Fiscal Council: Serbia’s economic growth weak, export-import dynamics worse

Source: N1

Besides some good economic results, Vladimir Vuckovic a member to the country’s Fiscal Council warned on Friday the growth in Serbia was weak, about three percent, while the other countries recorded four to five percent.

He said that the export-import dynamics exacerbated in the second half of 2018, meaning that the import rosed faster than export.

Vuckovic praised some macroeconomic results such as the budget surplus, the reduction in the public debt, low and stable inflation and  that the unemployment dropped

However, commenting on the World Bank estimate that Serbia could have seven percent of economic growth, Nikola Altiparmakov, also a member to the Fiscal Council, said it would be possible if seven million Serbs would be replaced with seven million Germans and if the German management was introduced.


 He added that no European country could follow Germany and that he did not know how Serbia could do that, adding he believed the country could not have such growth since none of the East-European states could reach that level.

Altiparmakov said Serbia could have four to five percent of the growth, adding the quality of public administration and institutions was crucial, but that it was “problematic” in Serbia for decades.

 He confirmed Serbia had the highest number of direct foreign investments, but that the problem was it did not have enough domestic ones.

Vuckovic said local investments rose from two to four percent, but that it should be made clear what they were since the purchase of mobile phones or the building of a road or the national stadium could be considered domestic investments.

Altiparmakov said that the budget money should be spent transparently, but that Serbia’s Parliament for years had not adopted the balance sheet since the Government did not submit it.

He added that the Government had to provide the Fiscal Council with its fiscal strategy until May 1, but that that did not happen.

Answering to N1 question about criticism of Fiscal Council statements heard at the Parliamentary Finance Committee, the Council’s members said it was expected that authorities had different views on the current economic situation than the Fiscal Council as an independent body.