Wednesday, 28 August 2019

GDP Growth in Q2 Slows Down to 2.4%

ZAGREB, August 28, 2019 - In the second quarter of 2019, the Croatian economy increased 2.4% on the year, markedly slower than in the first quarter, when GDP growth jumped to 3.9%, the national statistical office said on Wednesday..

The second quarter of this year was the 20th quarter in a row that Croatia's GDP grew.

The biggest positive contribution to GDP came from a 8.2% growth of gross investments in fixed capital, which was down from the 11.5% growth recorded in Q1.

The contribution of domestic demand was positive, as was the contribution of final consumption and gross investments.

The net foreign demand contribution was negative.

In Q2 2019, household consumption went up 2.7% on the year, as against the 4.4% growth in Q1, while government consumption went up to 3.9% from 3.1%

The export of commodities and services went up 1.3%, slower than in Q1, with commodity exports decreasing by 0.9%, while service exports went up 3.6%.

The import of commodities and services went up 6.7%, with commodity imports rising by 7.9% and service imports by 1.3%.

In Q2 2019, according to seasonally adjusted data, Croatia's GDP grew 0.2% from Q1 2019 and 2.5% from Q2 2018. This was higher than the EU average. Eurostat said recently that in Q2 2019 the EU economy grew 1.3% on the year and 0.2% on the quarter.

More news about GDP growth can be found in the Business section.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Croatian Gross Salaries Increase 10% over Last Two Years

ZAGREB, August 26, 2019 - Mass-scale emigration of Croatians abroad has triggered off two significant processes on the labour market: a salaries rise and the opening of the market to older workers, the Večernji List daily newspaper wrote in its issue on Monday.

The beginning of the rise in monthly salaries coincided with the end of the recession and the start of the economic recovery in 2014, Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) analyst Zvonimir Savić was quoted by the daily newspaper as saying.

The average monthly take-home pay is around 6,500 kuna (878 euro), with the average monthly wage in Zagreb being 1,000 kuna higher than that.

The daily shows in a table that expressed in euro, the gross monthly salary in Croatia stood at 1,030 euro in 2016 to rise 10.6% to 1,139 euro in 2018.

Analyst Savić warns that a rise in salaries in Croatia in the recent years was lower than that in some countries in transition.

When it comes to the gross salary, Slovenia, Estonia and the Czech Republic have average gross salaries than those in Croatia. Of the 16 countries presented in the table, the first mentioned three countries occupy the top three places, Croatia ranks fourth (€1,139), and is followed with Poland with the gross monthly salary of €1,070 in 2018 and by Hungary (€1,035). Slovakia and Latvia are in the group with the gross monthly salary above 1000 euros (1,013 and 1,010 respectively) last year.

In Slovenia, for example, the gross salaries rose by 6.2% from €1,585 in 2016 to €1,682 in 2018.

A majority of countries in transition have been faced with the brain drain and Romania, for instance, addressed that with a significant increase in salaries. For example, gross salaries in Romania skyrocketed by 54% from 2016 to 2018 to come to €964.

Broken down by sectors, in Croatia one of the biggest rises of some 5 percent was registered in the healthcare sector. Thus, currently the average net salary paid to employees in this sector is 8,413 kuna (€1,137).

In Croatia, every other employee receives the monthly salary below 5,595 kuna (€756) and every fourth worker earns less than 4,252 kuna (€574) monthly.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Number of Transported Passengers Down in Second Quarter

ZAGREB, August 24, 2019 - A total of 21.7 million passengers were transported in Croatia in the second quarter of 2019, down by 2.1% in comparison to the Q2 2018, while the volume of transported goods increased by 8.1%, according to the data released by the national statistical office (DZS).

Broken down by passenger transportation mode, only the transport of passengers by air recorded a rise, AND Air passenger transport had a 4.8% rise to 637,000 passengers.

On the other hand, the transport by bus, by sea and by rail saw a decline in the Q2 this year. In Q2, 5.1 million passengers were transported by rail, down 3% compared to Q2 2018.

The number of passengers using road transport fell by 2.4% to 12.1 million, and local maritime ferry companies registered a drop of 0.8% to 3.8 million passengers.

More news about transport issues can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Zagreb's Average Wage 145 Euro Higher than Croatia's Average Pay

ZAGREB, August 20, 2019 - The average take-home pay in Zagreb this past May was 7,546 kuna whereas the average take-home pay in Croatia for that month amounted to 6,476 kuna, which means that the average monthly salary in the capital city was higher by 1,070 kuna (approximately 145 euros).

The take-home salary in May in the capital city rose by 74 kuna on the month and by 217 kuna on the year.

Compared to April, that was a nominal increase of 0.99% and 2.96% on the year, according to data provided by the city administration's statistical department

Zagreb's highest average monthly salary in May was earned in the crude oil and natural gas excavation services, 22,170 kuna, whereas the lowest average wage of 4,251 kuna was paid in metal manufacturing industry, 4,182 kuna.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Croatians 20th Biggest Coffee Drinkers in the World

ZAGREB, August 18, 2019 (Hina) - Croatians consume up to six kilos of coffee per person per year, which puts them on the 20th place on the ranking of the biggest coffee drinkers in the world.

