BELGRADE, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Serbia's government adopted a draft budget for 2014 on Friday evening targeting a deficit of 4.6 percent of output as the Balkan country eyes loan talks with the International Monetary Fund.
The draft budget envisages gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 1 percent in 2014, down from the forecast 2 percent in 2013, a finance ministry spokesman told Reuters.
The Socialist-led coalition government is trying to rein in the budget shortfall to below 5 percent of GDP this year and stabilise a public debt level set to hit 65 percent of gross domestic product by year-end.
The deficit and debt levels have unnerved investors and weighed on the dinar currency, even as Serbia makes strides towards accession talks with the European Union.
Those talks are expected to open in January and should drive reform in Serbia, the biggest of the seven states to emerge from the ashes of socialist Yugoslavia.
Finance Minister Lazar Krstic, a 29-year-old Yale graduate who was appointed in September, has vowed to take tough steps to overhaul the public sector, including cutting costly subsidies for loss-making state firms and reducing the burden of public wages and pensions that currently account for more than half of budgetary outgoings.
Krstic says he hopes to begin talks with the IMF on a new loan deal in early 2014.
(Reporting by Ivana Sekularac and Matt Robinson; Editing by Eric Walsh) Keywords: SERBIA BUDGET/
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