The publication of the national estimates of GDP growth for the second quarter of 2019 are 15 days late with the Serbian Republic Statistics Office telling N1 on Thursday that the data has not all come in.
Economy experts told N1 that the data is not being published because the government does not want to publish bad results.
Opposition politician Borko Stefanovic said in a statement that the country has had two quarters of weak economic results with Serbia ranking last among the 16 countries of central and eastern Europe in terms of GDP growth. He said the drop in industrial production continued in the second quarter with a drop in exports reported in June. “Why are you hiding the fact that Serbia is continuing to sink to the bottom of the European living standards ladder in 2019, that we will be passed by North Macedonia this year and by Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina soon,” he said.
The Statistics Office said it has an excuse for not publishing its estimates. “This indicator has not been published because of problems with data which prevents us from correctly calculating the GDP. The correct calculation of GDP trends for the second quarter of 2019 is due on September 2,” the Statistics office said.
Danas daily journalists Milos Obradovic said that economists are skeptical about that explanation. “They think the reason why the estimate has not been published lies in the fact that the economic results are worse than expected. The National Bank of Serbia (NBS) has published its data for the second quarter which says that growth stands at 3.1 percent. Add to that the first quarter growth of 2.8 percent and the annual growth of 3.5 percent is in doubt,” he said. According to Obradovic, the NBS said its data is in lie with its predictions, adding that it expects growth to stand at up to four percent by the end of the year.