Macedonia’s economy speeds up in Q4 but growth flat in 2017

Macedonia’s economy speeds up in Q4 but growth flat in 2017
By bne IntelliNews March 8, 2018

Macedonian economy speeded up to a real 1.2% y/y in the fourth quarter of 2017, after edging up by only 0.2% y/y in the previous quarter, but was flat in 2017, estimated data released by the Macedonian Statistical Office indicated on March 8.

Macedonia ended 2016 with growth of 2.9%, but this was followed by a period of slowdown and contraction during the first three quarters of 2017, which were a result mainly of effects of the prolonged political crisis. The economy only started to recover in the final quarter of the year.

The World Bank foresees the country’s economy to speed up to 3.2% in 2018 and to 3.9% and 4% in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Gross domestic product (GDP) totaled MKD619.8bn (€10bn) in 2017 in current prices and stood at MKD165.9bn in the fourth quarter.

According to the statistics office, in 2017 the largest increase was recorded in the wholesale and retail sector (+9%), followed by the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector (+4.1%).

The information and communication sector was also among the three sectors that registered growth, of 2.6%, in 2017. All other sectors fell in 2017. The biggest decrease was seen in the construction sector (-13.7%).

The manufacturing sector dropped by 4% y/y in 2017, but grew by 2.3% y/y in Q4.

Wholesale and retail trade was  also the fastest growing sector in Q4 (+15.6% y/y), followed by agriculture and forestry (+4% y/y).

In the fourth quarter of 2017, the construction sector registered the biggest fall, of 19.5% y/y.

In 2017, household final consumption, including non-profit institutions serving households, increased by 2.9%, while general government consumption dropped 1.5% y/y. Gross capital formation fell by 4.5% y/y.

In the same period, exports of goods and services increased by 9.2%, while imports of goods and services were 7.3% higher.