Serbia’s GDP exceeded the pre-crisis level in the first quarter

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Governor Jorgovanka Tabakovic says that the preventive action enabled Serbia to fight the economic effects of the pandemic from a much better starting position.

Namely, NBS Governor Jorgovanka Tabakovic informed the participants of the 91st Annual Assembly of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) yesterday that the GDP of Serbia already exceeded the pre-crisis level in the first quarter of 2021, the NBS announced.

“Everything we have done in previous years, from the achieved and preserved price stability and relative exchange rate stability, anchored inflation expectations and a strong financial system to the highest foreign exchange reserves, speaks in favor of our persistence in stability and strengthening the country,” Tabakovic said at the BIS Assembly held in digital format for the second year in a row.

She pointed out that since the beginning of the pandemic, the central bank was among the first to react in order to support the citizens, the economy and the state to overcome the crisis financially more easily, thus ensuring the smooth functioning of all financial flows.

“We were among the first regulators in the region and Europe to introduce a moratorium on repayment of liabilities, and we further reduced the share of problem loans in total loans, to 3.7 percent,” Tabakovic added at the meeting, which was attended by governors of others central banks that are members-shareholders of this oldest international financial institution.

She emphasized that the NBS, despite the crisis, took care to keep the created defense mechanisms, which can be seen in the gross foreign exchange reserves, which, as she said, were about 780 million euros more at the end of May than at the end of 2019.

“All together, it enabled Serbia to exceed the pre-crisis level of gross domestic product in the first quarter of this year, with favorable financing conditions and preserved stability in all segments of the financial market,” concluded Governor Jorgovanka Tabakovic.

BIS Director General Agustin Carstens presented the BIS Annual Report for the financial year 2020/2021 and the results achieved in the operations of that institution.

It was stated that the world crisis caused by the pandemic reminded of the importance of stability and international cooperation, which is why the year behind us was the year of intensive cooperation of the BIS with central banks and regulators.

It was concluded that the initial response of central banks was aimed at alleviating stress in the financial sector and ensuring the smooth flow of credit to the private non-financial sector, and that central banks around the world responded in a strong and innovative way to effectively manage the crisis.
Progress in the implementation of the Innovation Strategy until 2025 was discussed, while maintaining the focus on investing in next-generation technology in order to build a digital work environment that is resilient and ready for future challenges.

On that occasion, Tabakovic reminded that more than two and a half years ago, the NBS provided citizens with one of the most modern payment methods – the IPS NBS system.

“In the middle of the second quarter of 2021, a record was broken in the daily number of payments made in the IPS NBS system, when more than 206.5 thousand payments were made. The number of electronic and mobile banking users increased in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year – 28.95 percent higher number of mobile banking users and 14.45 percent higher number of electronic banking users,” said Tabakovic, B92 reports.