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Serbian Second-Quarter GDP Contracts 0.8% From Year Earlier

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia’s gross domestic product shrank by 0.8 percent in the second quarter compared with the comparable period of 2011, as declines in electricity output, agriculture and mining led the economy down.

It was the second consecutive quarterly contraction and was bigger than the preliminary estimate of 0.6 percent, the Statistics Office said today.

The decline in farm output was the steepest, with activity contracting 17.2 percent, after a 19 percent drop in the first quarter. Mining activity fell by 7.7 percent, after shrinking 0.6 percent in the first quarter. The decline in electricity output widened to 14.6 percent, from 3.4 percent.

Financial services rose by 4.2 percent, the biggest expansion in five quarters.

The first-quarter figures were also revised down; GDP shrank by 2.5 percent, almost double the 1.3 percent reported earlier.

Serbia is trying to avoid a second recession in three years and the government, sworn in on July 27, has prepared anti-crisis measures to stop the economic decline and bring down unemployment, which reached 25.5 percent in April.

The slowdown has increased the budget deficit, the current-account gap and public debt, which have all exceeded targets agreed with the International Monetary Fund in 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at gfilipovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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