Serbia Business

Almost one in three companies in Serbia had no employees in 2020

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A new survey by CompanyWall commissioned by the Biznis.rs portal has just revealed that almost one in three Serbian businesses, or 31,465 companies, had no employees in 2020. Most of the companies without a single employee are active in the wholesale and retail trade sector (9,578), the manufacturing industry (4,820), in the professional, scientific, innovation and technical sector (3,892) and the construction sector (3,234).

Over 99% of companies without employees (31,188 companies) are micro enterprises whose operating revenues stood at 700,000 euros and operating assets are worth up to 350,000 euros.
While the number of companies without employees decreased in the trade and the manufacturing sectors compared to 2019, it was on a sharp increase in the construction industry, where it moved up by 50 last year compared to 2019.

The number of such companies is also increasing in the agriculture sector and in real estate trade.
The survey also showed that a growing number of construction entrepreneurs and real estate agents hire employees on a temporary basis only.

The severe lockdown imposed in March-April 2020 dealt a strong blow to Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) especially those in HORECA, entertainment, passenger transportation and personal services. With relatively few exceptions (mainly in agri-business), the bulk of Serbia’s domestically owned private economy’s production as well as employment is by MSMEs.

According to a June 2021 survey by the National Bank of Serbia (NBS), businesses expect 2% inflation while banks expect 3%.

“One-year ahead inflation expectations of the financial sector stood at the target 3.0% in June, while the expectations of corporates remained at the May level (2.0%)” NBS said in a statement.
“Two- and three-year ahead inflation expectations of the financial sector, like short-term expectations, moved around the NBS target midpoint (3 pct), while corporate sector expectations were somewhat lower (2 pct),” the central bank has said in a statement.

“Anchored inflation expectations enhance the efficiency of the monetary policy in maintaining low, stable and predictable inflation in the medium run, which is one of the necessary preconditions of sustainable economic growth,” the NBS also said.

Since May 2015 the NBS has been publishing regular monthly reports on inflation expectations of the financial sector, corporate sector, trade unions and households.

More positively, Serbia is expected to see its economy increasing by 6% this year, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).