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Croatia Country Report - January, 2015

  • February 2015
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 25 pages

This report reviews key macroeconomic data and microeconomic developments for Croatia published between January 6 and February 6, 2014.

In the beginning of February, the European Commission kept its 2015 GDP forecast on Croatia, saying it anticipates it to grow by 0.2% only thanks to exports. At the same time, it lowered its 2016 growth forecast to 1% from the previous 1.1%. The EBRD also kept unchanged its outlook for Croatia, projecting a 0.5% growth this year. The World Bank also projected in January a 0.5% growth for this year, but the estimate was lowered from a 1.2% growth expected earlier.

S&P, which in January affirmed its long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Croatia of "BB/B", said it sees a 0% GDP growth this year.

The report also provides details on the latest development in the INA case between Croatia and Hungary's MOL. It mentions Croatia's improved ranking in the latest 2015 Index of Economic Freedom published by US-based Heritage Foundation. The report also reveals the latest plans of the government regarding the privatisation of Croatia Airlines and gives details on the International Court of Justice's ruling regarding claims of genocide by Croatia and Serbia.



Key Points:



o Croatia's consumer prices fell by 0.5% y/y in December, after increasing for two consecutive months. The working-day adjusted industrial output rose 5.3% y/y in December, accelerating from a 2.8% annual growth the previous month. In the full year 2014, Croatia's industrial production went up 1.3%.

o The unemployment rate climbed to 19.6% in December from 19.2% in November. The average net monthly wage fell 0.2% in November following a 0.1% hike in October.

o January-October trade gap slightly widened to EUR5.9bn.

Table Of Contents

Croatia Country Report - January, 2015
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY4

MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW5

EC keeps its 2015 GDP growth forecast for Croatia at 0.2%, cuts 2016 outlook to 1%5

SandP affirms Croatia's credit rating with stable outlook6

Croatia's GDP to grow 0.2% in 2015, 0.9% in 2016 - Zagreb Institute of Economics7

EBRD keeps unchanged Croatia's 0.5% GDP growth forecast for 20158

World Bank downgrades Croatia's growth outlook to 0.5% in 20158

REAL SECTOR8

1. GDP, Inflation8

Croatian c-bank says GDP likely stagnated in Q48

Croatia's consumer prices fall 0.5% y/y in December9

Croatia's PPI falls 3.4% y/y in December9

2. Industry and Trade10

Croatia's industrial output growth accelerates to 5.3% y/y in December10

Croatia's industrial sales rise 0.3% y/y in November10

Croatia's retail sales growth accelerates in December11

Construction works' volume in Croatia falls 5.8% y/y in November11

3. Labour Market12

Croatia's unemployment rate rises to 19.6% in December12

Croatia's ILO-defined unemployment rate falls to 15.7% in Q312

Croatia's average net monthly salary ticks down by real 0.2% y/y in November12

4. Tourism13

Tourist arrivals in Croatia rise 14.2% y/y in December- first results13

FISCAL SECTOR, MONETARY POLICY13

Croatia's general government debt rises to 78% of GDP at end-September - Eurostat13

Croatia plans EUR1bn eurobond inssue14

Croatian c-bank FX reserves up 0.9% y/y to EUR12.7bn at end-December14

Croatia sells EUR57.3mn worth of kuna T-bills, misses target14

Croatia's 2014 deficit lower than expected - FinMin14

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION15

EBRD lends EUR25mn to Croatia's Raiffeisen Leasing to support SMEs15

RBI to shed CEE assets in bid to calm market fears15

Czech JandT Bank raises capital of Croatia's Vaba Banka17

Croatian insurers premium income falls 5.7% y/y to EUR1.1bn in 201418

Net assets of Croatian open-end investment funds fall 6.7% m/m in December18

Croatian mandatory pension funds' assets up 14% in 201419

Croatia mulls turning Swiss franc denominated loans into rental agreements19

Croatian parliament approves Swiss franc rate freeze for a year19

EXTERNAL SECTOR20

Croatia's gross foreign debt falls 0.6% m/m in October20

Croatia's January-October trade gap slightly widens to EUR5.9bn - revised data21

STRUCTURAL REFORMS21

Croatian government to seek advisor on Croatia Airlines privatisation21

Croatia's Petrokemija raises capital by EUR32.8mn22

Hungary's MOL suspends plans to seek special dividend from Croatia's INA22

Croatia's score improves in 2015 economic freedom ranking23

POLITICS24

U.N. court rejects genocide claims by Croatia, Serbia24

Croatian new president to be sworn in on February 1524

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