Economic and Foreign Trade Activity
According to the preliminary estimate of the Serbian Statistical Office, in Q4 2018 real GDP growth measured 3.5% y-o-y.
At year level, industrial production picked up by 1.3%, led by the growth in manufacturing (1.9%) and electricity, gas and steam supply (1.2%). In December 2018, industry slumped by 6.3% y-o-y, as a consequence of external factors.
In the previous four-year period, concluding with 2018, manufacturing recorded a rise in production of over 20% and a rise in exports of nearly 50%. It is important to note that export growth was sustained across all areas of manufacturing.
In 2018 real retail trade turnover went up by 4.2%. The rise in real turnover in the past four years amounted to almost 18%, reflecting mainly the growth in private sector employment and wages.
According to the Statistical Office, exports of goods expressed in euros went up by 8.1% at year level, while imports increased by 13.0%. The expansion of imports in both 2018 and 2017 was driven primarily by imports of equipment for investment purposes, imports of energy sources on account of oil price hike and imports of other raw materials for industrial purposes.