The IMF predicts that Eastern Europe will soon overtake Southern Europe in living standards

Nearly four decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, living standards in countries that left the Soviet Union’s orbit to join the EU have overtaken those in the EU’s south, Bloomberg writes.

International Monetary Fund (IMF)Photo: Graeme Sloan / ddp USA / Profimedia

According to the latest projections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), per capita income, adjusted for purchasing power parity, will be higher in Slovenia than in Italy in 2029, the agency said. Bloombergtook Agerpres. According to this indicator, Lithuania is on par with Italy and Poland is not far behind.

The change would fulfill a promise made to countries that joined the European Union in 2004, bringing them closer to the rich West. The process has not been as quick as expected, with many delays starting from the volatile period of the 1990s and ending with the global financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent credit crunch.

Even recent developments may be the result of trends not taken into account by economic planners. While the new member states of Central and Eastern Europe saw their GDP grow significantly, the convergence phenomenon was also aided by Italy’s slower growth due to foreign investment and access to the EU market and funds.

Improvements in living standards are starting to pay off. Migration of workers to other countries in search of higher wages began to reverse. Governments in the region hope their bigger economies translate into more political power as they press Brussels for things like increasing defense spending.

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