GDP growth (Photo: Deedster/Pixabay) GDP growth (Photo: Deedster/Pixabay)

Gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 0.4% in the first quarter of 2020 is an encouraging sign for continued reforms and measures that will strengthen the resilience of the Croatian economy in this crisis, the government said.

This is a continuation of the trend of economic growth since the third quarter of 2014, the government said, adding that this growth was recorded in spite of the restrictive measures in the fight against coronavirus introduced on March 19th and the fact that GDP among other EU member states registered a downturn in the first quarter of this year.

"The fact that in spite of the coronavirus pandemic we recorded GDP growth of 0.4% is an encouraging sign for the continuation of reforms and measures that will strengthen the resilience of the Croatian economy in this crisis. Croatia has introduced rapid and strong support to the private sector and achieved a good epidemiological situation. In our mandate so far, we have shown what it means to manage public finances responsibly, to raise the credit rating to investment level, to achieve healthy economic growth, increase employment and reduce unemployment. That is why we were much better prepared for this crisis than the global crisis in 2008," Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said.

Plenković went on to note that simultaneously the European Commission's "Next Generation EU" program, is extremely generous with regard to Croatia, as it allocates 10.013 billion Euros to Croatia over the next four years, which is almost 20 percent of Croatia's GDP. He said that these funds would be used to speed up economic recovery and investment into job preservation, small and medium-sized enterprises, digital transformation and other assistance.

With this recovery instrument and the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, Croatia will have twice as many funds at its disposal as it has had so far, which further demonstrates the added value of EU membership, a statement issued by government notes.

On Friday the Central Statistics Bureau released its first estimate for GDP in the first quarter of 2020, indicating year-on-year growth of 0.4%. This is the 23rd consecutive quarter of GDP growth, albeit considerably slower than in the previous quarter, when growth was 2.5%. It is also the slowest growth since the third quarter of 2014, when the economy grew by 0.2% year-on-year.

According to Eurostat, in the first quarter, the EU economy fell by 3.3% compared to the previous quarter, while compared to the first quarter of last year, the decline was 2.6%.

Source: HRT