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Croatia Country Report - April, 2016

  • May 2016
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 65 pages

This report reviews key macroeconomic data and microeconomic developments for Croatia published between April 1 and April 28, 2016.

The World Bank forecasts GDP growth in Croatia will accelerate to 1.9% this year from 1.6% in 2015 thanks to expected growth in tourism and investments driven by EU funds absorption.

The International Monetary Fund forecasts steady growth of more than 3% for the Southeast Europe region between 2016 and 2021, outstripping most of Western and Central Europe as countries from the region continue on their convergence path.

The report also provides details on economic sentiment indicators, and construction output. It mentions latest developments in structural reforms. The report also reveals the latest investments in tourism sector, and the details on public borrowing.



Key Points:



o Croatia's general government deficit declined to HRK10.7bn (EUR1.43bn) or 3.2% of GDP in 2015 from HRK18.1bn or 5.5% of GDP in 2014.



o Croatia's consumer prices fell 1.7% y/y in March, deepening from a 1.4% annual decline the previous month.



o Croatia's registered unemployment rate declined, for the second consecutive month, from 17.8% in February to 17.2% in March.

o The number of tourist arrivals at commercial accommodation in Croatia rose 14% y/y to 350,328 in January-February.

Table Of Contents

Croatia Country Report - April, 2016
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY5

MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW6

World Bank forecasts 1.9% growth in Croatia this year6

Western Balkans countries on strong convergence path, IMF survey shows 8

IMF revises up Croatia's 2016 growth forecast to 1.9% .......................................................................................... 10

CEE sentiment worsens in April ................................................................................................................................... 10

Croatian banking association revises up GDP growth forecast for 2016 to 1.3% ................................................. 12

German investors more optimistic on Croatian economy this year, survey shows14

REAL SECTOR15

1. GDP, Inflation15

Annual deflation in Croatia deepens to 1.7% in March15

2. Industry and Trade16

Croatia's adjusted construction works index up 8.3% y/y in February16

Croatia's retail sales growth decelerates further in February17

Croatian army awards EUR27mn worth of contracts to 27 domestic companies19

Stock Spirits hits out at Polish wholesaler as takeover tussle escalates ................................................................ 19

New Southeast Europe energy exchanges boost regional integration .................................................................. 21

House prices in Croatia decrease 2% y/y in Q4 ......................................................................................................... 23

Croatia's building permits up 27% y/y in January-February .................................................................................... 23

Croatia's industrial output up 4.4% y/y in February ................................................................................................. 25

Croatian new passenger car registrations rise 9.7% y/y in Q1 ................................................................................ 27

Croatia's Djuro Djakovic Special Vehicles signs EUR26mn export deal with Finland's Patria Land Systems ......... 27

Croatia's adjusted industrial sales decline 5.4% y/y in Jan-Feb .............................................................................. 29

Croatian Atlantic Grupa's net profit rises 1.6% y/y in Q1 ........................................................................................ 31

Croatia's gross electricity production rises 3% y/y in February32

3. Labour Market32

Unemployment rate in Croatia declines further to 17.2% in March32

Croatia's average net monthly salary declines by nominal 2% m/m in February34

4. Tourism35

Orco Property Group sells remaining 15.77% stake in Croatia's Suncani Hvar for EUR8.15mn .............................. 35

Passenger traffic at Croatian airports up 12% y/y in February ............................................................................... 35

Tourist arrivals in Croatia rise 14% y/y in January-February ................................................................................... 37

Albania, Croatia and Italy to cooperate in agritourism sector39

FISCAL SECTOR, MONETARY POLICY39

Croatian central bank accepts all bids in weekly reverse repo auction39

Croatia sells EUR90mn worth of 364-day kuna bills, above target 40

Croatia's general government deficit declines significantly to 3.2% of GDP in 201542

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION44

Croatian insurers' premium income down 0.47% y/y in Q1 44

Croatian mandatory pension funds' assets up 0.78% m/m in March .45

EXTERNAL SECTOR46

Croatia's foreign trade gap widens 4.5% y/y in January-February ......................................................................... 46

Croatia's current account surplus reaches record EUR2.3bn in 201549

STRUCTURAL REFORMS49

Croatian motorway operator HAC obtains EUR250mn loan from EBRD49

Croatian police chief arrested for stealing cash and gold from headquarters 50

EU to invest EUR25mn in rule of law, human rights projects in Western Balkans and Turkey 51

Poland and Czech Republic to benefit least from euro adoption 52

POLITICS53

Serbia hands protest note to Croatia over "insulting statement" by foreign ministerError! Bookmark not defined.

COMMENT: Bosnia's legal breakdown 55

Croatia's democracy score remains constant in 2016, Freedom House says 57

Croatian Jews hold separate holocaust commemoration, boycott government event ...................................... 57

Corruption perception improves in Croatia, Ernst and Young survey shows ........................................................... 59

Croatia falls five places to 63th in World Press Freedom Index .............................................................................. 59

Croatian commission rules president undermined her office's credibility ............................................................ 62

Dinamo Zagreb officials charged with tax evasion and embezzling transfer profits ........................................... 62

Refugee crisis worsens press freedom conditions in Southeast Europe ............................................................... 64

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