Serbia's GDP to grow up by 6.1 percent in 2008

Serbia's gross domestic product ( GDP) was estimated to go up by 6.1 percent in 2008 when compared to the previous year, the country's statistics chief said on Tuesday, Xinhua reported.

Dragan Vukmirovic, director of the Serbian Statistical Office, told a news conference that the GDP real growth rate in the third quarter of 2008 stood at 4.9 percent, while the GDP went up by 6.5 percent during the first nine months of 2008.

The financial mediation sector grew at a rate of 13.9 percent, the biggest growth rate this year. The transport sector grew by 13. 6 percent, trade by 7.6 percent, ore and stone mining by 4.2 percent, while the hospitality sector fell by 1.8 percent, said Vukmirovic.

He said that industrial production in Serbia grew by 2 percent in the January-November 2008 period, compared to the same period in 2007.

According to Vukmirovic, Serbia's foreign trade in the January- November 2008 period was valued at 31.661 billion U.S. dollars, up by 28.4 percent compared to the same period in 2007, with the trade deficit standing at 11.155 billion dollars, 29.2 percent more than in the same period in 2007.

Vukmirovic said that for the first time a workforce survey was conducted in Serbia during October this year and the unemployment rate among the economically active population in Serbia stands at 14 percent.

On Tuesday, Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said that the government's priority for 2009 will be the preservation of macroeconomic stability and Serbia's application for EU membership.

Cvetkovic said that next year will be hard for the Serbian economy, but Serbia will manage to overcome the crisis and the projected GDP growth in 2009 is 3.5 percent.

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