wiiw Autumn Forecast 2017 Webinar

09  November 2017    4:00 pm CET

CESEE in 2017-2019: back on track to convergence


Link to the webinar: https://go.myownconference.com/x/Z2s14847F69


Presenter: Peter Havlik
Moderator: Julia Grübler

  • GDP forecasts for 2017 were revised upwards for all Central and East European EU Member States (EU-CEE);
  • Farther east, especially in Russia, but also in the Western Balkans, the post-crisis recovery has been much weaker;
  • Private consumption is the main growth driver, underpinned by rising wages and household incomes;
  • Nonetheless, CESEE labour cost competitiveness is not yet endangered;
  • Gradually, along with expanding private consumption, investments have also gained strength and have increasingly emerged as a driver of growth;
  • Trade balances have improved, and many EU-CEE countries (as well as Russia) also report current account surpluses;
  • Growth is thus becoming broader-based, more robust and probably also more sustainable;
  • Improvements in labour markets are spectacular; rising employment levels are mirrored by declining unemployment;
  • Simultaneously, emerging labour shortages are acting as a potential constraint on future growth;
  • Convergence in terms of per capita GDP levels in CESEE is a long-term process; by 2026, no country in the region will have caught up with the average EU-28 level;
  • Despite sustained criticism since its inception, the euro may yet survive and attract new members in the EU-CEE;
  • Many CESEE sovereigns are not in a markedly better shape to deal with a sharp rise in debt yields than they were 10 years ago; and in some cases they are in a worse position.

The following questions will be addressed in the webinar:

  • How is the economic recovery in CESEE proceeding and what are the main growth drivers?
  • Can the region converge to Western European income levels any time soon?
  • Should additional countries from EU-CEE join the euro?
  • How well are countries in the region positioned to deal with higher yields on hard currency sovereign debt?

Peter Havlik is Senior Economist at wiiw. His main research areas cover inter alia foreign trade, competitiveness, EU integration, EU-Russian relations and analysis and forecasts of macroeconomic developments in Russia.

Julia Gruebler is Economist at wiiw. Her research focuses on international (trade) relations with special focus on the policies of the European Union and its Member States, partly linked with development economics.