While the European Union is burdened with heavy debts and a series of financial scares, it’s not all gloom in Europe. In fact, Central and Eastern European exchange traded funds (ETFs) have made strides as others have stumbled.
Vienna-based think tank wiiw stated that Central and Eastern Europe will continue to see slow but steady growth, though unemployment will still remain high, according to EUBusiness.
Poland was the only country in the region to post growth in 2009, and it is expected that the country will expand 1% this year. Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania are expected to post near-zero growth in 2010. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are estimated to expand by 1.5%, 4.5% and 3.0% respectively. Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia could see growth of 1%.
Though not an Eastern Europe economy, it’s worth mentioning the Netherlands. While its economy is a modest one, it’s the world’s 10th-largest exporter thanks to the heft of its engineering, agriculture and food and beverage sectors, says David Campbell for CityWire. The country’s growth is estimated at 1.5% this year – right around the average for all of Europe.
Wiiw expects all countries in the region to start expanding again by 2011 and accelerate in 2012. Wiiw estimates a 2.8% average growth for the 10 new member states, followed by 3.6% in 2012. Non-EU members like Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine are expected experience even higher growth starting this year. [Plays to Ride Eastern Europe’s Growth Prospects.]
For more information on Emerging Europe, visit our Emerging Europe category.
- Market Vectors Poland (NYSEArca: PLND)
- SPDR S&P Emerging Europe (NYSEArca: GUR)
- iShares Emerging Markets Eastern Europe Index Fund (NYSEArca: ESR)
- iShares MSCI Netherlands (NYSEArca: EWN)
- Market Vectors Russia (NYSEArca: RSX)