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Businesspeople “should help fast, sustainable growth” – Business & EconomyEnglish

Serbia, following hard fiscal consolidation measures, had the fourth straight year of stable public finances, says Prime Minister Ana Brnabic. Source: B92, srbija.gov.rs 16:43 (Tanjug) Speaking at the opening of the 26th Kopaonik Business Forum on Monday, Brnabic, according to remarks published by the Serbian government, added that in 2018 had a surplus in the…

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Businesspeople “should help fast, sustainable growth” – Business & EconomyEnglish

Serbia, following hard fiscal consolidation measures, had the fourth straight year of stable public finances, says Prime Minister Ana Brnabic. Source: B92, srbija.gov.rs 16:43 (Tanjug) Speaking at the opening of the 26th Kopaonik Business Forum on Monday, Brnabic, according to remarks published by the Serbian government, added that in 2018 had a surplus in the budget of RSD 32.2 billion.
Brnabic pointed out that Serbia today is certainly in a much better situation than it was 10 years ago, when the world economic crisis began.
Public debt, which was only 70 percent of GDP a few years ago, is now about 50 percent (at the end of February, 50.4 percent), she noted.

Our goal is to put it into the framework of the so-called “safe zones” of 45 percent of GDP, the prime minister said.
According to Brnabic, we have done a lot to improve the business environment, which is obvious if we compare our position to the Doing Business List of the World Bank then and today, but it is even more important that this is evident in the number and size of investments in Serbia.
Last year we ended up with Eur 3.5 billion of foreign direct investments.

The increase in investments brought more jobs, and the fourth quarter of 20018 we ended up with an unemployment rate of 12.9 percent.

I believe that in 20019 the unemployment in Serbia will finally be one-digit, said Brnabic.

She also pointed out that in 2018 we achieved a growth of 4.3 percent of GDP, the highest in the last 10 years, and among the highest in Europe.
However, she added, even such a growth rate is not enough for Serbia to catch up with EU members in the foreseeable future, and our economy is still not fully prepared for sustainable growth.
“Therefore, we need to change things further so that our growth will be higher and sustainable in the long run,” the prime minister stated and outlined the most important sectors for sustainable growth.
“Agriculture: the huge problem of our agriculture is that we did not invest in systems that would make it more resistant to climate change.

That is why we invest in irrigation systems. We are also investing in electrification of fields, so that, as we end irrigation systems, farmers can use them in the best way. We do not have automatic anti-hail systems for better protection against hail than we currently have. In 10 days, we will put into operation 28 of the planned 99 automatic anti-hail stations throughout Serbia,” she said.

“We adopted a new Decree that allows incentives to capital investments to encourage investment in equipment. Also, our great potential is the digitization of agriculture, because of which we are investing enormous support and significant resources into the BioSens Institute and, together with the EU, we are building the European Center of Excellence for Digital Agriculture in Novi Sad,” she said.
“Energy and Mining: for more than three decades, Serbia has not built a new energy facility. There are also some results here, but there is a significant place for further improvement. By 2020, we will have about 700 MW of new energy capacities from renewable energy sources. We started construction of a new thermal power plant, Kostolac B3, with a capacity of 350 MW. We are planning to build 2-3 hydropower plants with the Serb Republic, which is about 200 MW capacity. In addition, most of the investment cycle is in the pipelines in order to have access to larger quantities of gas and to divide the gas pipeline itself across Serbia,” Brnabic said, adding:
As far as mining is concerned, I will mention only two projects that at the moment act as extremely important for our growth in the future.

“One is certainly a strategic partnership with the Chinese company ZiJin, which last year became the owner of 63 percent of RTB Bor and which guaranteed investments of USD 780 million in the first three years of operation, of which we expect to invest approximately USD 250 million this year to improve business of RTB. At the moment, RTB contributes to our GDP with some 0.8 percent, and we expect this to increase to 1.8 percent,” she said.
“The second project is Jadarit in Loznica and the fact that Serbia has about 12 percent of the world’s lithium reserves. We have excellent cooperation with Rio Tinto and we expect that the previous Feasibility Study will be completed by mid-2010 and the construction of the chemical plant will start in 2021. The estimated potential impact of this project is 1.3% of GDP, which can be significant more if we can attract partners who will use lithium for production in Serbia and export of semi-finished products or final products from Serbia,” Brnabic stated.

