Serbia - Economic Indicators

Economic Overview

Serbia has a transitional economy largely dominated by market forces, but the state sector remains significant in certain areas. The economy relies on manufacturing and exports, driven largely by foreign investment. MILOSEVIC-era mismanagement of the economy, an extended period of international economic sanctions, civil war, and the damage to Yugoslavia's infrastructure and industry during the NATO airstrikes in 1999 left the economy worse off than it was in 1990. In 2015, Serbia’s GDP was 27.5% below where it was in 1989. After former Federal Yugoslav President MILOSEVIC...

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GDP Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Private Consumption 2017 3,209,812,410,000 3,084,994,010,000 CSD Annual
Investment 2017 824,012,000,000 755,798,840,000 CSD Annual
Nominal Gross Domestic Product 2017 4,464,628,950,000 4,261,927,450,000 CSD Annual
Real Private Consumption 2016 2,357,338,200,000 2,334,544,100,000 NCU Annual
Real Investment 2016 708,064,700,000 662,565,200,000 NCU Annual
Real Gross Domestic Product 2016 3,210,826,400,000 3,123,453,300,000 NCU Annual
Real Government Consumption 2016 577,475,500,000 564,727,000,000 NCU Annual
Nominal Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) 2016 755,798,800,000 715,462,600,000 NCU Annual
Real Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) 2016 635,182,300,000 604,631,900,000 NCU Annual
Government Consumption 2016 681,366 655,870 Mil. RSD Annual
Price Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Consumer Price Index (CPI) Apr 2018 140.86 140.27 2010=100, NSA Monthly
Labor Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Agriculture Employment 2017 597,804 590,423 # Annual
Unemployment Rate 2017 14.1 15.26 % of total labor force Annual
Labor Force 2016 3,171,863 3,075,185 # Annual
Wage & Salaries 2012 357,415,000,000 327,887,373,386 NCU Annual
Trade Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Balance of Goods 2018 Q1 -1,392,238,173 -1,591,616,591 USD, NSA Quarterly
Exports of Goods 2018 Q1 4,388,788,736 4,190,968,211 USD, NSA Quarterly
Imports of Goods 2018 Q1 5,781,026,910 5,782,584,803 USD, NSA Quarterly
Current Account Balance 2018 Q1 -799,342,870 -798,043,443 USD, NSA Quarterly
Exports of Goods and Services 2017 2,341,682,560,000 2,131,955,340,000 CSD Annual
Imports of Goods and Services 2017 2,735,020,540,000 2,449,552,390,000 CSD Annual
Real Exports of Goods and Services 2016 1,691,887,500,000 1,509,983,800,000 NCU Annual
Real Imports of Goods and Services 2016 2,123,939,500,000 1,948,366,800,000 NCU Annual
Government Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Government Expenditures 2012 1,680,180,000,000 1,521,640,427,000 CSD Annual
Markets Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Money Market Rate Apr 2018 2.89 3.02 % p.a., NSA Monthly
Lending Rate Jun 2017 4 4 % Monthly
Treasury Bills (over 31 days) Mar 2017 2.64 3.48 % p.a., NSA Monthly
Business Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Industrial Production Oct 2017 124.76 121.11 2010=100, NSA Monthly
Real Change in Inventories 2016 72,882,400,000 57,933,300,000 NCU Annual
Change in Inventories 2016 57,320,500,000 46,809,000,000 NCU Annual
Demographics Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Population 2017 8,790,574 8,820,083 # Annual
Birth Rate 2016 9.2 9.3 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Death Rate 2016 14.3 14.6 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Net Migration 2012 -99,999 # Annual

