August 26 (SeeNews) - Croatia's economic growth rate this year will be higher than the government's projection of 3%, prime minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Friday, after the release of official figures pointing to a real 7.7% annual rise in gross domestic product in the second quarter of 2022.
“In view of the fantastic tourism season, everything suggests that the third quarter will be also very good,” Plenkovic told reporters, according to a video file published by public broadcaster HRT. Among the EU countries, only Slovenia had posted a stronger annual GDP growth in April-June, Plenkovic added.
The economic expansion in the second quarter beats a 5.7% projection of the Institute of Economics Zagreb (EIZ), a local think-tank, and a 7% forecast of Austria's Erste Bank.
“Bottom line, we are comfortable with our current calls, at around 5% and 2% growth for 2022 and 2023 respectively, with today’s second-quarter figure adding some upside risks to this year while risks for the latter are to the downside,” Erste Bank analyst Alen Kovac said in a statement.
Raiffeisen Bank said in a separate statement that the second-quarter growth is above its expectations and it could revise upwards its current projection for a 4.4% annual GDP increase in 2022. However, there is no ground for excessive optimism because a slowdown of the economic growth is quite certain and negative risks have not disappeared, Raiffeisen Bank said, adding that Croatia's GDP growth rate next year could be lower than its current forecast of 3%.
Croatia's economy expanded by 7.7% year-on-year in real terms in the second quarter, following annual growth of 7.0% in the first quarter of 2022 and a 16.4% increase in the second quarter of last year, the statistical office said in a first estimate earlier on Friday. Seasonally adjusted GDP increased by 2.0% in April-June compared to the previous quarter.
Household consumption rose by 7.7% year-on-year in real terms in the second quarter, while government spending fell 2.2%. Gross fixed capital formation increased by 5.0% in the period under review. In the second quarter of 2022, exports of goods and services rose by 41.9% year-on-year in real terms, while imports increased by 28.6%.
The first estimate shows that the quarterly gross value added (GVA ) increased in real terms by 8.8% in the second quarter of 2022, as compared to the same quarter of 2021, based on non-adjusted data. The increase in GVA was driven by a significant increase in real value added in wholesale and retail trade, transportation, storage, accommodation and food service activities, the statistical office said.
Croatia's economic output grew by a real 10.2% in 2021, after a contraction of 8.4% in 2020.