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Dec 28, 2007 17:07 EEST
(adds analyst comments)</p>ZAGREB
December 28 (SeeNews) - Croatia's economy grew by a real 5.1% on the year in the third quarter of 2007, slower than the 6.6% annual growth it recorded in the previous quarter, the State Statistic Bureau said on Friday.
The GDP growth was slightly below expectations. Nevertheless, domestic demand remained strong, supported by ongoing strong consumption momentum, Alen Kovac, an analyst with Erste & Steiermaerkische Bank, said in a statement.
Croatia's GDP grew by an yearly 4.7% in the third quarter of 2006.
The government hopes that the economic growth of European Union candidate Croatia will exceed 6.0% in 2007 versus 4.8% in 2006.
Erste’s expectations are that the 2007 GDP growth will be close to 6.0%, with some moderation in the last quarter of the year.
“In 2008 we continue to anticipate slight slowdown of domestic demand and GDP growth rate in the 5.0% range,” Kovac said.
“Expectedly, consumption was the strongest generator of the GDP growth in the third quarter,” analysts with Raiffeisenbank Austria Zagreb (RBA) said in a daily note.
Private consumption grew by real 6.2% on the year in the third quarter, but it has slowed down compared to the first half of the year, they added.
RBA analysts expect the GDP growth for 2007 to be 5.9%.
(1 euro = 7.3322 Croatian kuna)
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