SEE Economic Overview – Q1 2015 4Aug

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SEE map

SeeNews Competitive Intelligence presents you the updated country macroeconomic reports. We have prepared such reports for the economies in Southeast Europe (SEE) with data as of Q1 2015. The information in the reports has been collected from statistics offices, central banks, financial regulators, stock exchanges and other public institutions. As a result, we have a report for each SEE country, giving a comprehensive picture of its economy.

The economies of the SEE countries reported growth on annual basis in the first quarter of 2015. Serbia was the only exception as the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined by 1.8% in current prices, following the downward trend from the previous quarter. The highest GDP growth was achieved by Moldova, of 4.8%.

GDP Graphic re-worked

Source: Countries’ statistical offices
Editor’s note: Data for Kosovo is calculated quarter on quarter

The industrial output in most of the countries increased, with Montenegro leading the ranking by a rise in the production of 19.3%. Slovenia and Moldova followed with an annual increase of 13.0% and 10.2%, respectively. Albania, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina experienced an annual drop in industrial production, of 4.7%, 2.0% and 0.7%, respectively.

Inflation was marked in half of the countries in the region as Turkey experienced the highest average annual inflation, of 8.7%, while Bulgaria and Macedonia registered deflation of 0.9%, each.

Retail sales indicated increased demand on the SEE market in the first quarter as all countries reported a rise. The most favourable markets were Bosnia and Herzegovina, where retail sales went up by 7.7%, followed by Moldova with a 7.3% increase, and Albania with 3.5%. In the rest of SEE countries retail sales varied from 0.5% in Croatia, through 2.7% in Slovenia, to 3.1% in Turkey.

Unemployment went up to 8.5% in Moldova, from 3.5% at end-2014. The country ranked second in terms of people actively looking for a job. Romania’s unemployment rate was at 7.4%, while Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Croatia suffered the most serious issues with the unemployment rates of 43.6%, 27.3%, and 19.7%, respectively.

Unemployment re-wroked

Source: Countries’ statistical offices

The indebtness of the SEE countries, measured by their gross external debt, deepened in the first quarter of the year with the sharpest annual increase, of 42.9%, seen in Montenegro, followed by Albania with 12.1% and Slovenia with 10.1%.

Foreign trade deficit was common in the SEE countries in the first three months of 2015, taking into account that industry is not the major sector which forms the size of the economies, even in countries like Romania and Turkey where it sliced 24.6% and 32.2% of their Gross Value Added, respectively. Only in Slovenia exports exceeded imports, resulting in a trade balance surplus of EUR 124 mln. For comparison, the smallest trade balance gap was EUR 282 mln, in Montenegro, followed by EUR 386 mln in Kosovo.

The interest of foreign tourists to the countries in the SEE region is growing. The official statistics showed a year-on-year increase in the number of foreign tourist overnights in most of the SEE countries. The uptrend was the greatest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, an increase of 43.5%. Turkey was on top in terms of foreign tourist overnights with more than 41.697 million, far ahead of Croatia’s 853,211 and the 885,304 in Bulgaria.

More information can be found on intelligence.seenews.com.

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