Wednesday, February 04, 2009

EBRD cuts Macedonia's growth forecast

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said growth in Macedonia is unlikely to exceed three percent this year.

This marks 1.7 percent fall compared to last November's forecast, when EBRD predicted 4.7 percent growth in Macedonia this year.

According to the statement released Tuesday, the bank slashed its growth forecasts for 30 countries receiving investments from EBRD to 0.1 percent for 2009. The November forecast was 2.5 percent.

As to the EBRD region, the estimated 2008 growth of 6.3 percent is now reduced to 4.8 percent.

Southeastern Europe expected to show growth of 1.9 percent, 1.5 down from November's predictions.

Growth forecast slash applies to all countries in the region.

According to EBRD's estimates Albania's growth will stand at 4 instead of the previously forecasted 5 percent, while Bosnia-Herzegovina will mark 1.5-percent growth, 3 percent down from last November's prediction.

Forecasts for the other region's countries are as follows. Bulgaria: 2.0 percent (1.8 percent down); Montenegro 3.0 percent (2.0 percent down) Serbia 2.0 percent (1 percent down).

EBRD's report said the deterioration in the overall forecasts is mainly due to the extent of the global financial downturn and accelerated economic slowdown in the region's countries in the last months of 2008. /end/ nv

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