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Sep 27, 2023 09:44 EEST
September 27 (SeeNews) - Croatia's economy is expected to expand by 2.5% this year, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Wednesday, improving its projection for a 1.5% growth announced in May.
"GDP is forecast to grow by 2.5% in 2023, with weak external demand and tighter financial conditions weighing on growth. Upside risks to the forecast are a stronger-than-expected tourism season, recovering domestic demand supported by a tight labour market and an EU funds-driven investment acceleration," the lender said in its Regional Economic Prospects report.
In the first two quarters of 2023, GDP grew by 2.8% and 2.7% year-on-year, respectively.
"While private consumption accelerated in the second quarter amid declining inflation, exports recorded an annual decline in April and May 2023, mainly due to lower exports of fuels and crude materials," EBRD said.
Industrial production also fell for six months in a row until May 2023, reflecting weak foreign demand and supply-side shocks. On a positive note, tourist nights in the first half of 2023 were 5% higher than the record levels in 2019, and revenues are well up on the 2022 levels, reflecting price increases, it added.
The lender affirmed at 2.3% its earlier forecast for Croatia’s economic growth in 2024, as domestic demand moderates while demand from key trading partners recovers.
The EBRD expects that the economic output in the region of central Europe and the Baltic states, of which Croatia is part, will increase by 0.5% this year, before expanding by 2.5% in 2024.
The Croatian economy grew by 6.2% in 2022, among the highest growth rates in the European Union. Growth was driven by domestic demand, including accumulation of inventories, while net exports had no overall effect on growth, according to EBRD.
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