According to some surveys, Nordic countries are the biggest coffee drinkers, with consumption in Finland as the world's highest, 10.35 kilos per capita a year. The second biggest consumer is Sweden, (9.48 kilos).

For instance, Italy ranks seventh with 6.5-7 kilos consumed per person per year.

According to a survey conducted by the GfK agency in 2012, 80% of the Croatians aged above 15 drink coffee every day.

A teacher in the secondary school in the town of Prelog, Goran Žižek, who has recently held a lecture on the history of coffee consumption, provided Hina with the above-mentioned information about this brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans.

He also quoted a statement made by Sheikh Abd-al-Kadir about coffee in 1587.

"Coffee is the common man's gold, and like gold, it brings to every man the feeling of luxury and nobility. Where coffee is served, there is grace and splendour and friendship and happiness. All cares vanish as the coffee cup is raised to the lips."

Žižek said that the first coffee house in Croatia had been opened in Zagreb's main square in 1748 and the owner had been merchant Leopold Duhn.

More lifestyle news can be found in our dedicated section.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Most New Mothers in 2018 Aged 30-34

ZAGREB, August 17, 2019 - Most women in Croatia give birth at the age of 30-34 and annual statistics show that most women give birth for the first time as well as that the number of mothers with university education has been on the rise.

Figures from the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) show that in 2018, 37,277 children were born, 700 more than in the previous year but still fewer than in many earlier years.

Two in five mothers gave birth to their first child in 2018 and one in five gave birth to their third child.

In the past few years, most women gave birth at the age of 30-34, and their percentage in 2018 as well as in earlier years was around 34%, followed by women aged 25-29.

"Starting a family increasingly late in one's life has to do with the socio-economic status of young people who find employment and solve their housing problem increasingly late in their life," the HZJZ says.

The largest number of women who gave birth in the last few years were first-time mothers. In 2018, they accounted for 40% of all new mothers, while in 2016 their percentage was 50%.

Those who gave birth to their second child in the last few years accounted for around 32% of new mothers, and 20% of women who gave birth in 2018 gave birth to their third child, the highest percentage since 2001.

Figures for 2017 indicate that women in Croatia give birth to their first child at the age of 28, which is below the EU average of 29.1 years.

According to the national statistical office, the number of newborns whose mothers had university qualifications at the time they gave birth to them, has been rising by the year.

In 2017, around 10,000 of the women who gave birth had university qualifications and their number has been growing since 2014, when such records started to be taken.

Over the last two decades, the ratio of male and female babies was constant, with minor oscillations, the annual ratio being 51:49.

Three in four children in 2018 were born vaginally, while in 24% of the cases the baby was delivered by a C-section.

More lifestyle news can be found in the dedicated section.

Friday, 16 August 2019

July Inflation Rate up to 1.1%

ZAGREB, August 16, 2019 - Consumer prices in Croatia in July this year were 1.1% higher than in July 2018, and inflation this July was higher than in June, when it stood at 0.6%, the national statistical office (DZS) said on Friday.

The 1.1% year-on-year increase in consumer prices is the highest since November 2018, when inflation stood at 1.3%.

Prices of alcoholic drinks and tobacco saw the highest year-on-year increase in July, of 5%, followed by prices of housing, water, electricity, gas and other energy products, which rose by 3.9%.

On the other hand, prices in the health segment and prices of transport both dropped by 1.1% on the year, with prices of petrol going down 1.9%.

Month-on-month, consumer prices in July dropped by 0.5% on average, with prices of clothing and footwear dropping the most, by 11.8%, owing to seasonal discounts.

On the other hand, restaurant and hotel prices grew the most on the month, by 1.6%, followed by prices of recreation and culture, which rose by 1.2%.

In the first seven months of this year, consumer prices were 0.7% higher than in the same period last year.

"In general, the level of prices in Croatia is at 68% of the EU28 average. Prices of food and non-alcoholic drinks account for 97% of the EU average, while prices of electricity, gas and petrol account for only 65% of the EU average," analysts of Raiffeisenbank Austria have said.

The analysts expect that the inflation rate in this and coming years should be moderate and stay below 2%.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Croatia's Gross Foreign Debt Close to 40 Billion Euro

ZAGREB, August 13, 2019 - At the end of April 2019, Croatia's gross foreign debt totalled 39.9 billion euro, 1.1 billion or 2.9% more than at the end of 2018.

Raiffeisen Bank analysts have said that the increase in the gross foreign debt is due to the usual seasonal worsening of credit institutions' international position (in the amount of 347.5 million euro, an increase of 8.5%) and an increase in the central bank's foreign debt of 1.4 billion euros.

The central government's foreign debt rose slightly, by 0.7%, while other domestic sectors reduced their gross obligations, the analysts said.

The statistics for April confirm a continued decline of the foreign debt that has been going on since the end of 2015, with sporadic exceptions in June 2018 and February 2019.

