Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.2%in 2018, driven by increased economic activity in the construction, tourism, private education and manufacturing sectors. As a result, the unemployment rate fell. Consumer prices rose by 2.8%.
Fiscal performance was strong in 2018, underpinned by the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA). The primary surplus increased to6.2% of GDP. Public debt as a percentage of GDP declined to 62.7%. The external current account deficit widened, largely as a result of rising aggregate demand and international commodity prices. The financial sector remained sound, stable, and well capitalised. Loan quality improved as non˗performing loans (NPLs) fell; but there was also a drop in domestic credit, despite ample liquidity in credit markets.