CEE remains Europe's growth engine amid slowdown - bank

28 September 2012 14:39  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is on course to remain Europe's growth engine with a likely GDP increase of 2.4% in 2012, Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) said on Friday.

In contrast to the CEE performance, the eurozone is set to see its GDP shrink by 0.5% this year, it added.

“We witness that CEE generally and particularly its currencies become increasingly attractive for investors - especially compared to the eurozone and the euro,” said Gunter Deuber, head of CEE Research at Raiffeisen Research, a unit of RBI.

The credit crunch in the eurozone has essentially not affected the CEE countries, Deuber said.

Nonetheless, Raiffeisen Research recognised the trend towards weaker economic performance is also visible in CEE due to growth problems at the global level, with the countries in the Balkans, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovenia having all been hit by recession.

“Russia, Poland and Slovakia are doing better in terms of economic growth, but the rates of expansion are decelerating in these countries as well,” Deuber added.

Although the Polish economy is likely to continue the soft patch that became visible recently, in the quarters to come, RBI’s analysts expect it to avoid recession by a comfortable margin, like in 2009.

Polish GDP growth was likely to be 2.5% in both 2012 and 2013, they said.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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