The IMF Executive Board has completed the seventh review of Serbia’s current stand-by arrangement (SBA) and concluded its Article IV consultations with Serbia.

The National Bank of Serbia (NBS) announced this on Thursday, according to the Serbian government.

The IMF found that the three-year arrangement, signed in February 2015, was “unfolding successfully – good macroeconomic results have been achieved and real GDP is now considerably above pre-crisis levels, while inflation is moving within the target tolerance band, while current account deficit has narrowed significantly.”

The IMF also stated that “the excellent revenue performance supports fiscal consolidation, allowing for much less expenditure adjustments – however, it is important to continue a firm hold on current spending in order to create room for public debt reduction and higher capital investment.”

According to the Executive Board, monetary policy succeeded in keeping inflation firmly anchored within the target band, while exchange rate stability reinforced confidence in the local market and helped reduce the impact of euroisation.

Implementation of measures within the program has strengthened the resilience of the financial sector which is now in a much stronger position to support future growth. Yet efforts to reduce NPLs need to continue, and reforms of financial institutions in majority state ownership need to be accelerated.

The IMF Executive Board concluded that Serbia’s business environment has strengthened and recommended that further progress in structural reforms should be achieved, noting the importance of the modernization of education, strengthening of the tax administration and restructuring of public enterprises.

The completion of the revision puts an additional EUR 64.9 million at Serbia’ disposal, bringing the total sum available under the stand-by, to EUR 918 million.

B92

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