The economy of Montenegro is developed, with roughly 3 out of 4 workers employed in the services sector. Its main export and import partners include other Balkan states, particularly Serbia, from whom Montenegro declared independence in 2006. It enjoys modest GDP growth , but a persistent and high budget deficit suggest that debt overhang may become an issue in the medium term. Another economic hurdle is deflation. In addition to decreasing investment, deflation also makes Montenegro’s large national debt more expensive, especially if that debt is held in euros or U.S. dollars.
The Montenegrin people enjoy a high and increasing Human Development Index score. This score is calculated using life expectancy, education, and income inequality measures, and is strongly correlated to GDP per capita. Still, unemployment remains persistently high. Other factors remind Montenegrins of their communist past under Yugoslavia; for instance, the number of retail chains remains low relative to other European countries, suggesting that Montenegro has not developed the consumer culture of western Europe.