Croatia’s 2022 inflation growth forecast revised up to 3.5%

Marić said inflation had accelerated in recent months and that its growth in December might exceed 5%, which would be visible at the start of this year. [Shutterstock / mapman]

The government revised its inflation growth projection for this year up to 3.5%, Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Thursday, adding that VAT cuts were being considered as part of a set of measures aimed at buffering energy price hikes.

Marić said inflation had accelerated in recent months and that its growth in December might exceed 5%, which would be visible at the start of this year.

That prompted the government to revise its projection to 3.5%, up from the 2.5% increase forecast earlier, he added.

“In 2022, according to currently available data and our knowledge and expectations, the inflation trend should be reversed. The first months would be with higher rates, and then there should be some convergence towards an average of 3.5%”, said the finance minister.

Besides food, the main focus is on energy prices given the price trends of raw materials at the European level, he said, adding that the price of gas for households would be corrected as of 1 April.

Asked how much VAT could be cut and if that would be a temporary measure, Marić said he would rather not speculate, recalling that VAT on electricity is 13% and on gas 25%.

Question on whether the case of the Croatian Central Bank (HNB) employees, including governor Boris Vujčić, were buying and selling other banks’ securities would impact the HNB’s reputation, Minister Marić said the government was sticking to the plan and schedule for the introduction of the euro on 1 January 2023.

(Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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