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Emerging Europe growth stable thanks to cheap oil: IMF forecast

[WARSAW] Emerging Europe is reaping the gains from cheap oil and eurozone recovery, the IMF said Tuesday, forecasting stable economic growth for the region.

The International Monetary Fund revised up its 2016 growth forecast for emerging and developing Europe to 3.5 per cent from the 3.1 it estimated in January. Its forecast for 2017 is 3.3 per cent.

"Activity in the region has benefited from lower oil prices and the gradual recovery in the euro area, but elevated corporate debt is hindering private investment," the Washington-based Fund said in its spring World Economic Outlook report.

It also predicted well above target inflation for Turkey in 2016 and the opposite for certain other emerging countries like Hungary and Poland.

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The region includes five European Union members - Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Romania - plus non-members Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Turkey and Serbia.

Nearby eurozone countries Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia are classified as part of advanced Europe, which also includes the Czech Republic.

Economic growth this year in the region is set to range from 4.7 per cent in Montenegro to 1.8 per cent in Serbia, the IMF said.

It predicts three per cent or more growth for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Poland, Romania and Turkey while Bulgaria, Croatia and Hungary are at the low end with 2.3, 1.9 and 2.3 per cent growth, respectively.


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