Factbook

Background

Background:
The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was formed in 1918; its name was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929. Communist Partisans resisted the Axis occupation and division of Yugoslavia from 1941 to 1945 and fought nationalist opponents and collaborators as well. The military and political movement headed by Josip Broz "TITO" (Partisans) took full control of Yugoslavia when their domestic rivals and the occupiers were defeated in 1945. Although communists, TITO and his successors (Tito died in 1980) managed to steer their own path between the Warsaw Pact nations and the West for the next four and a half decades. In 1989, Slobodan MILOSEVIC became president of the Republic of Serbia and his ultranationalist calls for Serbian domination led to the violent breakup of Yugoslavia along ethnic lines. In 1991, Croatia, Slovenia, and Macedonia declared independence, followed by Bosnia in 1992. The remaining republics of Serbia and Montenegro declared a new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in April 1992 and under MILOSEVIC's leadership, Serbia led various military campaigns to unite ethnic Serbs in neighboring republics into a "Greater Serbia." These actions ultimately failed and, after international intervention, led to the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995.
MILOSEVIC retained control over Serbia and eventually became president of the FRY in 1997. In 1998, an ethnic Albanian insurgency in the formerly autonomous Serbian province of Kosovo provoked a Serbian counterinsurgency campaign that resulted in massacres and massive expulsions of ethnic Albanians living in Kosovo. The MILOSEVIC government's rejection of a proposed international settlement led to NATO's bombing of Serbia in the spring of 1999. Serbian military and police forces withdrew from Kosovo in June 1999, and the UN Security Council authorized an interim UN administration and a NATO-led security force in Kosovo. FRY elections in late 2000 led to the ouster of MILOSEVIC and the installation of democratic government. In 2003, the FRY became the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, a loose federation of the two republics. Widespread violence predominantly targeting ethnic Serbs in Kosovo in March 2004 led to more intense calls to address Kosovo's status, and the UN began facilitating status talks in 2006. In June 2006, Montenegro seceded from the federation and declared itself an independent nation. Serbia subsequently gave notice that it was the successor state to the union of Serbia and Montenegro.
In February 2008, after nearly two years of inconclusive negotiations, Kosovo declared itself independent of Serbia - an action Serbia refuses to recognize. At Serbia's request, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in October 2008 sought an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on whether Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence was in accordance with international law. In a ruling considered unfavorable to Serbia, the ICJ issued an advisory opinion in July 2010 stating that international law did not prohibit declarations of independence. In late 2010, Serbia agreed to an EU-drafted UNGA Resolution acknowledging the ICJ's decision and calling for a new round of talks between Serbia and Kosovo, this time on practical issues rather than Kosovo's status. Serbia and Kosovo signed the first agreement of principles governing the normalization of relations between the two countries in April 2013 and are in the process of implementing its provisions. In 2015, Serbia and Kosovo reached four additional agreements within the EU-led Brussels Dialogue framework. These included agreements on the Community of Serb-Majority Municipalities; telecommunications; energy production and distribution; and freedom of movement. President Aleksandar VUCIC has promoted an ambitious goal of Serbia joining the EU by 2025. Under his leadership as prime minister, in January 2014 Serbia opened formal negotiations for accession.

Geography

Location:
Southeastern Europe, between Macedonia and Hungary
Geographic coordinates:
44 00 N, 21 00 E
Map references:
Europe
Area:
total: 77,474 sq km
land: 77,474 sq km
water: 0 sq km
country comparison to the world: 118
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land boundaries:
total: 2,322 km
border countries (8): Bosnia and Herzegovina 345 km, Bulgaria 344 km, Croatia 314 km, Hungary 164 km, Kosovo 366 km, Macedonia 101 km, Montenegro 157 km, Romania 531 km
Coastline:
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
Climate:
in the north, continental climate (cold winters and hot, humid summers with well-distributed rainfall); in other parts, continental and Mediterranean climate (relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall and hot, dry summers and autumns)
Terrain:
extremely varied; to the north, rich fertile plains; to the east, limestone ranges and basins; to the southeast, ancient mountains and hills
Elevation:
mean elevation: 442 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Danube and Timok Rivers 35 m
highest point: Midzor 2,169 m
Natural resources:
oil, gas, coal, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, chromite, gold, silver, magnesium, pyrite, limestone, marble, salt, arable land
Land use:
agricultural land: 57.9%
arable land 37.7%; permanent crops 3.4%; permanent pasture 16.8%
forest: 31.6%
other: 10.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land:
950 sq km (2012)
Population - distribution:
a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations
Natural hazards:
destructive earthquakes
Environment - current issues:
air pollution around Belgrade and other industrial cities; water pollution from industrial wastes dumped into the Sava which flows into the Danube
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
landlocked; controls one of the major land routes from Western Europe to Turkey and the Near East

