Monday, 20 April 2020

Registered Unemployment Rate in March 8.6%

ZAGREB, April 20, 2020 - At the end of March, there were 1.515 million employed persons in Croatia, which is almost the same number as in the previous month or 715 fewer workers, while the number of job-seekers rose by 4%, sending the registered unemployment rate up by 0.3 percentage points to 8.6%.

Data from the national statistical office (DZS) shows that there were 1,515,174 employed persons in the country at the end of March, an annual increase of 0.5%.

In mid-March Croatia introduced restrictions to step up the fight against the coronavirus epidemic, which has caused a decrease in monthly employment figures for trades and freelance professions and an increase in the number of the unemployed.

Statistics show that at the end of March the number of workers in legal entities, which employ the largest number of workers, rose mildly on the month while in trades and freelance professions it dropped by more than one percent.

According to DZS data, at the end of March legal entities employed 1,314,034 persons, 0.1% up or 1,309 more employees than at the end of February this year and 0.7% more than in March 2019.

Month-on-month, the number of employees in the real estate sector rose the most, by 1.2%, to 9,220 employees.

The number of workers dropped the most in the catering industry and tourism, by 3.3% to 67,000.

A total of 181,959 people worked in trades or as freelancers at the end of March, which is 1.1% down from February.

According to figures from the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ), at the end of March there were 143,461 job-seekers, which is 5,484 or 4% more than in February. Year-on-year, the number of job-seekers dropped by 1.6%.

The registered unemployment rate in March stood at 8.6%, 0.3 pp more than in February.

The number of job-seekers continued rising in April as well, and according to daily figures available on the HZZ website, there are currently more than 155,000 job-seekers, so the registered unemployment rate is expected to continue growing.

More economy news can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Easter Consumption Down 14 %

ZAGREB, April 15, 2020 - Croatian citizens have spent HRK 1.2 billion over the Easter holidays, down 14 percent from last year when they spent 1.4 billion, according to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

According to the Tax Authority, a turnover of HRK 976 million was generated in trade and HRK 838.3 million in retail between Holy Thursday and Easter Monday.

Although this is a significant fall, these figures show that the economy has not stopped, despite lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus, a HGK official said.

Given that the said figures do not include sales results generated by family farms whose business has significantly increased over the past several weeks, we can conclude that Croatia is dealing with the crisis well and that there is no significant fall in consumption, the HGK official said.

More economy news can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Croatia Recorded Increases in Tourist Arrivals and Overnight Stays in February

ZAGREB, April 14, 2020 - Croatia's commercial accommodation facilities recorded increases in tourist arrivals and overnight stays in February compared with the same month last year, of 5.4% and 11.1% respectively, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (DZS).

Industry professionals and analysts agree that positive results could hardly be expected in the coming months given the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of hotels, camps and other accommodation establishments as well as restaurants.

Figures from the e-Visitor system for March have indicated considerable declines in tourist arrivals and overnight stays, and Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli has predicted that the overall drop might be between 60% and 75% provided that the healthcare situation improves and at least some turnover is generated in the summer and early autumn.

In February, 279,000 tourists stayed in commercial accommodation facilities, up by 5.4% compared with February 2019, and they generated 610,500 overnight stays, an increase of 11.1%.

Of the total number of tourists, 170,000 were foreign visitors (+1%), while the number of domestic tourists rose by 13.15% to 106,700. Foreign tourists generated 396,000 overnight stays (+11%) and domestic tourists 215,000 (+11.3%).

Most of the foreign tourists were Slovenians, who generated nearly 20% of foreign overnight stays, followed by Austrians, Germans, Italians and visitors from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and the United States.

More tourism news can be found in the Travel section.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

House Prices up 9% in 2019

ZAGREB, April 14, 2020 - House prices in Croatia in 2019 were on average nine percent higher than in 2018, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (DZS) shows.

Prices of new-builds rose by 8.3% on average, while prices of existing residential properties increased by 9.1%.

House prices went up by 13.2% in Zagreb, 6.9% on the Adriatic coast and 3.8% elsewhere in the country.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, prices of residential properties rose by 2.9% compared with the previous quarter and jumped by 10% compared with the last quarter of 2018.

Prices of new-builds fell by 0.5% compared with the third quarter of 2019 and increased by 6.9% compared with the third quarter of 2018, while prices of existing properties went up by 3.4% quarter on quarter and by 10.4% year on year.

