Albanian Economy Losses 560 Million Euro Due to the Pandemic

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 3, 2021 14:18

Albanian Economy Losses 560 Million Euro Due to the Pandemic

The Albanian economy has lost due to the pandemic 560 million euros, making the pandemic one of the biggest economic crisis to hit the country, while around 43,000 people officially lost their jobs due to the economic restrictions. According to INSTAT, the GDP in 2020 was 1,61 trillion ALL, from 1,68 trillion ALL in 2019, shrinking by -4.2% in nominal value and -3.3% in real value. The decline of 3.3%, in any case, was lower than the expectations of various international institutions, which had predicted a decline of around 7%. As reported by Monitor, from the 11 main economic activities in the country, only 3 of them were not hit by the crisis: the “real estate” sector, the “construction” sector and “public administration, education and health.”

The real estate sector increased throughout the quarters of the year, including the second quarter (+5,47) when Albania was basically in total quarantine. With an expansion of 6,74% throughout the year, this sector is by far the one that helped the most the economy in 2020. Real estate activities in value were about 850 million euros, reaching 6.55% of GDP, or a percentage point more than a year ago. But various experts consider the growth of the real estate sector as being a sign of a huge deeper problem. “Leaders of real estate agencies in the country claimed that the main factor behind the increase of their activity in 2020 was the money laundering of many constructions that are being carried out in Tirana. According to them, illegal money is financing a large part of construction in the capital,” writes Monitor.

Construction is the second sector with the highest growth in 2020, reaching a total of around 1,1 billion euros in 2020, with an annual expansion of 1,62%. The increase in construction reflects two trends, the first is the increase of residential housing, mainly in the capital and hotels on the coast, and the second, the reconstruction process, after the tragic earthquake of November 2019. For the reconstruction, the budget provided by the end of the year was 130 million euros, or about 12% of the total activity of this sector. The construction sector has been in the spotlight of various international organizations and institutions, such as the US Department of State, which have linked it to the money laundering process.  

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 3, 2021 14:18