The coronavirus pandemic has impacted all EU member states, but not to the same extent and countries that depend largely on tourism have been hardest-hit, according to the European Commission's summer 2020 economic forecast released on Tuesday.
Croatia is among the three EU member states whose economies have suffered the greatest impact. The commission expects Italy’s economy to contract the most, -11.2%. Next is Spain, whose GDP is projected to shrink by 10.9%. Croatia is a fraction of a step ahead with a forecasted drop of 10.8%.
“When you look at the world economy, Croatia's and the EU's, the recovery is not evenhanded. It's not a V-shaped curve in the sense that the extent of the decline in 2020 will be matched by a recovery in 2021. Cleary, a full recovery isn't expected to happen before 2022,” said Finance Minister Zdravko Marić, commenting on the forecast.
Of the countries that are doing much better than the rest is Poland, whose economy is expected to decrease the least (-4.6%), followed by Denmark (-5.2%), and Sweden (-5.3%). Romania and Malta are expected to see their economies shrink by 6%.
The EU’s strongest economy, Germany, can brace itself for a 6.3% drop in GDP.
"The shock to the EU economy is symmetric in that the pandemic has hit all Member States. However, both the drop in output in 2020 and the strength of the rebound in 2021 are set to differ markedly. The differences in the scale of the impact of the pandemic and the strength of recoveries across Member States are now forecast to be still more pronounced than expected in the Spring Forecast," the Commission said in a press release.
The EU economy is forecast to contract by 8.3% in 2020 and grow by 5.8% in 2021.
The recovery is not expected to be a swift as everone had hoped. The EC is forecasting 7.5% growth for Croatia in 2021.
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