EC: GDP higher than expected in most candidate countries

BRUSSELS -- The European Commission has stated that the increase of GDP in Serbia and other EU member candidates was higher than expected - except in Albania.

In that country, a decline has been observed, the Beta news agency quoted the latest economic analysis of the European Commission.

The main event in Serbia was the formal start of membership negotiations with the EU, but that early elections had resulted in postponing the adoption of crucial laws, concerning receivership, privatization, the labor market and construction permits, the EC said.

It added that the increase of GDP from the last trimester of 2013 continued, but somwhat slower in Serbia where GDP grew mostly thanks to the increase of exports.

Last year's GDP increase in Serbia was 2.5 percent, with 3.5 percent in Montenegro and 1.5 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, "while there is no data for Kosovo," said Beta in it report.

The prediction for this year is that Serbia's GDP will grow by 1.3 percent and by 2.7 percent in Montenegro, while the increase in 2015 should be 2.2 percent in Serbia and three in Montenegro.

In 2013, Serbia had 22.1 percent unemployment, with 22.3 expected for this year and 21.4 in 2015.

Inflation in Serbia fell from 12.2 percent in 2012 to 2.2 percent last year. It is expected to increase to 4.3 percent in this year and to five in 2015.