Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Croatian Poverty Risk Less, But 70% Only Just Making Ends Meet

July the 19th, 2022 - There is a generally lower Croatian poverty risk, but despite that, around 70% of the population is still only just managing to make ends meet.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, last year, every fifth person in the Republic of Croatia was at risk of poverty and social exclusion, or 20.9 percent of them, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). This is a small improvement compared to back in 2019 and 2020.

The decline in terms of Croatian poverty risk is weak, especially when you take into account that the economic growth in 2021, as Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic often points out, stood at a record 10.4 percent. The fact that the number of those at risk of poverty didn't really increase significantly back in 2020, a year when the country's GDP fell by around eight percent, can still be attributed to the government's rapidly introduced social measures.

Data from the CBS also shows that the Croatian poverty risk rate back in 2021 stood at 19.2 percent, which is almost one percentage point (0.9) more than in pandemic-dominated 2020. The poverty risk threshold in 2021 for a single-member household was 36,461 kuna per year, or slightly more than 3000 kuna per month. For a household with two adults and two children under the age of fourteen, it stood at 76,568 kuna per year, or 6,300 kuna per month.

If various social benefits were also excluded from overall income, the picture of those exposed to the Croatian poverty risk would be much worse. In such a case, the same 19.2 percent would even go up to 24.2 percent. Most people are at risk of poverty live in Pannonian Croatia - as much as 28.6 percent of them, followed by Adriatic Croatia (19.9 percent) and then in Northern Croatia (19.8 percent). The least number of people are at risk of poverty live in the City of Zagreb. The greatest risk group in all of Croatia last year was, as expected, elderly people aged 65 and over, among whom the risk of poverty rate is as high as 32.4 percent, with women at that age being at a much higher risk than men. For older men, this rate stood at 25.9 percent, and for women - 37 percent. Persons aged 25 to 54 are the least exposed to the Croatian poverty risk.

As expected, the unemployed live at the greatest risk of poverty, but it's also interesting to note that those who do work/are employed can also be exposed to the same Croatian poverty risk. Statistics show that four percent of employed people are still at risk of dealing with poverty. Living at risk of poverty certainly affects a person's overall quality of life. Thus, as many as 43 percent of such people are just managing to make ends meet, and with difficulties. It's very difficult for almost eight percent of people in that group to make ends meet, with almost 20 percent of them claiming that to be the case.

The Croatian poverty risk also brings with it many other adversities. Almost half of people (46.5 percent) whose income is 60 percent of the average income cannot meet any unexpected financial expenses, 16 percent are late in settling their financial obligations, and almost six percent (5.7) of them cannot afford adequate heating in the coldest of the winter months.

It's worth noting that back at the end of last year, the Croatian Government adopted the National Plan for the fight against poverty and social exclusion for the period from 2021 to 2027. In it, it set out some priorities and measures aimed at reducing poverty and social exclusion in Croatia.

The government's plan is to reduce the poverty risk rate down to 15 percent by the year 2027, and the percentage of those living at risk of poverty and social exclusion to 17.8 percent.

It will be implemented on the basis of the Action Plan, and includes measures such as increasing the adequacy of social benefits and increasing the coverage of supplementary health insurance for the most vulnerable groups in society.

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

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Croatian Unemployment Rate Lowest Ever Since Official Records Kept

July the 13th, 2022 - The Croatian unemployment rate is at its lowest since the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ/CES) has been keeping official records. This might sound incredible, but this is a typical trend in the late spring and early summer months owing to seasonal employment for the tourism sector, as well as the ongoing demographic crisis.

The number of working age people leaving the country is continuing to increase, and the number of retirees or those who no longer need to work living in Croatia is on the up. Demography continues to dog the country's labour force, as do very seasonal trends in the Croatian unemployment rate.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the sixth month of this year was marked the lowest number of registered unemployed persons on the Croatian labour market since the Croatian Employment Service has been keeping official track of this data. The month of June's statistics show that 105,798 unemployed people were registered in that month alone, which is 20.4 thousand less than at the end of the same month last year.

June 2022 was the fifth month in a row in which the Croatian unemployment rate continued to fall on a monthly basis - compared to May, there were 4,040 or 3.7 percent fewer of them registered at the aforementioned institute. Currently, 107,444 unemployed persosn are registered at the institute, 1,646 more than there were back at the end of June. There are currently 17,619 job vacancies published by the CES.

