Overseas Property investors may be surprised to learn that one nation that has managed to weather the global financial crisis rather well comes in the form of a Western Balkan nation that is Albania. The proof that Albanian Property could be a great deal came and is leading the way in the region’s economic recovery when the EC Economic and Financial Affairs Department’s ‘Candidate and Pre-Accession Countries’ Economic produced its Quarterly Report’ Q4 2011.
Unlike many of its regional neighbours Albania weathered the economic crisis and avoided recession with 5.7% GDP growth recorded in Q4 2010 giving an average of 4.1% for the year. In contrast Croatia’s GDP fell by 0.6% in Q4 2010 compared to the same period in 2009 and the EU hopeful Republic of Macedonia saw only 2.3% growth. The outlook for Albania is most certainly positive for 2011. It has remained at the forefront of the Western Balkan nations during and post the crisis with economic growth driven by an increase in net exports as well as improvement in performance of the trade, hotel and restaurant sector.
Albania has worked hard to reduce its public deficit by an impressive 58% in 2010 from 2009 levels in contrast to other Western Balkan nations including Croatia, Serbia and Kosovo which saw a continued deterioration of public finances last year. In line with improved economic performance, unemployment levels are also down compared to the first half of 2011 with 2% year-on-year growth recorded for Q4 2010. Furthermore levels of FDI rose significantly by 17% last year which combined with Albania’s strong growth potential and movement towards EU accession enabled credit ratings agency, Standard and Poor’s, to maintain the nation’s credit rating at B+B last month.