The Croatian GDP growth rate of 2.7% in the first quarter of 2016 is higher than the average growth rate in the European Union, both compared with the first quarter of 2015 and the previous quarter, the director of the National Bureau of Statistics (DZS), Marko Kristof, said on Tuesday.
Seasonally-adjusted data show that Croatia's GDP grew by 0.6% in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the fourth quarter of 2015 and by 2.3% compared with the first quarter of 2015.
According to Eurostat, in the first quarter of 2016 the EU economy grew by 0.5% quarter on quarter and by 1.7% year on year. The highest annual growth rates were recorded in Romania (4.2%), Slovakia (3.6%) and Spain (3.4%), while the lowest rates were observed in Hungary (0.5%) and Portugal (0.8%). The only EU country that recorded a fall in GDP was Greece (-1.3%). The highest quarterly growth rate was also recorded in Romania, of 1.6%.
The Croatian economy has been growing for six quarters after a six-year-long recession that broke out in 2009.
"The main difference between this growth and the growth that preceded the crisis is that the pre-2008 growth was mainly based on the growth of retail sales, or rather personal consumption, while today, although retail sales have continued to grow, the growth is based on industrial production," Kristof said.
"Industrial production is one of the most important components and is present throughout the year, while seasonal effects, tourism and services, will become more pronounced in other quarters, in particular in the third one, and will affect annual growth rates," he added.
The largest contribution to the GDP growth came from the manufacturing industry, which grew by 8.9%, while the only activity that recorded a fall was electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply.