EU: Consumption Still Driving Growth

Growth Forecasts 2018
Emerging Europe

Romania 4.4 per cent
Slovenia 4 per cent
Bulgaria 3.8 per cent
Poland 3.8 per cent
Slovakia 3.8 per cent
Hungary 3.6 per cent
Latvia 3.5 per cent
Serbia 3.3 per cent
Estonia 3.2 per cent
Czech Republic 3 per cent
Montenegro 3 per cent
Lithuania 2.9 per cent
Croatia 2.8 per cent
Macedonia 2.7 per cent

Source: European Commission Autumn Forecast 2017

The European Commission’s Autumn Economic Forecast, published on November 9, sees growth continuing across those emerging European states which form part of the EU, although the pace of that growth is expected to slow somewhat over the next two years. Almost across the board, private consumer spending is the main driver of growth.

“The pick-up in GDP growth in recent quarters is part of a fairly synchronised global upswing in advanced economies and emerging markets alike,” commented Director-General for Economic and Financial Affairs at the European Commission Marco Buti. “Higher external demand appears to have encouraged European firms to invest more and it has dampened the impact of the euro’s appreciation on exports so far. With investment picking up and private consumption still robust, domestic demand is now better balanced.”

Romania is still seen the EU’s best performer on paper in 2017, with growth at 5.7 per cent, although inflation is set to pick up as the output gap widens, and the current account deficits is now predicted to be as high as 7 billion euros 2019. Another emerging European country giving some cause for concern is Croatia. Economic activity is expected to lose some of its momentum over the next two years and the volume of GDP is only set to return to its pre-crisis level in 2019. The potential negative impact on growth of the ongoing Agrokor restructuring is still looming (the food-processing and retail group is Croatia’s largest private sector employer). The unemployment rate is set to continue falling, albeit at a slowing pace as employment growth and outbound migration ease. The general government deficit is projected to remain stable, but with the economy still growing above its potential, the structural balance is set to deteriorate.

Better news comes from Slovakia, where economic expansion is expected to maintain a robust pace, with private consumption once again the main contributor to growth. Household spending is set to benefit as the labour market continues to strengthen, while strong labour demand in some regions and sectors is expected to put upward pressure on nominal wages. Inflation is likely to increase further, supported by favourable demand conditions, but the government deficit is projected to decrease steadily. Poland too is seen as enjoying faster wage growth, moderate employment gains and strong consumer confidence are set to sustain private consumption as the main growth driver. Investment activity is expected to gradually recover, largely due to a higher utilisation of EU funds.

Amongst the EU candidate countries, Albanian exports are seen continuing to grow at a fast pace, benefitting from expanding tourism and the strengthening economies of key trading partners. Serbia’s underlying growth trend remains robust, and exports are seen as staying strong. There’s growth in Montenegro too, although the main driver, which until now had been large infrastructure investments. is gradually being taken over by private consumption. In Macedonia, where the economy contracted in the first half of 2017 and political uncertainties led to a sharp decline in investment, fiscal and structural reforms promised by the new government to support domestic demand and employment should soon yield results and see positive investor sentiment return.

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Slovenia: Emerging Europe’s Hidden Giant

ljubljana slovenia

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

Skiing in Emerging Europe

gudauri ski georgia

Why Was Zapad-2017 So Important?

russian tank belarus zapad

Serbia, Belarus and Ukraine Ranked Lowly by Wharton Business School

Kyiv Ukraine - April 172017: The postal square in Kiev on Podol the Dnipro river. view of the square from the river panorama

Armenia Opens New Free Economic Zone on Iranian Border

Bags headgear boxes made of traditional fabrics of Armenian patterns and colors lying on the stalls at the Yerevan market in Armenia

EU Commissioner Launches Veiled Attack on Poland and Hungary

eu commission

Ask for Georgian Campaign Set to Expand Abroad

Traditional Georgian carpet. Carpets with typical geometrical patterns are among the most famous products of Georgia.

Toyota Announces 400 Million Zloty Polish Investment

toyota

Visegrad Group Looks East

Lithuania Handed Top Marks for Business Services

Beautiful panorama of Vilnius Old Town taken from Gediminas hill; Lithuania

Bulgaria: Real Estate’s New Frontier?

CEE Playing Catch Up on R&D Spending

science, r&d

The Peculiar Growth of Poland

KRAKOW POLAND - JUNE 2017: logo of Galeria Krakowska shopping center.

The End of Poland’s Shale Gas Eldorado

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Focussing on Stability and Business Climate

Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina - August 23 2015. View of Miljacka River in Sarajevo city

Estonia Leads Baltics in Cutting Sugar in Food and Drink

Slovenia Sets Green Vehicle Deadline of 2030

ljubljana

Efficient Innovation: Entrepreneurship in Bulgaria

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

Georgia Leads Emerging Europe in Ease of Doing Business Report

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

Doing Business Across Eurasia Could Be Easier

Eurasia emerging europe schneider group

Banca Transilvania Concludes Moldovan Deal

banca transilvania

Lech Wałęsa: Hard Options Can Force Nations to Get Down to Work

ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih Gets EBRD Boost

Landscape with two mine head frames . Ukraine, Kryvyi Rih, Iron-ore mine Gvardeiskaya. An autumn sunny day with blue sky. Complex for Mining

Estonia Leading CEE Country in WEF Competitiveness Index

pharmaceutical factory woman worker operating production line at pharmacy industry manufacture factory

Romanian Car Maker Dacia Sees Sales Boom

Sables d Olonne France - May 07 2017 : Dacia Tour 2017 is a commercial operation organized by the car builder in order to present its cars throughout France - Close-up on cars

Ametek opened a new factory in Subotica

Poland Stays Cool on Euro Adoption

Euro cash and Zloty on one photo.

Derek Chollet: There Is a Resurgence of Supporters of the Transatlantic Relationship

white house

Revenues Of Bulgarian IT Companies Have Sextupled In the Last Decade

GE Inaugurates Its New Bucharest Software Centre

Asian Outsource Developer Team Sitting At Desk Working Laptop Computer Mobile Application Software Real Office

Polish Labour Market Deficits Are Impacting All

Construction site with crane and building. Construction site in western europe - in Poland.

Baltics Seek Lockstep With High Tech States

Euro money: Macro view of euro coin and bill. Suitable for financial, monetary, euro or European Union concepts and ideas

Mayor: Armenia And Its Capital Yerevan Offer Safe Investment And Tourism To a Growing World

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