Thursday, 30 January 2020

EU Unemployment Rates Fall in December, Croatia Close to EU Average

ZAGREB, January 30, 2020 - Unemployment in the European Union in December 2019 fell to its lowest level since the EU statistical office Eurostat began publishing monthly data, and there was a slight fall in Croatia as well, which puts Croatia close to the EU average, Eurostat said in a report published on Thursday.

The EU28 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, based on the definition recommended by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), was 6.2% in December 2019, falling by 0.1% compared to November. This is the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since the start of the EU monthly unemployment series in January 2000.

The same fall was recorded in the euro area, where seasonally adjusted unemployment fell to 7.4%, the lowest level since May 2008.

In December 2018, the EU28 unemployment rate was 6.6%, and in the euro area it was 7.8%

Eurostat estimates that 15.457 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 12.251 million in the euro area, were unemployed in December 2019.

The number of unemployed citizens decreased by 80,000 in the EU28, and by 34,000 in the euro area.

Compared to December 2018, the number of unemployed people in EU28 decreased by 747,000, and by 592,000 in the euro area.

Among EU member states for which Eurostat acquired data, the lowest seasonally adjusted rate was marked in Czechia (2%), followed by Germany and the Netherlands (3.2%).

In Croatia, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate measured using ILO methodology was 6.4% in December 2019, decreasing by 0.1% compared to November. It is the lowest recorded level since Eurostat first measured it.

In December 2018, the unemployment rate was 7.3%, making Croatia one of the EU member states with the sharpest decrease in unemployment on a yearly basis, together with Greece and Bulgaria.

According to Eurostat, there were 115,000 unemployed people in December 2019 in Croatia, that is 1,000 fewer compared to November. Compared to December 2018, the number of unemployed people fell by 17,000 in December 2019.

The highest unemployment rates in the EU were recorded in Greece (16.6% in October), followed by Spain (13.7% in December).

More economy news can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Croatia and Bulgaria with Highest Increase of Organic Farming Area in EU

ZAGREB, January 29, 2020 - Croatia and Bulgaria recorded the highest increase of organic farming area in the European Union in the period from 2012 to 2018, says a report by the European statistical office - Eurostat.

The total organic area in the European Union (EU) was 13.4 million hectares in 2018, corresponding to 7.5% of the total utilised agricultural area, shows Eurostat's report released on Wednesday.

This represents an increase of 34% between 2012 and 2018.

Eurostat explains that organic area covers land fully converted to organic farming and areas under conversion. Organic farming is a way of agricultural production which uses organic production methods and places the highest emphasis on environmental and wildlife protection and, with regard to livestock production, on animal welfare considerations.

Among the EU Member States, the countries with the largest shares of organic area in 2018 were Austria (24.1% of total utilised agricultural area), Estonia (20.6%) and Sweden (20.3%), followed by Italy (15.2%), Czechia (14.8%), Latvia (14.5%), Finland (13.1%) and Slovenia (10.0%).

With a 6.9% share of organic area, Croatia is among countries like Germany (7.3%), France (7.0%) and Belgium (6.6%). In 2018 Croatia had 103,166 hectares of organic farming area, almost three times more than in 2012.

Only two countries recorded a decrease in organic area - Great Britain and Poland.

Spain has the largest organic farming area expanding over 2.2 million hectares and accounts for 16.7% of total utilised farming land.

More agriculture news can be found in the Business section.

Monday, 20 January 2020

64,349 New and 84,913 Used Cars Registered in 2019

ZAGREB, January 20, 2020 - A total of 64,349 new cars were registered for the first time in Croatia in 2019, an increase of 4.2% on 2018, while the number of used cars registered last year rose by 7% to 84,913, according to data provided by the Centre for Vehicles of Croatia (CVH).

Of the new cars, 38,487 or 60% were fuelled by petrol. The number of petrol-powered cars increased by 16.9% compared with 2018, while the number of those using diesel fell by 13.9% to 23,515.

The number of new electric vehicles registered in 2019 increased to 198 from 144 in 2018, and the number of hybrids rose from 781 to 1,560.

The CVH said that the most popular car brand in Croatia was Volkswagen, among both new and used vehicles on first registration, ahead of Renault. Among used cars, these two brands were followed by BMW, Audi and Mercedes, and among new cars, by Opel, Škoda and Peugeot.

