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Croatia Country Report - September, 2015

  • October 2015
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 26 pages

This report reviews key macroeconomic data and microeconomic developments for Croatia published between September 4 and October 6, 2015.

In the beginning of October, the IMF raised its 2015 growth forecast for Croatia's economy to 0.8% from 0.5% projected in April.

Croatia's economy expanded by 1.2% y/y in the second quarter of the year, supported both by domestic and foreign demand, the statistics office said confirming its flash estimate released in August. Later in September, the Zagreb Institute of Economics (EIZ) revised up by 0.1pp to 0.5% its growth estimate for the Croatian economy this year.

In September, the Croatian government revised the 2015 budget law, keeping the planned deficit at 3.8% of GDP. The 2015 GDP growth was revised up to 1.1% from 0.5%.

The parliament approved the conversion of loans denominated in Swiss francs with part of the principal being written off and all the costs being borne by the bank. A number of foreign banks had already renewed threats to take the Croatian state to Court over the measure.

The report also provides details on the organisation of the second licensing round for offshore hydrocarbon exploration and the signing of production sharing agreements for onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration.

It also contains information on the way Croatia handled the migrant crisis and announces the date when general elections will be organised.





Key Points:





o Croatia's consumer prices fell 0.6% y/y in August, after dropping 0.4% the previous month. The working-day adjusted industrial output rose 2.8%, slowing from 2.9% in July. The annual growth of the first eight months of the year reached 1.9% y/y.

o The unemployment stayed flat on the month a 15.9% in August after five consecutive months of decrease. The average net monthly wage rose 3.8% in July, slowing from a 4.5% hike in June.

o January-July trade gap narrowed 2.5% y/y as exports rose at a faster pace than imports.

Table Of Contents

Croatia Country Report - September, 2015
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY4

MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW5

IMF revises up Croatia's 2015 growth forecast to 0.8%5

REAL SECTOR5

1. GDP, Inflation5

Croatia's GDP to grow 0.5% in 2015, 1% in 2016 - Zagreb Institute of Economics5

Croatia's GDP growth confirmed at 1.2% y/y in second quarter6

Headline inflation in Croatia deepens to negative 0.6% y/y in August6

Economic outlook for Central and Eastern Europe worsened in September7

2. Industry and Trade7

Croatia's industrial output growth slows in August7

Croatia's retail sales growth slows in August8

Croatia's constructions index up 0.4% y/y in July8

3. Labour Market9

Croatia's unemployment rate flattens m/m in August9

Croatia's average net monthly salary rises by real 3.8% y/y in July9

4. Tourism10

Croatia's H1 tourism revenues rise 7.5% to EUR2.27bn10

Croatia sees tourists spending at EUR9.3bn this year10

Number of night spent by tourists in Croatia up 10.7% y/y in July10

FISCAL SECTOR, MONETARY POLICY11

Croatia turns to current account surplus in second quarter11

Croatia expects no borrowing until next year - FinMin12

Croatia's M4 money supply up 1.9% y/y to EUR36.7bn at end-August12

Croatia rejects all bids in T-bills auction amid low demand13

Croatia revises 2015 budget, ups GDP growth forecast from 0.5% to 1.1%13

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION14

Croatia provides liquidity to facilitate Swiss franc loans conversion14

Croatian state-owned bank HPB raises capital by EUR72mn15

Croatian insurers' premium income rises 2.7% y/y in January-August15

Croatian parliament approves conversion of Swiss franc loans into euro16

Croatia's ZABA hikes stake in Bosnia's UniCredit Bank Mostar to 99.3%17

Banks to take Croatia to court over Swiss franc loans conversion18

Croatian mandatory pension funds' assets up 14.7% y/y in August18

EXTERNAL SECTOR19

Croatia's exports growth decelerate to 5.2% y/y in July - flash estimate19

Croatia's gross foreign debt falls 0.7% m/m in June19

Croatian c-bank foreign reserves up 16% y/y to EUR14.4bn20

STRUCTURAL REFORMS21

EIB approves EUR17.5mn loans for Croatian airport upgrade21

Croatia delays signing of oil/gas deals for after elections21

Croatia keeps 77th place in global competitiveness ranking for 2015-201622

Croatia to launch second licensing round for offshore exploration by year-end22

POLITICS23

Croatia to hold general elections on November 823

Croatian Supreme Court annuls corruption conviction against former PM, sets bail for his release24

Croatia and Serbia continue to argue over migrant issue25

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