At its session today, the CNB Council discussed current economic and financial developments, adopted a monetary policy projection and Macroeconomic Developments and Outlook, and enacted several other decisions on matters falling within its competence.
In light of the results recorded in the first nine months and trends in monthly economic activity indicators available for the fourth quarter, real GDP at the level of the whole of 2021 might grow by 10.8% and exceed its pre-crisis levels already this year. GDP is expected to grow by 4.1% in 2022, mainly driven by foreign demand, with a positive contribution from other components as well. The expected slowdown in the growth is mainly the result of base effect, i.e. the waning of the impact of the low level of GDP in 2020 on the annual growth rate. GDP growth projection for 2022 is subject to numerous predominantly negative risks, largely associated with the unfavourable development of the epidemiological situation and rising uncertainty.
Owing to the increase in revenues from tourism during the peak tourist season, the current and capital account surplus almost reached the record high seen in the third quarter of 2019, and its level in 2021 could exceed 4% of GDP and even increase to 5% of GDP in 2022. In addition to tourism, the growth in the current and capital account surplus is also strongly fuelled by the net inflows of EU funds.
Consumer price inflation picked up, driven by the rise in the prices of refined petroleum products, as well as by the growth of food product prices. The results recorded so far this year suggest that the consumer price inflation at the level of the whole of 2021 might stand at 2.4%, with half of such growth accounted for by the rise in energy prices. The average consumer price inflation rate is expected to remain unchanged in 2022, while inflationary pressures might be more prominent in the first half of the year, and more subdued in the second half of 2022. Broken down by components, contribution of food and core inflation is projected to increase in 2022, while the contribution of energy might decrease. Inflation projection for 2022 is also largely exposed to negative risks, particularly to the potential rise in administered prices, more intense inflationary pressures from the external environment (especially as a result of the rise in energy prices) and domestic cost pressures (growth in wages that does not follow the dynamics of labour productivity).
Household lending continued to grow, mostly driven by the continued several-year acceleration in the growth of housing loans, while the growth in corporate placements remained subdued.
In the monetary area, the CNB’s projection relies on the stable kuna/euro exchange rate and the continuously high surplus liquidity underpinning favourable financing conditions, while lending could continue to grow next year at the same pace as in 2021, but with a slowdown in the growth of household placements and the rise in corporate lending.
The CNB Council adopted the decision to appoint CNB Deputy Governor Sandra Švaljek, Vicegovernor Roman Šubić and Chief Economist Vedran Šošić as members of the Financial Stability Council on behalf of the CNB.
In addition, the CNB Council gave its approval to the Supervisory Board of Raiffeisenbank Austria d.d. for the appointment of Višnja Božinović as Member of the Management Board of Raiffeisenbank Austria d.d.
The CNB Council also adopted the Decision on amendments to the Decision on the issue and sale of commemorative gold and silver coins “Dalmatian Dog”, for the purpose of issuing coloured commemorative 1,000 kuna gold coins with the total issued quantity limited at 101 items, and 250 kuna gold coins with the total issued quantity limited at 2,000 items. The issue also includes coloured commemorative 20 kuna silver coins, with the total issued quantity limited at 500 items. The commemorative gold and silver coins will be released for sale on 21 February 2022 and will be sold by the Croatian Mint according to its own pricelist, in accordance with the Decision on setting and publishing of selling prices for commemorative gold and silver coin issues and numismatic sets. The amended Decision provides the release of three new numismatic issues – two gold coin issues and one silver coin issue. This is the first time the CNB has released a coloured numismatic issue.