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Economic Indicators Bulletin in Southeastern Europe - March 2014

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on March 27th a staff level agreement with Ukraine for a two-year financial assistance program of USD 14-18bn. In its statement, the IMF estimates that the total financial support from the international community will amount to USD 27bn. The main priority is to restore stability at the macroeconomic level and in the fiscal and banking sectors.

  • On March 27th the Bank of Albania (BoA), decided to keep its key policy rate unchanged at 2.75%. The last rate cut, of 25bps, was on February 26th. The BoA estimates that the current economic and financial situation underlines the need for maintaining monetary policy easing.

  • In February, private sector credit in Bulgaria increased by 0.7% YoY from 3.0% in February 2013, while private sector deposits increased by 8.3% from 5.1% for the same months.

  • On March 28th, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) further eased the temporary restriction measures. According to the announcement, the relaxation is a result of achieving the milestones set out in the roadmap and the overall stabilization and restoration of confidence in the banking system.

  • On March 28th, the National Bank of Romania (NBR) decided to keep its key policy rate unchanged at 3.5% and to maintain the existing levels of minimum reserve requirement ratios for both the RON and FX denominated liabilities of credit institutions. The NBR estimates that the recovery in economic activity and current affairs signify further deflationary trends.

  • In February 2014, Serbia’s public debt increased to 62.9% of GDP from 61.2% in December 2013.

Ilias Lekkos

Chief Economist