UPDATE 1-Western Balkan region to grow 1.3 pct in 2015 -World Bank

martes 20 de enero de 2015 07:59 GYT

(Adds details)

* Growth to be driven by recovery in exports

* The region grew 0.2 percent in 2014

* Improved investment climate, EU integration could spur growth

By Ivana Sekularac

BELGRADE, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The economies of the Western Balkans will grow an average 1.3 percent this year as demand for their exports rises and the region recovers from 2014's devastating floods, the World Bank said on Tuesday.

The region, which covers Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, posted estimated growth of 0.2 percent in 2014, the Washington-based lender said in a report, despite the impact of the floods that hit Bosnia and Serbia in May.

The World Bank forecast that all but one of those economies would expand by between 1.5 and 3.5 percent this year, although it acknowledged risks to growth from a recession in Russia and a moribund euro zone, both major trading partners.

The exception is Serbia, the biggest economy in the Western Balkans, which is seen contracting by 0.5 percent due to weak domestic demand and government austerity measures.   Continuación...