During that month, 12,461 people were newly registered in the unemployment register, which is an increase of 1.3 percent compared to June last year. At the same time, 76.3 percent of newly registered persons or 9,506 persons came to the institute directly from their previous employment.

16,501 people left the unemployment register in June, which is 31.5 percent less than in June last year. Of these, 12,720 persons were employed, namely 11,720 persons (92.1 percent) on the basis of employment and 1,000 persons (7.9 percent) on the basis of other business activities.

For more on the Croatian unemployment rate, working in Croatia and seasonal trends, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

World Bank Official Confirms Partnership, Support to Croatia

ZAGREB, 6 July 2022 - Visiting Croatia on July 4-5, Gallina A. Vincelette, World Bank Regional Director for the European Union, held high-level meetings with key stakeholders to discuss the country's development priorities, the World Bank's support, latest macro-fiscal developments, and evolving global challenges.

Vincelette, who was accompanied by Jehan Arulpragasam, World Bank Country Manager for Croatia, and members of his team, met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zdravko Marić, Minister of Labor, Pension System, Family and Social Policy, Marin Piletić, Minister of Justice and Public Administration, Ivan Malenica, and key representatives from the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, the World Bank said in a statement.

"The Government of the Republic of Croatia must be commended for its economic and fiscal performance in managing the recent challenging global developments. The authorities are also continuing to deepen integration with the EU by fulfilling all economic criteria for joining the euro area in January 2023," said Vincelette, expressing satisfaction with the government's progress in implementing the agenda outlined in its National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

"Effective implementation of reforms would enable Croatia to create better foundations for long-term growth and lead to a more resilient, greener, and inclusive society. The World Bank is committed to continuing to support Croatia in achieving these goals."

During her visit, Vincelette also participated in the opening of the new Land Registry Office of the Zagreb Municipal Civil Court, financed by the Integrated Land Administration System Implementation Project, which is supported by the World Bank. The renovation was part of a program of support provided for the modernisation of the Croatian land administration and management system, with the aim of improving its efficiency, transparency and cost effectiveness.

"The most visible result of our joint work has been the enhancement of land registry services. Croatian citizens now benefit from reduced time for processing land transactions, and can conduct numerous services online. Fifty five percent of requests for land services are currently made online. The modernized system will also support the sharing of land-related information among government agencies to address key development challenges, including private sector development, climate change adaptation, and disaster risk mitigation," she said.

The World Bank official also expressed satisfaction that the World Bank was able to help Croatia in connecting historic buildings, such as the new Zagreb Land Registry Office, with modern and smart architecture and design through reconstruction.

"This paves the way for a modern and reformed judicial system and land registry, truly benefiting Croatian citizens and the whole economy," she said.

The World Bank has been a partner to Croatia for 29 years. During this period, the Bank has supported more than 50 projects, totaling almost $5 billion, produced numerous studies, and provided technical assistance to help strengthen institutions and support the design of policies and strategies. The Bank's current program focuses on mitigating the economic and social impacts of COVID-19, post-earthquake reconstruction, education, social policy and pensions, transport, justice, innovation, business environment, land administration, circular economy, solid waste management, science and technology, and economic development of the Pannonian region, the World Bank recalled in its statement.

For more, check out our business section.

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Croatian 2022 Tourist Season: 24% Percent More Spent Than 2019!

July the 5th, 2022 - The Croatian 2022 tourist season has been beyond excellent so far, and tourist spending is 24 percent better than it was back during the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, tourist traffic is slowly but absolutely surely returning to pre-crisis figures, and data from Croatia's highly praised eVisitor system shows that in the first half of this year, 83 percent of arrivals and 94 percent of overnight stays were achieved compared to the record year of 2019. The financial results for the Croatian 2022 tourist season so far are even better.

Data from the Tax Office shows that in the first six months of this, fiscal year bills/receipts issued accounting for a huge 12.8 billion kuna were fiscalised, which is 129 percent better than back in the same period last year and 24 percent more than during 2019.

"The current results we're achieving are almost at the level of those from back during 2019. The data so far is particularly important because it all confirms the increasingly significant demand for Croatia outside the main summer months and the positive results of activities aimed at making Croatia recognisable as a sustainable and quality destination which can be visited and enjoyed throughout the whole year,'' said Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sport.

