Emerging Europe’s Economies Are Booming

.

“Political noise notwithstanding, the region’s economies are in a sweet spot, and should continue to ride the booming Eurozone wave this year.” That is the headline of a new report published by the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw), which highlights a number of key areas to watch during 2018.

There is good news for those Emerging European countries which are not part of the European Union. While Romania was the clear frontrunner among EU member states in the region in 2017, with real GDP rising by an average 6.5 per cent year on year over the period, although all EU member states in the region grew by an average 3 per cent or more. Most non-EU members in the region fared less well, particularly Ukraine and parts of the Balkans. However, even for most of these countries, economic activity improved compared with a year earlier.

This will change in 2018.

“This year, we maintain a positive outlook on all EU-CEE members,” the report states, “in no small part because of the generally strong trade integration with Western Europe. However, across the Balkans, CIS and Ukraine, we expect a generally better year. High frequency sentiment indicators suggest a gradual firming of growth momentum in Russia, which will have positive spill-overs for other countries in the region. Meanwhile after a disappointing 2017, the outlook for Serbia in 2018 is better. Across the region, almost all countries will grow faster in 2017-19 on average than in 2014-16.”

The Vienna based think tank sees domestic demand becoming an even more important driver of growth, while labour markets – already facing pressure – are set to tighten further. This is confirmed by Eurostat, which on January 10 published its latest unemployment data (for the year to November 30, 2017) which showed that the number of people out of work had fallen in all EU member states. The Czech Republic has the EU’s lowest rate of unemployment, at just 2.5 per cent, while Hungary, Poland, Romania and Estonia all have rates at or below 5 per cent.

Warnings come in the form of the risk of economies overheating, or falling victim to rising inflation “unless there is appropriate monetary and fiscal response,” as the wiiw report puts it. Romania, where nominal labour costs rose 16.5 per cent year on year in the third quarter of 2017, is at particular risk of overheating (its national bank raised interest rates on January 9), while the report states that inflation is picking up across most of the region, in contrast to most of Western Europe (where core inflation remains stubbornly low). The most recent release by Eurostat (for November) showed that annual price growth in all EU-CEE countries except Slovenia 1.4 per cent and Croatia (1.6 per cent) was at 2 per cent or above. In Lithuania (4.2 per cent) and Estonia (4.5 per cent) it was more than double the EBC’s target of just below 2 per cent.

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Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina - August 24 2015. View from Vraca Memorial Park with building of Avaz Twist Tower

Investors in Poland Unfazed By Article 7

Warsaw EBRD annual meeting

Chinese Electric Car Maker Seeks Emerging Europe Base

zhi dou d2

Budget Chaos Hits Romanian Leu

Different Romanian Lei Banknotes on the table

Romanian Competition Council Approves OTP Purchase of Banca Romaneasca

BUDAPEST HUNGARY - JUNE 22 2014: People walk by OTP Bank in Budapest. OTP is the biggest commercial Hungarian bank with 1500 branches in 9 countries.

Sarajevo Stock Exchange Connected to SEE Link

sarajevo stock exchange

Estcoin: Estonia’s Own Digital Currency?

1 euro coin money (EUR) currency of European Union Estonia over blue background

Foreigners choose Minsk and Gomel as Belarus’ most attractive FDI destinations

Lukashenka seeks to avoid commitment to Russia’s geostrategic goals

Hungary’s Solar Dreamer

hand sun and blue sky with copyspace showing freedom or solar power concept

Romanian President Appoints Country’s First Female PM

viorica dancila prime minister of romania

IMF Increases Growth Forecast With Emerging Europe Prominent

Dambovita river and center of Bucharest at sunset time Romania.

FocusEconomics: Belarusian Economy to Grow in Q4 2016 and Onwards

Germany Is Not Letting Belarus’ Small Downturns Put it off Looking for Investment Opportunities

The End of Poland’s Shale Gas Eldorado

“e-Belarus”: Embracing the Internet and its Possibilities

Industrial Production Prices in New Increase

electricity

Will the New Five-day Visa-free Regime Encourage More Visitors to Belarus?

Using Words to Paint a Picture – Belarus’ Nobel Prize Winning Novelist

CEE-Benefits and Disadvantages of Joining the Eurozone

forint zloty euro

Belarus is the most creative EEU country

Warsaw Rising: The Polish Capital’s Skyline Gets Even Taller

varso

Banca Transilvania Concludes Moldovan Deal

banca transilvania

Estonia Proposes Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for Robots

Robotic hand accessing on laptop the virtual world of information. Concept of artificial intelligence and replacement of humans by machines.

Košice Business Matchmaking Event Brings in Hungarians

kosice, slovakia

Emerging Europe to Record Positive Growth Across the Board in 2018

coins growth

Ukraine’s Economic Recovery: Good, But Slow

ukraine money

Valga and Valka – Where Estonia and Latvia Work Together

Valga valka emerging europe

Air Passenger Volumes Reach Record High in the Baltics

airbaltic

Albania is creating three free economic zones

CEE Boosted by Positive Tourism Trends Across the Region

cruise ship in Kotor Bay Montenegro. Aerial view panorama. Kotor bay Montenegro.

Latvian Deputy Prime Minister Highlights Riga’s Potential

riga

Visegrad Group Looks East

ICT Given Huge Boost in Belarus

MINSK, BELARUS - AUGUST 15, 2016: Aerial view of the southwestern part of the Minsk with Palace of Sport and old and new other buildings. Minsk is the capital and largest city of Belarus.