“Finally, it is more than clear to us how much construction and infrastructure are important for dynamic and strong growth, which is why we have increased the budget for capital investments this year, and for the first time it exceeds RSD 200 billion. But when it comes to our industry, the economy and services, and the challenges that we face, the biggest task that this government has before itself is to transform our economy into an economy based on innovation and knowledge in order to be side by side with more developed countries of Europe,” the prime minister said.
This is our future and this is currently our most important challenge. If we do this, we will leave the generations that come to us for a healthy economic model that will bring robust growth year after year, she said.
“We introduced programming as a compulsory subject from the 5th grade of elementary school. We connected all schools to the Internet within AMRES. We piloted digital textbooks and today we have 2,000 digital classrooms. This year, we budgeted EUR 20 million to connect 500 primary schools to high speed internet and increase the number of digital classrooms to 10,000.

We have increased the number of specialized IT departments in high schools throughout Serbia five-fold,” she said, adding:
We trained more than 30,000 teachers only last year.

We have expanded our capacities at faculties and institutes. We have established a Science Fund that aims to increase investment in science, as well as cooperation between science and the economy. We are investing around EUR 100 million in R&D, innovation and start-up infrastructure.
“Even EUR 1.135 billion is export of ICT services in 2018. This is today the branch with the largest net exports from Serbia and the fastest growing economic sector in Serbia. In 2018, the ICT sector grew by more than 26 percent compared to 2017, and in 2017 about 22 percent compared to 2016.

Do we know of any other sector that records such growth? In order to enable the transformation of our economy, we slowly change the policy of subsidies and tax incentives to stimulate investment in technology and knowledge more and more and move slowly from incentives for the workplace,” Brnabic said.
“I believe in Serbia that creates: today and in the future. With the great help of the Creative Industries Council we launched the ‘Serbia Creates’ platform” in order to support our creative individuals, initiatives, companies and events. There is no dynamic, sustainable development without effective administration,” the prime minister stressed, and expressed her satisfaction with the abolition of some meaningless administrative barriers.
She also pointed out that over the past year a public debate on the amendments to the Constitution in the field of judiciary was completed, adding that, when it comes to the rule of law, Chapters 23 and 24 as well as the dialogue with Pristina are focal points of our European integration.
“A healthy economy is based on the value system, which makes one country “European” even though it is not in the EU,” Brnabic concluded..

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There are 3 fundamental money concepts most people still don’t grasp

Author and financial expert David Bach says many people still don’t understand some personal finance basics. Bach is a champion of the “pay yourself first” strategy, which prioritizes automatic savings . He also says it’s important to understand how your money can grow in a retirement account, and that you can’t predict the stock market.…

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There are 3 fundamental money concepts most people still don’t grasp

Author and financial expert David Bach says many people still don’t understand some personal finance basics. Bach is a champion of the “pay yourself first” strategy, which prioritizes automatic savings . He also says it’s important to understand how your money can grow in a retirement account, and that you can’t predict the stock market. Personal finance is a complicated subject, and chances are you weren’t required to take an introductory financial literacy course in high school or college.

Perhaps you, like me, were left to school yourself on topics like investing, taxes , debt, and saving for retirement once you entered adulthood.

As commendable as that may be, David Bach, who has spent 25 years in the wealth management industry and is the author of ” The Automatic Millionaire ,” says there are three simple, basic money concepts that many of us are still missing.

1. You need to ‘pay yourself first’ “People still don’t grasp the fact that they need to save a dime out of every dollar,” Bach told previously Business Insider in a Facebook Live interview . He said that the average American who’s saving money is saving just 15 minutes a day of their income, when they should be saving an hour .
Bach noted troubling research from the Federal Reserve that revealed nearly half of Americans wouldn’t have enough money on hand to cover a $400 emergency. Yet, he continued, millions of those people will buy a coffee at Starbucks today and expect to buy the new $800 iPhone next year. Americans have money, he says, but we aren’t saving it.

