Economic and external trade activity

According to SORS data, industrial production rose 4.6% y-o-y in September, recording growth for the fourth consecutive month. The September performance reflects higher production in manufacturing (+4.1% y-o-y), as well as in electricity, gas and steam supply (+9.6% y-o-y) and mining (+0.5% y-o-y). Within manufacturing, growth was registered in 16 out of 24 branches, and the strongest contributions came from food industry, metal products and electrical equipment.

Looking at the period January–September 2020, industrial production declined by mere 0.2% y-o-y despite the pandemic and the global slowdown, illustrating further the resilience of the Serbian economy and the importance of the package of economic measures adopted by the NBS and the Government.

Real retail trade turnover increased by 7.7% y-o-y in September and by 4.9% y-o-y in the period January–September 2020. Though still lower than pre-crisis, tourist turnover continues to recover – tourist arrivals and overnight stays in September were down by 43.1% and 22.9% y-o-y, respectively. Within these figures, the number of domestic tourist arrivals in September increased by 8.9% y-o-y and the number of their overnight stays by 18.8% y-o-y, partly compensating for the absence of foreign tourists due to the pandemic. 

As regards external trade, in September, goods exports and imports in euro terms recorded y-o-y growth for the first time since the start of the pandemic (+4.7% and +8.5%, respectively). The y-o-y growth in exports was led by the rebound in manufacturing exports, and that in imports by the boosted imports of equipment and consumer goods.

SORS also published data on registered employment in Q3 2020, revealing a 2.0% y-o-y increase in this indicator.

Governor’s Office