Macedonia — Stepping Out Of the Shadow Of the Balkans

Romania Can Still Provide Stability Within the EU

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - 05 February 2017: More than 240,000 protesters in Victory Square (Piata Victoriei). "Torches" moment. At 09:00PM Romanian protesters shone torches on their phones.

Emerging Europe Makes Great Strides in Improving Business Regulation for Entrepreneurs

Skopje Macedonia

Lithuania Gives Innovation a StartUp

MILAN ITALY - MAY 2: People visit Lithuania pavilion at Expo universal exposition on the theme of food on MAY 2 2015 in Milan.

Škoda too Strong for VW Group

MLADA BOLESLAV CZECH REPUBLIC - MAY 30: Skoda Octavia on conveyor line during Doors Open Day at Skoda Auto a.s. factory. Skoda auto celebrated 120 years since its founding on May 30 2015 in Mlada Boleslav.

EconMin: Bulgaria — Number One Outsourcing Destination And an Island of Stability in Europe

Belarus Is Making the First Steps onto the International Finance Floor

Albania’s Economy Booms Despite Political Infighting

Panorama view to the city Tirana Albania

Romania Cuts Income Tax, Introduces Solidarity Tax

CLUJ NAPOKA ROMANIA - OCT 2 2016: People on the central street of Cluj Napoka - the unofficial capital of Transylvania.

Warsaw Back on Top in Polish Banking

WARSAW, POLAND - MAY 07, 2016: Building Palace of Culture and Science among the modern buildings of the city

OECD: Belarus Has to Find Its Own Belarusian Model to Emerge

Romania’s Budget Deficit ‘Should Start Alarm Bells Ringing’

BUCHAREST ROMANIA - June 29 2017: Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose during a swearing-in ceremony at Cotroceni palace in Bucharest capital of Romania June 29 2017.

EU Membership and Transition into Market Economies Have Helped CEE Achieve Social Progress

Bulgaria’s cooperation with Israel could boost the economy

UK Economic Growth Slows as Brexit Uncertainty Bites

flags of UK and EU combined over icons of London - Brexit concept

Slovenia is CEE’s leader in innovation

A New Modern Mall Hopes to Draw Belarusians Back to the Home Market

RRY Capital

NATO Opens New Moldova Office

NATO Moldova

Latvia Urged Not to Increase Expenditure As Economy Grows

Riga, Latvia - August, 2010: Panorama view from Riga cathedral on old town of Riga, Latvia

PE and VC Investment In CEE Is At an Eight-Year High

venture capital

Outsourcing Sector Driving CEE Office & Graduate Demand

wroclaw office

Belarusian Tech Companies Lead a Global Technological Advance in Outsourcing and Product Development

The Shopping Experience Is Set To Go Global in Belarus from 2017 Onwards

Czech Real Estate Market Is Top CEE Performer

Prague skyscrapers in blue hour with purple sky. Modern building architecture after sunset. Office center in capital city. Czech republic lighting buildings.

Hungary Today: Potential and Challenge

Chain bridge on Danube river in Budapest city. Hungary. Urban landscape panorama with old buildings and domes of opera

Efficient Innovation: Entrepreneurship in Bulgaria

Beautiful photos of modern buildings under blue sky. Europe, Bulgaria, Sofia.

EU Commissioner Launches Veiled Attack on Poland and Hungary

eu commission

Bulgaria Ski Resort Plans Concern WWF

Bansko, Bulgaria - December, 6, 2015: Two Bansko cable car cabins and snow mountains peaks

Trans Adriatic Pipeline Will Fuel Albanian Growth

Xanthi. Greece - July 30 2017: aerial view of construction of gas pipeline Trans Adriatic Pipeline - TAP in north Greece. The pipeline starts from the Caspian sea and reaches the coast of southern Italy

Czech Republic Raises Interest Rates

czech koruna

Estonia Posts EU’s Highest Inflation Rate in November

Rising food and grocery store prices is estonia and cost of living concept. Man counting food and consumer goods money with pen, paper and calculator at home. Budget of disadvantaged and low income family.

Budapest and Warsaw: Marriage of Convenience or Union of Values?

High Real Estate Prices at Home Force Czech Investors Abroad

Construction of the Petrin lookout tower in Prague Czech Republic

World Bank: Brexit Hides Greater Challenges to the European Union and the CEE Region

Changes Are Making Ukrainian Banking More Aligned with International Standards

The EU’s Benign Neglect Of Eastern Europe

Kosovo: A Population of Talented Young Entrepreneurs Waits at Europe’s Door

Georgia’s Growth Continues

Batumi, Adjara, Georgia - May 27, 2016: Batumi, Adjara, Georgia. Gogebashvili Street Road And Marine Station Or Maritime Station Building Batumi On Background

Office Space Vacancy is Currently Low but Building Standards Cause Concern

Minsk Belarus - March 23 2017 modern architecture business center Pokrovsky on Pobediteley Avenue editorial

Montenegro Accelerates Legal Reform

montenegro law reform

Polish Shoppers in Hunt for Eggs

eggs in rack

Bulgaria’s Bitcoin Mystery

bitcoin bulgaria

Revenues Of Bulgarian IT Companies Have Sextupled In the Last Decade

Are Labour Shortages Driving Economic Growth?

Continental Launch Largest Ever Lithuanian Greenfield Investment

kaunas lithuania

Czech PM Loses Confidence Vote

andrej Babiš

The Azerbaijani Laundromat: Why It Matters

azerbaijani money laundering

World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2016 Resume For Emerging Europe

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