“It’s an American crisis. That’s why I’m still doing this at 50, because there’s still so many people that aren’t getting it,” Bach said.
So get on the “pay-yourself-first plan,” as Bach calls it, and automatically save an hour a day of your income. “When that money is moved before you can touch it, that’s how real wealth is built,” Bach, who became a millionaire by age 30 by increasing his automated savings over several years , told Business Insider.

Check out these offers from our partners to grow your savings:
2. You don’t ‘buy’ a retirement account Bach says that many Americans are confused by IRAs and 401(k)s and believe that they “own” a retirement account.
In reality, he says, “the retirement account is just a bucket and their investment is put inside that bucket. It’s those investments that go inside that bucket that create the return.


When you sign up for an employer-sponsored 401(k) you are contributing a designated percentage of your pretax income to that “bucket.

” As time passes, that money will compound and grow tax-free until you withdraw it upon retirement. In 2019, you can contribute up to $19,000 to your 401(k), or $25,000 if you’re over age 50.
Find out how much money you’ll need for retirement:
If you open up an individual retirement account, like a traditional IRA or Roth IRA , you can contribute up to $6,000, or $7,000 if you’re over 50, to each account in 2019.

The money in a traditional IRA will grow tax-free but is taxed upon retirement, whereas the money in a Roth IRA will be taxed before it goes into the account and is tax-free to withdraw upon retirement.
3. The stock market isn’t predictable Investing in the stock market is risky business , and it isn’t for everyone.
Still, Bach says he’s “constantly surprised” that people think they’re going to figure out the best time to buy and sell stocks by watching a TV show or reading an article. Unfortunately, the stock market is incredibly hard to predict, and trying to time it is often fruitless.
“You’d be better off with a boring, balanced approach that you invest systematically every two weeks and you leave it alone for your lifetime,” Bach said.

“And that’s not sexy, and that may not sell, but that’s what works.”
Personal Finance Insider offers tools and calculators to help you make smart decisions with your money.

We do not give investment advice or encourage you to buy or sell stocks or other financial products. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of the recommendations listed in the calculator, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners..

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Dollar General will open 975 stores this year – CNN

New York (CNN Business) Dollar General keeps expanding even as discount rivals like Family Dollar shrink. The company said Thursday it will open 975 new stores in the United States this year. Dollar General will remodel 1,000 older stores with new queue lines to drive last-minute impulse buys. It will also spruce up its health…

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Dollar General will open 975 stores this year – CNN

New York (CNN Business) Dollar General keeps expanding even as discount rivals like Family Dollar shrink.
The company said Thursday it will open 975 new stores in the United States this year. Dollar General will remodel 1,000 older stores with new queue lines to drive last-minute impulse buys. It will also spruce up its health and beauty sections to lift sales. Dollar General has been growing for years in rural America. Dollar General ( DG ) opened 900 stores in 2018 and 1,315 the year prior. It has more than 15,300 stores across the country and sales have increased for 29 straight years. Despite a strong economy today, the uneven recovery in the United States has buoyed Dollar General .

“While the economy is doing very well, our core customer continues to struggle,” Dollar General chief executive Todd Vasos told analysts last year. Vasos said on Thursday that Dollar General is preparing for the consumer environment to weaken in the second half of the year. Read More The chain caters mainly to low-and-middle-income customers in rural and suburban areas. That helps it stand out against suburban chains like Dollar Tree ( DLTR ) and Family Dollar, which focuses on urban customers.

Family Dollar has struggled in recent years and will close nearly 400 stores this year . Family Dollar will close nearly 400 stores Dollar General looks to build stores in rural areas where big box retailers or grocery stores are not within 15 or 20 miles. That gives the company close proximity to shoppers and compels more frequent store visits.

The company says 75% of its locations are in towns with 20,000 or fewer people. Dollar General even surged during the holidays. Dollar General’s sales at stores open at least a year increased 4% during its most recent quarter compared with a year earlier, beating analysts’ expectations. The US government shutdown boosted Dollar General sales by 0.7% last quarter because the Agriculture Department doled out February SNAP benefits early, the company said.

