At its session today, the CNB Council reviewed the latest economic and monetary indicators and adopted several decisions on matters falling within its competence.
In the last quarter of 2018, real GDP remained unchanged from the previous quarter, with its growth rate decelerating to 2.3% from the fourth quarter of 2017. Economic activity stagnated in the last quarter of 2018 due to an adverse export performance, while domestic demand strengthened. The annual consumer price inflation rate decreased from 0.8% in December 2018 to 0.2% in January 2019, with the greatest contribution to the decrease coming from the prices of unprocessed food products (due to a VAT reduction on some products) and energy. At the beginning of February, the CNB mitigated upward pressures on the kuna/euro exchange rate by foreign exchange purchases from banks. However, total CNB’s foreign exchange transactions had a mild monetary impact because of considerable foreign exchange sales to the Ministry of Finance. The kuna liquidity of domestic credit institutions remained very high and the annual growth of corporate and household lending continued. The net external debt of domestic sectors increased slightly in the fourth quarter following intensive deleveraging in the third quarter. As shown by Ministry of Finance data, the central government budget recorded a surplus at the 2018 level, excluding, however, expenditures related to shipyard guarantees. These expenditures will be included in general government expenditures according to ESA 2010 methodology and will deteriorate the budget balance.
The CNB Council approved the proposal of the Supervisory Board of Addiko banka d.d. to appoint Jasna Širola and Dubravko-Ante Mlikotić as Management Board Members for a term up to the end of 2020. The Council also granted prior approval to Fikret Kartal to perform the function of a Member of the Management Board of Kentbank d.d. for a term of three years, to Goran Varat to perform the function of the Chairman of the Management Board of Podravska banka d.d. for a term of three years and to Daniel Unger and Renata Vuković to perform the function of Management Board Members of the same bank, also for a term of three years.
In addition, the CNB Council issued a decision granting the request of Hrvatska poštanska banka d.d.Zagreb and Jadranska banka d.d., Šibenik, to merge Jadranska banka d.d., Šibenik, with Poštanska banka d.d., Zagreb.