Linic: Drop in consumption triggered off by crisis and recession
Finance Minister Slavko Linic said on Wednesday that the latest drop in consumption in Croatia was a result of the economic crisis and recession that forced the Croatians to tighten their belts.
Commenting on April's retail trade contraction of 7.3% at the annual level, Linic ascribed it to "the problem of the economic crisis, jobs being insecure and citizens' caution" and not the recently increased Value Added Tax rate.
Citizens braced themselves for the crisis, which has been going on for several years now, he said, adding that the decline in consumption would not affect the state budget, which he described as well elaborated.
According to statistics for the first five months of the year, budget revenues are higher than last year, Linic said.
He, however, admitted that the decreasing consumption would be important for the country's GDP in 2012.
The minister said he did not expect a change in the monetary policy with the departure of Zeljko Rohatinski as central bank governor and his replacement by his deputy, Boris Vujcic.