From: Exit Staff
Inflation in Kosovo Reaches Historic Levels Amid Trade Developments

Inflation in Kosovo has increased by 13% in the last 12 months according to official statistics, with big increases in the cost of food, fuel, and home heating.

The cost of fuel has increased by 9.2%, vegetables and fruit by 2%, and furniture and home items by 2.5%. But even bigger increases were seen in solid fuels and firewood which increased in price by 60.2% on the previous year, as well as edible oils by nearly 50%, bread by 33.5%, dairy by 25.8%, and meat by 22%.

The average wage in Kosovo is around €500 per person per month, but the minimum wage is approximately half of that figure with many living below the poverty line.

Meanwhile, Kosovo has increased its imports from Serbia by 30% during September, despite tensions between the two countries over Belgrade’s refusal to recognise Prishtina’s sovereignty.

Democratic League of Kosovo MP Avdullah Hoti explained in parliament that, “August this year compared to August of the previous year, you can see that imports from Albania have decreased by 10%, but from Serbia, they have increased by 30%.”

According to him, this calls into question the declarations of great economic growth of local production.

“The deepening of the trade deficit, based on this data of the Statistics Agency for the period January-August 2022 compared to the same period last year, Kosovo’s exports have increased by €150 million, but imports have increased by €800 million, and this has brought the trade deficit to €3 billion, which is an increase of 56% compared to the previous year,” said Hoti.

But a new railway between Albania and Kosovo could soon change things. The Durres-Prishtina railway is currently at the feasibility stage as of last week.

“This new railway line will first meet the transport needs of Albania and Kosovo, as well as the needs of the countries of the Western Balkans and beyond, including Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and other countries that are also connected to Railway Corridor X (ten) and Railway Corridor IV (four)” states the terms of reference for the announced procedure.

At the start of October, Kosovo officially opened its customs office at the Albanian port, allowing the smoother transit of goods to the capital.