Economic Expectations for Central and Eastern Europe Brighten Up

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

Mannheim, (PresseBox) - The ZEW-Erste Group Bank CEE Economic Indicator for Central and Eastern Europe including Turkey (CEE region) has increased by 8.3 points to 24.5 points in February. The improvement of the economic expectations for the CEE region on a six month time horizon can be mainly ascribed to the positive outlook for the economies in Hungary and Poland. The economic sentiment indicator for the CEE region and further financial market data have been surveyed monthly since 2007 by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, with the support of Erste Group Bank, Vienna.

The evaluation of the current economic situation in the CEE region has again slightly decreased in February. The respective indicator has dropped by 1.6 points to 18.4 points.

The economic expectations for the Eurozone within the next six months have improved by 5.9 points to 22.6 points. The assessment of the current business cycle in the Eurozone has gained 6.9 points and reached a value of minus 7.1 points.
Information concerning further indicators of the CEE region, the Eurozone, individually analysed CEE countries 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 the individual CEE countries and Austria as their high participation share in the survey could cause significant biases in the survey results.

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 the 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, the exchange rates and stock prices on a six month time horizon. The analysts' assessments reflect the qualitative direction of the estimated changes. The monthly 'Financial Market Report CEE' contains the results for every Central and Eastern European country in detail.

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