Monthly Report No. 07-08/2020


Alexandra Bykova, Julia Grübler, Doris Hanzl-Weiss, Philipp Heimberger and Nikolaus Kowall

wiiw Monthly Report No. 7-8, July - August 2020
49 pages including 33 Figures

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  • Chart of the month: Concern over new COVID-19 cases and insufficient testing in CESEE 
    by Julia Grübler
  • Opinion Corner: Why distorted pictures of Italy are poison for European policy debates
    by Philipp Heimberger and Nikolaus Kowall
    Current policy debates concerning the EU recovery fund and public debt strongly focus on Italy, the euro area’s third-largest economy, which has been hard hit by the Corona crisis. The media and political discourse, however, make use of distorted pictures of the Italian economy, undermining attempts at a more nuanced and pragmatic debate. We discuss several key facts to counter prevailing narratives.
  • Will COVID-19 accelerate digitalisation in CESEE? 
    by Alexandra Bykova
    The COVID-19 pandemic and containment measures have increased the level of digital activities and changed the way people consume and work. A return to old habits is more likely than a sharp acceleration of digitalisation. However, an acceleration of digital transformation can help to overcome the consequences of the crisis. The heterogeneity in digital capabilities across CESEE countries suggests that some of them require more effort to capitalise on the productivity and economic growth premium of digital transformation.
  • Digital divide in Southeast Europe​
    by Doris Hanzl-Weiss
    Information and communication technologies and the Internet bring great opportunities but can also create inequalities for those without access to them. This gap, also called the digital divide, is particularly evident in Southeast Europe and is affected by location, gender, level of education and age factors.
  • Monthly and quarterly statistics for Central, East and Southeast Europe


Reference to wiiw databases: wiiw Annual Database, wiiw Monthly Database

Keywords: COVID-19, trade balance, public debt, structural reforms, GDP per capita, ICT, cybersecurity, online sales, remote work, rural-urban divide, gender gap, education level, age

Countries covered: CESEE, Euro Area, Italy, Southeast Europe

Research Areas: Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy, Sectoral studies