NBS: GDP grew 3.5% in 4Q18, Retail Trade turnover up 4.2% in 2018
According to the preliminary estimate of the Serbian Statistical Office, in Q4 2018 real GDP growth measured 3.5% y-o-y. 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.
January surplus three times larger than planned
Serbian Finance Minister Sinisa Mali said that great results were made in January, exceeding expectations, and pointed out that the budget surplus was three times larger than planned for that month. I am proud of the budget surplus of around RSD 22.9 billion – Mali said. As said in the press release, the minister says that larger non-tax revenues were realized, that the VAT revenues were larger, as well as the collection of income and excise taxes. A surplus of around RSD 7.8 billion was planned for January, and the result is three times higher – the minister said.
Production of electric Fiat 500L to start?
Serial production of Fiat 500L at the FCA Serbia plant has been paused until February 5, following which preparations for the production of electric vehicles will start, Novosti writes in today’s issue. During the summer vacation, the factory will commence preparations for the production of a whole new model. The president of the factory’s autonomous trade union, Zoran Markovic, says that the workers are waiting for someone to tell them when the production of the new model will start. The production of the hybrid 500L began in early September 2018. The first analyses show that this model has been well received in Spain in France, but that it hasn’t had any considerable impact on the production.
IMF sees 3.5% growth for Serbian GDP in 2019
Brnabic and Roaf discussed the results to date within the framework of the program and concluded that quite a lot has been done in terms of achieving the goals set. In the previous year, GDP growth was 4.4 percent, a surplus of RSD 32.2 billion was recorded and the public debt currently stands at around 50 percent of GDP. Roaf pointed out that the IMF kept its GDP growth projection for Serbia at 3.5 percent for 2019, and that it hopes that the regional and global economic situation, and above all the slowdown of some of the leading European economies, will not affect this outcome.
Dow rises after strong jobs report, posts 6-week winning streak, European stocks close higher amid earnings, US jobs report, Wirecard plummets 25%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted slight gains on Friday after the U.S. government released jobs growth data that easily beat expectations. The 30-stock Dow rose 64.22 points to 25,063.89 as Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Merck all closed higher. The S&P 500 closed 0.1 percent higher at 2,706.53 as gains in the energy and tech sectors offset losses in consumer discretionary. The Nasdaq Composite declined 0.25 percent to 7,263.87 as Amazon shares fell.
The U.S. economy added 304,000 jobs in January, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists polled by Refinitiv expect the U.S. economy to have added 170,000 jobs in January.
Wall Street also digested key earnings from companies like Amazon, Merck and Exxon Mobil. On Thursday, Amazon reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter. However, the company issued weaker-than-expected revenue guidance for the first quarter and warned about increasing investments. These concerns pushed Amazon shares down by 5.38 percent.
European stocks closed higher Friday, as market participants monitored a flurry of corporate results and key economic reports. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally up by 0.29 percent, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory.
Europe’s banking index led the losses amid earnings news. Deutsche Bank reported its first full-year net profit in four years on Friday. However, shares came under pressure, losing 0.59 percent as Germany’s largest lender continues to face growing merger speculation and a series of uphill struggles.
Germany’s Wirecard, meanwhile, plummeted 25 percent after a Financial Times report said an external firm commissioned by the payments firm to investigate its Singapore office found evidence indicating “serious offences or forgery and/or of falsification of accounts.” Wirecard called the report “inaccurate, misleading and defamatory.”
On the data front, euro zone inflation slipped as expected last month. Official data published Friday showed inflation in the 19 countries sharing the euro slowed to 1.4 percent in January, from 1.6 percent a month earlier.