Economy in Brief

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 26, 2019 11:54

Economy in Brief

Electronic money usage increases

During 2018 there was an increase by 22.2 percent in credit card usage, and also an increase in credit and debit cards issuance (9.47 and 4.46 percent, respectively). The highest transactions were made through ATM withdrawals, reflecting an economy on cash sustenance. Apart from online purchases, there has been an increase in credit card point of sale (POS) terminals with 22.4 percent. Yet, the POS usage remains rather small compared to other regional and EU countries, reflecting the public’s familiarity, little financial education, and the limited POS infrastructure. Even though the cash transactions have decreased by 5.48 percent, the economy and citizens still rely much more on that form of money.


Vermosh tender for infrastructure improvement announces winner

The Albanian Development Fund declared local “Uleza Ndertim” construction company as winner of a 1.3 million euros tender project for the touristic infrastructure improvement at the Vermosh village of Malesi e Madhe, which will be implemented in the next six months. Vermosh is a tourist attraction for its mountainous scenery, hiking, fishing, and riding. This project is part of a major alpine and coastal development project, the “Secondary and Local Roads Improvement” program, co-funded by the World Bank, the Albanian Government and other donors at the value of 368 million dollars. This program was announced two years ago and aims to increase concrete efforts to improve infrastructure in the country and to increase access to basic services and markets, especially in rural areas through the rehabilitation of the secondary and local road network.


Economic partners visitors fall while more Albanians exit the country

From data issued by the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) it is estimated that during January-March 2019, 1,817,722 people (both Albanians and foreign) entered Albania, experiencing an increase of 6.5 percent from the same period a year before, and 1,982,085 exited Albania, with an 8.9 percent increase from last year. However, for the period taken into account, we had a decrease by 11.7 percent from Kosovars visiting the country (when compared to Jan.-Mar. 2018), a 14 percent decrease from UK visitors, a decrease of 23.8 percent Spanish visitors, and a 16 percent less from German visitors. An increase by 33.3 percent was experienced by US visitors. For the accounted period 1,122,695 Albanians entered the country, with a 9.1 percent increase from the previous year, and 1,249,803 exited the country, with a 12.4 percent more than the previous year. These numbers only reflect border movements however, and regarding to Albanian citizens movement, they could either reflect emigration or increased traveling (for various purposes).


Living costs in Tirana increase

When comparing the living costs of the region in the categories of food, housing, transport, personal care, and entertainment, Tirana is as expensive as Belgrade. Albania surpasses Belgrade in clothing by 2 percent, personal care by 22 percent, and entertainment by 33 percent. The most expensive city is Podgorica by 2 percent more, having more expensive housing, food and transport. The costs in these three categories have significantly increased in Tirana, but in the categories of clothing, personal care and entertainment, Tirana remains the most expensive in the region. The cheapest city is Pristina, being 30 percent cheaper than Tirana.


State budget finances waste management concessions with 11 million euros

During 2018 the state budget financed the waste treatment plants of Fier with 6 million euros, and of Elbasan with 4.8 million euros. Half of the programed fund is disbursed for the Fier plant. The plant costs 29 million euros, but until the end of 2018 it has received 11.3 million euros from the government. The Elbasan incinerator is disbursed at 16.1 million euros, from 23.4 million euros that it costs. According to Eurostat, Albania generated 436 kg of waste per capita during 2017, in the 24th place out of 38 countries. It is also the third country in Europe to use the incineration method for waste processing, a thermal treatment of waste that reduces the volume and hazardousness of waste, and obtains an inert product.


Albanians want to work in civil service

The Public Administration Dpt. said that during 2018 there was an average of 22 applications for a job vacancy in a state institution, the highest mean in 18 years. This reflects an increase in public service interest. There was a total of 27067 applications last year for all job vacancies, of whom 13658 applicants fulfilled the job requirements. 57.6 percent of the applicants are female, 42.4 percent male, the average age is 32 years old, the average age of admitted applicants is 31 years old, and the average age of promotion is 38. And during 2018 there was a high number of job vacancies compared to the planned positions, because of resignations, inner mobility, or unplanned dismissals.


Highest female employees work in agriculture

According to the world bank, 47 percent of all employed females in the country work in the agriculture sector, while only 35.4 percent of males work in that sector. This percentage of employment among females in agriculture is the highest in the region. Employees in the agriculture sector is Albania also make the least money, with a salary of 291 euros according to the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT). In the rest of the region, agriculture employees women at less than 20 percent, and paide over 350 euros in wages.


Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 26, 2019 11:54