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Serbia Economy Profile 2017

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Economy - overviewSerbia has a transitional economy largely dominated by market forces, but the state sector remains significant in certain areas. The economy relies on manufacturing and exports, driven largely by foreign investment. MILOSEVIC-era mismanagement of the economy, an extended period of international economic sanctions, civil war, and the damage to Yugoslavia's infrastructure and industry during the NATO airstrikes in 1999 left the economy worse off than it was in 1990. In 2015, Serbia’s GDP was 27.5% below where it was in 1989.

After former Federal Yugoslav President MILOSEVIC was ousted in September 2000, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) coalition government implemented stabilization measures and embarked on a market reform program. Serbia renewed its membership in the IMF in December 2000 and rejoined the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Serbia has made progress in trade liberalization and enterprise restructuring and privatization, but many large enterprises - including the power utilities, telecommunications company, natural gas company, and others - remain state-owned. Serbia has made some progress towards EU membership, signing a Stabilization and Association Agreement with Brussels in May 2008, and with full implementation of the Interim Trade Agreement with the EU in February 2010, gained candidate status in March 2012. In January 2014, Serbia's EU accession talks officially opened, and as of March 2017, Serbia had opened eight negotiating chapters. Serbia's negotiations with the WTO are advanced, with the country's complete ban on the trade and cultivation of agricultural biotechnology products representing the primary remaining obstacle to accession. Serbia maintains a three-year Stand-by Arrangement with the IMF worth approximately $1.3 billion that is scheduled to end in February 2018. The government has shown progress implementing economic reforms, such as fiscal consolidation, privatization, and reducing public spending.

High unemployment and stagnant household incomes are ongoing political and economic problems. Serbia is slowly implementing structural economic reforms needed to ensure the country's long-term prosperity. In 2016, Serbia reduced its budget deficit to 1.4% and slowed the rate of growth of its public debt as a percent of GDP, more than doubled between 2008 and 2015. Serbia's concerns about inflation and exchange-rate stability preclude the use of expansionary monetary policy.

Major economic challenges ahead include: high unemployment rates and the need for private sector job creation; structural reforms of state-owned companies; strategic public sector reforms; and the need for new foreign direct investment. Other serious longer-term challenges include an inefficient judicial system, high levels of corruption, and an aging population. Factors favorable to Serbia's economic growth include the economic reforms it is undergoing as part of its EU accession process and IMF agreement, its strategic location, a relatively inexpensive and skilled labor force, and free trade agreements with the EU, Russia, Turkey, and countries that are members of the Central European Free Trade Agreement.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$101.8 billion (2016 est.)
$99.05 billion (2015 est.)
$98.26 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$37.53 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate2.8% (2016 est.)
0.8% (2015 est.)
-1.8% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$14,200 (2016 est.)
$13,900 (2015 est.)
$13,800 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving25% of GDP (2016 est.)
23% of GDP (2015 est.)
22.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 73.1%
government consumption: 16.2%
investment in fixed capital: 17.8%
investment in inventories: 0.2%
exports of goods and services: 50.9%
imports of goods and services: -58.2% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 9.7%
industry: 42.7%
services: 47.6% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line8.9% (2014 est.)
Labor force3.141 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 17.8%
industry: 25.6%
services: 56.6% (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate13.8% (2016 est.)
17.9% (2015 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 49.4%
male: N/A
female: N/A (2013 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index38.7 (2014 est.)
28.2 (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $15.75 billion
expenditures: $16.24 billion
note: this is the consolidated budget, including both central government and local goverment budgets (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues42% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt72.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
74.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued or owned by government entities other than the treasury (for which the Government of Singapore issued guarantees); the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities (for which the GOS also issued guarantees), as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment, debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.6% (2016 est.)
1.5% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate4% (31 December 2016)
7.5% (12 March 2015)
Commercial bank prime lending rate6.29% (31 December 2016 est.)
7.4% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$5.195 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.486 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$18.78 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$17.58 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$17.06 billion (30 September 2016 est.)
$16.22 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$5.064 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.841 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.525 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, maize, sunflower, sugar beets, grapes/wine, fruits (raspberries, apples, sour cherries), vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes), beef, pork, and meat products, milk and dairy products
Industriesautomobiles, base metals, furniture, food processing, machinery, chemicals, sugar, tires, clothes, pharmaceuticals
Industrial production growth rate4.7% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$1.516 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.751 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$14.89 billion (2016 est.)
$13.36 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesautomobiles, iron and steel, rubber, clothes, wheat, fruit and vegetables, nonferrous metals, electric appliances, metal products, weapons and ammunition
Exports - partnersItaly 16.2%, Germany 12.6%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 8.7%, Romania 5.6%, Russia 5.4% (2015)
Imports$19.26 billion (2016 est.)
$18.21 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and transport equipment, fuels and lubricants, manufactured goods, chemicals, food and live animals, raw materials
Imports - partnersGermany 12.4%, Italy 10.6%, Russia 9.6%, China 8.5%, Hungary 4.8%, Poland 4.2% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$12.94 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$12.99 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$28.23 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$28.86 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$28.33 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
$11.95 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$NA
Exchange ratesSerbian dinars (RSD) per US dollar -
112.4 (2016 est.)
108.811 (2015 est.)
108.811 (2014 est.)
88.405 (2013 est.)
87.99 (2012 est.)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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