The first-time registered used cars were dominated by diesel-fuelled vehicles and their number increased by 6.5% to 74,950. The number of used petrol-powered cars registered for the first time in 2019 was 9,089, up by 10.9% compared with 2018.

The number of used hybrid cars increased from 206 in 2018 to 241 in 2019, and that of used electric cars rose from 38 to 81.

More news about the car industry can be found in the Business section.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Almost 63,000 Vehicles Sold in 2019, Sales up 4.8%

ZAGREB, January 13, 2020 - In 2019, 62,938 new passenger vehicles were sold in Croatia, 4.8 percent more than in 2018, while 4,022 new cars were sold just in December, skyrocketing by 66.7 percent in comparison with December 2018, the Promocija Plus market research company has recently stated.

The best seller in 2019 was Volkswagen, with 8,481 new cars sold and a 13.5 percent market share.

The runner up was Skoda, with 5,873 vehicles sold and 9.3 percent market share, while Renault took up third place with 5,807 vehicles sold and 9.2 percent market share.

Last year, Opel sold 5,291 vehicles (a 8.4 percent market share), and Renault subsidiary Dacia sold 3,685 new vehicles (a 5.8 percent market share).

Suzuki takes sixth place with 3,670 new cars sold, followed by Peugeot (3,584), Hyundai (3,171), Fiat (2,678), and Toyota was tenth (2,605 sold vehicles).

As for Croatia's favourite German manufacturers, Audi sold 1,656 new cars, BMW 1,459 and Mercedes 1,252 cars.

Skoda Octavia, which was chosen by 3,320 buyers in 2019, was the year's best-selling model. The runner up was Renault Clio, with 2,347 cars sold, and VW Golf came third (2,304). Suzuki Vitara was fourth (1,762), followed by Dacia Duster (1,586).

In 2019, 38,467 petrol vehicles were sold (61.1 percent of all sales), followed by 22,116 diesel cars (35.1 percent). However, many upscale manufacturers produce mostly diesel cars, which comprise 85.7 percent of Mercedes' sales, 80.9 percent of BMW's sales, and 58.6 percent of Audi's sales. Volkswagen sold an almost equal number of petrol and diesel cars, namely 48.6 percent of petrol cars, and 51.2 percent of diesel cars.

Only 193 electric cars were sold in 2019, with a 0.3 percent market share, which is significantly lower than in developed European countries. There were also 1,641 hybrid vehicles (2.6 percent) and 521 gas-fuelled vehicles (0.8 percent) sold.

More car industry news can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Economic Sentiment in Croatia Unchanged in December

ZAGREB, January 8, 2020 - Expectations in Croatia's economy in December 2019 remained virtually unchanged compared to November 2019 riding on the wave of optimism in the construction sector as a counterbalance to pessimism in the retail sector, says a report released by the European Commission on Wednesday. The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) rose in December by 0.3 points to 114.4 points. In November it increased by 0.8 points.

Expectations in the construction sector improved the most, with the ESI going up by 4.8 points. The industry sector followed with a growth of 1.1 points.

Consumer sentiment remained almost unchanged compared to November, increasing by 0.2 points.

There was a significant decline in expectations by managers in the retail sector. with a decline in retail confidence of 3.5 points compared to November. Managers expressed significant pessimism in the services sector too, with the ESI falling by 2.2 points, the EC reported.

In December 2019, the ESI remained broadly unchanged in the EU, remaining stable at 100.0 points.

The most marked increase was recorded in services and construction confidence increasing by 1.6 and 1.5 points respectively, followed by retail with an increase of 0.5 points.

Consumer confidence deteriorated slightly by 0.3 points.

A significant decline was recorded in industry confidence, declining by 0.7 points.

The headline indicator for the EU remained stable in December (±0.0) at its long-term average. Concerning the two largest non-euro area EU economies, the ESI worsened in both the UK (-2.4) and Poland (-1.2), the EC reported.

More economy news can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Double Digit Increase in 2019 Tourist Stats in Zagreb County

ZAGREB, January 8, 2020 - During 2019, as many as 140,000 tourists visited Zagreb County and made 230,000 overnight stays, which was a 14% and a 12% annual rise respectively, according to figures provided by the county authorities based on statistical figures collected by the eVisitor system.

