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Hungary and Poland boast first and third strongest GDP growth in Europe

Budapest, Hungary – Hungary and Poland have the first and third strongest GDP growth in the EU, cementing their place among the most dynamic and attractive markets in Europe.

According to the EU’s statistical office, which just released the latest GDP growth figures for the second quarter of 2019, Hungary remains Europe’s top-performer.

With a GDP growth rate of 1.1% compared to the previous quarter and 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year, Hungary is the number one fastest-growing economy in the bloc, ahead of Romania (4.6% growth year-on-year).

At the third place, Poland’s economy continues to expand at a robust pace, growing by 0.8% compared to the first quarter and 4.2% compared to the same period last year – albeit a slight slowdown compared to previous months.

Despite their booming economies, analysts have highlighted that Poland and Hungary’s growth remains fragile and vulnerable to external chocs, as warnings about an imminent EU-wide slowdown intensify.

The four strongest GDP growth rates in Europe in the second quarter 2019 were all concentrated in the CEE region. Source: Eurostat

Most of the other fastest-growing economies in the EU are located in Central and Eastern Europe, including Lithuania (+3.9% year-on-year), Estonia (+3.8%) and Bulgaria (+3.5%).

Both the Czech Republic (annual growth rate of +2.7%) and Slovakia (+2.6%) lag behind their two other Visegrad neighbours. They remain, however, ahead of the average growth rates of the EU (+1.4%) and Eurozone (+1.2%) as a whole.

Although the Czech annual GDP growth rate has remained pretty stable (between 2.5 and 2.7%) over the past quarters, the latest Eurostat figures confirm a significant slowdown of the Slovak economy: the annual growth rate dropped by more than 1.5 percentage points since the third quarter 2018 – despite earlier predictions placing Slovakia as one of the fastest-growing developed economies in the world.

At the opposite end of the scope, Italy has entered a state of recession (GDP contraction of 0.1% year-on-year), while the EU’s economic powerhouses are suffering from declining or stagnating growth rates: the German, British and French economies have expanded by only 0.4%, 1.2% and 1.4% over the past 12 months respectively.