CEE Top 500 - 2014
"Inflation, recession and decreasing exports" were the buzz words that characterised 2013 for companies in Central and Eastern Europe.
Worldwide economic growth picked up pace but left the CEE countries aside. The eurozone, the region's major trading partner, remained in recession in 2013 and was the main reason for making the economic environment even more difficult for its neighbours.
The CEE Top 500 ranks the 500 biggest companies in the region by turnover. Those top players increased their turnover only slightly by 0.2% in 2013.
Despite the challenging year, the CEE Top 500 remain an important force as employers in the region. Although employment figures dropped by -0.8%, the Top 500 account for 3.7% of the total workforce (around 2.5 million employees) in CEE. Countries with good GDP growth rates, such as Latvia, Romania and Lithuania, showed the highest increase in recruiting (2% - 6.5%).
The prospects for 2014 are cautiously optimistic despite the continuing problems of the eurozone and the slow and gradual improvement in internal demand. Coface anticipates an average GDP growth rate for CEE countries of 2.4%.