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Croatia’s government is preparing to revise its 2013 budget after all major international players including the IMF, the World Bank, the EC and the rating agencies urged the country to tighten the fiscal consolidation and secure macroeconomic stability. What is more, the 2013 GDP is now expected to rise only 0.7% compared to the previous 1.8% forecast included in the current budget bill, while the EC says the economy might even loose more ground, contracting 0.4%.
The economy shrank by a real 2% in 2012 – contracting for a fourth consecutive year, a flash estimate of the statistics office showed.
Croatia’s EU entry is expected to attract higher volumes of private investments but in order to benefit from its accession in mid-2013, the country should quickly improve its labour market and business climate. The infrastructure and energy sector will also benefit from EU grants and loans that will aim to help the new member state raise its competitiveness.
Consumer price inflation slowed down to 4.9% in February from 5.2% in January. Retail sales fell by a real 5.3% on the year in January after declining 6.1% a month earlier. Industrial production shrank 3.4% on the year in January after dropping 5.6% in December.
The number of registered unemployed rose 9.5% y/y to 375,400 at end-February. Labour productivity went up 11.3% in the first month of 2013 after dropping 1.3% in 2012. Average net wages fell by a real 4.6% y/y in December after shrinking 5% a month earlier.
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