BIRN -- Kosovo is the country with the highest GDP growth in the Balkans in 2009, while Romania will face the worst economic slump this year, the IMF predicts.
Kosovo's GDP will grow by 3.8 per cent this year and 4.3 per cent in 2010, the Fund believes. In contrast, the Romanian economy will nosedive by 8.5 per cent this year, experiencing only slight growth of 0.5 per cent next year.
Kosovo's GDP per capita is expected to reach 1731 euros by the end of the year.
The IMF has slightly revised its predictions for Albanian growth for 2009, expecting the country's GDP to improve by 0.7 per cent, from 0.4 per cent in the previous estimates.
According to the IMF statistical database, Albania's nominal GDP will increase by 2.2 per cent in 2010, returning to a more typical growth rate of 6 per cent in 2011. GDP per capita will increase a slight 0.2 per cent this year to 2598 euros.
IMF projections are published twice a year, in April and October.Bulgaria will experience a 6.5 per cent fall in GDP this year, and 2.5 per cent in 2010. GDP per capita in Bulgaria is currently 3439 euros.
Serbia's GDP will fall 4 per cent this year, before growing 1.5 per cent in 2010. GDP per capita in Serbia is 3949 euros.
Macedonia's GDP will fall 2.5 per cent this year, with 2 per cent growth in the next fiscal year. A strong growth rate of 5 per cent is expected for 2011. GDP per capita in Macedonia is 2944 euros.Croatia's GDP will fall by 5.2 per cent in 2009, and will grow by 0.5 per cent in 2010.
GDP per capita is currently 8941 euros, which makes Croatia the richest country in the region.Bosnia & Herzegovina, BiH, will suffer a 3 per cent GDP drop this year, ahead of an expected 0.5 per cent gain in 2010.
GDP per capita in BiH is 2751 euros.Currently, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania have the lowest prices in the region, while Croatia and Romania have the highest, according to the Purchasing Power Parity index.
According to IMF data, a single US dollar in Macedonia buys 2.1 times more goods than in western European countries, followed by Bulgaria, 1.98; Albania, 1.9; Serbia, 1.83; and Bosnia, 1.76. In Croatia, a US dollar is worth just 1.2 times more than in western Europe.
The so-called Big Mac Index was created in 1984 by British newspaper The Economist with the intention of providing a better understanding of the real value of a dollar in different countries. Since then, the IMF has developed a more complicated purchasing power methodology.
Based on these calculations, GDP per capita in Kosovo is just 40 per cent of the world average, followed by Albania at 67 per cent; Bosnia, 72 per cent; Macedonia, 87 per cent; Serbia, 101 per cent; and Romania at 113 per cent. Croatia is 171 per cent richer then the world average.