Central & Eastern Europe: Q3 regional growth remained firm

3 min
Manfred Stamer
Manfred Stamer Senior Economist for Emerging Europe and the Middle East

Flash estimates indicate that real GDP growth in the group of 11 EU members in the CEE region retained momentum in Q3, coming in only just below the +4.3% y/y posted in Q2. Looking at seasonally adjusted, year-on-year (y/y) real GDP growth, Poland was the frontrunner with +5.7%, followed by Latvia (+5.5%). Q3 GDP growth decelerated in Bulgaria (+3%), Lithuania (+2.7%) and the Czech Republic (+2.3%). The latter suffered in particular from a decline in production and exports (notably to Germany) of the automotive sector. However, Hungary and Slovakia, both also large automotive producers, did not share that fate and posted accelerating GDP growth of +5% and +4.5%, respec­tively, in Q3. In Romania, growth edged down but remained sound at +4.1%. As the flash estimates are largely based on data from July and August, there may be some downward revisions for Q3 ahead, as well as a slowdown in Q4, since sentiment indicators weakened in September and also in October. We forecast average full-year growth of the 11 EU members in
CEE at +4.1% in 2018 (after +4.7% in 2017).