Croatia: Economy contracts at fastest pace in nearly two years
May 31, 2012
In the first quarter, GDP contracted 1.3% over the same quarter the previous year, based on a preliminary flash estimate released by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics on 31 May. The print, which was the steepest contraction since the second quarter of 2010, followed the 0.4% drop observed in the previous quarter and put the Croatian economy back in recession. Full details of the national accounts data set will be published on 20 June. Other indicators show that economic activity deteriorated markedly, in particular industrial production which fell 6.1% in the first quarter (Q4 2011: +0.5% year-on-year). Moreover, retail sales decelerated sharply (Q4 2011: +4.0% yoy; Q1 2012: +1.5% yoy). However, merchandise exports rose 1.5% in the first quarter in EUR terms, contrasting the 2.7% drop seen in Q4 2011. Tourist arrivals increased 14.9% in the same period (Q4 2011: +7.7% yoy). The Central Banks expects GDP to contract about 1.0% this year.