At its session today, the Council of the Croatian National Bank reviewed current monetary and economic developments and adopted the monetary policy projection for the 2018 to 2021 period. The Council also discussed the report on the banking system for 2017 and made several decisions on matters falling within its area of responsibility.
According to monthly statistical indicators, current economic activity increased in the early 2018, having stagnated late in the previous year. Employment continued to grow and the unemployment rate decreased further in the same period. Consumer prices were down by 0.1% in February from January, with the annual inflation rate decelerating to 0.8% due to a drop in the annual rate of change in processed food products and energy. Monetary policy remained expansionary, with the result that banks' free reserves reached their historical highs, interest rates continued to decline and lending to the corporate and household sectors strengthened. The current and capital account balances shrank and net external debt grew in the last quarter of 2017. However, on an annual basis, the current and capital account surpluses continued to increase and external debt declined further. Fiscal adjustment was significant in 2017, and available data show the continuation of favourable trends at the beginning of 2018.
The Council approved the merger of Prva stambena štedionica d.d., Zagreb with Zagrebačka banka d.d., Zagreb, the reappointment of Željka Surač as Chairwoman and Marino Rade as Member of the Management Board of Karlovačka banka d.d., Karlovac as well as the appointment of Csaba Soos as Chairman of the Management Board of Sberbank d.d., Zagreb. The Council also approved the appointments of Andrej Kopilaš as Chairman and Elvis Mališ as Member of the Management Board of Slatinska banka d.d., Slatina, and the reappointments of Damir Šprem as Chairman and Slavica Matić as Member of the Management Board of HPB – Stambena štedionica d.d., Zagreb.