Croatia Economy Facts

Economical overview

The Croatian economy is modern in that the service sector represents just over two-thirds of the gross domestic product. The most dynamic part is tourism that has grown rapidly in the 21st century. At the same time, agriculture still accounts for a relatively large part of the economy.

Tourism, which was significant already during the Yugoslav era, accounts for around one-fifth of both GDP and jobs in the country. The export industry has weak competitiveness, partly because of the relatively low level of education of the labor force.

  • Major imports by Croatia, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.

Croatia was a relatively rich part of former Yugoslavia. But the 1990s war led to major loss of production, destroyed infrastructure and costs associated with the large refugee flows. At the turn of the millennium, a period of steady growth of around 5 percent per year began. Growth was mainly based on a boost in the tourism industry and increased private consumption, which was largely based on favorable loans.

Extensive borrowing in the international loan market contributed to Croatia being hit hard when the international financial crisis hit in 2008. The economy shrank and as it was about to begin to recover, the crisis in the euro area countries came. Only in 2015 was growth positive again. The budget deficit had then been more than 5 percent of GDP for six years and the central government’s share of GDP had more than doubled to 84 percent. Growth has continued to be above the zero line, but has not reached the same level as before the crisis, and the central government’s share of GDP has declined only slowly.

  • Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including HRV which represents the country of Croatia. Check findjobdescriptions to learn more about Croatia.

The sharp downturn dramatically changed economic forecasts and increased the pressure on reforms. The previously good domestic demand was weakened and capital inflows hampered. The government tried to deal with the crisis through changes in labor law and pension systems, as well as through continued sales of government assets.

Croatia’s economic policy has been characterized by its efforts to adapt to the EU. Among other things, the Union has called for privatization and more effective anti-corruption measures. Many of the former state-owned companies have been sold, but the process is slow. Croatia is behind many of the other eastern and central European countries in the privatization and restructuring of state-owned companies. The sale has also been surrounded by corruption scandals.


GDP per person

US $ 14,869 (2018)

Total GDP

US $ 60,806 million (2018)

GDP growth

2.6 percent (2018)

Agriculture’s share of GDP

2.9 percent (2018)

Manufacturing industry’s share of GDP

11.9 percent (2018)

The service sector’s share of GDP

58.0 percent (2018)


1.0 percent (2019)

Government debt’s share of GDP

74.6 percent (2018)



Merchandise exports

US $ 14 428 million (2018)


US $ 25,404 million (2018)

Current account

US $ 1,459 million (2018)

Commodity trade’s share of GDP

75 percent (2018)

Main export goods

machinery and means of transport, workshop products, chemical products, minerals, fuel and lubricants

Largest trading partner

Italy, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Austria, Russia,



Ex-minister convicted

Former Minister of Defense Berislav Rončević is sentenced to four years in prison for abuse of power during his 2003-2008 ministerial term.

Sanader is arrested

Former Prime Minister Sanader leaves the country shortly before Parliament rescinds his prosecution immunity. But he was arrested the next day in Austria, after an international arrest warrant expired on charges of corruption. Sanader was allowed back in parliament in October, which was politically wanted because he was excluded from HDZ. He is extradited to Croatia in July 2011.


Disbelief motion against the government

The government manages a distrust vote that the Social Democrats have proclaimed with reference to deterioration in the economy.


State visit to Serbia

President Josipović visits Serbia and meets his Serbian colleague Boris Tadić. It is the first presidential visit since the war in the 1990s, and the two leaders now emphasize cooperation and dialogue. A few months later, Tadić comes on a response visit to Croatia and then apologizes during a visit to Vukovar that the Serbian Yugoslav army employed a massacre of 260 people following the conquest of the city.

Coalition party jumps off

The Social Liberal Party HSLS leaves the government coalition, which nevertheless has enough support in Parliament to remain.


Roman schoolchildren are discriminated against

The European Court of Human Rights states that Croatia discriminates against Roma schoolchildren by putting them in classes with only Roma. The state is ordered to pay damages to students who have taken the case to court.


SDP’s Ivo Josipović wins presidential election

January 10

In the second round of the presidential election, the Social Democrats candidate, Professor of Law Ivo Josipović, wins with 60 percent of the vote over Milan Bandić, Zagreb mayor (former Social Democrat, now independent). In the first round held in December, Josipović got 32 percent against 15 for Bandić and 12 percent for HDZ candidate Andrija Hebrang. Josipović takes office in February.

Sanader is excluded from the party

Ivo Sanader, who left the Prime Minister’s post in July, is excluded from his party HDZ, after he criticized the successor Kosor’s policy and stated that he intends to come back into politics.

Croatia Economy Facts

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