Macedonia is in recession after reporting two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, contracting 1.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 and 0.9 per cent in the second quarter, according to official figures released by the statistics office in Skopje.
Second-quarter declines were most significant in Macedonia’s mining, construction and manufacturing sectors.
The decline is widely seen as influenced to a large degree by the economic woes of the former Yugoslav republic’s neighbour and significant trading partner, Greece, which is enduring a crisis of huge debts, prolonged recession and worsening unemployment. Greece’s second-quarter jobless rate was 23.6 per cent, with youth unemployment – in the 15 to 24 age bracket – at 53.9 per cent.
Macedonia also is seriously affected by the problems in the euro zone, although the 17-member currency group is not in recession, having reported GDP growth as flat in Q1 2012, slipping to a 0.2 per cent contraction in Q2 2012.
(Photo: Goce Bonev/sxc.hu)