ECONOMY

Croatian growth at 5.6 percent

ZAGREB (AFP) – Croatia’s economy expanded 5.6 percent in 2007 from a year earlier, beating the government’s initial estimate by 0.6 percent, the national statistics office announced yesterday. In 2006, the Croatian economy had grown by 4.8 percent. The economy last year was spurred by robust first-quarter growth of 7 percent on an annual basis. The growth rate in the fourth quarter was 3.7 percent, lower than economists’ expectations, mainly due to the worst slowdown in exports in three years. The tourism sector which drives the Croatian economy once again set new records in 2007, with 10.4 million visitors, an increase of 6.0 percent compared with the number of tourists in 2006. Tourism brought in -7 billion, up 11 percent from a year earlier. The tourism sector accounts for about 19 percent of Croatia’s gross domestic product.