Croatian economy has grown due to increased consumer spending

ZAGREB (AFP) – Consumer spending helped boost Croatia’s economic growth by 6.6 percent in the second quarter of this year, the best performance for the period in the past five years, the national statistics agency said on Saturday. Gross domestic product touched -9.5 billion, with consumer spending up 6.5 percent from the same period in 2006 to -5.4 billion. Investment rose 5.8 percent, while exports shot up 8.9 percent, keeping on track a government forecast of more than 6 percent growth for the year. The first quarter saw GDP up 7 percent in a country which is becoming one of Europe’s favorite tourist destinations. Croatia welcomed 8.4 million visitors in the first eight months of the year, 5 percent up on the 2006 period.