Friday, May 15, 2009

Doomsday or the truth revealed? - Q1 GDP data released...

It is almost official - Slovakia is always keen on overtaking Hungary either towards heaven or hell. The official (although preliminary) data on the economic growth in the countries of Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Romania is out. Every one of them was much better then the landlside experienced in the Baltics ranging from a 12,/% to a 18% year-on-year, but neither was very rosy. The Hungarian one 5,8% seasonally adjusted is slightly better then it was expected especially as the range of predictions/forcasts (or rather guesses, sometimes even bets) was between 5,5% and 10%(!). The other three publications were equally surpirsing, Slovakia with 5,4%,* Czech Republic 3,8% and Romania 6,4%. In these cases the data was far worse than it was expected, the contraction being twice or three times faster than predictions/forecasts (or rather guesses, sometimes even bets).

The conclusions? The situation is not rosy (ok, it is dire) but ECE is more homogenous than the "analyts' and "economists" were ready to admit. The predicted differences are less pronounced in terms of GDP contraction and if one compares the decline of the GDP with the year on year datas from the 4th quarter of 2008, then it is quite clear that Hungary, the economy of which fared worse in 2008, performed relatively better, not that it has any real significance among the present circumstances. The important issue is that those countries that were presumed to be more resilient either because being in the Eurozone and/or having a supposedly better tax system making them more competitive in the eyes of so-called analysts and economists underperfomed their forecasts. Those factors that were considered to influence the economic processes were seemingly not really importante in determining the economic contraction's pace. One can even dare to assume that they played no role in it. The broader framework of the world economy determines the fate of ECE not individual country's responses.

Moreover it is another question mark regarding the expertise of the analysts, who have a great influence on the image on the individual countries - conferring and/or conveying the opinion and judgment of the "markets" about those economies, and that way sometimes even deciding whether those will be financed or not - sticked to ideas clearly not really having roots in the present reality, namely that every country is an individual case and the main reason behind the depth of the crisis is the respective economic policy.

Otherwise the competiton is not finished. Slovakia is on the heels of Hungary and Romania is already leading the pack. Beware Hungarians...!!!

*Update: according to figures at the website of the Slovak Statistical Office the seasonally adjusted data for Slovakia was in fact 6% decline, that means even higher than the respective Hungarian one.

No comments:

Post a Comment