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Economic Indicators Bulletin for SEE - February 2015

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded Albania’s Second and Third Review under the Extended Arrangement at end-February. The conclusion makes possible the disbursement of EUR 58.8mn., while the country has received EUR 117.7mn in total. The IMF welcomes the significant progress the authorities have made in successfully implementing the necessary actions and reforms.

According to a recent report by the European Commission, Bulgaria’s macroeconomic imbalances originate from the banking turmoil in 2014 and the current conditions in the labour market.

In Cyprus, total credit in October contracted at a slower rate of 1.2% YoY from a decrease of 12.8% in January 2014, as business and household loans both decreased at a similar rate. Total deposits contracted at a significantly slower rate of 4.1% YoY in January from a decrease of 21.5% in the same month last year.

The International rating agency Fitch, affirmed on February 27th Romania’s sovereign rating at BBB- with a Stable outlook. The main factors influencing this decision are the positive economic prospects and the better-than-the-country’s-peers fiscal sector.

In Serbia, the IMF concluded the Article IV Annual Review in February, noting that the Serbian economy faces significant headwinds, as real GDP contracted in 2014, the unemployment rate remains elevated, inflation remains at low levels and public debt continues to increase. At the same time, the government and the IMF reached an agreement for a precautionary Stand-By Arrangement of EUR 1.2bn, with the main priorities being reforms in the fiscal and banking sector.


        

Ilias Lekkos

Group Chief Economist

                                                                                                                   

Dimitria Rotsika

Economist