The World Bank (WB) kept its 2016 GDP growth forecast for Serbia at 1.8%, unchanged from January projection, according to June Global Economic Prospects report. The bank upped its growth forecasts for 2017 to 2.3% and held 2018 GDP growth forecast at 3.5%. The WB’s forecast for this year is more pessimistic than the government’s. PM designate Aleksandar Vucic recently said that the economy should grow by 2.3% this year or even 2.7% if the agricultural season is good. Serbia’s central bank already upped its 2016 GDP growth forecast to 2.25%-2.5% from 1.8% projected in February on expected higher investments and exports. The EC also expects higher growth of 2.0% in 2016, while the IMF and the EBRD project that the economy will grow by 1.8% this year.
The World Bank also kept its GDP growth for Albania for 2016 at 3.2%, unchanged from April, when the estimate was lowered from 3.4%, according to the latest Global Economic Prospects report. The GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 3.5% and 3.8% in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The central bank and the EC also expect GDP growth to reach 3.2% in 2016, while the IMF is more optimistic and expects economy to expand by 3.4%. Rising FDIs related to the energy sector and strengthening consumer demand will be the main factors to warrant economic expansion.