growth of euro-zone, which is above previous expectations. The dramatic fall in the oil price is benefiting oil consumers, among other, improving performance of the euro zone.

Keywords: Serbia, growth, economy, 2015-2017, industry, construction, fiscal deficit, employment, euro-zone, EU