Serbia’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose 13.7% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2021, following an upwardly revised 1.8% growth in the previous three-month period, according to data released by the National Statistical Office on Tuesday (Aug. 31).
That was the fastest pace of expansion since the last quarter of 2001, boosted by a rebound in activity and demand following the reopening of the economy.
Household consumption increased by 17.6%, fixed investment jumped 22.5% while exports of goods and services surged 36.5%. However, net trade contributed negatively to the GDP as imports rose more than export with imports of goods and services going up 42.9%.
In terms of activities, significant real growth in the gross value added was recorded in the section of wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; transportation and storage and accommodation and food service activities (33.3%), the section of industry and water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (13.5%) and the section of professional, scientific and technical activities and administrative and support service activities (30.9%.) Public spending contracted 3.8%.
Serbian Finance Minister Sinisa Mali in a statement sent to Tanjug news agency said that
the figures on the national GDP for the first two quarters of this year were another confirmation of an unexpectedly quick recovery of the Serbian economy amid the COVID-19-induced crisis. Mali added that three stimulus packages, worth around 8 bln euros in total, had had a positive effect on maintaining economic activity and had also boosted employment and consumption, contributing to GDP growth.
However, the crisis caused by the coronavirus has also infected the banking sector of the Balkan country. Blic reported on Tuesday that many of the 24 banks operating in Serbia have increased commissions and service costs at the same time, and some have started charging for what they never did.