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Croatia economy sees first annual growth after six years

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(ZAGREB) - Croatia's economy grew by 1.6 percent in 2015, the European Union newest member's first annual growth after six years of recession, official figures showed Friday.

The country's gross national product (GDP) growth for the fourth quarter alone stood at 1.9 percent compared with the same period in 2014, according to a first estimate, a national statistics office statement said.

It was the fifth quarter in a row that Croatia's economy grew year-on-year.

Household consumption was the main generator of GDP growth, analysts said.

The economy of Croatia last expandend for a full year in 2008.

The new conservative government, which took over in January, has forecast that GDP, highly dependent on tourism on the Adriatic coast, will grow by 2.0 percent this year.

Croatia joined the EU in 2013 and its economy remains among the bloc's weakest.

Analysts say the former Yugoslav republic, independent since 1991, needs to reform its unwieldy public sector and improve its investment climate.

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