Wages inch up in Serbia

Wages inch up in Serbia
By bne IntelliNews August 28, 2017

Average gross monthly salaries paid in Serbia in June stood at RSD66,251(€552), an increase of 4% y/y in nominal and a 0.8% y/y in real terms, according to the newest data from the Statistical Office of Serbia published on July 25.

Salaries in Serbia are likely to keep rising since the government has been announcing that the budget will end 2017 in surplus, allowing for an increase in public sector wages and pensions. President Aleksandar Vucic claims that average net wages will reach €450 by end-2017.

According to the statistical office's newest data, average net salaries paid in July totalled RSD48,101 (€400), increasing 3.9% in nominal terms and 0.7% in real terms against July 2016.

Gross salaries for July went down 2.4% m/m in nominal terms and 2% in real terms, while net wages declined 2.3% m/m in nominal terms and 1.9% in real terms.

The Serbian government announced a modest raise in public sector wages and pensions on October 30, 2016 after an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The raise came into effect in January. 

Previously, public sector salaries and pensions were cut by approximately 10% in November 2014, which at the time was an essential step needed for further stabilisation of public finances. The first modest increase was announced in November 2015. 

Serbia’s consolidated budget surplus stood at RSD21.49bn (€174.7mn) in January-April, a significant improvement against the RSD26.82bn deficit recorded in the same period of 2016, the latest finance ministry data published on June 1 showed.

In 2016, Serbia managed to bring its general government budget deficit down to RSD57.06bn (€461.23mn), equal to 1.4% of GDP. The figure is significantly lower than planned by the government and the IMF in its precautionary €1.2bn three-year stand-by arrangement (SBA) approved in February 2015.