Graphic shows GDP growth forcast in 2020 and 2021 in eastern EU countries.
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BUSINESS

Eastern Europe tumbles toward economic slump

By Jordi Bou

May 15, 2020 - Eastern European countries – formerly the fastest-growing part of the EU – are facing their worst recession since the fall of Communism, but are forecast to recover quicker than their western neighbours.

The virus outbreak will undo several years of solid growth in a region with economies highly tuned to the car industry and exports and which has outpaced richer western Europe.

The economies of eastern Europe states – Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – will collectively shrink by 6.9 per cent this year, the European Commission predicts.

However, as lockdown measures are being lifted across the continent, officials are sounding more frequent forecasts of a recovery. According to the European Commission, the region could bounce back with 6.1 per cent expansion next year.

Much will depend on Germany, Europe’s largest economy and a key trade partner which shrank 2.2% in the first quarter.

PUBLISHED: 15/05/2020; STORY: Graphic News
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