Good signs for Albania economy

The Albanian economy had a positive performance during 2018, which was a year of progress and improvement for the Albanian finances, Bank of Albania Governor Gent Sejko said last night.

In the 2018 Annual Report to the Economy and Finance Committee of the Albanian Parliament, Sejko said the country’s economic activity and employment continued to expand, while salaries and internal inflationary pressures also increased.

“Based on the data of the National Institute of Statistics, Albania’s economic growth rate accelerated to 4.1 percent in 2018. The employment in the economy grew by 1.6 percent, whereas the unemployment rate declined to 12.3 percent from 13.4 percent a year earlier,” Sejko said.

The Bank of Albania estimates that 2018 brought further improvements in the banking system activity.

In his report, Sejko said that the ability of banking system to cope with risks is high. Capitalization and liquidity are at more than satisfactory levels, while the ratio of non-performing loans has fallen to the lowest levels of almost a decade.

Sejko underlined that by the end of 2018, the non-performing loans ratio was 11.1 percent from 13.2 percent a year earlier, while the non-performing loans surplus decreased by 20 percent.

The governor expressed optimism about the restructuring process of banks, adding that “at the end of last year, the Albanian banking system was concentrated in 14 banks, out of 16 a year earlier.”

Moreover, Sejko noted that the annual inflation in Albania was at an average of 2 percent, remaining at the same level as in 2017 and below the bank’s target of 3 percent.