Albania’s GDP grows 2.82 pct in first quarter of 2015

Albania's GDP grows 2.82 pct in first quarter of 2015

tirana14* Albania GDP grows 2.82 pct in first quarter of 2015

* Financial sector and manufacturing boost growth

(Reuters) – Albania’s economy grew 2.82 percent in the first quarter of 2015 from the same period a year before, shrugging off the impact of February floods as activity in the financial and insurance sector surged.

The Institute of Statistics also said on Thursday that gross domestic product had grown 0.32 percent in the first quarter of 2015 from the last three months of 2014.

That was in line with official forecasts for growth in 2015 despite damage to agriculture from flooding in the south of the Adriatic Sea state in February.

Last week, Albania and the International Monetary Fund cut their growth forecast to 2.7 percent from 3 percent for 2015, mainly because of lower prices in world markets for Albania’s exports of minerals and oil.

The central bank expects the economy to expand more in 2015 than 2014’s 1.89 percent although that could change if the crisis in neighbouring Greece, home to more than 600,000 Albanian migrant workers, worsens.

The financial and insurance sector led growth in the first quarter, expanding by 13 percent compared to the same period last year, with activity in the manufacturing, energy and water industries 7.64 percent higher.

Household spending fell by 1.22 percent while government expenditure fell by 0.01 percent, the Institute said.

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