In the first six months of 2022, despite a war on European soil breaking out, due to which it was feared that the Croatian 2022 tourist season could be disrupted, Croatia was visited by 5.7 million tourists who realised an impressive 24.7 million overnight stays. The share of foreign tourists in overnight stays stands at almost 87 percent.

Traditionally, guests from Germany (6.1 million), Austria (2.4 million), and Poland (1.3 million) realised the most overnight stays in the country. Most of those overnights were spent in hotels (7.5 million). Negligibly fewer nights were recorded in private apartments - 7.4 million, while campsites recorded 5.1 million overnight stays.

Istria is the most popular destination of all so far in the Croatian 2022 tourist season!

There have been no significant changes in the attractiveness of various locations either, and in the first half of this year, the most overnight stays were realised in gorgeous Istria (7.9 million) and Split-Dalmatia County (4.2 million). The most popular destinations are Rovinj (1.3 million overnight stays) and Dubrovnik (1.2 million). They're followed by Porec (1.1 million), then by Zagreb (909,000 overnight stays).

As for June 2022 when compared to June 2019, 89 percent of 2019's arrivals and 98 percent of 2019's overnight stays were achieved. Expectations are also very high for the two prime tourist months, July and August.

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

Friday, 1 July 2022

Lukewarm Expectations for Croatian Economy as Inflation Continues to Bite

July the 1st, 2022 - There are fairly lukewarm expectations for the Croatian economy, with inflation continuing and as such expectations are stagnating.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, this month, expectations for the Croatian economy have been rather rapidly stagnating. On the one hand, there is pessimism in the retail sector due to the overall reduced purchasing power of consumers, and on the other hand, there are also improved expectations in both the industry and the service sector(s).

The European Commission's survey and the Economic Climate Index (ESI) in the Republic of Croatia rose by 0.2 points in June compared to the previous month of May, to 109.4 points.

The analysis shows that the mood in the retail sector has deteriorated sharply, the index for that sector sank by as much as 4.9 points, reflecting fears that high living costs and inflation could force citizens to save more and more. Consumer expectations, the index of which fell by 2.3 points, don't really give a great deal of hope either.

On the other hand, the leaders of the industry and the service sector(s) showed increased optimism when it comes to the Croatian economy and expectations surrounding it at the beginning of the summer, and in their case the index grew by 1.5 and 1.3 points, respectively. The mood in the construction sector also improved slightly, with the index growing by 0.9 points.

Company leaders expect to hire more during the height of this summer season, and the EEI index rose to 7.2 points. They also estimate that business uncertainty is significantly more pronounced than it was back in May, which was reflected in the growth of the EUI index by 1.3 points.

Managers across the EU and the Eurozone expect weaker business than back during in May, which was reflected in a decline in the economic climate index by 1.7 and one point, respectively. Among the leading European Union economies, the economic climate index in the Netherlands fell the most, by 3.6 points.

They are followed by Germany and Spain with a drop in ESI by 1.9 points and Poland where it decreased by 1.5 compared to May, the report shows. Managers in both areas estimate that they will employ less in the coming months, and warn of increased business uncertainty.

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

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Low Croatian Youth Unemployment Rate Only Because of Demographic Issues

June the 29th, 2022 - Croatian youth unemployment is very low at this moment in time, not because of record economic growth or even because of the summer in which many people gain seasonal employment throughout the tourist season, but because of Croatia's ongoing demographic issues.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, it has never been easy for young people on the labour market, and the global coronavirus pandemic has only worsened their position. This is highlighted by recent Eurostat statistics, because the Croatian youth unemployment rate (of those aged 15 to 29) increased from 15.8 percent during the pre-pandemic year of 2019 to 2.4 percent, and then to 18.2 percent in 2021.

Croatia, however, isn't at all following these negative trends - but not for a good reason. Croatian youth unemployment rates are lower than the EU average and are continually falling. Back in 2019 it stood at 10.5 percent, and last year it dropped even further, down to 9.9 percent.

Predrag Bejakovic, a scientist at the Institute of Public Finance, explains that there are several reasons for the Croatian unemployment rate being as it is, as well as other such trends.

