SEE Economic Overview – Q2 2015 21Oct

Published by Alexander Yanev in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SEE map

SeeNews Competitive Intelligence presents you economy reports on the countries in Southeast Europe for Q2 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.

All of the economies in the SEE region reported annual growth in the second quarter of 2015. The highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) real growth was achieved by Bosnia and Herzegovina, of 4.4%.
Serbia also reported an increase, of 1.0%, ending the downward trend from the previous two quarters.

GDP Graphic re-worked

Source: Countries’ statistical offices
Editor’s note: GDP of Kosovo is for Q1 2015

The industrial output of the SEE countries increased, with Montenegro leading the ranking for a second consecutive time by posting a 29.7% jump. Serbia and Slovenia followed with an annual increase of 18.6% and 11.2%, respectively. The industrial production in Moldova, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, turned to a growth, of 7.4% and 1.9%, respectively. The modest rise was posted by Macedonia, of 0.8%.

Inflation was marked in five of the countries in the region with Moldova experiencing the highest average annual inflation, of 8.3%, while six countries registered deflation. Consumer prices continued falling in Bulgaria and Macedonia but deflation slowed down to 0.3% in both countries in comparison to end-March 2015. Reducing the Value Added Tax (VAT) for specific consumer goods in Romania continued in the food products group, which reduced the average annual inflation to 0.7% in the second quarter of 2015.


Source: Countries’ statistical offices

Retail sales growth indicate increasing demand on the SEE market in the second quarter. The most favourable markets were Bosnia and Herzegovina, where retail sales went up by 11.6%, in Macedonia by 7.7%, and in Slovenia by 7.1%. Retail sales decreased the most, by 6.9% in Moldova. The other country to report a decline was Serbia, of 1.7%. In the rest of SEE countries retail sales growth varied from 4.9% in Romania to 2.7% in Bulgaria.

All of the countries in SEE reported narrowing number of unemployed people on the labour market, except Albania where unemployment rate inched up to 17% from 16.9% in the previous quarter. Unemployment in Moldova went down to 4.1% from 8.5% in the previous quarter of 2015. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia suffered from the highest levels of unemplyment in the region of 43%, 26.8%, and 17.9%, respectively.

Unemployment re-wroked

Source: Countries’ statistical offices

The indebtness of the SEE countries, measured by their gross external debt, deepened in the second quarter of the year but at a slower pace, compared to the previous quarter. The sharpest annual increase, of 25.2%, was monitored in Montenegro, followed by Macedonia with 10.4% and Albania with 9.1%. Moldova and Romania were exceptions by reducing their gross external debt with 5.7% and 5.0%, respectively.

Foreign trade deficit was common in the SEE countries in the second three months of 2015, taking into account that the manufacturing industry is not the major sector which forms the size of the economies, even in countries like Romania where it sliced 26.2% of the Gross Value Added generated by the national economy. Only in Slovenia exports exceeded imports, resulting in a trade balance surplus of EUR 212.6 mln. For comparison, the smallest trade balance gap was EUR 433 mln in Montenegro, followed by EUR 453 mln in Moldova.

Foreign tourist arrivals in the countries in the region are increasing, except Bulgaria, where foreign visits fell by 18.1% on the year. The official statistics showed an annual increase in the number of foreign tourist overnights in the SEE countries. The uptrend was the greatest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, an increase of 43.5% in the number of overnights of foreigners, followed by Kosovo, of 22.9%, and Romania, of 17.9%.

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