Balkan interest rates increases likely to hit twice by end-2022

Serbs may need to be wary re market shocks—especially where mortgages are concerned—as the European Central Bank (ECB) has at least two interest rate increases planned by the end of 2022, according to officials from the ECB and regional bank officials.

The topic was broached during a summit of Balkan finance ministers, bank heads and tax officials Oct. 2, who noted regional- and Europe-wide inflation that has come on the heels of not only the pandemic, but also energy prices and the war in Ukraine, as cited by

Yet reports are that although there will be increases in interest rates, which are already at a high for the decade, the ensuing rate increases should be “slight.” At the same time, when pressed officials stated that coming rate increases are still theoretical and questions remain as to whether they will be slight… or perhaps a little more than slight.

Serbia and the Balkans—like the rest of Europe—have been buffeted by years of COVID-19 variants, the simultaneous logistics crisis and the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. Now, following not only gas cut off by Russia, but also alleged sabotage that has seen disruptions in Baltic gas pipelines, the traditional economic motors of Europe, these being Germany and France, may not only be forced to pay more for gas for individuals and industrial purposes, but in fact may physically lack gas this winter.

Meanwhile, Serbia—although it did sign a three-year deal with Gazprom May 30 of this year—is also looking at potential gas and oil shortages, with Serbian President Aleksanar Vucic having stated that come November all bets are off.

Photo credit: Serbian National Bank building by LukaP at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0. <>, via Wikimedia Commons

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