zdravko marić.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric has said that Croatia may be satisfied with the latest forecast made by the European Commission about the country's economic outlook, explaining that the European Economic Forecast was compiled by 22 April which means that the document could not take into account the government's convergence plan or the national reform plan adopted later.

The European Commission on Tuesday released its Spring 2016 Forecast, mildly reducing Croatia's economic growth outlook to 1.8%, the main reason for this being the poor results in Q4 2015.

In its winter forecast, the European Commission projected Croatia's growth in 2016 at 2.1% and in 2015 at 1.8%, which in the end was lower, that is 1.6%. The Commission projects a 2.1% growth for 2017, the same as in its forecast released in February.

Addressing a news conference upon the release of the Spring 2016 Forecast, Minister Maric said that the revised projection from the EC was still very close to the projections which the Croatian government originally defined for this year when it drew up the budget for this year.

Minister Maric boasted that the budget for 2016 "is a great step forward for Croatia" as this was about trustworthiness and quality of the economic policy pursued by this government.

Croatia's government projected an economic growth of 2% in 2016, while the general government deficit is expected to stand at HRK 9.2 billion that is 2.7% of GDP. The government has also promised the stabilisation of public debt so as to lower it to 86.8% of GDP by the end of this year.

Maric recalled that the EC had downgraded Croatia's outlook due to the poorer-than-expected performance in Q4 2015.

He noted that the EC Forecast had not included the government's convergence plan and the national reform programme which the government adopted after the Forecast had been compiled. Obviously, Maric hopes that the two documents will help improve Croatia's outlook.

Croatian economic analysts said today that EC's latest, more cautious forecast about Croatia's economy was closer to their projections of the national economy.

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