Bad GDP figures from the eurozone on Wednesday but there’s a pleasant surprise from an unexpected quarter: Hungary’s economy contracted by only 0.9 percent in annual terms in the first three months.
Doesn’t sound like good news. But investors had been expecting a drop of as much as 1.4 per cent. With hopes of further improvement in the rest of 2013 buoying the Budapest market, the forint gained 1 per cent against the euro. Continue reading »
The numbers are in and they’re not pretty.
Growth in central Europe is only at a sluggish 0.8 per cent – lower than any time since the depths of the economic crisis in 2009. Continue reading »
At last, a breath of optimism on central and eastern Europe from one of the more cautious economic forecasters.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on Monday predicted that growth in the region would increase slightly from 2.6 per cent in 2012 to 3.1 per cent this year. More significantly, given the EBRD’s past warnings, the bank is saying that risks of the eurozone triggering another CEE financial crisis are declining. If the bank’s right, that’s good news. Continue reading »
Central Europe’s slowing economies are driving down their inflation rates – the latest to post figures is Poland, where inflation dropped to an annual 2.8 per cent in November, down from 3.4 per cent in October.
That puts inflation within spitting distance of the central bank’s target rate of 2.5 per cent – the first time that has happened in two years. Inflation in June, when opinions about the economy were a lot more optimistic, was 4.3 per cent. Continue reading »
The eurozone recession is biting hard in central Europe. According to flash data published on Thursday, third-quarter GDP fell in Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic compared with the previous three months, and rose marginally in Bulgaria.
The only country of the five reporting figures to do reasonably well is – ironically – eurozone member Slovakia, which posted quarter-on-quarter growth of 2.2 per cent. With Poland, which publishes its numbers on a different cycle, also slowing, the next few months look difficult for the region. Continue reading »