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Ekonomika preduzeća
2018, vol. 66, iss. 1-2, pp. 43-76
article language: English
document type: Original Scientific Paper
published on: 03/05/2018
doi: 10.5937/EKOPRE1802043P
Going forward: Public sector reforms and locking in balanced budget in Serbia
aUniversity of Belgrade, Faculty of Economy + Fiscal Council of the Republic of Serbia
bFiscal Council of the Republic of Serbia


From an enormous fiscal deficit in 2014 (6.6% of GDP, i.e. 2.2 bn euros), Serbia practically reached a structurally balanced budget in 2017. However, indisputable achievements aside, the implemented fiscal consolidation has numerous weaknesses (absence of reforms, greater reliance on revenues than on savings). This is why public finances in Serbia, regardless of its excellent, balanced budget, are still not completely well ordered, nor are they growth-promoting; this is where Serbia is seriously lagging behind other comparable Central and Eastern European countries. Looking forward, the most important fiscal policy objective, which would prevent any future risks and allow for faster economic growth, is to have a balanced budget become the 'new normal' in the upcoming five to seven years. In addition, the key shortcomings of the current fiscal policy have to be corrected, i.e. necessary public sector reforms have to be implemented and business climate improved (most of all, the rule of law). In the second part of the paper, we analyse, again, the reliability of official data on the unusually high employment growth in Serbia, occurring, allegedly, with low GDP growth, using 2012-2017 data. The length of the available data series allows us to consider the issue with greater reliability. By using comparative and other analyses, we demonstrate that there are still indisputable issues with the official statistical monitoring of employment trends, i.e. that the Labour Force Survey is still unreliable.



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