In Q4 2019, compared with Q3, house prices rose by 2.9% in Zagreb, by 1.9% on the Adriatic coast and by 5.4% elsewhere in the country. Compared with Q4 2018, prices increased by 14.7% in Zagreb, by 6% on the Adriatic coast and by 7.5% elsewhere.

More real estate news can be found in the Business section.

Monday, 6 April 2020

New Car Sales Sink by 46% in March

ZAGREB, April 6, 2020 - A total of 2,724 new passenger cars were sold in Croatia in March 2020, which is 45.9% fewer than in the same month of 2019, the Promocija Plus market research agency said on Monday.

The best-selling car model was the Skoda Octavia, with 130 units sold, ahead of the Volkswagen T-Cross (99), the VW Golf (84), the Dacia Duster (82) and the Suzuki Vitara (71).

In the first quarter of this year, sales of new cars fell by 17.4% to 10,029 vehicles compared with the same period in 2019.

During the first three months of the year, Volkswagen vehicles topped the sales list with 1,661 new cars sold, followed by Skoda (1,481), Renault (657), Dacia (583), Hyundai (525) and Suzuki (524).

Most of the new cars sold used petrol for fuel - 5,855 vehicles or 58.4%, while 3,492 vehicles (34.8%) were fuelled by diesel, 62 were electric cars (0.6%) and 555 were hybrids (5.5%).

Transport expert Željko Marušić told Hina that this was just the beginning of a major crisis for the car industry and that new car sales would be drastically falling in the months ahead.

"Many people's livelihoods are already at risk and they will not be thinking of buying even a used car, let alone a new one," Marušić said, adding that "sales will not return to their previous levels for a long time." He said that new car sales in Croatia could plunge by as much as 70% in the coming months.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Unemployment Rate in February Stable in EU, Decreases Slightly in Croatia

ZAGREB, April 1, 2020 - The EU seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was stable in February, remaining at the lowest level since the EU's statistical office Eurostat started collecting data on a monthly basis, while in Croatia unemployment declined slightly.

According to revised Eurostat data, the EU seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate, based on the definition recommended by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), was 6.5% in February 2020, stable compared to the previous month.

The new lowest rate recorded in the EU since the start of Eurostat monthly unemployment series in January 2000 was registered in January 2020.

The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate slipped by 0.1 percentage points compared to January 2020, to 7.3%, the lowest rate recorded since March 2008.

In February 2019, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 6.9% in the EU 27, and 7.8% in the euro area.

In February 2020, 13.984 million people were unemployed in the EU, of whom 12.047 million in the euro area.

Compared to January 2020, the number of unemployed persons in February 2020 decreased by 62,000 in the EU27, and by 88,000 in the euro area.

Among the EU member states with the lowest unemployment rates in February are the Czech Republic (2%), followed by the Netherlands and Poland (2.9%).

In Croatia, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate according to the ILO definition was 6.2% in February 2020, down by 0.1 percentage point compared to the previous month, when it was 6.3% according to Eurostat's revised estimate.

In February 2019 it was 7.2%.

According to Eurostat data, 111,000 Croatian citizens were unemployed in February 2020, which is 2,000 fewer unemployed than in January.

The highest unemployment rate was registered again in Greece (16.3% in December 2019), followed by Spain (13.6% in February).

In February 2020, youth unemployment remained stable at 14.9% in the EU27, while it decreased slightly in the euro area, to 15.5%.

Compared to the previous year, youth unemployment is down by 0.6 percentage points in both areas.

In February 2020, 2.734 million citizens under the age of 25 were unemployed in the EU27, of whom 2.258 in the euro area.

On the yearly level, their number decreased by 85,000 in the EU27, and by 56,000 in the euro area.

The lowest rates of youth unemployment were registered in the Czech Republic and Germany (5.3%), followed by the Netherlands (6.3%).

The highest rates of youth unemployment were registered in Greece (34.7% in December 2019), followed by Spain (30.9%) and Italy (29.6%).

Croatia is not required to provide monthly data. In the last quarter of 2019, the youth unemployment rate in Croatia was 15.8%, and 23,000 citizens under the age of 25 were unemployed.

Eurostat thus increased its estimate of the unemployment rate in Croatia by 0.3 percentage points.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Industrial Turnover in January Down 2.4%

ZAGREB, March 31, 2020 - Total industrial turnover in Croatia in January 2020 was 5.6% up from January 2019, while according to seasonally adjusted data, it was 2.4% down year-on-year.

