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Near-term recovery to face stronger headwinds

The region has experienced a rapid recovery, but the re-opening boost has now faded and the region is likely to face stronger headwinds in the near term due to surging COVID-19 cases, rising inflation and supply disruptions. Central European economies are vulnerable to shortages of key production inputs in the auto sector and low vaccine coverage countries such as Russia, Romania and Ukraine look most at risk of imposing tighter containment measures. Inflation is likely to remain stubbornly high over the coming months and central banks are likely to continue their front-loaded tightening cycles well into next year.
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Emerging Europe Economics Update

Q&A on Russia’s budget, deficit financing & default

In this Update, we answer a number of key questions on Russia’s public finances, including the likelihood of a sovereign default, the impact of higher energy prices and the collapse of the economy on the budget position, and how the government would be able to finance a budget deficit.

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Bank of Israel steps up tightening

The Bank of Israel hiked its policy by a larger-than-expected 40bp today, to 0.75%, and the backdrop of a strong economy, tight labour market and mounting inflation pressures means that we think it will deliver further hikes at its upcoming meetings, to 2.25% by early next year.

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April’s activity data for Poland suggest that the economy lost some steam at the start of Q2 and the effects of the war in Ukraine will remain a key headwind over the coming months. That said, we think Poland will avoid a contraction and outperform its peers in the rest of the region over 2022 as a whole.

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Emerging Europe Chart Book

Inflation risks build, central banks start to react

The strength of inflation and expectations for a strong economic recovery have prompted a clear hawkish shift among Central European central banks. We think it will take time for a majority in favour of rate hikes to form in Poland, but Hungary and Czechia now look as though they will join Russia and Turkey in being among the first EM central banks to raise rates as they come out of the pandemic.

27 May 2021

Emerging Europe Chart Book

Third waves subside, outlook brightens

Third virus waves held back recoveries in most countries in Q1, but the good news is that they appear to have peaked as new daily COVID-19 cases have fallen since mid-March. Russia has so far avoided a third wave and easing pressures on health systems prompted some governments in Central and Eastern Europe to start easing restrictions over the past month. Turkey is an exception where containment measures have been tightened. Recoveries will struggle to make much headway in Q2, but vaccination rollouts have gained pace this month. The re-opening of Israel’s economy has driven a rebound in activity and Hungary appears next in line to re-open its economy. In the rest of the region, we think the most harmful restrictions will be lifted in the next few months, paving the way for a sustained recovery in activity from Q3.

28 April 2021

Emerging Europe Economic Outlook

Near the front of the EM pack

Third virus waves and the slow vaccine rollout will weigh on near-term growth in the region, but we expect a strong recovery in activity to take place later this year and in 2022. Our forecasts for growth are generally above the consensus and we think the lasting impact of the pandemic will be smaller than in other EM regions. Inflation will remain above central bank’s targets in most countries. We expect interest rate hikes in Russia and Czechia this year, but the prospect of monetary tightening remains some way off in Poland and Israel. Turkey is an exception, where the central bank looks set to embark on an easing cycle, but this will continue to feed into further sharp falls in the lira and high inflation.

26 April 2021
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