"The first is emigration. We don’t know the exact numbers of how many people emigrated, but the fact is that a significant number of people have left Croatia. If someone leaves, then they're usually younger people,'' says Bejakovic, adding that, in addition to emigration, the decline in the Croatian youth unemployment rate is also influenced by demographic trends, ie the fact that the share of young people in the total population in this country is always falling.

"We shouldn't forget the generous government support, the measure of the Youth Guarantee and the situation on the labour market, which is characterised by a shortage of labour," said Bejakovic.

This was a challenge for Croatia even before the unprecedented coronavirus crisis emerged

''Such trends don't mean that it's become easy for young people to find work,'' says Marta Sveb, a research assistant at the Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO) who addressed the problem of youth and the labour market in an analysis entitled "The Pandemic: Unemployment and the Lost COVID-19 Generation".

"Getting a job was challenging even before the coronavirus crisis, and then came the so-called an ice age when there were almost no employment opportunities due to the lockdowns,'' says Sveb. The current position of young people is again, due to the war in Ukraine and the consequent energy crisis, very uncertain.

"It's to be expected, on the one hand, that employers will employ less and less due to this crisis. On the other hand, the situation on the labour market has changed significantly and employers are facing a shortage of workers. What it will be like and what the perspective of the young people is, it's really difficult to say,'' says Bejakovic, adding that everything will depend on the outcome of the war in Ukraine.

The perspective of young people, adds Marta Sveb, due to the fourth industrial revolution, will also depend on their skills.

“The World Economic Forum points to trends of declining demand for workers in the segments that have traditionally employed the most workers in previous generations. These were, for example, data entry workers, administrative and factory workers. On the other hand, there's a growing demand for highly specialised STEM profiles,'' warns Sveb.

This generation, states the young scientist, faces challenges at every single step. But that doesn’t have to all be so bad, she adds.

"We can look at challenges as an obstacle or as an opportunity," she said, adding that those who will work to further develop their skills in those sectors, such as the green economy, will certainly find employment. The education system should, of course, be adapted to this, but for those who want success, it's much better not to wait.

There is work for everyone

The differences in the youth unemployment rates among the member states of the European Union are also interesting. They vary from 28 percent in Spain and Sweden to three and eight percent in the Czech Republic and Luxembourg.

"Unemployment in the Czech Republic is low, so youth unemployment also is. On the other hand, the general unemployment rate across the Mediterranean countries, such as Spain, Greece and Italy, is high, so it's harder for young people in those countries to find work as well,'' he concluded.

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

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Davor Filipovic Talks Inflation, Eurozone, Tenders and Measures

June the 9th, 2022 - Economy Minister Davor Filipovic was a recent guest on the 'A sada Vlada/and Now for the Government' radio show, where he discussed the situation with ongoing inflation and plans to try to mitigate the pressure on both people and the economy.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, new measures have come into force over the last few days, which should work to further stabilise the spiralling growth of fuel prices. Still, the question arises as to what can be expected in the weeks ahead, which Davor Filipovic touched on:

“We can know what will happen in the next two weeks. What will happen after that... I think, at least in these conditions of uncertainty, is impossible to predict. On Monday, we made decisions to reduce excise duties and trade margins. We've extended the period in which we calculate the prices of oil and oil derivatives, and this decree will remain force for the next thirty days,'' said the Minister, explaining the decisions recently made by the Croatian Government.

He added that it's yet to be seen what the situation will be on like on global oil markets, and that prices will be further formed accordingly.

"We went for a two-week interval to benefit our people and the economy. The price of fuel is now lower than it was for one entire week. If the prices of fuel on global markets do go down, then they'll go down in this country as well,'' Davor Filipovic pointed out, believing that, when all the circumstances are taken into account, people can be satisfied with what's been done so far.

"There will be no fuel shortages"

Speaking about the maneuver space of the Government, the Minister noted that there is space left in relation to excise duties, and that when it comes to petrol, it is about 36.37 lipa per litre at this moment in time.

"When we talk about diesel, then the space is a bit smaller, by about 16 or 17 lipa. In these extraordinary circumstances, all the options are on the table, we're analysing and monitoring what is happening on the market, so that we can respond adequately. We're going to do everything in our power to be shoulder to shoulder with people and with the economy," he said.

