Economic Expectations for the CEE Region Brighten Up

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

Mannheim, (PresseBox) - The ZEW-Erste Group Bank Economic Sentiment Indicator for Central and Eastern Europe including Turkey (CEE) has increased by 13.0 points in October 2011 for the first time in the last five months. The indicator has climbed up to the minus 25.0 points mark. Economic Expectations for the Eurozone have also increased by 18.3 points to a level of minus 49.1 points. The economic sentiment indicator for the CEE region and further financial market data have been surveyed monthly by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, with the support of Erste Group Bank, Vienna, since 2007.

Increasing optimism for the CEE region is mainly due to an improvement of the experts' economic sentiments for Poland and Turkey. The indicators reflecting the economic expectations for Poland and Turkey have climbed by 11.8 points and 16.0 points respectively in this months' survey. Rising industrial production figures in both countries may have brightened up experts' expectations. Furthermore the rising optimism for Poland indicates a positive assessment of the Polish Parliament election results this month.

The assessments of the current economic situation in the CEE region have slightly decreased by 1.5 points to the 5.7 points mark in October. The evaluation of the current economic situation in the Eurozone has worsened by 7.6 points to a level of minus 57.7 points. This is the sixth consecutive decline of the indicator.

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.

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 180, 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.

www.zew.de / www.zew.eu

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