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Country Report Bosnia-Hercegovina September 2017

Country Report Bosnia-Hercegovina September 2017

  • September 2017
  • ID: 2557274
  • Format: PDF
  • By The Economist Intelligence Unit


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Outlook for 2017-21

  • Shifting governing coalitions of nationalist parties and conflict within the complex institutional framework of Bosnia and Herecegovina (BiH) pose a risk of political instability.
  • A lack of consensus among BiH politicians concerning the adoption of reforms and the weakness of the entity governments will continue to delay the country's EU integration and IMF programme.
  • Milorad Dodik, the president of Republika Srpska (RS), will continue to assert the powers of the RS against efforts by Western countries and Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) leaders to strengthen central state institutions.
  • The RS and the Bosniak-Bosnian Croat Federation (BiH's other entity) will tighten fiscal policy, either as required by BiH's IMF programme or owing to a lack of financing. This could fuel social unrest similar to that seen in 2014.
  • After real GDP growth of 2.5% in 2016 The Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts that growth will accelerate to an average of 2.9% per year in 2017-21, driven by private consumption and investment growth.
  • The large grey economy, a poor demographic outlook, a burdensome business environment, an oversized public sector and political instability prevent a stronger growth outlook.
  • We forecast that the current-account deficit will widen to 4.8% of GDP this year, from 4.4% in 2016, as higher average global energy prices boost import costs. We forecast an average annual deficit of 5% of GDP in 2018-21.


  • On August 26th the Bosniak-Bosnian Croat Federation government reached an agreement with representatives of demobilised soldiers to expedite the adoption of a set of laws on war veterans' entitlements.
  • Mr Dodik recently called for a referendum in the RS on NATO membership in order to block BiH from joining NATO.
  • Working-day-adjusted retail sales volume increased by 4.1% year on year in July, slowing from 7.4% growth in June.
  • In June 2017 the number of registered unemployed amounted to 485,888-32,146 fewer than in June 2016.
  • In June tourist arrivals increased by 20% and tourist nights by 17.5% year on year.
  • In July seasonally adjusted industrial output increased by 5.6% year on year.
  • In July year-on-year consumer price inflation eased slightly, to 0.9%, from 1% in June.

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