He also answered the question of whether there may be a shortage of fuel in Croatia:

“Our stocks are in accordance with the law, ninety days for oil and petroleum products. I dare say there will be no shortage. The reaction of distributors comes primarily because we've reduced the trade margin. For many years, they were delimited, and I'm of the opinion that in crisis situations, everyone must bear their part of the responsibility, including oil companies and distributors. Their reaction is such 'because we've cut their salaries' more than it being about a real danger of shortages,'' Davor Filipovic points out.

Asked whether additional aid packages will be provided for the most vulnerable among us, such as farmers and fishermen who are in a difficult situation due to the high price of blue diesel, the minister said:

"Since April the 1st, 2022, the Croatian Government has responded with a large package of measures amounting to five billion kuna. Were it not for the intervention of the Government, there would have been a larger increase in the price of electricity, and the same would've been true for gas. We're going to be monitoring the situation and making adequate and timely decisions, as we've done so far.''

"The plan is to double the capacity of LNG Terminal on Krk"

Minister Davor Filipovic also referred to the issue of Janaf and distribution, as well as the issue of LNG Terminal on the island of Krk.

"This new situation puts the Republic of Croatia in a position to become an energy hub and an important player when it comes to energy in this part of Europe. Janaf is in a situation where, with the existing capacities, we can satisfy, for example, all the needs of neighbouring Hungary. Janaf's capacity is 11.4 million tonnes, and Hungary needs 8.1 million.

Without any investment, we can supply oil to Hungary. With certain investments, Janaf can double those capacities. From that aspect, we're in a very good position. When we talk about the LNG Terminal on Krk, there is no European official, when I go to Brussels or somewhere else, who doesn't draw attention to the importance of it. It was a wise move by the government. The plan is to double the capacity of Krk's LNG Terminal to 6.1 billion cubic metres. In order to ensure the supply of Croatia, but also in order to be able to supply Slovenia. We're thinking about supplying gas to Bosnia and Herzegovina as well in the foreseeable future,'' he pointed out, adding that the whole situation makes Croatia a serious player on the new energy map of Europe.

A new package of sanctions against Russia is ready, and it regards a total ban on Russian oil imports. What is the situation here in Croatia?

"When it comes to oil, it's already being imported from other sources. Russian oil doesn't come to Croatia through Janaf. The focus is on the security of the energy supply in Croatia. Our underground gas storage will be replenished by November the 1st, 2022, to 90 percent capacity. HEP has been granted a state guarantee that it can take out a loan of 400 million euros, so that our hospitals and maternity hospitals can function smoothly,'' Filipovic assured.

Prices are rising day by day, and if this inflationary pressure continues, it will be harder and harder for the average person to get by.

"Inflation isn't only a problem being faced by Croatia but by the whole world. Prices are going up and everything should be done to mitigate these inflationary shocks on the economy,'' he pointed out, adding that they are looking for a way to help. He noted that it's true that the whole situation is slowing down growth projections, but that none of the world's experts believe that there will be a global recession.

"There will be cases where some countries will find themselves in such a situation, but not the global economy as a whole," he said.

Croatia's 2023 accession to the Eurozone will be extremely helpful

"Entry will make it easier for the country in any case, especially when it comes to crisis situations. There are going to be many advantages at our disposal when we enter the Eurozone. Currency risks will disappear, and conversion costs will also become a thing of the past. Numerous exporters welcome the decision, and tourists will benefit more. There will also be an increase in the country's credit rating, as announced by certain agencies,'' claimed Davor Filipovic, adding that the costs of introducing the euro in Croatia are minimal when compared to the longterm benefits.

"Very soon, we'll have a tender of two billion kuna, which will be aimed at micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. In order to use the money to increase competitiveness, to digitise processes, to use everything that can be used in the direction of the green transition," he said.

As for cutting parafiscal levies, Minister Davor Filipovic says they have already begun the process.

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

Thursday, 2 June 2022

Month of May Sees Croatian Economic Expectations Drop

June the 2nd, 2022 - The Croatian economic expectations which were looking promising over the last few weeks have dropped since May this year owing to continuing inflation worries.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian economic expectations worsened during the month of May 2022 as a wave of pessimism among consumers in the face of high ongoing inflation outweighed improved retail sentiment, a European Commission (EC) report found.

