Kosovo is expected to have an economic growth during 2021, after last year's recession which was the worst ever recorded in the region.
This is the assessment of the World Bank in the report "World Economic Outlook", which states that after the severe economic shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a contraction of economic activity of minus 8.8 percent last year, Kosovo is expected to have economic growth of 3.7 percent in 2021.
"A marked recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, at the end of 2020, interrupted the initial economic recovery, worsening the Production Index throughout the region. The economies hardest hit by the pandemic are those countries with strong trade or financial ties, highly dependent on services and tourism (Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro).
The economic recovery will be gradual in Kosovo as well, in line with the global trend, real activity will reach pre-pandemic levels only in 2022.
The World Bank says the pandemic halted progress made over a decade in the region in increasing incomes and reducing poverty, while labor markets in the Western Balkans have been able to recover only half of the jobs lost due to the pandemic - leaving a large number of people unemployed and forcing many others to leave the labor market altogether.
According to the report, policy efforts in the region should continue to focus firmly on fighting the pandemic, reducing social costs and supporting recovery.
"Economic growth in low-income countries this year is projected to be 2.9%, which, after 2020, is the slowest growth in the last 20 years, and which partly reflects the slower pace of vaccination in these countries," the report said.
Finally, the WB points out that reducing trade costs, such as complicated logistics and border procedures, can help strengthen the recovery in countries with emerging markets and emerging economies, thus facilitating trade.