Economic Expectations Move Sidewards

ZEW-Erste Group Bank Economic Sentiment Indicator for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)

Mannheim, (PresseBox) - In March 2014 the economic expectations for Central and Eastern Europe including Turkey (CEE region) have remained roughly unchanged. The ZEW-Erste Group Bank Economic Sentiment Indicator for the CEE region has declined marginally by 0.9 points to a level of 8.1 points. Economic expectations for the individual countries, in contrast, are nowhere near stable. Double-digit positive revisions are registered by the indicators for Croatia and Turkey - two indicators which have displayed a significant downswing over the past quarter. Economic expectations for all the other CEE-countries have lost ground, displaying double-digit losses.

The ZEW-Erste Group Bank Economic Sentiment Indicator for Central and Eastern Europe reflects the financial market experts' expectations for the CEE region on a six-month time horizon. The indicator has been compiled on a monthly basis together with further financial market data by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim with the support of Erste Group Bank, Vienna, since 2007.

The experts' assessment of the current economic situation for the CEE region has deteriorated significantly in March 2014. The respective indicator has dropped by 20.0 points to minus 25.7 points. The evaluation of the current economic situation in Hungary and Romania has deteriorated most noticeably among the individual CEE-countries. The indicators have lost 16.2 points and 10.1 points respectively. Experts' assessment of the current situation for Turkey has slightly improved by 6.4 points which signals a stabilization of the indicator after its historical drop by more than 60 points overall over the past three months.

Information concerning further indicators of the CEE region, the Eurozone, individual CEE countries covered by the analysis, or Austria can be found in the table at the end of the press release. The answers of all survey participants are taken into account for the calculation of the indicators for the CEE region, the Eurozone and Turkey. The answers of the Turkish survey participants are not taken into account for the calculation of the indicators for individual CEE countries and Austria, because their high participation share in the survey could cause significant biases in the survey results.

For further information please contact:
Zwetelina Iliewa, Phone +49 (0)621/1235-346, E-mail iliewa@zew.de

Survey Procedure and Methodology

The Financial Market Survey CEE is a survey carried out among financial market experts by the Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim (ZEW) and Erste Group Bank AG, Vienna. The target of this survey is to develop indicators describing the economic conditions in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as well as in Austria. The CEE region observed in the survey consists of Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and, since October 2010, Turkey.

The financial experts are questioned on their evaluations of the current business situation, the medium-term prospects of the respective economies and their expectations as to the development of the inflation rate, the short- and long-term interest rates, exchange rates and stock prices on a six-month time horizon. The analysts' assessments reflect the qualitative direction of the estimated changes. The quarterly 'Financial Market Report CEE' contains the results for every Central and Eastern European country in detail.

Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung GmbH (ZEW)

ZEW is one of Germany's leading economic research institutes and enjoys a strong reputation throughout Europe. ZEW has distinguished itself by analysing internationally comparative issues in the European context and creating data bases important for scientific research, e.g. Mannheim Innovation Panel (MIP), ZEW Start-Up Panel. ZEW's key objectives are conducting economic research, providing economic policy advising and transferring knowledge. ZEW was founded in 1990 and currently employs a staff of 190, of which two thirds are researchers.

Research at ZEW:

International Finance and Financial Management; Labour Markets, Human Resources and Social Policy; Industrial Economics and International Management; Corporate Taxation and Public Finance; Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management; Information and Communication Technologies; Growth and Business Cycles; Competition and Regulation, International Distribution and Redistribution.

www.zew.de / www.zew.eu

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