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Croatia Country Report - January, 2016

  • February 2016
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 34 pages

This report reviews key macroeconomic data and microeconomic developments for Croatia published between January 5 and February 5, 2015.

In the beginning of February, the European Commission revised up its growth projection for Croatia saying that it now expects the economy to expand by 2.1% this year from 1.8% in 2015. Growth should be supported by increasing domestic demand and is expected to stay at the same level in 2017.

The World Bank also raised its growth forecast for Croatia. It now sees the GDP expanding by 1.4% compared to 1.2% in June.

In January, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BB' long-term and 'B' short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Croatia. Fitch also affirmed Croatia's long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'BB' and 'BB+' respectively with a negative outlook.

The report also reveals the composition of the new government and the cabinet's planned measures, as well as the name of the first minister who resigned just a few days after taking office.









Key Points:





o Croatia's consumer prices fell 0.6% y/y in December, slightly narrowing from the 0.9% decline in the previous month.The working-day adjusted industrial output rose 1% y/y in December, slowing from a 2.7% annual hike in November.

o The unemployment increased to 17.9% in December from 17.7% in the previous month. The average net monthly wage rose 4.9% in November, accelerating from a 4.3% hike in October.

o January-November trade gap narrowed 0.9% y/y as exports rose at a faster pace than imports.

o Croatia managed to attract EUR666.1mn foreign direct investments (FDI) in the first nine months of last year.

Table Of Contents

Croatia Country Report - January, 2016
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY4

MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW5

Romanian GDP growth bounds ahead of SEE peers, EC forecasts5

SandP affirms Croatia's BB/B ratings, outlook negative7

Fitch affirms Croatia at 'BB', outlook negative7

REAL SECTOR8

1. GDP, Inflation8

World Bank raises Croatia's growth outlook to 1.4% in 20168

Croatia's consumer prices fall 0.6% y/y in December8

Croatia's economic sentiment worsens in January9

Decline in Croatian producer prices eases in December10

2. Industry and Trade10

Croatia's industrial output up 1% y/y in December10

Croatia's retail sales growth accelerates in December11

Croatia's industrial sales rise in November11

3. Labour Market12

Croatia's unemployment rate rises to 17.9% in December12

Croatia's unemployment rate falls to 15.4% in Q312

Croatia's average net monthly salary rises by real 4.9% y/y in November13

4. Tourism14

Tourist arrivals to Croatia rise 18% y/y in December14

FISCAL SECTOR, MONETARY POLICY14

Croatia sells EUR81.7mn worth of kuna T-bills, yield falls14

Croatia's M4 money supply up 5.1% y/y to EUR37.5bn at end-December14

Croatian central bank accepts all bids in weekly reverse repo auction15

Croatia plans no tax changes in 2016, finance minister says15

Croatia's January-November central government deficit drops 36% y/y16

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION16

CEE lender RBI reports preliminary net profit of EUR383mn16

Net profit of Croatian lender HPB hits record high18

INTERVIEW: UniCredit reorganises but keeps faith with CEE18

Croatian insurers' premium income rises 1.9% y/y in 201521

Fitch affirms rating of Croatia's biggest bank ZABA22

Zagreb bourse's turnover falls 12% m/m in January23

EBRD acquires 5.2% in Zagreb Stock Exchange23

Croatian mandatory pension funds' assets up 12% y/y in December24

EXTERNAL SECTOR24

Croatia's trade gap narrows 0.9% y/y in January-November24

Croatia's gross foreign debt rises 0.8% m/m in October25

Croatian central bank foreign reserves up 8% y/y to EUR13.7bn at end-December26

Croatia attracts EUR666.1mn in FDI in January-September - preliminary data27

STRUCTURAL REFORMS27

Croatia reportedly to start privatization round with Koncar, Podravka, T-HT27

Croatia's Badel 1862 sells non-alcoholic drinks brands to Slovenia's Radenska28

Strong gains for SEE countries on Corruption Perceptions Index28

EC sees high fiscal sustainability risks for Croatia in mid-term30

POLITICS31

Croatia back in business31

Croatia's Veterans Affairs Minister resigns a few days after taking office32

Croatian parliament endorses new government33

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