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Investment to the Rescue

Vasily Astrov (), Rumen Dobrinsky (), Vladimir Gligorov, Doris Hanzl-Weiß, Peter Havlik, Mario Holzner (), Gabor Hunya (), Michael Landesmann (), Sebastian Leitner, Olga Pindyuk, Leon Podkaminer, Sandor Richter and Hermine Vidovic ()
Additional contact information
Rumen Dobrinsky: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw, https://wiiw.ac.at/rumen-dobrinsky-s-84.html
Hermine Vidovic: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw, https://wiiw.ac.at/hermine-vidovic-s-18.html

No Spring2014, wiiw Forecast Reports from The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw

Abstract: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) expects GDP in Central, East and Southeast Europe (CESEE) to pick up speed and grow on average by 2-3% over the forecast period 2014-2016 a major driving force rooted in an upward reversal of public and private investment. The question remains, however, whether investment-led growth in the CESEE countries is merely a statistical base effect of a few replacement investments or an indication of a profound paradigmatic shift. Increasing evidence suggests the latter for a number of reasons. During the ongoing economic crisis, public investment was severely reduced. However, in times of extreme uncertainty, the private sector is hesitant to invest. Hence, the public sector has to take the lead. It seems that the time for action has now come. This holds especially true for the New Member States, where towards the end of the previous year additional efforts were made to raise the absorption rate of the funds allocated within the context of the EU multiannual financial framework for 2007-2013 that was about to come to a close. Over the remaining disbursement period of the biennium 2014-2015 substantially higher amounts of EU-funded investment are to be expected. Given that, in practically all cases, national co-financing is also required, CESEE public capital investment will increase, with private investors likely following in its slipstream. Apart from a number of transport infrastructure projects, a host of thermal power plant projects are in the pipeline, as are several major investments in the construction and expansion of nuclear power plants across the region. Apart from public and semi-public infrastructure investment initiatives that have the potential to spur subsequent private investment, improving growth prospects in the euro area, the CESEE economies’ main trading partner, are likely to encourage export industries in the region to modernise and increase their capital stock. This should help avert a lapse into a deflationary spiral and foster a shift towards better equilibrium with lower unemployment rates over the medium term. However, substantial downward risks include possible effects from the current Russia-Ukraine conflict; in particular the interruption of energy supplies, potential trade embargoes or additional interest rate risk premia. All this could adversely affect investment-led growth in CESEE.

Keywords: Central and East European new EU Member States; Southeast Europe; financial crisis; Balkans; Russia; Ukraine; Kazakhstan; Turkey; economic forecasts; employment; foreign trade; competitiveness; debt; deleveraging; exchange rates; fiscal consolidation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C33 C50 E20 E29 F34 G01 G18 O52 O57 P24 P27 P33 P52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cis, nep-cwa, nep-eec, nep-mac and nep-pbe
Date: 2014-03
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