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US commercial information and analysis company Dun & Bradstreet issued a report on Albania ranking the country’s economy as moderately risky with the overall risk profile being on a deteriorating trend. The rating reflects significant uncertainty over expected returns, while the deteriorating trend arises from adverse political, commercial, economic and external developments. Dun & Bradstreet said that Albania’s risk outlook is in decline following the nationalisation of CEZ Distribution as the move is expected to have negative consequences for the country in terms of both economic and political effect.
Albania’s rising debt continues to be a concern with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank highlighting the need for adopting tangible measures that underpin prudent fiscal policy and send a credible signal to the markets. The international institutions also called on the government to introduce fiscal consolidation measures in the near term in order to achieve sustainable growth and preserve macroeconomic stability. The general government debt, including state guarantees, increased by 7.2% on the year in 2012 and equalled to 61.5% of the GDP, up by 1ppt from end-2011. Unemployment rate in the country stayed at 13.3% for the fifth straight quarter in Q4 2012 with the number of job seekers broadly unchanged at slightly over 141,000.
Consumer price inflation eased to 2.5% y/y in February 2013 from 2.7%. Producer prices also eased their annual growth. According to the latest available data, PPI edged up by 0.1% y/yin the fourth quarter of 2012, slowing down from a 0.5% growth in the previous quarter.
Albania’s general budget deficit shrank by 1% y/y in 2012 and accounted for 3.3% of the projected full-year GDP, down from 3.5% a year earlier. The narrower gap came as non-tax revenues and social contributions increased, while lower capital expenditure resulted in a slight decrease in budget spending.
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