In 2022, the economy of Montenegro records a relatively high rate of real GDP growth. In the first three quarters, real GDP was higher by 7.1% compared to the same period last year. In the first quarter, real growth of 7.1% was recorded, while in the second, real GDP growth rate was at the level of 12.7%. In the third quarter, where most of the value is created, real growth rate amounted to 3.2%.
The growth of total consumption, both household and state consumption, had the greatest influence on the GDP level. Namely, the household consumption during the first three quarters was 11.6% higher in real terms compared to the first three quarters of 2021. The growth of consumption was partly influenced by the increase in wages as a result of the implementation of the economic program Europe now, but also the growth of other social and other transfers during the previous period. During the previous years, investments represented a significant generator of GDP, however, their multiplied effect was absent in 2022. In the observed period, investments recorded a real drop of 2.7%.
During this year, the growth of foreign trade was recorded. The total export of goods and services was 23.1% higher in real terms, while the total import of goods and services recorded a similar growth rate (24.8%). However, it should be borne in mind that imports are 1.4 times higher than exports and that increase in import has a more significant impact. The growth of the export of services was mostly influenced by the growth of the export of services in tourism. Compared to the previous year, revenues from services in tourism increased by 30.2%, however, they are still below the level of 2019 (the period before the pandemic, so that in the first three quarters they make up 90% of revenues from 2019).
The growth of goods exports was mostly influenced by the export of electricity and non-ferrous metals, which at the same time make up 50% of the total exports of goods. During the first ten months, the export of electrical energy increased by 161.3% compared to the same period of the previous year, while the export of non-ferrous metals increased by 174.2%.
Observed from the point of view of production, in the first three quarters of 2022, GDP growth was most influenced by the growth of activities in the trade, transport and tourism sectors. In the first ten months of 2022, the number of tourist arrivals increased by 56.3%, while the number of tourists overnight stays in collective accommodation increased by 43.7%. Certainly, the war in Ukraine had an impact on the number of tourists, since tourists from Ukraine and Russia accounted for a fifth of the total number of foreign tourists overnight stays during the previous year. Positive growth rates were also recorded in the trade and transport sector. The real growth rate in the trade, transport and accommodation and catering sector was 17.9% in the observed period. In addition to these, the information and communication sector achieved real growth of 5.3% in the comparative period. On the other hand, negative real growth rates in the period January – September 2022 was recorded in the construction sector (18.5%), financial and insurance activities (1.5%), industry (1%) and agriculture (0.2 %).
Due to the growth of economic activity compared to the previous year, positive trends were recorded for the labor market. The total number of registered employees increased by 20.8% in the first ten months. On the other hand, registered unemployment decreased by 9.8%, so that the unemployment rate was 13% in the third quarter. With the implementation of the Europe Now program, earnings recorded a significant growth (33.5% in the first ten months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021).