EBRD forecasts stronger growth in 2003 for candidate countries

The latest Transition Report published by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) predicts that economic growth in candidate countries will continue to outperform world output growth in 2003. The Report, released on 25 November 2002, forecasts output to grow to 4 per cent in 2003 after an expansion rate of 3.5 per cent in 2002.

The Report released by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) finds that the EU candidate countries must continue to attract foreign investment and raise productivity, while carefully managing the fiscal and monetary challenges of accession and membership to achieve macroeconomic stability. The fiscal policy aspects in particular are predicted to be challenging for the acceding countries due to the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact.

As regards particular countries, Poland is experiencing slow growth as the aftermath of conflicting stances of fiscal and monetary policy. The Baltic states, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, however, have made considerable progress in the financial sector, inspired by the nearing EU accession.

As regards the business environment and enterprise performance, local firms reported improved perceptions in the areas of finance, infrastructure, taxation, corruption and crime. According to the Report, this reflects better macroeconomic performance and underlying improvements in governance.


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