People & Society

Population:
7,111,024
note: does not include the population of Kosovo (July 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
Nationality:
noun: Serb(s)
adjective: Serbian
Ethnic groups:
Serb 83.3%, Hungarian 3.5%, Romani 2.1%, Bosniak 2%, other 5.7%, undeclared or unknown 3.4% (2011 est.)
note: most ethnic Albanians boycotted the 2011 census; Romani populations are usually underestimated in official statistics and may represent 5–11% of Serbia's population
Languages:
Serbian (official) 88.1%, Hungarian 3.4%, Bosnian 1.9%, Romani 1.4%, other 3.4%, undeclared or unknown 1.8%
note: Serbian, Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, Croatian, and Ruthenian (Rusyn) are official in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina; most ethnic Albanians boycotted the 2011 census (2011 est.)
Religions:
Orthodox 84.6%, Catholic 5%, Muslim 3.1%, Protestant 1%, atheist 1.1%, other 0.8% (includes agnostics, other Christians, Eastern religionists, Jewish), undeclared or unknown 4.5%
note: most ethnic Albanians boycotted the 2011 census (2011 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.5% (male 531,524/female 499,715)
15-24 years: 11.26% (male 413,046/female 387,697)
25-54 years: 41.32% (male 1,483,392/female 1,454,931)
55-64 years: 14.49% (male 496,944/female 533,329)
65 years and over: 18.43% (male 541,569/female 768,877) (2017 est.)
population pyramid:
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 49.2
youth dependency ratio: 24.9
elderly dependency ratio: 24.3
potential support ratio: 4.1
note: data include Kosovo (2015 est.)
Median age:
total: 42.6 years
male: 40.9 years
female: 44.3 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
Population growth rate:
-0.46% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 221
Birth rate:
9 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206
Death rate:
13.6 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
Population distribution:
a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations
Urbanization:
urban population: 55.8% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: -0.29% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
note: data include Kosovo
Major urban areas - population:
BELGRADE (capital) 1.182 million (2015)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth:
27.9 years
note: data do not cover Kosovo or Metohija (2014 est.)
Maternal mortality ratio:
17 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
Infant mortality rate:
total: 5.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.7 years
male: 72.8 years
female: 78.8 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
Total fertility rate:
1.44 children born/woman (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
58.4% (2014)
Health expenditures:
10.4% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 21
Physicians density:
2.46 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density:
5.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 99.4% of population
rural: 98.9% of population
total: 99.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.6% of population
rural: 1.1% of population
total: 0.8% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 98.2% of population
rural: 94.2% of population
total: 96.4% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1.8% of population
rural: 5.8% of population
total: 3.6% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
<.1% (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
2,700 (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
<100 (2016 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
21.5% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 88
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
1.8% (2014)
country comparison to the world: 125
Education expenditures:
4% of GDP (2015)
country comparison to the world: 82
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.8%
male: 99.5%
female: 98.2% (2016 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 15 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2015)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 43.2%
male: 40.1%
female: 48.2% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Serbia
conventional short form: Serbia
local long form: Republika Srbija
local short form: Srbija
former: People's Republic of Serbia, Socialist Republic of Serbia
etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but seems to be related to the name of the West Slavic Sorbs who reside in the Lusatian region in present-day eastern Germany; by tradition, the Serbs migrated from that region to the Balkans in about the 6th century A.D.
