Saturday, 10 September 2022

Croatian National Association of Caterers Welcomes Government Measures

September the 10th, 2022 - The Croatian National Association of Caterers has welcomed the package of economic measures the government has introduced to battle inflation and spiralling energy bills.

As Morski writes, on Thursday, the Croatian National Association of Caterers welcomed the package of measures introduced by the Croatian Government following drastic energy bill increases which, over recent months, have posed a huge amount of danger to the survival of enterprises already exhausted by the dire effects of the global coronavirus pandemic.

This is especially true with those operating within the catering, hospitality and tourism sector, which are mostly micro, small and medium-sized businesses and companies, the aforementioned association's press release notes.

From the government's package of measures, the Croatian National Association of Caterers have singled out the measure of capping the cost of electricity and the measure which seeks to increase the amount of tax-free payments to employees, which, as they pointed out, will enable the continuation of the work of catering and hospitality establishments this winter, as well as contribute to the preservation of jobs.

They have assessed that by limiting the cost of electricity for half-yearly consumption by companies up to 250,000 kWh to 0.53/kWh kuna, which ensures a price 12 times cheaper than the stock exchange price, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development has showcased "a previously unheard of level of understanding and support for micro, small and medium-sized companies which experience the most difficult moments when doing business, and at the same time forms the backbone of the domestic economy."

The Croatian National Association of Caterers has also said that they hope for successful negotiations and equal treatment when it comes to the limiting of the price of gas, which, along with electricity, is an essential energy source in the hospitality industry, especially in the area of ​​continental Croatia in the winter period of the year.

Considering the wide scale and long-term nature of this ongoing and unfolding crisis and limited resources, they're also calling for the implementation of savings measures and the rationalisation of energy consumption in the business and private spheres, as reported by HRT.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Economic Sentiment Indicator Improves in Croatia, Takes a Hit in EU, Euro Area

ZAGREB, 30 March 2022 - Expectations for Croatia's economy improved in March however, uncertainty prevails due to the war in Ukraine which is bothering managers and consumers in the EU and the euro area, triggering a wave of pessimism, shows a report released by the European Commission on Wednesday.

The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) for Croatia picked up in March by 1.5 points compared to February and now stands at 109.1 points.

The strongest improvement was seen in managers' expectations in the industry, improving by 2.9 points with consumer confidence also improving by 1.7 points.

Given the high inflation, trade confidence slumped with the indicator declining by 3.5 points compared to February.

Construction confidence declined by 2.6 points while expectations in the services sector went down by 0.7 points.

In the next few months, managers expect employment to fall, which is shown in the decrease Employment Expectations Indicator of 3.3 points.

The Economy Uncertainty Indicator eased significantly compared to the previous two months, rising by 5.1 points.

Pessimism in Europe

A wave of pessimism has caught managers in the EU and euro area following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the problem with supply chains and the energy and raw materials price hikes.

The ESI in the EU and the euro area dropped substantially by 5.3 and 5.4 points respectively from February.

Consumers are concerned with the high price of energy and a surge in living costs. Consumer confidence slumped by 9.4 points in the EU and 9.9 points in the euro area.

Retail trade confidence deteriorated by 4.9 points in the EU and 5.3 points in the euro area.

Industry confidence fell by 3.4 points in the EU and 3.7 points in the euro area.

Construction confidence remained broadly unchanged.

Services confidence (+1.3) improved for the second month in a row in the EU, driven by managers’ markedly more positive assessment of past demand, and thanks to epidemiological measures being eased. In the euro area it improved by 1.5 points.

The Employment Expectations Indicator decreased (-1.1) in the EU and by 0.9 points in the euro area.

The European Commission’s Economic Uncertainty Indicator rose abruptly in March (+10.7 points to25.8), "driven by growing uncertainty about the impact of the war in Ukraine on the future economic situation of consumers and businesses."

For more, make sure to check out our business section.

Friday, 9 July 2021

Which Sectors Relied Most Heavily on Croatian Job Preservation Measures?

July the 9th, 2021 - Croatian job preservation measures which were introduced last year as an attempt to fight the dire economic consequences of lockdowns were a Godsend for many companies who would have gone under otherwise. Who made the most use of them?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, according to announcements from the Government, job preservation measures are set to undergo some quite significant changes. On the one hand, the announced changes, starting with the measures for July, are related to the current modality of approving them exclusively to enterprises from certain industries, but the question is which ones, because it hasn't yet been determined.

Unofficially, it has been learned that travel agencies will continue to receive funds from Croatian job preservation measures, while hopes for the catering and hospitality sector continue to be placed in the shaky hands of a hopefully good and long tourist season.

On the other hand, talks between the Government administration and the trade unions started with discussions on another possibility, which is the introduction of restrictions on Croatian job preservation measures for those employees who haven't yet been vaccinated. This second measure is ethically debatable, both because of human rights and personal data protection, with enterprises and the opposition becoming louder, and a decision on that will be known later on this month.

According to an assessment of auditor Dubravka Kopun, who undertook an analysis of the current Croatian job preservation measures, the Government is going in the right direction, especially in terms of defining the activities that further need these funds. The latest available CES data on approved measures have been concluded for the salary payments for March, and in terms of activities it turns out that the most significant beneficiary of these grants is of course the hospitality sector, which participates with as many as 26 percent of all employees to whom these measures apply.

A significant category are travel agencies that employ 9,578 employees, which is a share of close to 8 percent in terms of these measures, and hotels and camps where there are 6,214 or 5 percent of employees to whom the measures apply.

According to Kopun, however, the segment of construction, architects and surveyors is interesting. While there are continuous talks of a significant labour shortage in the construction sector, almost 4.6 percent of their employees or 5,623 people remain in the total number of those for whom economic measures have been approved.

It is also, as she says, an interesting fact about the number of lawyers who still receive suppoer, although their business isn't significantly affected by the pandemic. There are 417 lawyers who employ 667 employees, which is about 0.5 percent of all employees to whom Croatian job preservation measures are approved.

Of the total number of beneficiaries of Croatian job preservation measures as of March 2021 - 35,900 companies employing 123,547 people for whose jobs the measures are still being implemented, the situation is critical in the most vulnerable group - those engaged in micro-entrepreneurship. The most important in the structure of the use of CES measures, which include co-financing the costs of salaries and part-time work, are micro-entrepreneurs who employ from 1 to 10 employees. According to Kopun's analysis, these entities participate with as many as 63 percent of employees for whom such funds have been approved. One year ago, the share stood at around 85 percent, with about 110,000 employees accounted for.

A comparison of these trends on an annual basis - the realisation of the measure of wages at the beginning of the pandemic for March 2020 compared to March this year shows that the number of beneficiaries decreased by about 4450 companies. A year ago, it was used by 40,350 enterprises who employed 387,372 people, with only 2.5 percent of those companies being in the category of those who employ over 50 people.

Some sectors are still so affected by the current global situation that targeted measures are now under way to replace the horizontal measures at the level of one sector. Such is the latest move by the Ministry of Transport, which recently announced a public call for the allocation of ''small value aid'' to help affected companies operating in the transport sector, worth a total of 60 million kuna. As many as 9,665 people are employed in transport, airports and Croatia Airlines, who receive Croatian job preservation measures (a share of 7.82 percent).

For more, follow our dedicated business section.