It also got a lift from more shoppers buying food and home products, such as kitchenware and small appliances.

Despite strong sales, Dollar General’s stock dropped around 9% in early trading Thursday. Dollar General said it lowered prices on some merchandise during the holidays to win market share, but that dented its profit margins. Its profit forecast for 2019 also fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. The company wants to get current customers to spend more at stores and reach new shoppers, so it plans to introduce its own cosmetics and baby product brands this year.

Dollar General will also focus on selling more groceries and fresh food to grow its business. It is adding produce sections and refrigerators to hundreds of stores. Dollar General has said that offering fruit and vegetables at stores in rural and urban food deserts can “drive a tremendous amount of traffic.” The strategy could help Dollar General compete with bigger rivals such as Walmart ( WMT ) and beat back the threat of German discount grocery chains Aldi and Lidl. Aldi has poured billions of dollars into new stores with fresh food sections.

Lidl acquired a couple dozen Best Market grocery stores in New York and New Jersey last month. In addition, the company will roll out buy online, pickup in store at select stores for the first time later this year, a sign that Dollar General believes the popular digital option will take off in rural areas. Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of Dollar General stores in the United States..

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A new survey shows that zero top US economists agreed with the basic principles of an economic theory supported by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images Modern Monetary Theory is becoming a larger part of the economic conversation. The theory posits that government deficits are less concerning if a country controls its own currency and issues debt in that currency. MMT says the amount a government can spend is limited by real assets and the debt’s effect…

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A new survey shows that zero top US economists agreed with the basic principles of an economic theory supported by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images Modern Monetary Theory is becoming a larger part of the economic conversation. The theory posits that government deficits are less concerning if a country controls its own currency and issues debt in that currency. MMT says the amount a government can spend is limited by real assets and the debt’s effect on the broader economy. MMT has received a huge amount of pushback. In a new survey, not a single mainstream economist agreed with the basic aspects of MMT. Modern Monetary Theory is having a moment.

The once fringe idea, known as MMT , has been vaulted into the national conversation as progressive economists and some politicians seize hold of the economic theory. Even Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has weighed in on MMT . But a new survey has found that while MMT may be getting attention, it does not have much support among some of the top US economists. Put (very) simply, MMT posits that a country that controls its own currency can continue to pay down its debt as long as it is denominated in that currency. So because the US prints dollars and issues debt in dollars, it can pay down its debts and does not need to rely on taxes to fund debt issuance.

Instead, the theory says, a country in the aforementioned situation is limited by the availability of real assets. So while we can’t just ignore the national debt, unlike a household budget the debt number — such as the US’s record $22 trillion debt load — doesn’t matter until inflation and economic effects show up. Explained to Marketplace by the economist Stephanie Kelton, an MMT proponent, Congress would use fiscal policy to control how much money goes into the economy. To borrow Marketplace’s metaphor, Congress would be a sink faucet, money would be the water, and the stoppered sink bowl would be the economy.

To deal with inflation (an overflow out of the bowl) you can lessen the flow of water into the bowl. Taxes would also act as the stopper letting money out of the economy sink bowl. The idea has gained a following among progressive economists and some politicians. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York told Business Insider in January that MMT should be “a larger part of our conversation.

” Read more: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says the theory that deficit spending is good for the economy should ‘absolutely’ be part of the conversation But the idea has also faced intense pushback from economists and pundits across the political spectrum , and none of the mainstream economists interviewed in a new survey were ready to sign on to the idea just yet. In the latest survey of 42 of America’s top economists by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, not a single respondent agreed with the basic aspects of MMT: Thirty-six percent of economists disagreed, and 52% strongly disagreed with the statement “Countries that borrow in their own currency should not worry about government deficits because they can always create money to finance their debt.” (Two percent had no opinion.) Twenty-six percent of economists disagreed, and 57% of economists strongly disagreed with the statement “Countries that borrow in their own currency can finance as much real government spending as they want by creating money.” (Seven percent had no opinion.) Some the responding economists said continued debt issuance would lead to persistent inflation problems and expressed concern about the long-term sustainability of MMT. .

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