Central Europe’s retail boom comes crashing to an end

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow April 6, 2020

Years of consumption-fuelled growth have left Central European states with large retail sectors that are now facing a coronavirus-related slump. It’s set to get even worse once the initial urge to stockpile wears off.

ING: Negative growth for Central and Eastern Europe with more easing ahead

Petr Krpata Chief EMEA FX and IR Strategist for ING April 3, 2020

All CEE countries should experience negative growth in 2020, with 2Q20 constituting the bottom.

Finance minister says Romania will seek IMF financing

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest March 30, 2020

Romania's public deficit is set to exceed 6% this year as a result of unexpected expenses related to the health system amid the coronavirus pandemic, and measures to support companies and the population.

Coronavirus threat pushes businesses online

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 30, 2020

From enabling their employees to work from home to offering new e-commerce services, companies in Central and Southeast Europe are moving their operations online in response to the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns.

THE MITTELEUROPEAN VIEW: Why it is exactly the right time to fully revive the Vienna Initiative 1.0

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna March 27, 2020

For the banking sectors in CEE, hypothetical stress scenarios are becoming reality. A forum like the Vienna Initiative could be an ideal place to find coherent solutions during the current crisis.

CEE hotel deals put on hold amid coronavirus pandemic

bne IntelliNews March 26, 2020

After a vintage 2019, almost €2bn worth of deals were expected to close in the hotel sectors of six Central and Southeast European countries this year, but these are looking increasingly unlikely to complete, says a report from law firm CMS.

IIF forecasts a contraction of -1.4% in CEE, -1.3% in Russia, but Turkish growth remains in the black in 2020

Ben Aris in Berlin March 26, 2020

The Institute of International Finance (IIF) released updated forecasts for economic growth this year for the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries that show a sharp slowdown in 2020 and all except Turkey will return negative results.

BUCHAREST BLOG: Romania’s response to COVID-19 economic effects is fuzzy and belated

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest March 25, 2020

The sole tangible aid extended by Romania’s government to firms is a promise to pay unemployment benefits to 75% of the employees whose labour contracts are suspended as a result of the crisis. But even this is tricky, managers say.

Capital Economics slashes CEE growth forecasts for 2020 to -2% y/y

bne IntelliNews March 25, 2020

Economic consultancy Capital Economics has slashed its growth forecast for the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) to a 2% y/y contractions from the previous 2.3% expansion in 2020, as a result of the coronavirus.

Bucharest’s economy partly insulated from COVID-19 says Colliers

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest March 25, 2020

Real estate consultancy points to the strong IT&C, scientific and professional services sectors in the Romanian capital are helping to protect property market from the fallout from the pandemic.

Fitch cuts oil price outlook for 2020 from 62.5/bbl to $41/bbl on global recession fears

Ben Aris in Berlin March 24, 2020

Fitch Ratings has cut its short and medium-term oil and natural gas price assumptions in expectation of very large market oversupply in 2020.

Romania’s food retailers and online marketplaces capitalise on crisis

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest March 24, 2020

Malls have been shut as part of the measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic, but supermarkets are seeing robust demand as Romanians stock up on food.

Citizens fear unscrupulous leaders will take advantage of lockdowns

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 23, 2020

Restricting social interaction is a vital part of the efforts to delay the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but in some countries people fear politicians will use the opportunity for their own ends.

Coronavirus crisis to widen rich/poor gap within Central and Eastern Europe

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 19, 2020

Convergence to be reversed as the economic crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic is set to be deeper and longer in the CIS, Ukraine, Turkey and the Western Balkans than in the EU member states of Central and Southeast Europe.

Ford, Dacia car factories in Romania suspend production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest March 18, 2020

Romania's two main automakers will suspend their operations at least until April 5 as European car markets are hammered by the pandemic.

THE MITTELEUROPEAN VIEW: Looking for LUV — what shape will Europe’s recovery from this existential crisis be?

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna with support from colleagues in Vienna & across the CEE region March 18, 2020

There is a new acronym in the economists' lexicon: VUCA. It is short for “Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous” as pundits are struggling to explain a crisis that is coming at us from all sides simultaneously.

wiiw slashes 2020 growth forecast for CESEE to just 1.1%

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 17, 2020

Vienna-based think tank expects the coronavirus pandemic to result in the worst year for the region since the global financial crisis.

BALKAN BLOG: A poor solution to waste disposal

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 17, 2020

Scandals over illegal waste imports have erupted in the two poorest EU states, Bulgaria and Romania, as two years on from China’s ban on plastic waste imports, developed countries are still struggling to dispose of waste they cannot recycle at home.

Self-quarantined politician Ludovic Orban returns as Romanian PM

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest March 16, 2020

Rare moment of unity as Romanian MPs back new government to tackle the Covid-19 epidemic.

EBRD makes €1bn available as emergency measure to fight coronavirus impact

bne IntelIiNews March 15, 2020

The EBRD has unveiled an emergency €1bn “Solidarity Package” to help companies deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.