The Economic Climate Index (ESI) in the Republic if Croatia fell by 0.8 points during the month of May compared to the revised value we could read about in April, amounting to 110.1 points.

The strongest deterioration last month was the general feeling and sentiments among the country's consumers, whose index fell 3.4 points from April, sliding below the long-term average of the past twenty years.

Croatian economic expectations in the service and construction sectors, whose indices fell by 1.4 and 0.6 points, were also somewhat dampened. Retail managers showed a certain degree of optimism, as was expressed in the jump of the index by as much as 6.4 points. Expectations in the industry, whose index rose by half a point, also improved slightly.

At the same time, business leaders are signaling a decrease in the demand for labour, which was reflected in the fall of the index by 3.3 points. According to their perception, the uncertainty was alleviated compared to the month of April, despite ongoing inflation, and the rise in energy prices and problems in supply chains, seeing the EUI index fall by 1.3 points.

At the European Union (EU) level, the economic climate index fell by half a point in May when compared to April, while in the Eurozone it remained almost unchanged.

This occurred despite the fact that the countries using the single European currency are all facing the exact same struggles as Croatia in regard to inflation, although the currency offers a form of safety net Croatia won't be able to enjoy until its own accession to the Eurozone in early 2023.

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

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Dalmatian Coast Particularly Vulnerable to Fluctuating Tourism Trends

May the 19th, 2022 - It's not exactly news that Croatia as a whole is heavily dependent on tourism, with the sector being this country's strongest economic branch. The Dalmatian coast, however, is the most vulnerable location of all in this country when it comes to tourist trend fluctuations.

As Morski writes, the Institute of Economics in Zagreb recently conducted the first comprehensive study called: "The vulnerability of local self-government units of the Republic of Croatia to tourism activities" which reveals interesting trends related to the exposure of the Croatian economy and local units to tourism activities and trends. The study was implemented as part of the Mastercard project Uplift, which is intended for the development of micro, small and medium enterprises with a focus on tourism.

The results of the study, made as a step in promoting sustainable tourism and integrating tourism into the broader context of the country's overall economic development, were presented at a panel discussion.

Croatian tourism and the country's GDP

Tourism is the most important Croatian economic sector. Back in pre-pandemic 2019, tourism activity in Croatia directly generated 11.8 percent of the country's total GDP. At the same time, the gross value added of tourism activities in that year amounted to a massive 82.8 billion kuna, which is 24.4 percent of the total gross value added that year. Croatia is also much more dependent on tourism revenues than its Mediterranean competitors are. As such, tourist revenues back in 2018 and 2019 amounted to as much as 18.3 and 21 percent of GDP, and in 2020 and 2021 were reduced to 8.9 and 15.8 percent of GDP due to the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic on tourist and travel demand. Even such reduced revenues from tourism in the two pandemic-dominated years were still, when expressed as a share of GDP, by far the largest in the entire European Union (EU).

A study by the Institute of Economics in Zagreb further analysed the situation as it was from 2012 to 2021.

Some of the interesting data from the study shows that a comparison of the values ​​of the seasonality index in 2021 compared to 2012 suggests that the shortening of the tourist season was recorded by local units in the Dalmatian hinterland that have started to engage in tourism more intensively during the summer tourist season.

When the value of the index of vulnerability to the concentration and seasonality of Croatian tourism is observed, it grows across most local units in the analysed period. This is happening because the demand for Croatian tourist products is growing intensively, so the concentration of demand in a large part of local units is increasing. The most vulnerable are the local units of Zadar County, followed by Split-Dalmatia County, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Sibenik-Knin County and Istria County. With only Istria County standing out, it's obvious that the Dalmatian coast is extremely vulnerable to any alterations when it comes to tourism.

In addition, the study shows that the share of private accommodation in terms of total accommodation capacities has increased significantly in the vast majority of local units, while the share of accommodation in hotels, hostels and camps is declining. The most unfavourable structure of accommodation capacities is recorded by Split-Dalmatia County, which has 87.8 percent of private accommodation capacities, and the most favourable is the City of Zagreb, with 52.7 percent of accommodation capacities in hotels, hostels and camps.

Compared to the competition, the demand for Croatia is stronger

Compared to 2012, the number of beds per capita increased by 38.3 percent, which is the largest increase in the concentration of accommodation facilities among Mediterranean countries. At the same time, the number of tourist overnight stays increased by 38.2 percent in the period from 2012 to 2019, reaching 7.05 million overnight stays in 2019.

