The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has forecast a -9% financial growth in Albania during 2020. This year’s gross domestic product will see a 9% drop compared to that of 2019.
Its grim forecast takes into consideration both the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, and the damage brought about by the earthquake that hit Albania in November 2019.
According to EBRD, Albania will be the Western Balkans country hit the hardest financially by the coronavirus pandemic.
The bank’s May 2020 update on regional economic prospects predicts that the country’s economy “is likely to be strongly affected by the epidemic due to its high reliance on tourism and exports of low-value-added intermediate goods to Italy’s fashion industry.”
It also foresees a reduction in remittances, due to the global pandemic, that will negatively impact Albania’s economy.
EBRD is more pessimistic in its forecast than the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose report only foresaw a 5% drop in the country’s economy.
It forecasts a general economic decline in the Western Balkans region. Following Albania, Montenegro is likely to suffer the most financially, as it also relies significantly on tourism.
Kosovo is expected to see a 5% drop, Bosnia-Herzegovina 4.5%, whereas Serbia and North Macedonia a lower, 3.5% drop.