Bosnia’s economy recovered moderately in the first quarter of the year after contracting 0.2% in 2012 thanks to higher exports and industrial output, and stronger private consumption and public investment, the government's Directorate for Economic Planning (DEP) said in its Jan-Mar report. DEP however did not give a precise estimate of the GDP growth in January-March.
DEP kept its 2013 GDP forecast at 0.9%, unchanged compared to the previous forecast issued in May 2013.
It said that exports grew by a real 19.3% in Q1 on the back of higher electricity and manufacturing sector sales abroad and despite the declining economic activity in Bosnia's main trade partners like Germany, Austria, Italy and Slovenia. A mild recovery in the domestic demand also supported the Q1 economic activity, the report underscored.
Rising imports of both durable and non-durable consumer goods pointed to some recovery of private consumption in January-March despite falling disposable income of households. Bosnia’s trade gap thus expanded a real 7% in Q1 despite the two-digit growth in exports.
The industrial output grew 6.8% y/y in Q1, reflecting higher intermediate goods (including iron and steel, aluminum, metal ores, wood) and electricity production as well as low prior-year base. Capital goods output climbed 30% y/y in Q1, likewise supporting the overall industrial sector growth.
The DEP’s 2013 economic growth outlook is broadly in line with the latest projection of Bosnia’s central bank for 1% GDP growth. However, it is more optimistic than the IMF's and the EBRD's expectations for 0.5% and 0.1% growth in 2013, respectively.
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