Zagreb, September 12, 2003 - Croatian National Bank Governor Zeljko Rohatinski said yesterday that measures enacted earlier this year to curb imports had proven effective and had not raised interest rates. Rohatinski added he did not believe interest rates would rise in the coming months either. At the same time, imports have continued to increase, although at a slower rate. The balance of payments deficit, which is affected by imports, would be lower if foreign owned banks and businesses had not transferred a billion US dollars in profits out of the country this year, Rohatinski pointed out. Nearly half of that amount accounted for foreign business bank profits, HIC reports.
The Croatian National Bank believes that Croatia's foreign debt will continue to grow, reaching some USD 20.8 billion by the end of the year - an alarming 70 percent of the GDP. According to Rohatinski, there is no need for concerns if the growth of the deficit in the balance of payments can be curbed.