Government type:
parliamentary republic
Capital:
name: Belgrade (Beograd)
geographic coordinates: 44 50 N, 20 30 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
119 municipalities (opstine, singular - opstina) and 26 cities (gradovi, singular - grad)
municipalities: Ada*, Aleksandrovac, Aleksinac, Alibunar*, Apatin*, Arandelovac, Arilje, Babusnica, Bac*, Backa Palanka*, Backa Topola*, Backi Petrovac*, Bajina Basta, Batocina, Becej*, Bela Crkva*, Bela Palanka, Beocin*, Blace, Bogatic, Bojnik, Boljevac, Bor, Bosilegrad, Brus, Bujanovac, Cajetina, Cicevac, Coka*, Crna Trava, Cuprija, Despotovac, Dimitrov, Doljevac, Gadzin Han, Golubac, Gornji Milanovac, Indija*, Irig*, Ivanjica, Kanjiza*, Kladovo, Knic, Knjazevac, Koceljeva, Kosjeric, Kovacica*, Kovin*, Krupanj, Kucevo, Kula*, Kursumlija, Lajkovac, Lapovo, Lebane, Ljig, Ljubovija, Lucani, Majdanpek, Mali Idos*, Mali Zvornik, Malo Crnice, Medveda, Merosina, Mionica, Negotin, Nova Crnja*, Nova Varos, Novi Becej*, Novi Knezevac*, Odzaci*, Opovo*, Osecina, Paracin, Pecinci*, Petrovac na Mlavi, Plandiste*, Pozega, Presevo, Priboj, Prijepolje, Prokuplje, Raca, Raska, Razanj, Rekovac, Ruma*, Secanj*, Senta*, Sid*, Sjenica, Smederevska Palanka, Sokobanja, Srbobran*, Sremski Karlovci*, Stara Pazova*, Surdulica, Svilajnac, Svrljig, Temerin*, Titel*, Topola, Trgoviste, Trstenik, Tutin, Ub, Varvarin, Velika Plana, Veliko Gradiste, Vladicin Han, Vladimirci, Vlasotince, Vrbas*, Vrnjacka Banja, Zabalj*, Zabari, Zagubica, Zitiste*, Zitorada
cities: Beograd, Cacak, Jagodina, Kikinda*, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Krusevac, Leskovac, Loznica, Nis, Novi Pazar, Novi Sad*, Pancevo*, Pirot, Pozarevac, Sabac, Smederevo, Sombor*, Sremska Mitrovica*, Subotica*, Uzice, Valjevo, Vranje, Vrsac, Zajecar, Zrenjanin*
note: the northern 39 municipalities and 6 cities - about 28% of Serbia's area - compose the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and are indicated with *
Independence:
5 June 2006 (from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro)
National holiday:
National Day (Statehood Day), 15 February (1835), the day the first constitution of the country was adopted
Constitution:
history: many previous; latest adopted 30 September 2006, approved by referendum 28-29 October 2006, effective 8 November 2006
amendments: proposed by at least one-third of deputies in the National Assembly, by the president of the republic, by the government, or by petition of at least 150,000 voters; passage of proposals and draft amendments each requires at least two-thirds majority vote in the Assembly; amendments to constitutional articles including the preamble, constitutional principles, and human and minority rights and freedoms also require a referendum with passage by simple majority vote (2016)
Legal system:
civil law system
International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenship:
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Serbia
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years
Suffrage:
18 years of age, 16 if employed; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Aleksandar VUCIC (since 31 May 2017)
head of government: Prime Minister Ana BRNABIC (since 29 June 2017)
cabinet: Cabinet elected by the National Assembly
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 2 April 2017 (next to be held in 2022); prime minister elected by the National Assembly
election results: Aleksandar VUCIC elected president; percent of vote - Aleksandar VUCIC (SNS) 55.1%, Sasa JANKOVIC (independent) 16.4%, Luka MAKSIMOVIC (independent) 9.4%, Vuk JEREMIC (independent) 5.7%, Vojislav SESELJ (SRS) 4.5%, Bosko OBRADOVIC (Dveri) 2.3%, other 5.0%, invalid/blank 1.6%
Legislative branch:
description: unicameral National Assembly or Narodna Skupstina (250 seats; members directly elected by party list proportional representation vote in a single nationwide constituency to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 24 April 2016 (next to be held by April 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party/coalition - Serbia is Winning 48.3%, SPS-JS-ZS-KP 11.0%, SRS 8.1%, For a Just Serbia 6.0%, DJB 6.0%, Alliance for a Better Serbia 5.0%, Dveri-DSS 5.0%, SVM 1.5%, other 9.1%; seats by party/coalition Serbia is Winning 131, SPS-JS-ZS-KP 29, SRS 22, For a Just Serbia 16, DJB 16, Alliance for a Better Serbia 13, Dveri-DSS 13, SVM 4, other 6
note: as of May 2018, SNS 89, SRS 22, SPS 20, DS 12, SDPS 10, PUPS 9, Dveri 6, JS 6, LDP 4, SDS 4, SVM 4, other 34, independent 30