The biggest contribution to the year-on-year reduction of the foreign debt came from the public sector. At the end of April, the general government's gross foreign debt totalled 13.8 billion euro, which was 458.8 million euro or 3.2% less than in the same month of 2018, the analysts say.

They note that the annual decrease in the gross debt was also owing to a continued deleveraging in other domestic sectors whose gross foreign debt at the end of April dropped to 13 billion euros (-3.4%), continuing deleveraging trends that have been going on since January 2016.

These trends were mostly owing to deleveraging in the private business sector, whose gross foreign debt at the end of April dropped to 9.4 billion euro, 2.4% less than in the same period of 2018. The share of the gross foreign debt of other domestic sectors in the total gross foreign debt dropped to 32.5% from 34.3% at the end of December 2018, which reflects a continued decline in foreign borrowing that has been replaced by kuna loans taken from domestic banks.

April saw a continuation in the growth of borrowing by domestic banks, whose gross debt at the end of that month amounted to 4.4 billion euro (+8.2% from April 2018 and +8.5% from the end of 2018).

The share of the financial sector's gross debt in the total gross foreign debt rose from 10.5% in December 2018 to 11.2% at the end of April 2019.

Analysts attribute the increase in borrowing by the banking sector that started at the end of 2018 to a growing demand for loans, notably non-purpose cash loans.

They note that statistics for May and June could confirm a temporary increase in the central government's obligations towards foreign creditors after the government in June issued 1.5 billion euro worth of ten-year euro bonds to repay an international bond issued in November in the amount of 1.5 billion US dollars.

As for the whole 2019, analysts expect continued improvement of debt statistics.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Croatians Trust EU More Than National Authorities

ZAGREB, August 11, 2019 - The latest findings of the Eurobarometer show that in the European Union, the Croatians have the lowest trust in state institutions.

Only 13% of the Croatians covered by surveys conducted for Spring 2019 Standard Eurobarometer trust the government and the parliament, and the next to the last is Britain, where citizens' trust in state institutions has been affected by the developments surrounding the Brexit. Only 19% of U.K. citizens place confidence in the country's authorities.

Throughout the European Union trust in EU remains higher than trust in national governments or parliaments and is at its highest level since 2014.

"Trust in the EU has increased in 20 Member States, with the highest scores in Lithuania (72%), Denmark (68%) and Estonia (60%)," the European Commission has recently reported.

"In addition, over half of the respondents 'tend to trust' the EU in Luxembourg (59%), Finland (58%), Portugal (57%), Malta and Sweden (both 56%), Bulgaria and Hungary (both 55%), Ireland, Poland, the Netherlands and Cyprus (all 54%), Romania and Austria (both 52%) and Latvia and Belgium (both 51%)."

When it comes to trust in national governments, the percentage of those who place confidence in local governments is the highest in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the Zagreb-based Večernji List daily has recently said in its comment on the latest Eurobarometer scoreboard.

The daily says that the overwhelming mistrust in Croatia should be ascribed to a high perception of corruption in the country.

When it comes to trust in EU institutions, 46% of those polled in Croatia say they trust them, which is almost three times higher than the percentage of those who trust national authorities.

More news on Croatia and the EU can be found in the Politics section.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Croatia's Exports Rise 5.1%, Imports by 6.8%

ZAGREB, August 9, 2019 - Croatia's commodity exports in the first six months of 2019 totalled 54.4 billion kuna, up 5.1% on the year, while imports went up 6.8% to 92.9 billion kuna, according to first estimates presented by the national statistical office (DZS) on Friday.

The foreign trade deficit was 38.5 billion kuna, nearly 3.2 billion kuna higher than in the corresponding period of 2018.

The export-import ratio dropped annually from 59.5% in the first six months of 2018 to 58.6% in H1 2019.

Commodity exports to EU member states totalled 36.8 billion kuna, up 3.6% on the year, and 17.6 billion kuna to non-EU countries, up 8.4%.

Commodity imports from EU member states increased 10% to 75.6 billion kuna, while those from non-EU countries decreased 5.4%% to 17.3 billion kuna.

Expressed in euros, Croatia's commodity exports totalled 7.3 billion euro, up 5.3% on the year, while imports went up 7% to 12.5 billion euro in the 2019 H1. The foreign trade deficit stood at 5.2 billion euro, up from the 4.7 billion euro in the 2018 H1.

Commodity exports to EU member states totalled 4.96 billion euro, up 3.8% on the year, and 2.4 billion euro to non-EU countries, up 8.5%.

Commodity imports from EU member states increased 10.2% to 10.2 billion euro, while those from non-EU countries decreased 5.3% to 2.3 billion euro.

Croatia's commodity exports in the first five months of 2019 totalled 45.9 billion kuna, up 7.6% on the year, while imports went up 10.5% to 79.2 billion kuna, according to the updated statistics.

The first results released by the DZS on 9 July showed that Croatia's commodity exports in the first five months of 2019 totalled 45.8 billion kuna, up 7.4% on the year, while imports went up 9.8% to 78.7 billion kuna.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

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