news 25 Feb 13

Jobless Rise Adds to Croatia's Economic Gloom

Jobless rate reaches new high of 21.9 per cent, the highest in a decade - and that's not the only bad news about the Croatian economy.

Boris Pavelic

The total number of unemployed persons in Croatia has reached 372,000, according to the latest official data, published last week. In January alone, another 13,800 people lost their jobs.

Since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008, Croatia has lost more than 150,000 working places.

A recent poll conducted by the local Gfk institute showed that 76 per cent of Croatian families do not believe they have enough money to meet basic everyday costs.

The average income of a four-member family in Croatia is now about 1,000 euro a month, almost half of which is needed to cover routine living costs.

Inflation in January reached 5.2 per cent annually, meanwhile, which is the highest in four years.

Last week, the centre-left government lowered economic growth projections for 2013 from 1.7 to 0.7 per cent.

The European Commission projects that Croatian GDP could fall this year by 0.4 per cent, with the hope of a "slow recovery" of 1 per cent growth in 2014.

The government announced last week that it planned to reduce public service pay by 3 per cent to avoid the need to borrow more money. Unions have announced they will oppose the measure.

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