Economy of Serbia and Montenegro

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Serbia and Montenegro was a confederated union which existed between 2003 and 2006. The two republics initially formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992.

The economy of Serbia and Montenegro entered a prolonged decline in 1989. Exacerbated by the economic embargo imposed during the Bosnian war, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) economy's downward spiral showed no real sign of recovery until 1995. GDP was nowhere near its 1991 level, but the NATO bombing in 1999 of the basic infrastructure of the country and many factories, as well as a renewed embargo caused a further huge drop in GDP in relation to the 1991 level. The first sign of an economic recovery occurred in 2001 after the removal of Milošević on 5 October 2000. A vigorous team of economic reformers has worked to tame inflation (non-energy inflation is less than 9% in 2002, down from over 120% two years earlier) and rationalize the SCG economy. GDP, although only half of its 1997 level, is projected to increase steadily in the near future. As of January 2005 GDP has recovered to 55-60% of its 1990 level, due to GDP growth of 8.5% in 2004.


Currency Problems

The FRY's monetary unit, the dinar, remained volatile throughout Milošević's rule. Alarmed FRY officials took several steps to tighten monetary policy in 1998, including ruling out a devaluation in the near term, increasing reserve requirements, and issuing bonds. During this period, Montenegro rejected the dinar and adopted the Deutsche Mark (now replaced by the euro) as its official currency. As 1999 began, the damage control operation had succeeded in returning the exchange rate to reasonable levels. However, it was not until 2002, after intense macroeconomic reform measures, that the dinar became convertible--a first since the Bretton Woods Agreements laid out the post-World War II international exchange rate regime.

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