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Cassation (consists of more than 60 judges organized into 3- and 5-member panels for criminal, civil, and administrative cases); Constitutional Court (consists of 15 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court justices proposed by the High Judicial Council (HJC), an 11-member body of which 7 are judges, and elected by the National Assembly; Constitutional Court judges appointed - 5 each by the National Assembly, the president, and the Supreme Court of Cassation; judges of both courts appointed to permanent tenure by the HJC
subordinate courts: appellate courts, higher courts, and municipal and district courts; courts of special jurisdiction include the Administrative Court, Appellate Commercial Court, and 2 levels of misdemeanor courts
note: in 2003, specialized panels on war crimes were established within the Serbian court system; the panels have jurisdiction over alleged violations of the Basic Criminal Code and crimes against humanity, international law, and criminal acts as defined by the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance for a Better Serbia (electoral coalition including LDP, LSV, SDS)
Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians or SVM [Istvan PASZTOR]
Bosniak Democratic Union of Sandzak or BDZS [Jahja FEHRATOVIC]
Communist Party or KP [Josip Joska BROZ]
Democratic Party or DS (vacant)
Democratic Party of Serbia or DSS [Milos JOVANOVIC]
Dveri [Bosko OBRADOVIC]
Enough is Enough or DJB [Branislav MIHAJLOVIC]
For a Just Serbia (electoral coalition including DS, NS, DSVH, VVS)
Greens of Serbia or ZS [Ivan KARIC]
League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina or LSV [Nenad CANAK]
Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Cedomir JOVANOVIC]
Movement of Socialists or PS [Aleksandar VULIN]
New Party or NOVA [Zoran ZIVKOVIC]
New Serbia or NS [Velimir ILIC]
Party for Democratic Action or PDD [Riza HALIMI]
Party of Democratic Action of the Sandzak or SDA [Sulejman UGLJANIN]
Party of United Pensioners of Serbia or PUPS [Milan KRKOBABIC]
People's Party or NARODNA [Vuk JEREMIC]
Serbia is Winning (electoral coalition including NDSS, NS, PS, PSS, PUPS, SDPS, SNP, SNS, SPO)
Serbian People's Party or SNP [Nenad POPOVIC]
Serbian Progressive Party or SNS [Aleksandar VUCIC]
Serbian Radical Party or SRS [Vojislav SESELJ]
Serbian Renewal Movement or SPO [Vuk DRASKOVIC]
Social Democratic Party or SDS [Boris TADIC]
Social Democratic Party of Serbia or SDPS [Rasim LJAJIC]
Socialist Party of Serbia or SPS [Ivica DACIC]
Strength of Serbia or PSS [Bogoljub KARIC]
Together for Serbia or ZZS [Dusan PETROVIC]
United Serbia or JS [Dragan MARKOVIC]
note: Serbia has more than 100 registered political parties and citizens' associations
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia or NUNS
Journalists Association of Serbia (Udruzenje novinara Srbije) or UNS
Obraz (Orthodox clero-fascist organization)
International organization participation:
BIS, BSEC, CD, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, EU (candidate country), FAO, G-9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Djerdj MATKOVIC (since 23 February 2015)
chancery: 2233 Wisconsin Ave NW
telephone: [1] (202) 332-0333
FAX: [1] (202) 332-3933
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Kyle SCOTT (since 5 February 2016)
embassy: 92 Bulevar kneza Aleksandra Karadjordjevica, 11040 Belgrade, Serbia
mailing address: 5070 Belgrade Place, Washington, DC 20521-5070
telephone: [381] (11) 706-4000
FAX: [381] (11) 706-4005
Flag description:
three equal horizontal stripes of red (top), blue, and white - the Pan-Slav colors representing freedom and revolutionary ideals; charged with the coat of arms of Serbia shifted slightly to the hoist side; the principal field of the coat of arms represents the Serbian state and displays a white two-headed eagle on a red shield; a smaller red shield on the eagle represents the Serbian nation, and is divided into four quarters by a white cross; interpretations vary as to the meaning and origin of the white, curved symbols resembling firesteels or Cyrillic "C's" in each quarter; a royal crown surmounts the coat of arms
note: the Pan-Slav colors were inspired by the 19th-century flag of Russia
National symbol(s):
white double-headed eagle; national colors: red, blue, white
National anthem:
name: "Boze pravde" (God of Justice)
lyrics/music: Jovan DORDEVIC/Davorin JENKO
note: adopted 1904; song originally written as part of a play in 1872 and has been used as an anthem by the Serbian people throughout the 20th and 21st centuries

