Serbia's economy contracted by a real 6.4% y/y in the second quarter of 2020, reversing a real 5.1% annual hike in the previous three months, according to non-seasonally adjusted data released by the statistics office on August 31.
A sharp fall was anticipated as in mid-March the country was hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and imposed tough restrictions to contain the spread of the virus, which hit the economy badly.
However, Raiffeisen analysts said in a note that the figures were worse than expected. "[Government's] stimuli programme (€5.1bn) helped avoiding deeper fall amid the economy lockdown with state consumption (+8.9%). Other categories were in red, especially exports (-20.7%) and imports (-19.3%)," a note from Raiffeisen said on September 1.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Serbia’s GDP is expected to decline by around 3.5% in 2020, though some forecasters say there is a chance the economy could achieve a small growth this year.
According to seasonally adjusted GDP data, Serbia's GDP decreased by 9.2% q/q in the second quarter of 2020.
The sharpest annual decline was registered in the recreation and culture sector (-32%), followed by the science and innovation sector (-20.6%) and the wholesale and retail trade sector (-16.7%).
The biggest annual growth was registered in the sector of social care, education and health, 7.1%, followed by the IT sector (5.4%) ant the financial sector (3.8%), according to non-seasonally adjusted data.
Household final consumption decreased 8% y/y; general government final consumption was 8.9% higher.