In January, total seasonally and working-day adjusted industrial turnover on the domestic market was 8.9% higher while on the foreign market it was 1.5% higher than in December 2019, according to data from the national statistical office.

Year-on-year, total seasonally adjusted industrial turnover on the domestic market dropped by 0.1% and on the foreign market by 5.9%.

The sale of durable consumer goods dropped by 16%, the sale of non-durable consumer goods by 7.5% and the sale of capital goods by 1.2%. The sale of energy rose by 16% and that of intermediate products by 1%.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Retail Trade in February up 4.9%

ZAGREB, March 30, 2020 - Retail trade in Croatia in February 2020 compared with February 2019 was up 4.9% in real terms the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DZS) reported on Monday.

DZS's report shows that retail trade increased both on the year and on the month.

According to DZS, total seasonally and working-day adjusted retail trade in February increased by 0.2% on the month in real terms whereas on the year it increased by 4.9% in real terms.

Real retail trade turnover has been growing since June 2019. In February this growth, however, was at a slower rate than in January 2020 when it increased by 6.2%.

In February 2020, as compared to the same month of the previous year, retail trade in food, beverages and tobacco increased by 9.9% and in non-food products (except of automotive fuels and lubricants) by 13.1%.

All trade branches realised a growth and the total gross trade turnover increased by 11.2% in nominal terms, as compared to February 2019.

The largest impact on that growth according to source indices were by non-specialised stores with food, beverages with a growth of 13.3%, followed by pharmacies, medical and orthopaedic products, cosmetics and toiletries with a growth of 19.6%.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Labour Cost Growth in Croatia Significantly Weaker at End of 2019

ZAGREB, March 22, 2020 - Hourly labour cost in Croatia increased in Q4 of 2019 much less than in the quarter before, reflecting a significantly weaker growth in wage costs, a report by the European statistical office has shown.

In the 27-member European Union, calendar adjusted hourly labour costs grew by 2.7% on the year in Q4 2019. In Q3 they rose by 2.9%.

Costs for wages increased by 2.7%, and costs for social contributions by 2.6%.

In the EU, labour costs per hour grew the most in Q4 in the industry and construction sectors, by 2.7%. In the services sector they went up by 2.6%.

In the euro area, hourly labour costs grew by 2.4% on the year in Q4 2019, following a 2.6% increase in Q3.

Costs for wages went up by 2.3%, and costs for social contributions by 2.4%.

There was a significant increase in hourly labour costs in the services and construction sectors, 2.3%. In the industry sector, the increase was 2.2%.

Among EU member states whose data were available to Eurostat, Romania had the biggest growth in hourly labour costs in Q4 2019, 12%. Bulgaria follows with an increase of 11.9%.

Luxembourg had the weakest growth in hourly labour costs, 0.4%.

In Croatia calendar adjusted hourly labour costs in Q4 2019 grew by 3.2% on the year. In Q3 they rose by 5%.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Inflation Down in Feb in EU, Euro Area and Croatia

ZAGREB, March 18, 2020 - The annual inflation rate in the EU and euro area was down slightly in February while the inflation rate in Croatia was the same as the euro area average, shows a report released by the European statistical office on Wednesday.

In the EU-27 the annual inflation rate measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) in February was 1.6%, which is 0.1 percentage point lower than in January.

In the euro area the inflation rate was 1.2%, down by 0.2 percentage points compared to January.

The highest year-on-year price rise in the euro area was recorded for fresh food (+2.6%).

In February, the largest contribution to the annual euro area inflation rate came from the services sector (+0.72 percentage points), followed by food, alcohol and tobacco (+0.41 pp), and non-energy industrial goods (+0.13 pp).

The highest annual rates were recorded in Hungary (4.4%), Poland (4.1%) and Czechia (3.7%).

The annual inflation rate in Croatia in February was 1.2%. In January the inflation rate in Croatia was 1.8%, Eurostat's figures show.

Germany, which is Croatia's important trade partner and the largest euro area economy, recorded an inflation rate of 1.7% while Slovenia had an inflation rate of 2%.

The lowest annual rates were registered in Italy (0.2%), Greece (0.4%) and Portugal (0.5%).

More economy news can be found in the Business section.

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