Economic expectations for Croatia have markedly increased in December, while economic sentiment for other countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has decreased, a survey carried out by the German Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) and Austria's Erste Bank showed on Thursday.

Croatia's Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI), which reflects financial market experts' expectations on a six-month horizon, increased by 11.1 points from November, reaching 25.9 points in December. The positive value of the indicator shows that optimistic expectations continue to prevail. In November the ESI recorded a much more modest increase of 2.4 points, after decreasing since June.

The CEE countries surveyed included Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey. Apart from Croatia, only the ESI for Romania rose, by 4.2 points.

The ESI for Hungary saw the sharpest drop, of 24.2 points, sliding into negative territory. Marked decreases were also observed in the Czech Republic and Poland, whose indicators fell by 13.1 and 11.5 points respectively. Economic sentiment for Turkey declined by 10.7 points.

The ESI for the entire CEE region decreased by 23.7 points to an almost balanced level of 0.1 points, the survey said.

The current state of the Croatian economy was assessed as markedly improved, its corresponding indicator jumping by 11.6 points to -27.6 points. The negative value of the indicator means that negative assessments continue to prevail.

Compared with November, the indicators of experts' assessment of the current economic situation increased the most for Slovakia and Romania, by 20.5 and 15 points respectively. The indicator for Poland also increased, by 8.2 points.

On the other hand, the indicator of the current economic situation in Hungary sank the most, by 22.4 points, to -7.4 points.

Overall, the current economic situation in the CEE region was assessed as worse than in November, its indicator decreasing by 2.8 points to 11.5 points.

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