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Croatia country report - April, 2015

  • May 2015
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 21 pages

This report reviews key macroeconomic data and microeconomic developments for Croatia published between April 7 and May 6, 2015.

In the beginning of May, the European Commission slightly upgraded its 2015 GDP forecast on Croatia, saying it now anticipates an increase of 0.3%, supported by foreign demand. At the same time, it raised its 2016 growth forecast to 1.2% from the previous 1%, as contraction in domestic demand is likely to end.

The IMF confirmed its 0.5% GDP growth projection for this year, adding that it expects growth to strengthen to 1% next year. Unemployment is seen remaining high in 2015, with the jobless rate rising to 17.3% from 17.1% last year.

The report also provides details on Croatia's plans to 25% of state-owned power utility firm Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP) through an initial public offering (IPO) in Zagreb and London this year, hoping to raise between HRK2bn (EUR264mn)and HRK3bn (EUR396mn). It also mentions the latest steps taken by Croatia, Montenegro and Albania regarding the construction of the Ionian-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (IAP).

Table Of Contents

Croatia country report - April, 2015
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY4

MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW5

Croatia needs vigorous reform efforts to foster durable growth - IMF5

EC raises Croatia's 2015 GDP growth forecast to 0.3%5

IMF keeps Croatia's 2015 growth forecast at 0.5%7

REAL SECTOR7

1. GDP, Inflation7

Croatia's consumer prices inch up 0.1% y/y in March7

Drop in Croatian producer prices eases in March7

2. Industry and Trade8

Growth in Croatia's industrial output accelerates in March8

Croatia's industrial sales return to growth in February8

Croatia's retail sales growth slows in March9

Construction works' volume in Croatia falls 2% y/y in February9

3. Labour Market10

Croatia's unemployment rate falls in March10

Croatia's average net monthly salary rises by real 3% y/y in February10

4. Tourism11

Tourist arrivals in Croatia rise 8% y/y in January-April11

FISCAL SECTOR, MONETARY POLICY11

Croatia's government adopts National Reform Programme11

Croatia's 2014 budget deficit widens to 5.7% of GDP, gross debt reaches 85% of GDP12

Croatia increases excise duties on petrol, tobacco12

Croatian c-bank FX reserves up 17% y/y to EUR14.2bn at end-March13

Croatia sells EUR73.1mn worth of kunaT-bills, misses target13

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION14

Erste Bank Croatia joins EBRD Trade Facilitation Programme14

Croatian lender HPB plans EUR105.7mn capital increase14

Croatians with Swiss franc loans hold mass protest in Zagreb14

Croatian insurers' premium income rises 3.8% y/y in first quarter15

Net assets of Croatian open-end investment funds edge down 0.5% m/m in March16

Croatian mandatory pension funds' assets up 22% in March16

Zagreb bourse's turnover falls 2.5% m/m to EUR32.2mn in April16

EXTERNAL SECTOR17

Croatia's gross foreign debt rises 0.2% m/m in January17

Croatia's trade gap shrinks 13.2% in January-February17

STRUCTURAL REFORMS18

Croatia to start construction of LNG terminal in mid-201618

World Bank approves EUR163.5mn loans to Croatian rail companies18

Montenegro, Croatia, Albania to sign MoU on TAP-linked gas pipeline19

Croatia's Dubrovnik airport upgrade to be financed through EU Investment Plan19

Croatia to offer 25% of power utility HEP in IPO in Zagreb, London20

POLITICS21

Former Croatian president Josipovic to set up new party21

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