Economy

Economy - overview:
Serbia has a transitional economy largely dominated by market forces, but the state sector remains significant in certain areas. The economy relies on manufacturing and exports, driven largely by foreign investment. MILOSEVIC-era mismanagement of the economy, an extended period of international economic sanctions, civil war, and the damage to Yugoslavia's infrastructure and industry during the NATO airstrikes in 1999 left the economy worse off than it was in 1990. In 2015, Serbia’s GDP was 27.5% below where it was in 1989.
After former Federal Yugoslav President MILOSEVIC was ousted in September 2000, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) coalition government implemented stabilization measures and embarked on a market reform program. Serbia renewed its membership in the IMF in December 2000 and rejoined the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Serbia has made progress in trade liberalization and enterprise restructuring and privatization, but many large enterprises - including the power utilities, telecommunications company, natural gas company, and others - remain state-owned. Serbia has made some progress towards EU membership, gaining candidate status in March 2012. In January 2014, Serbia's EU accession talks officially opened and, as of December 2017, Serbia had opened 12 negotiating chapters including one on foreign trade. Serbia's negotiations with the WTO are advanced, with the country's complete ban on the trade and cultivation of agricultural biotechnology products representing the primary remaining obstacle to accession. Serbia maintains a three-year Stand-by Arrangement with the IMF worth approximately $1.3 billion that is scheduled to end in February 2018. The government has shown progress implementing economic reforms, such as fiscal consolidation, privatization, and reducing public spending.
Unemployment in Serbia, while relatively low (16% in 2017) compared with its Balkan neighbors, remains significantly above the European average. Serbia is slowly implementing structural economic reforms needed to ensure the country's long-term prosperity. Serbia reduced its budget deficit to 1.7% of GDP and its public debt to 71% of GDP in 2017. Public debt had more than doubled between 2008 and 2015. Serbia's concerns about inflation and exchange-rate stability preclude the use of expansionary monetary policy.
Major economic challenges ahead include: stagnant household incomes; the need for private sector job creation; structural reforms of state-owned companies; strategic public sector reforms; and the need for new foreign direct investment. Other serious longer-term challenges include an inefficient judicial system, high levels of corruption, and an aging population. Factors favorable to Serbia's economic growth include the economic reforms it is undergoing as part of its EU accession process and IMF agreement, its strategic location, a relatively inexpensive and skilled labor force, and free trade agreements with the EU, Russia, Turkey, and countries that are members of the Central European Free Trade Agreement.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$106.6 billion (2017 est.)
$103.5 billion (2016 est.)
$100.7 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 83
GDP (official exchange rate):
$39.37 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3% (2017 est.)
2.8% (2016 est.)
0.8% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$15,200 (2017 est.)
$14,700 (2016 est.)
$14,200 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 108
Gross national saving:
14.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
14% of GDP (2016 est.)
14.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128
GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption: 78.2%
government consumption: 10.1%
investment in fixed capital: 18.4%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 49.4%
imports of goods and services: -56.6% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 9.8%
industry: 41.1%
services: 49.1% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products:
wheat, maize, sunflower, sugar beets, grapes/wine, fruits (raspberries, apples, sour cherries), vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes), beef, pork, and meat products, milk and dairy products
Industries:
automobiles, base metals, furniture, food processing, machinery, chemicals, sugar, tires, clothes, pharmaceuticals
Industrial production growth rate:
3.3% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
Labor force:
2.92 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 17.8%
industry: 25.6%
services: 56.6% (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate:
16% (2017 est.)
15.9% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
Population below poverty line:
8.9% (2014 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
38.7 (2014 est.)
28.2 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
Budget:
revenues: $16.25 billion
expenditures: $16.93 billion
note: this is the consolidated budget, including both central government and local goverment budgets (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
41.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-1.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
Public debt:
71% of GDP (2017 est.)
74% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.4% (2017 est.)
1.1% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
Central bank discount rate:
4% (9 October 2017 est.)
7.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
7.6% (31 December 2017 est.)
8.45% (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
Stock of narrow money:
$6.161 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.189 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
Stock of broad money:
$21.27 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$18.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
Stock of domestic credit:
$22.51 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$20.22 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$5.064 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.841 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.525 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
Current account balance:
$-1.586 billion (2017 est.)
$-1.516 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
Exports:
$14.69 billion (2017 est.)
$13.99 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
Exports - commodities:
automobiles, iron and steel, rubber, clothes, wheat, fruit and vegetables, nonferrous metals, electric appliances, metal products, weapons and ammunition
Exports - partners:
Italy 14.6%, Germany 13.1%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 8.3%, Romania 5.7%, Russia 5.4% (2016)
Imports:
$19.24 billion (2017 est.)
$17.99 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, fuels and lubricants, manufactured goods, chemicals, food and live animals, raw materials
Imports - partners:
Germany 12.9%, Italy 10.4%, China 8.4%, Russia 7.9%, Hungary 4.6%, Poland 4.4% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$10.79 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$10.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
Debt - external:
$30.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$30.38 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$41.52 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$11.95 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA
Exchange rates:
Serbian dinars (RSD) per US dollar -
112.4 (2017 est.)
111.28 (2016 est.)
111.28 (2015 est.)
108.81 (2014 est.)
88.41 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access:
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
Electricity - production:
38.11 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
Electricity - consumption:
26.78 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
Electricity - exports:
6.428 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30
Electricity - imports:
5.065 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
Electricity - installed generating capacity:
7.594 million kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
Electricity - from fossil fuels:
59% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
38.8% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
Electricity - from other renewable sources:
2.2% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
Crude oil - production:
20,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
Crude oil - imports:
45,790 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
Crude oil - proved reserves:
77.5 million bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
Refined petroleum products - production:
67,360 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
Refined petroleum products - consumption:
66,230 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
Refined petroleum products - exports:
12,050 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
Refined petroleum products - imports:
16,070 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
Natural gas - production:
586.3 million cu m (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
Natural gas - consumption:
2.25 billion cu m (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
Natural gas - imports:
1.664 billion cu m (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
Natural gas - proved reserves:
48.14 billion cu m (1 January 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
56.55 million Mt (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines:
total subscriptions: 2,620,888
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 38 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
Telephones - mobile cellular:
total: 9,094,447
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 128 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
Telephone system:
general assessment: replacements of, and upgrades to, telecommunications equipment damaged during the 1999 war resulted in a modern digitalized telecommunications system
domestic: wireless service, available through multiple providers with national coverage, is growing very rapidly; best telecommunications services are centered in urban centers; 4G/LTE mobile network launched in March 2015
international: country code - 381 (2016)
Internet country code:
.rs
Internet users:
total: 4,790,488
percent of population: 67.1% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79

