We forecast a GDP contraction of 3.9 percent in Macedonia when the pandemic took off in spring, but now we are correcting this number to -4.9 percent. The economy cannot recover by the end of the year and the key problem is a global one – the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, said Freek Janmaat, Head of Operations at the EU Delegation in Skopje, while presenting the European Commission Autumn 2020 Economic Forecast for the country on Thursday.

The country’s GDP is expected to grow by 3.8% in 2021 and by 3.5% in 2022.

Despite certain initial signs of recovery, full return to pre-pandemic levels is not expected to be complete before 2022 due to uncertainties about the course of the pandemic, the Commission said.

Private consumption in the country is projected to decrease by 4.3%, but public consumption is expected to grow by 3.3% this year.

The unemployment rate is projected to stand at 17.3% in 2020, same as last year.