1. Market Research
Country Forecast Slovakia September 2017 Updater

Country Forecast Slovakia September 2017 Updater

  • September 2017
  • ID: 1698283
  • Format: PDF
  • By The Economist Intelligence Unit


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  • Following the March 2016 election Slovakia's one-party government was replaced by a four-party coalition government. The centre-left Direction-Social Democracy (Smer-SD) and its leader, Robert Fico, who was re-elected as prime minister, remain the dominant forces in Slovak politics. The opposition remains fragmented and there are no obvious successors to Mr Fico or his party.
  • Smer-SD now leads a coalition government, which includes the conservative Slovak National Party (SNS) and the centre-right Bridge-Party of Co-operation (Most-Hid). The centre-right Network (Siet) left the government in August 2016. In early August 2017 the SNS renounced the coalition agreement, which led to a minor coalition crisis. Although this was resolved relatively quickly and thus did not trigger an early election, there remains a strong risk that the government will not serve out its entire four-year term.
  • Positive attitudes to business and foreign investment are widely shared by almost all of the mainstream political parties, and any potential political turbulence should not therefore threaten Slovakia's pro-business stance.
  • The government has set ambitious fiscal targets, which The Economist Intelligence Unit does not expect it to meet. Despite continued spending growth, we expect strong economic growth and better revenue collection gradually to reduce the deficit, to about 0.8% of GDP in 2021, from 1.7% in 2016. The public debt/GDP ratio will continue to fall, from 51.9% in 2016 to about 47% in 2021, but it will still limit government spending owing to debt brake legislation.
  • Real GDP growth accelerated to 3.8% in 2015 and remained robust, at 3.3%, in 2016. Over the medium term GDP growth will be driven by private consumption, supported by exports and a return to investment growth from 2017. We forecast average annual real GDP growth of about 3.3% in 2017-21-well below pre-crisis rates-as supply-side limits to continued robust growth, such as disadvantageous demographics, will become increasingly evident.
  • The current account registered a small deficit in 2016, which we expect to narrow slightly in 2017. Increased export capacity in the dominant automotive sector will push up exports from 2018, leading to small current-account surpluses in the remainder of our forecast period (2017-21).
  • Inflation averaged -0.5% in 2016. Price growth will pick up in 2017, to 1.4%, owing in large part to oil price related base effects. From 2018 strong wage growth will start to feed through into higher consumer prices. Our forecast for average annual inflation in 2018-21 is 2%.

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