The Central and Eastern European region is again the most dynamic in Europe, with an estimated growth of 3.5 percent in 2016, and Romania stays among the top priorities of the Austrian banking community; yet the region has both opportunities and risks, mainly related to legislation, governor of the National Bank of Austria Ewald Nowotny told a conference organized at the National Bank of Romania.
According to Nowotny, in 2015 economic growth in Central and Eastern Europe was 3.5 percent and the region is expected to see an economic advance of 3.3 percent in 2016, with Romania heading the pack in this regard. In this context, the governor of the National Bank of Austria considers that there are positive prospects in the region, but risks as well.
Austrian-owned banks are on the top position in terms of exposure in Central and Eastern Europe, with 23 percent, followed by the Italian capital with 18 percent, said the governor of Austria’s National Bank.
For the euro zone, estimates point to an economic growth of 1.4 percent in 2016 and 1.7 percent in 2017, while inflation is to stand at 0.1 percent this year and 1.3 percent in 2017. The governor of the Austrian central bank eexplained that inflation was close to zero in the euro area due to the sharp decline in oil prices, but that it is expected to increase in the second half of the year. Excluding the influence of oil prices, inflation in the euro area would rise to 1.1 percent in 2016, still below the 2 percent ECB target, yet not “in such a dramatic territory,” said Ewald Nowotny.