tihomir orešković.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said on Wednesday that this year's economic growth could reach 2.5 percent, more than previously expected, because all the most important indicators were increasing.

"In this year's budget we planned for growth of about 2%, but I think we will end with growth of about 2.5% because every indicator is positive," Oreskovic told a Cabinet meeting.

In the first five months of the year industrial production increased by 5.4% year on year, consumption went up by 3.4% and tourism indicators by 7%, and even construction output increased, the PM said. The absorption of EU funds increased by 53% compared with last year, he added.

"In the first six months the number of employed people increased by more than 100,000, while unemployment continued to fall," Oreskovic said.

Revenues from privatisation, which are to be used to reduce public debt, have increased by HRK 400 million and the planned sale of the government stakes in the Suncani Hvar and Imperial hotel companies would bring in a further HRK 400 million, he added.

The budget deficit in the first half of 2016 was HRK 2.4 billion, down by 5.1 billion from the same period of 2015, and it accounted for about 0.7% of GDP, Oreskovic said.

Budget revenues went up by 10.5% to HRK 56.3 billion, which the prime minister said was "fantastic", while expenditure amounted to HRK 58.6 billion, about 0.4% more than last year. The primary surplus of HRK 3 billion is an excellent result, he said.

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