Western Balkan countries are ‘recovering from recession’, World Bank says

NEWS 27.04.2021 18:58
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Source: AFP

Six Western Balkan countries, which were hit by the worst economic downturn on record during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are expected to gradually recover by the end of this year with an expected growth rate of four percent, the World Bank (WB) said in its latest report released on Tuesday.

Growth in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia  is expected to increase gradually by the end of 2021 and to recover from the shock caused by the pandemic which caused a downturn in their collective GDP of 3.4 percent.

By the end of the year the region is expected to grow by 4.4 percent. After that it is expected to moderate to 3.7 percent in 2022 and 2023 due to the fact that the damage from the pandemic continues to depress investments and employment in the region.

“We are certainly seeing some positive trends around the region, boosted by swift action taken by many countries to contain the worst impacts of the pandemic, but the health and economic devastation of the pandemic will continue to have an impact,” Linda Van Gelder, World Bank Regional Director for the Western Balkans, was quoted as saying in a press release on the World Bank’s web site.

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