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Western Balkans GDP will increase by 2.6% in 2023

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April 25 (VoirNews) – The World Bank expects the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Western Balkans region to increase by 2.6% in 2023, mainly driven by private consumption and exports, it said. -she announced on Tuesday.

The region has surpassed pre-pandemic levels despite the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it must now replenish its reserves to prepare for future shocks and undertake supply-side reforms to ensure more sustainable and greener growth, the World Bank said in a statement. after publishing its last regular economic report on the Western Balkans.

“To continue weathering the storm caused by multiple economic shocks, countries can achieve high returns by pursuing reforms that boost productivity in the medium term, such as accelerating regional integration, increasing levels of competition in the market, attracting higher quality investments and removing obstacles that limit the economy. participation in the labor market, especially among women,” said Xiaoqing Yu, World Bank country director for the Western Balkans.

Inflation in the Western Balkans reached its highest level in 20 years in 2022, driven by rising energy and food prices. Although there are signs of easing, inflationary pressures remain strong and will require further tightening of monetary policy, the report said.

“In the medium term, the outlook for the Western Balkans remains positive, although reforms are needed to accelerate the green transition and address key structural challenges,” the global lender noted.

The report also suggests that investing in energy efficiency has the potential to bring significant economic benefits to the region, as even modest improvements in energy efficiency could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase business profits, provide employee benefits and help protect against future electricity and gas. price shocks.

Estimates and projections of real GDP growth for the Western Balkans are as follows (percentage change):

2022 (est.) 2023 (cast) 2024 (cast)
Albania 4.8 2.8 3.3
Bosnia Herzegovina 4.0 2.5 3.0
Kosovo 3.5 3.7 4.4
North Macedonia 2.1 2.4 2.7
Montenegro 6.1 3.4 3.1
Serbia 2.3 2.3 3.0
Western Balkans 3.2 2.6 3.1

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