Taking into account the present inflation rate in Serbia and a National Bank of Serbia projection under which it will be around 5.5 pct next year, an 18-20 pct rise of pensions means that pensioners will see a 12-14 pct income increase in real terms, says Finance Minister Sinisa Mali.

“The same is the case when it comes to the minimum wage and the wage increase in the public sector. The plan is for that to begin from January 1 next year, and a double-figure percentage increase of wages and pensions in the period to come will provide our citizens with better living standards,” Mali told reporters in Belgrade on Friday.

It is very important that the increase of income is higher than the inflation rate, he said.

The government has the funds for the announced wage and pension increases because no such decision has been made without taking into account the stability of public finances, Mali said.

Illustrating that stability, Mali said the debt-to-GDP ratio was currently at 52.1 pct and that the GDP growth rate in Q1 2022 had been 4.4 pct and was expected to be around 3.7 pct in Q2 2022.