../Morning Post
Posted October 30, 2009
____________________
Global Economy

World Bank Sees Eastern Europe Contracting 4.2 Percent In 2009.

"The EU's 10 ex-communist economies will contract by 4.2 percent as a whole this year and eke out growth of around just 1 percent next year, the World Bank said in [its EU10 Regular Economic Report] on Wednesday. The Bank said recovery in the region... would be feeble and uneven, and it urged governments to jump on structural reforms to strengthen a rebound...." [Reuters/Factiva]

Bloomberg adds that "...central Europe has been hurt by a sharp drop in exports... while fiscal austerity measures have crippled domestic demand, said the World Bank, which contributed $6.6 billion to bailout efforts in the region.... Future growth will probably be lower than in pre-crisis years because capital flows will take time to recover, according to the report, while export prospects are hindered by consumers in western destination countries reining in spending as unemployment increases...." [Bloomberg]

AFP writes that "...the report classed the EU10 in three distinct groups of economic performance with Poland leading the pack, followed by runners-up including Romania and Bulgaria and the Baltic three trailing far behind.... 'Poland stands out as the single country in the EU that has not seen any negative quarter of GDP growth and is growing around a rate of one percent,' World Bank Senior Economist Kaspar Richter told reporters.... 'Poland has entered the crisis with stronger macroeconomic balances than other countries in the region, it has a floating exchange rate regime and its economy is more diverse and not as open as others' in the region,' Richter said...." [Agence France Presse/Factiva]

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