Entrepreneurs have given the state of the economy this year an average grade of 2.48 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest grade, and most expect growth in 2020 to be the same as this year or even a GDP drop, local media reported over findings of a survey. The survey taken by the Privredni Vjesnik weekly covered 893 Croatian entrepreneurs, of whom 41% believe economic growth in 2020 will be the same as this year, 27% believe it will be lower and 20% higher. Some 49% of respondents believe conditions for doing business and investing in 2020 will stay the same as this year, 25% expect them to deteriorate and 18% to improve. Half the companies which took part in the survey generated higher earnings this year than in 2018, 54% expect higher earnings in 2020 than this year, 64% plan to hire more people and 74% to invest. The government projects 2.5% economic growth next year, the Chamber of Commerce does not expect a new recession or crisis, while the Zagreb Institute of Economics – about 3%.
On a related note, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce HGK said on Saturday that Croats were expected to spend HRK15.3bn over the coming holidays — from Dec 1 to Jan 1, 2020, HRK500m more than a year ago. According to HGK, retail will be the main driver of the holiday consumption and it is estimated that it will generate about HRK14bn. HGK explained that the estimate was based on the tax reform and wage growth, another good tourist season, higher consumer optimism and record-high employment.