Transportation

National air transport system:
number of registered air carriers: 2
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 21
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,424,886
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2.748 million mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
YU (2016)
Airports:
26 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 127
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 10
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 16
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 5 (2013)
Heliports:
2 (2012)
Railways:
total: 3,809 km
standard gauge: 3,809 km 1.435-m gauge (3,526 km one-track lines and 283 km double-track lines) out of which 1,279 km electrified (1,000 km one-track lines and 279 km double-track lines) (2015)
country comparison to the world: 49
Roadways:
total: 44,248 km
paved: 28,000 km (16,162 km state roads, out of which 741 km highways)
unpaved: 16,248 km (2016)
country comparison to the world: 82
Waterways:
587 km (primarily on the Danube and Sava Rivers) (2009)
country comparison to the world: 80
Ports and terminals:
river port(s): Belgrade (Danube)

Military & Security

Military expenditures:
1.34% of GDP (2017 est.)
1.25% of GDP (2016)
1.41% of GDP (2015)
1.49% of GDP (2014)
1.48% of GDP (2013)
country comparison to the world: 85
Military branches:
Serbian Armed Forces (Vojska Srbije, VS): Land Forces (includes Riverine Component, consisting of a river flotilla on the Danube), Air and Air Defense Forces (2016)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished December 2010; reserve obligation to age 60 for men and age 50 for women (2013)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
Serbia with several other states protest the US and other states' recognition of Kosovo's declaration of its status as a sovereign and independent state in February 2008; ethnic Serbian municipalities along Kosovo's northern border challenge final status of Kosovo-Serbia boundary; several thousand NATO-led Kosovo Force peacekeepers under UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo authority continue to keep the peace within Kosovo between the ethnic Albanian majority and the Serb minority in Kosovo; Serbia delimited about half of the boundary with Bosnia and Herzegovina, but sections along the Drina River remain in dispute
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 20,346 (Croatia); 9,081 (Bosnia and Herzegovina) (2016)
IDPs: 219,633 (most are Kosovar Serbs, some are Roma, Ashkalis, and Egyptian (RAE); some RAE IDPs are unregistered) (2016)
stateless persons: 2,373 (includes stateless persons in Kosovo) (2016)
note: 678,493 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015 - December 2016); Serbia is predominantly a transit country and hosts an estimated 3,800 migrants and asylum seekers as of March 2018
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin moving to Western Europe on the Balkan route; economy vulnerable to money laundering

Economic Indicators for Serbia including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the Serbia economy.