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Serbian Economy Shrank 2.5% in 3Q From Year Earlier

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia’s economy contracted 2.5 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier as agriculture and construction extended declines, the national statistics office in Belgrade said today.

The third-quarter decline in gross domestic product exceeded the statistics office’s preliminary forecast for a 2.2 percent contraction. GDP will drop 1.9 percent for the full year after agriculture contracted 17.5 percent in real terms, the office also said today. The government and the central bank have forecast the economy to shrink 2 percent this year.

With Serbia mired in its second recession in three years, Prime Minister Ivica Dacic has pushed through a mix of fiscal consolidation and economic stimulus to restore order to public finances while encouraging cheaper lending to companies to help boost growth and jobs.

GDP fell a revised 0.6 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, compared with a previously forecast 0.8 percent contraction, and declined a revised 2.3 percent in the first three months rather than the originally estimated 2.5 percent drop, the statistics office said.

The government forecasts GDP to rise 2 percent next year as Italy’s Fiat SpA steps up production at its car plant in Serbia and the NIS oil monopoly expands exports from an upgraded facility near Belgrade.

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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