These increases are a continuation of growth trends in tourist trade in the county over the last several years, the county authorities reported on Wednesday.

Last year, foreign visitors made up a majority of visitors - 108,000, and they made 170,000 overnight stays. Chinese and South Korean guests topped the ranking and were followed by tourists from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, France and the USA.

Of the seven towns in the county, Velika Gorica welcomed the largest number of the visitors registered in the county. Samobor and Jastrebarsko finished second and third. The latter saw a 35% rise in overnight stays due to a newly opened hotel.

Broken down by type of arrangements, as many as 75% of guests visited the county on their own and others did so as part of organised tours.

County Prefect Stjepan Kožić said the county authorities worked constantly on promoting health tourism in Ivanić Grad, religious tourism in Krašić, shopping tourism in Rugvica, as well as cyclotourism and wine and culinary tourism.

The amount budgeted for tourist trade in the county in 2020 is 7.3 million kuna (approximately a million euros).

More tourism news can be found in the Travel section.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Industrial Production Down in November

ZAGREB, December 30, 2019 - Croatia's industrial production shrank by 0.4% compared to November 2018, whereas output in the first eleven months of 2019 rose by 0.8% compared to the corresponding period in 2018, the national statistical office (DZS) said on Monday.

The DZS data show that November's industrial production also fell in comparison to October 2019, by 0.7%.

Broken down by industry group, November's production of durable consumer goods saw the biggest rise of 17.5% on the year. Energy production increased 8.3%, and non-durable goods by 1.4%.

On the other hand, the production of capital goods declined by 18.9% and of intermediate goods by 0.4%.

Broken down by types of industrial production, mining and oil and gas production declined by 13.9%, while manufacturing shrank by 3.1%. The provision of electrical energy, gas increased by 16% in November, year on year.

Total industrial sales in Croatia in October grew by 2.3% from September, while according to working-day adjusted data they dropped by 3.1% year on year, according to figures from the national statistical office (DZS).

In October, compared with September, total seasonally and working-day adjusted industrial sales went up by 5.7% on the domestic market and by 0.4% on the foreign market.

A monthly comparison of statistics shows that energy sales dropped by 14.2%, while sales of capital goods increased by 9%, sales of non-durable consumer goods by 6.1%, sales of durable consumer goods by 5.7% and sales of intermediate products by 4.1%.

Year on year, total working-day adjusted industrial sales dropped by 1.1% on the domestic market and by 5.8% on the foreign market.

Energy sales declined by 32.7%, sales of intermediate products by 1.9% and of capital goods by 1.8%, while sales of non-durable consumer goods rose by 6.4% and those of durable consumer goods increased by 3.4%.

In November 2019, the retail trade turnover was higher in real terms at both the monthly and the annual level, with October's annual growth of 3.1% slowing down to 2.5%, the Croatian Bureau of Statistics said on Monday. On the month, the retail trade turnover was higher in real terms by 0.3%.

The retail trade turnover of non-food products (except automotive fuels and lubricants) increased by 5.6%, while the retail trade turnover of food products decreased by 0.2%.

In November 2019, as compared to the same month of the previous year, the retail trade turnover was 2.5% higher in real terms, reflecting a continuation of positive trends in retail, although the annual growth rate slowed down.

Annually, the retail trade turnover of food, beverages and tobacco increased by 3.4% and of non-food products (except of automotive fuels and lubricants) by 5.5%.

At the annual level, the retail trade turnover in real terms has kept increasing since June 2019. After May, when there was an annual decrease (-1.9%) after 56 months of growth, in June consumption jumped 5.9%. In July it went up 3.7%, in August 1.2%, in September 3.5% and in October 3.1%.

In the first 11 months, the working-day adjusted retail trade turnover in real terms increased by 3.6% compared to the same period of the previous year.

Commenting on the data, Raiffeisenbank Austria (RBA) analysts said the improvement of the consumer confidence index, at its highest level to date, indicated that positive annual retail trade growth rates would continue.

Moderate inflation, salary growth, relatively strong consumer lending and a high inclination towards spending confirm expectations that this year's retail trade will record solid results, mirroring the positive trends in personal consumption, RBA said, adding that personal consumption would be the main GDP growth generator this year.

