Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/20/2012 -- The Serbian Retail Report examines the long-term potential of the local consumer market, but flags shortterm concerns about the impact on Serbia's economic outlook of fiscal austerity measures.
The report examines how best to maximise returns in the Serbian retail market while minimising investment risk, and also explores the impact of the eurozone recession and declining remittances, on the Serbian consumer and on the ability of producers and exporters to realise returns in the short term.
The report also analyses the growth and risk management strategies being employed by the leading players in the Serbian retail sector, as they seek to maximise the growth opportunities offered by the local market.
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Serbia comes first (out of 10) in BMI's Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Retail Risk/Reward Ratings, although its Risk rating is comparatively low.
Among all retail categories, autos will be one of the outperformers through to 2016 in growth terms, with new car sales up more than 28% to 39,246 units by the end of the forecast period. BMI's Autos team believes that Serbia's geographical position could help it emerge as an autos hub for the Commonwealth of Independent States region.
In the competitive arena, BMI sees upside potential in the fact that, on March 1 2012, the EU awarded Serbia candidate status. Although Serbia is unlikely to join the EU before 2018, the accession process itself will provide the government with a policy anchor and development funds. We also expect investors to be enticed by the prospect of eventual access to the single market.
Over the last quarter, BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:
- BMI expects trend real GDP growth of 4.3% between 2014 and 2016 in light of the EU having awarded Serbia candidate status, reflecting years of judicial, political and macroeconomic reforms.
- BMI expects private consumption to expand by 0.5% in 2012 and by 2.0% in 2013 as inflation moderates from a yearly average of 11.2% in 2011 to 4.6% in 2012; mitigating the effects of the dinar's collapse, having increased the cost of servicing a large foreign exchange-denominated household debt pile, and the eurozone recession hitting remittances.
- With recent data showing that Bulgarian retail sales declined a seasonally adjusted 2% monthon- month in February 2012 (the biggest drop since January 2010, when sales tumbled 3.9%), BMI has strengthened its view that there will not be a significant change in trend.
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