1. Market Research
Country Report Croatia September 2017

Country Report Croatia September 2017

  • September 2017
  • ID: 2557248
  • Format: PDF
  • By The Economist Intelligence Unit


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Outlook for 2017-21

  • A new coalition government, led by the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), has the support of parts of the liberal Croatian People's Party (HNS). It could prove unstable, and an early election is possible.
  • Relations with Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH) and Serbia will fluctuate between hostile and cool. However, relations will not break down completely.
  • Progress on structural reforms, particularly concerning healthcare and pensions, will remain slow.
  • In 2017-21 The Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts that real GDP will grow at 2.6% per year on average, a significantly improved outlook compared with the years after the global financial crisis. EU fund absorption is improving.
  • The crisis at the Agrokor conglomerate, Croatia's largest company, poses a significant risk to growth.
  • Croatia's recent success in reducing the fiscal deficit has enabled it to exit the EU's excessive-deficit procedure. We expect the deficit to widen in 2017 but to remain within the 3% of GDP ceiling over the forecast period (2017-21).
  • In 2017­21 we expect inflation to average 1.7% per year, up from -1.1% in 2016.
  • Public debt will decline to an average of about 76% of GDP in 2017-21-still a high level for an emerging market such as Croatia. Large financing needs leave the country vulnerable to a downturn in foreign investor sentiment.


  • On August 10th Croatia agreed to abandon a controversial new fruit and vegetable import inspection fee for non-EU countries, reducing the tax back to EUR12 (US$14), from EUR270 (US$315).
  • Retail trade volumes (working-day adjusted) grew by 7.7% year on year in June, up from 3.5% in May.
  • The unemployment rate was 10.8% in July 2017, the same as in June. This is the lowest level on record.
  • Year-on-year industrial production (working-day adjusted) increased by 4% year on year in June, up from 3.3% in May.
  • Consumer prices increased by 0.8% year on year in July, slightly higher than the 0.7% rate in June.
  • Goods exports in the first half of 2017 increased by 13.9% year on year in kuna terms.
  • Foreign direct investment inflows in the first quarter amounted to EUR427m (US$504m), a 22.6% year-on-year decline.

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