Indicators that measure the level of economic well-being in countries show that Bosnia-Herzegovina is at the European bottom together with Albania, Eurostat data shows.
The latest Eurostat data shows that GDP per capita for BiH, expressed in the purchasing power standard, for 2018 is 31 percent of the EU average. By this criterion, BiH, together with Albania, which has the same ratio, is the last in Europe.
Of the countries in the region, Slovenia has the highest GDP per capita according to the purchasing power standard, which stands at 87 percent of the EU average, followed by Croatia with 64 percent, Montenegro with 58 percent of the EU average. Serbia is at 39 percent of the EU average and Northern Macedonia at 37 percent.
Although GDP per capita is often used as an indicator of welfare levels in countries, it is not the only such indicator. An alternative indicator of well-being, which better reflects the situation in households, is actual individual consumption (SIP) per capita.
According to Eurostat data, in 2018, it was 41 percent of the EU average for BiH. By this criterion, BiH is slightly better than Albania, where this ratio is 39 percent, but BiH lag behind all other countries in the region and other European countries.
To clarify these statistics, Radio Sarajevo portal spoke to economist Admir Cavalic, who explained that comparative data such as this, especially given that Eurostat publishes them, best reflect the state of the economy of a country.
“It is important to state immediately that the data refer to 2018, but nothing has happened in the current year that would significantly change the ratio of the data. GDP, or GDP per capita, is the best measure of a country’s economic success and reflects the state of consumption, investment and exports. Since this is an absolute amount, I again emphasize that it is much more useful for the public and economic decision making to make such comparisons – in comparison to other countries or according to the passage of time (growth rate), ”Cavalic explained.
He added that Real Individual Consumption (SIP) is a useful measure to compare the material well-being relationships between citizens of different countries.