Croatia's GDP is expected to contract by 9 percent in 2020, recording the largest among Europe's emerging economies, the latest global economic outlook released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday said.
According to IMF projections, Croatia's GDP will shrink by 9 percent this year. Late last year, before the coronavirus outbreak, the IMF had forecast GDP to grow by 2.7 percent. However, some recovery is expected in 2021 when the GDP might rebound 4.9 percent.
The IMF also revised down Croatia's 2019 GDP growth rate from 3.0 to 2.9 percent. The IMF's analysts said they expect to see a significant increase in unemployment rate this year, to 11.5 percent.
Last year, it was projected to reach 8 percent in 2020. In 2019 unemployment was at 7.8 percent. In 2021 unemployment rate is expected to drop again to 8 percent.
The IMF also forecast a current account deficit of 4 percent of GDP in 2020. In 2021 the deficit is expected to drop to 1.5 percent of GDP.
Projected inflation rate in 2020 is at 1.3 percent, and in 2021 prices are expected to go up by another 1.2 percent.
The latest IMF estimates show that this year Croatia's economy is expected to contract the most among other emerging economies in Europe, a group of mostly post-communist countries which also includes Belarus, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine.
The IMF now estimates that these economies will shrink 5.2 percent on average in 2020, a sharp drop from the earlier projected 2.5 percent growth released in the autumn of 2019. But in 2021 a strong rebound is expected, with an estimated growth rate of 4.2 percent on average.
A more pronounced drop in economic activity is expected this year in Ukraine and Belarus, at 7.7 percent and 6 percent respectively. They are followed by Russia, with an estimated drop of 5.5 percent, and Turkey and Romania, each with a decline of 5 percent.
Poland's GDP is expected to contract by 4.6 percent, and Bulgaria's by 4 percent. Economies of Hungary and Serbia are expected to contract the least, by 3.1 percent and 3 percent respectively.