More economy news can be found in the Business section.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

41% of Croatians Aged 25-29 Live with Parents

ZAGREB, December 19, 2019 - Although young people in Croatia find their first job relatively early, 41% of those aged 25-29 do not leave the security of their parents' home, while as many as 7% of those older than 45 still live with their parents, a survey conducted by the MojPosao job-seeking website shows.

The survey, conducted on a sample of 3,500 people, reveals that nearly half of young people (up to 30 years old) find their first job while in secondary school, a third do so during their university years, while the rest are yet to find work.

It also shows that 83% of the respondents get their first full-time job before turning 26, and as many as 56% are still in school at the time.

Six percent said their first monthly salary was between HRK 6,000 (€810) and 8,000 (€1,080), while 2% said they earned more than HRK 8,000. More than a half said that during their first full-time job they got between HRK 2,000 (€270) and 4,000 (€540), while a third earned between HRK 4,000 and 6,000 (€810).

Sixty-six percent said that in the course of their career they had worked in between two and five jobs, while a quarter of those interviewed said their current job was their first. Eight percent have changed between 6 and 10 different jobs, and 2% have changed more than 10.

One in three adults live with their parents in their parents' home, 8% live without their parents, a fifth live in rented accommodation and a third in their own property.

Nearly 70% of those interviewed aged 24 and younger live with their parents, as do 41% of people aged 25-29. A fifth of respondents aged 30-34, 15% of those aged 35-39, 12% of those aged 40-44 and 7% of respondents aged 45 and over live with their parents.

Respondents said they had taken their first mortgage loan when aged 28 on average and were to repay it over a period of 18 years. They got their first car loan when 29 and for a repayment period of nine years.

More lifestyle news can be found in the dedicated section.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Croatia's Exports Increase by 5%, Imports by 5.3%

ZAGREB, December 9, 2019 - Croatia's commodity exports reached 94.1 billion kuna in the first ten months of 2019, an increase of 5% over the same period in 2018, while imports increased by 5.3% to 155.4 billion kuna, initial data from the National Bureau of Statistics (DZS) showed on Monday.

The foreign trade deficit in the first ten months of this year was 61.3 billion kuna, or 3.33 billion kuna higher than at the same time last year. Coverage of imports by exports was 60.5%, down from 60.7% in the first ten months of 2018.

Export to EU member states rose by 4% to 64 billion kuna and exports to non-EU countries went up by 7.2% to 30 billion kuna.

Imports from EU members increased by 9% to 125 billion kuna, while imports from non-EU countries fell by 7.5% to 30 billion kuna.

Viewed in euro, exports reached 12.7 billion euro, up 5.2%, and imports rose by 5.5% to 21 billion euro. The trade deficit was 8.3 billion euro, compared to 7.8 billion euro in the first ten months of 2018.

Exports to EU member states amounted to 8.64 billion euro, an increase of 4.2%, and exports to non-EU countries rose by 7.3% to 4.05 billion euro.

Imports from EU member state increased by 9.2% to 16.9 billion euro, while imports from non-EU countries dropped by 7.4% to 4.11 billion euro.

More economy news can be found in the Business section.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Fewer Computers in Croatian Households, Mobile Internet Usage Up

ZAGREB, December 8, 2019 - Seventy-four percent of Croatian households have computers, two percentage points less than in 2018, while 81% have broadband Internet access, the national statistical office (DZS) has said.

The DZS conducted a phone survey on the use of information and communication technologies in 2019, covering 2,700 persons aged 16-74.

Of the households which did not have Internet access this year, 66% said the reason was that they did not need it, 46% said they did not know enough about it, 36% cited the high prices of the service and 35% the price of the equipment, while 3% said Internet was not available at their location.

Of the 81% of households which have Internet access, all have broadband, up one percentage point from 2018, and 70% access the Internet via mobile devices, up four percentage points on the year. Landline Internet connections dropped one percentage point to 87%.

Persons aged 16-54, students and people with jobs, are the biggest computers and Internet users.

Online shopping is also on the rise, by 10% from 2018, with 45% of respondents doing it. As in previous years, they mainly bought clothes and sporting equipment, household necessities, electronic equipment and cameras, while buying films, music, food, medication and software the least.

More IT news can be found in the Business section.

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