"The good news is that, compared to the competition across the rest of the Mediterranean, Croatia is also recording a significant increase in demand for its tourism. If we analyse this increase in intensity by counties in more detail, we come to an interesting conclusion: the wave of interest in Croatia spilled over from the usual coastal destinations to the interior, to locations not so much engaged in tourism - such as units in Istria, Dalmatia, Lika and Gorski Kotar, and even in the continental part of the country,'' pointed out Maruska Vizek from the Institute of Economics in Zagreb.

"We're aware of the challenges in the structure of accommodation focused on private renters and the further development of tourism should go in the direction of building accommodation facilities of this type that will allow the extension of the tourist season and create additional value. In coastal areas, the emphasis should be on quality, while in areas that are becoming increasingly interesting for tourism, such as Baranja, Lika and Gorski Kotar, we need both quantity and high quality of accommodation,''said Slavko Steficar from the Ministry of Tourism and Sport.

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

Friday, 13 May 2022

Croatian Inflation Results in Continuing Soaring Prices on Markets

May the 13th, 2022 - Croatian inflation is continuing to force prices up for just about everything. Croatian marketplaces, where many people still love to buy fresh produce, are now raising their prices, making even basic salad more expensive.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, fruit and vegetable prices on Croatian markets across the country are skyrocketing. The fact these are astronomically high prices compared to the same period last year has been confirmed by the fact that a kilogram of chard or spinach is now costing 30 to 50 kuna, as reported by Slobodna Dalmacija.

Right behind chard come both coloured and white beans that are sold at a price of 30 to 40 kuna and the absolute record holders for this are the markets in Split, Dubrovnik and Rijeka. Parsley is a bit cheaper down in Dubrovnik where it sells for 30 kuna, in Split it stands at 40 kuna and in Rijeka, on some markets it's costing as much as 50 kuna.

Among the most expensive foods is garlic, which sells for as much as 60 kuna per kilogram at the moment. Those with more luck can find it for a few kuna cheaper, but never under 50.

Even something as basic as lettuce seems to have become a luxury of sorts thanks to soaring Croatian inflation. It is being sold at the price of 25 kuna down in Dubrovnik, Split and up in Pula, while you'll pay 15 kuna in Osijek. Carrots are slightly cheaper, ranging from 10 kuna (Pula and Karlovac) to 25 kuna (Dubrovnik). Beans are 50 kuna when sold at markets. Potatoes are 8 kuna in Dubrovnik, 10 in Split, 12 in Osijek. Peas in Pula are around 35 kuna.

Green cabbage and kale range from 15 to 20 kuna, red onion in Split is 25 kuna, 20 kuna down in Dubrovnik, and the cheapest can be found in Karlovac and Koprivnica, where 10 kuna should be set aside for one kilogram. Young onions are more expensive and range from 25 to 35 kuna, which is very high for the average Croatian earner.

Fruit prices have also risen compared to last month thanks to ongoing Croatian inflation. Apples are the most expensive in Dubrovnik, Pula, Split (12 kuna) while the cheapest in Koprivnica and Sisak cost a mere 5 kuna. Oranges range from 10 to 15 kuna, lemons range from 15 kuna (Osijek) to 20 kuna (Dubrovnik). The Dubrovnik market is a record holder when it comes to the price of strawberries, where you'll need to set aside 50 kuna per kilogram, followed by Split where they cost 40 kuna and Osijek where they cost 30 kuna.

Due to the rise in prices of energy and raw materials, fertilizers, seeds and protective equipment, the rise in prices of fruits and vegetables is a logical sequence of the crisis in the market of agricultural products. Strawberries, garlic, chard, lettuce have thus become a luxury for many Croatian wage earners who, even before the price increases caused by inflation, could barely make ends meet. As a result most people now bypass the markets and buy their products in shopping centres where the shares on certain agricultural products are either lower quality imports or vegetables which are being sold just before their expiration date.

All this points to tectonic disturbances in the agricultural market caused, among other things, by the war in Ukraine, which can be overcome only by joint actions of producers and the state, especially in terms of a fairer distribution of incentives from EU funds with which Croatian farmers are dissatisfied.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

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