We are more than half-way through 2019 and the region’s economies appear to be doing well. The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW) has revised upwards its forecasts for Central and Eastern Europe. “The EU-CEE countries’ economies continue to benefit from several factors, such as robust wage growth, buoyant investment activity (thanks to low interest rates and, in many cases, high EU transfers) and solid export performance; their growth edge over the euro area is even expected to increase slightly this year. Signs of overheating are mounting in Romania, Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria, although only in the case of Romania this is a cause for concern. The increasing labour shortages seem to be leading to investments in the automation and robotisation of workflows, particularly in the Visegrád countries.” WIIW’s latest report includes a closer look at Austria, which is among the top three investors in 10 CEE countries.
Slovakia, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland make the top 10 in the European Commission’s 2019 growth forecasts for all 28 European Union members. Austria is 19th.
The World Economic Forum recently looked at 12 years of European economic growth. “The fastest-growing regions of the EU between 2003 and 2015 were in Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the three Baltic countries and in the southern part of Ireland.” Delve into the weeds here.
Our illustration accompanied a useful reminder on why growth matters: the Economic and Non-Economic Consequences of Economic Growth published a while ago on Huffpost.com.