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Economy: Wiiw, East's slowdown less strong than expected

Poland will register highest GDP growth in the area this year

04 July, 17:32
(ANSA) - BELGRADE, 04 JUL - Economies in Central, East and Southeast Europe are "cooling down," but "much less than expected in spring" and "forecasts for 2019 have been revised upwards for the majority of countries" in the region, the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (Wiiw) said today, after publishing new forecasts for the economies in the region. The new Wiiw forecasts indicated that Poland (+4.6%) will record the highest GDP growth in the area in 2019.

Among the Central- and Eastern European countries members of the EU, in terms of growth Warsaw will be followed by Romania and Hungary (4.1%), Slovakia (3.6%), Bulgaria (3.5%), Latvia and Slovenia (both 3.3%), Lithuania and Estonia (both 3.2%), Croatia (2.9%) and the Czech Republic (2.5%). The average GDP growth in the area will reach 3.9% in 2019. In this region, "GDP growth has so far decoupled from the downturn in the euro area," in particular due the strong export performance, Wiiw noted.

Moreover, the "increasing labour shortages seem to be leading to investments in the automation and robotisation of workflows, particularly in the Visegrad countries," Wiiw said.

In the Western Balkans, Kosovo will record the highest growth in 2019 (4.1%), followed by Albania (3.7%), Montenegro and North Macedonia (both 3.1%), Serbia (2.9%) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (2.7%). Economies in the Balkans will grow by 3.1% in average this year. The Western Balkans "will continue to benefit from rising investment," the Vienna-based institute said. "A further deterioration in the external environment, however, especially if reinforced by increasing protectionism, is likely to lead to a significant slowdown in growth in the coming years. The small and open economies in Central Europe would be most affected," Wiiw anticipated. (ANSA).

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