Croatia: GDP records largest contraction in three quarters in Q4
March 10, 2014
GDP contracted 1.2% over the same quarter of the previous year in Q4 according to detailed figures released by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics on 10 March. The decline was in line with the 28 February flash estimate and marked a sharp deterioration over the 0.6% contraction tallied in Q3. The print represented the largest contraction since Q1 2013 and marked the ninth consecutive quarter of declining economic activity. In the full year 2013, GDP dropped 1.0%, which marked an improvement compared to the 1.9% decline tallied in 2012. The deterioration tallied in Q4 was driven by domestic demand, whereas the external sector improved compared to the previous quarter. Private consumption declined a sharp 1.8% over the same quarter of the previous year (Q3: +0.2% year-on-year), whereas government spending expanded 1.2% (Q3: -0.9% yoy). Gross fixed capital formation fell 3.3%, which contrasted the 0.3% increase tallied in Q3. On the external side of the economy, exports of goods and services contracted 3.8% in Q4, which followed the 1.3% drop recorded in Q3. Imports contracted 4.4% (Q3: -1.6% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall economic growth swung from minus 0.1 percentage points in Q3 to plus 0.4 percentage points in Q4. The government expects the economy to expand 0.2% in 2014. FocusEconomics panelists' assessment is slightly less pessimistic; they expect GDP to rise 0.3% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's estimate. In 2015, the panel expects economic growth to accelerate to 1.3%.