Growth in EU’s Eastern European countries to double in 2014 – World Bank

Economic growth in the EU member states from the former communist bloc is expected to nearly double from 1.4 per cent in 2013 to 2.6 per cent this year, the World Bank said in its latest report on the region.

The area, which the international lender calls EU11, includes all the countries that joined the EU since 2004, with the exception of the Mediterranean island nations of Cyprus and Malta – the Baltic States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.

“The initial reliance on net export growth, with rising demand from the rest of the EU, is gradually giving way to more balanced growth as domestic demand picks-up, notably in Romania, Slovakia and Poland,” the World Bank said.

First quarter data in 2014 confirmed ongoing economic recovery, with Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic leading the way, while growth in the Baltic States and the four EU countries in the Balkans lost some momentum, according to the report.

Croatia remains the only country among the EU11 expected to remain in recession in 2014, making it six consecutive years of economic decline, because falling domestic demand, in part stemming from the need for further fiscal consolidation, continues to outweigh export growth.

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(Photo: Michael Faes/