Croatia's gross foreign debt in February 2016 totalled EUR 44.6 billion, which was an annual decrease of 3.3 billion or 6.9% thanks to a decrease in the debts of all sectors except the general government, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) said, forecasting only mild changes in the foreign debt until the end of the year. 

Compared to January this year, the gross foreign debt dropped by EUR 809.5 million. The central government debt dropped the most, by EUR 704.6 million, while the debt of other monetary financial institutions was the only one to grow, by EUR 6.8 million.

February was marked by relatively untypical trends characterised by a drop in the government debt and an increase in banks' debt. However, February did not have a more significant effect on the trends so far, and the growth of the gross foreign debt that has been present since June 2009 continued in February, at a 3.1% rate, as did bank deleveraging which has lasted for 46 consecutive months, and in February it grew 25.6%, the HGK said.

The total gross foreign debt in February dropped by EUR 3.3 billion year on year, with all sectors registering a drop in their debt except for the general government, whose foreign debt increased by half a billion euros.

The HGK says that the slowed down borrowing by the government against a backdrop of reduced needs for the financing of the budget deficit and a continued deleveraging of other monetary financial institutions, has resulted for the third consecutive month in an inter-annual drop in the gross foreign debt, which in February was the highest, 6.9%.

Until the end of the year gross foreign debt trends will continue to be dominated by movements in the general government debt, which currently accounts for 35.3% of the total foreign debt, and the debt of other monetary financial institutions, which accounts for 35.3% of the total debt, the HGK said, adding that only mild changes in the gross foreign debt were expected until the end of the year, and that Croatia continued to be a highly indebted country with strong risks related to exchange rate changes and interest rate trends on the global market.

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