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IMF revises GDP forecasts for emerging Europe

The vast majority of economies in emerging Europe are on course for slowing growth rates, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned in its latest report.

According to the IMF’s revised World Economic Outlook, Armenia has the highest growth projection in emerging Europe: the organisation expects that the Armenian economy will expand by six per cent this year. However, the growth rate is projected to slow to 4.8 per cent in 2020 and 4.4 per cent by 2024.

Georgia and Hungary are ranked second in terms of real GDP growth in 2019, with both economies projected to grow by 4.6 per cent. Georgia looks set to see higher growth rates in the coming years (4.8 per cent in 2020 and 5.2 per cent in 2024), while the IMF says that Hungary’s growth will slow to 3.3 per cent in 2020 and 3.2 per cent by 2024.

Poland, Kosovo and Romania are also expected to produce growth rates higher than four per cent this year – 4.3 per cent, 4.2 per cent and four per cent, respectively.

IMF’s analysts believe that the GDP of Czechia, Slovakia and Slovenia will grow by 2.5-2.9 per cent this year.

The Serbian, Albanian and Moldovan economies are among the few countries of the region where a higher growth rate is expected in the short term: the Serbian economy is projected to grow by 3.5 per cent this year, as well as four per cent in both 2020 and 2024. Albania looks set to a similar projection (3.5 per cent in 2019, four per cent in 2020 and 2024), while the IMF forecasts Moldova to grow by 3.5 per cent in 2019 and maintain a higher than 3.8 per cent growth rate in the coming years).

The remaining countries of the Balkans (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia) are projected to grow between 2.8 and 3.7 per cent, respectively.

The IMF expects all three Baltic countries will expand by two-three per cent annually over the next five years.

While Ukraine’s forecast was upgraded, with the country projected to maintain an annual GDP growth rate of around three per cent, Belarus is the only country in emerging Europe that is heading toward a recession (-0.4 per cent in 2024).