Russia's National Welfare Fund steps up again to $12.2bn, or 11% of GDP, in March

bne IntelliNews March 27, 2020

The Russian Ministry of Finance announced on March 19 that it has transferred last year's budget surplus to the National Welfare Fund (NWF), which now amounts to about RUB12,200bn ($157.2bn), or 11% of GDP

Small countries in Balkans and South Caucasus most exposed to tourism industry collapse

bne IntelliNews March 26, 2020

No one knows if there will be a summer tourism season at all in 2020, which is bad news for the countries that generate around a quarter of their GDP from the sector.

Capital Economics slashes CEE growth forecasts for 2020 to -2% y/y

bne IntelliNews March 25, 2020

Economic consultancy Capital Economics has slashed its growth forecast for the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) to a 2% y/y contractions from the previous 2.3% expansion in 2020, as a result of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus epidemic approaches exponential growth stage in some CEE countries

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 24, 2020

Cases have doubled in less than three days in several countries in the region, as governments desperately fight back with lockdowns.

Ukraine industrial output falls 1.5% in February

bne IntelliNews March 24, 2020

Ukraine's industrial output fell 1.5% y/y in February

Russia's Watcom shopping index: so far so good

bne IntelliNews March 23, 2020

The Watcom shopping index fell to 464 in the eleventh week of this year from its annual International Women’s spike on March 8 of 501, but so far the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has not made itself felt on foot traffic in Moscow’s leading malls.

Polish retail sales see off good times with growth 7.3% y/y in February

bne IntelliNews March 20, 2020

February marked a gain of 3.9pp in retail turnover growth in comparison to the y/y expansion recorded in January. That will be the last positive reading from the retail sector as March figures will tank as an effect of the coronavirus lockdown.

Russian central bank keeps rates on hold at 6%

Ben Aris in Berlin March 20, 2020

Russia’s central bank kept its key rate on hold at 6% annually despite the sudden devaluation of the ruble and panic selling on the stock market.

Russia’s industrial production up 3.3% y/y in February, but zero if adjusted for leap-year effect

bne IntelliNews March 18, 2020

Russia’s industrial production was up 3.3% year-on-year in February, but that was largely because this year is a leap year and February had an extra day.

wiiw slashes 2020 growth forecast for CESEE to just 1.1%

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 17, 2020

Vienna-based think tank expects the coronavirus pandemic to result in the worst year for the region since the global financial crisis.

To hike or not to hike? CBR faces tough choice this month

Ben Aris in Berlin March 16, 2020

Russia’s Central Bank of Russia (CBR) faces a tough choice on March 20 at its monthly monetary policy meeting: to cut rates or hike them.

Polish inflation growth reaches likely peak at 4.7% y/y in February

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw March 15, 2020

The CPI will now begin its descent, as the radically altered macroeconomic environment in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic takes hold.

Slovenian GDP growth forecast for 2020 halved to 1.5%

bne IntelliNews March 12, 2020

Slovenian government-related institute IMAD has halved its GDP growth forecast for 2020 to 1.5% from 3% due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ukraine’s inflation still falling, consumer prices growth slows to 2.4% y/y in February

bne IntelliNews March 12, 2020

Ukraine’s consumer prices dropped 0.3% m/m and to 2.4% y/y in February on the back of cooling prices for food, housing and utilities, and clothing and sportswear, the State Statistics Service reported on March 10.

Croatia’s CROBEX index slumps, trading temporarily suspended

bne IntelliNews March 9, 2020

The fall in the CROBEX came on a day of chaos on the international exchanges amid a slump in oil prices and the economic disruption caused by efforts to contain the coronavirus.

Ukraine international reserves grew by 1.3% m/m in February

bne IntelliNews March 9, 2020

Ukraine's international reserves increased by 1.3% month on month, or by $330mn, to $26.623bn in February, according to the website of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU).

CEE monthly bond wrap: CIS bond market off to a strong start in 2020

Ben Aris in Berlin March 5, 2020

Bond markets in emerging Europe were off to a strong start in January but the impact of the coronavirus was already visible by February as bond issues began to drop off.

Albania’s net electricity production plunges 39.1% in 2019

bne IntelliNews March 5, 2020

Albania is almost entirely dependent on hydropower for its electricity, and thus the amount of power produced can vary widely from one season to another depending on the weather.

Romania’s retail sales defy expectations and rise by 11% y/y in January

bne IntelliNews March 5, 2020

The retail sales volume index in Romania increased by 11.1% y/y in January — exactly when retail sales were expected to slightly ease, but instead achieved the highest annual increase in nearly two years.

Russia’s IHS Markit Russia Services Business Activity Index fell slightly in February but composite index remains in the black

Ben Aris in Berlin March 4, 2020

The services sector has been consistently growing in the last few years as an increasingly large part of the economy goes online and, since December 2019, real incomes have started to grow again.