TIRANA, July 1
Nearly 17,000 people lost their jobs in Albania during January – March (Q1) with the disruption in economic activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor of the Bank of Albania Gent Sejko said on Wednesday. Based on the fact, that safety measures and lockdowns came into place by mid-March, the majority of those jobs have been lost during the second half of March.
Sejko highlighted that the Albanian economy shrank by 2.5 percent during the first quarter of the year, due to a decline in exports and investments. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate increased to a level of 11.4 percent.
Moreover, indirect assessments raise concerns over a major economic contraction during the second quarter of 2020. Sejko pointed out that exports shrunk by 33 percent during April and May, while imports declined by 30 percent during the same period.
Hence, BoA’s estimates that the future of the Albanian economy will depend on the impact of the pandemic consequences. According to Sejko, the bottom of the current economic downturn was in Q2. Moreover, the GDP growth in the next two quarters of 2020 likely to be negative.
However, the governor pointed out that financial markets and the banking sector are healthy.
In the end, Sejko said that BoA’s Supervisory Council decided to keep the key rate unchanged at the historic low of 0.5 percent.