The Polish and the Baltic economies will continue to grow, despite the crisis in Ukraine, albeit at a moderate rate, according to a report by Swedish bank SEB. In its most recent 'eastern European outlook' the bank predicted that growing private consumption and economic recovery in the eurozone, especially in Germany, will offset lost exports to Russia, keeping GDP growth on course.
Poland is expected to grow by 2.7% in 2014 and 3% in 2015. The country's economic growth will, at least partially, be fuelled by the €82.5bn allocated by the EU in November 2013 to the development of infrastructure and innovation in the country in the period up to 2020.
Latvia, which the report states as the fastest growing EU country in the past two years, will see even stronger growth in the next two years. According to the SEB forecast, its economy will expand by 2.5% this year, 2.7% in 2015 and 3.4% in 2016. The recent re-election of the centre-right coalition government of Lamidota Straujuma, low risk of political instability and growing domestic consumption are among the main drivers of such growth.
Lithuania is expected to grow even faster, as the country's construction and housing markets are reviving and, at the end of 2014, the country will see the opening of its new gas terminal, reducing its dependence on Russian gas. This year, the country's economy will expand by 2.7%, in 2015 by 3.2% and in 2016 by 4%.
Estonia, which is heavily dependent on exports, will see the slowest growth of the group. As well as slowing exports to Russia, the country's trade will suffer because of the recession in Finland, one of the country's main trading partners. SEB forecasts that, this year, the Estonian economy will grow by 1.2%, the following year it will decrease to 1% and in 2016 it will expand by about 3%.