Last year saw solid economic activity in the Adriatic/Balkan region. However, this did not apply to all countries. The largest companies in the region took advantage from the economic growth and grew themselves by an impressive 17.0%, with Slovenian companies profiting the most (+22.6%). However, in the country ranking, Croatia took the lead as the home country for most companies (17). Overall net profits increased by 6.7% in 2017 and employment by 2.0%.
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In 2017, the Baltic States benefited from a rebound in external demand. All countries recorded a high growth rate of exports. However, the ongoing increase in household consumption and a revival of investments made domestic demand the main driving force of these economies. The results of the largest companies in the region underline this positive economic development. Overall turnover increased by 9.8%. Net profits likewise developed well, posting a rise of 25.3% for all top 50 companies.Read More
Analyses show a strong and expanding CEE region with decreasing risks in 2017, which also translated into higher revenues and net profits at the region’s 500 largest businesses. Competition at the top is getting more intense.Read More
Despite regional conflicts, the 2007-08 financial crisis, and the 2009-11 eurozone crisis, Western Balkans countries have developed a close economic proximity with the European Union via a number of regional and bilateral agreements. However, due to institutional, economic, and diplomatic obstacles, accession to the EU will be a long process. At the same time, due to the region’s strategic importance and with the reinforcement of membership conditions, accession (or a pre-accession status) is likely to happen – especially as membership would divert the region from other
interested parties (Russia, China).
The number of corporate insolvencies in France has continued to decline at the beginning of 2018: -8.3% year-on-year to end of January. This good performance takes place against the backdrop of stronger growth in 2017 (to 2%).
While all sectors benefited from buoyant activity and recorded a decline in business insolvencies, the construction sector performed best, contributing to half of the total decrease recorded. Other sectors – such as services for private individuals, automotive, and clothing – continue to benefit from firm household consumption at the start of this year, driven in particular by the fall in the unemployment rate (8.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017, after 9.3% in the third), a low interest rate environment, and high levels of confidence.
The second edition of Coface’s survey on payment experiences in Poland was carried out in December 2017. The year saw a peak period of economic recovery, with GDP growth accelerating to 4.6% in 2017 – the highest level of economic expansion since 2011. This has created favourable conditions for businesses. The payment survey investigated businesses’ payment behaviour, which mirrors both the short-term economic situation and the more structural business environment. Businesses in Poland will likely continue to enjoy a favourable macroeconomic environment.Read More
Starting with falling oil prices and financial markets in the winter, the Brexit referendum in the summer and the election of Donald Trump in the autumn, 2016 was punctuated by a series of upsets. Can we hope for more calm – or even improvements in 2017?
Although the end of 2016 was marked by the upsets in the US, with the unexpected outcome of the US presidential elections and the Fed’s long-awaited raising of key lending rates, neither of these events triggered a collapse in the financial markets. In emerging economies, there has even been a detectable uplift in recent months – but can this last?
The fog of uncertainty dominating the economic sphere is unlikely to lift in 2017. The forecasts on the repercussions of the events of 2016 remain unclear.
Among these uncertainties are (i) the as yet unknown and unpredictable policies of Donald Trump, both internally and in terms of spillovers (such as the impact on Mexico, where activity is already slowing, with a lowering of Coface’s assessment to B); (ii) the lack of visibility on the future of the United Kingdom, where the terms of its exit from the European Union are yet to be defined; and (iii) the dominance of political risks linked to upcoming elections1 (namely in the Netherlands, France and Germany). In addition to these undetermined risks, are “conventional” hazards, such as concerns over the slowing and rebalancing of economic activity in China and questions on how quickly the prices of raw material will rise. One new factor, however, will be the expected return of inflation, if only as a mechanical reaction from the reaching of the lowest point for raw materials prices in 2016, and even though domestic demand remains relatively restrained.
Poland has seen a slowing of its economy this year, compared to 2015. Nevertheless, growth is still continuing at a fair rate and, in fact, remains at a level which many other economies can only dream of.Read More
French growth has taken a time-out in Q2. The political uncertainties in the United Kingdom, the strikes in May and the floods affecting Ile-deFrance are all likely suspects responsible for this surprise halt. However, the figures are expected to recover in Q3.Read More
The importance of the Agrobusiness sector varies between the different North African economies. While on a regional level, the sector leads exports, on a country basis it differs. In Morroco, agribusiness benefits from government subsidies, as it contributes nearly 16% of GDP and provides employment for 40% of the population. Overall, across the main north African countries, the lowest level of risk is in Morocco...Read More
In the light of the on-going structural reforms, the "tale of two Chinas" is resulting in sector wise winners and losers, linked to their growth potential in the medium and longer term, government policies and structural demand.Read More