A Sustainable Recovery Remains as Elusive as Ever For Many of the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe

Before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Soviet Union, investors saw the communist bloc as an entity, ignoring the countries’ significant differences. This monolithic approach was turned on its head in recent years as investors came to regard each country on its own merit. Today the pendulum has swung back, at least part way: Piecing countries into regions seems a useful way to measure their prospects.

Although all are struggling to recover from the worst crisis since the transition from communism began, Central Europe, the Baltics, Southeastern Europe and the CIS all have distinctly different prospects. Analysts agree that although they are over the worst of the economic downturn—which proved more severe because of the countries’ new openness to global trade and dependence on key but depressed EU export markets—most countries are not recovering as robustly as anticipated.

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