1. Market Research
Country Report Slovakia September 2017

Country Report Slovakia September 2017

  • September 2017
  • ID: 2379079
  • Format: PDF
  • By The Economist Intelligence Unit

Summary

Table of Contents

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Outlook for 2017-21



  • After the March 5th 2016 general election the centre-left Direction-Social Democracy (Smer-SD), which had led a single-party majority government since 2012, remained the largest party but lost its absolute majority.
  • Smer-SD now leads a coalition government including 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.
  • A coalition crisis in August 2017 highlighted the relatively high risk of the coalition not sitting out its four-year term. Nevertheless, at the moment none of the parties has an incentive to call an early election.
  • The government has set ambitious deficit targets. The Economist Intelligence Unit considers these to be over-optimistic, but expects the deficit to stay within the EU limit of 3% of GDP and to narrow gradually, from 1.7% in 2016.
  • Despite losing the boost from EU-funded investment in 2015, growth remained strong last year, at 3.3%. We expect broad-based growth in the coming years, at 3.3% on average in the forecast period (2017-21).
  • A car plant under construction by Jaguar Land Rover will help to drive growth in the coming years. In 2017-18 construction of the plant will push up imports; the start of production will add to growth and exports from 2018.
  • Headline inflation turned positive in late 2016. Base effects, the rise in oil prices and continued GDP growth will push up inflation to 1.4% on average in 2017. Wage pressures will push it up to 2% on average in 2018-21.
  • The current account moved into a modest deficit in 2016, which we forecast will narrow slightly this year. From 2018 we expect rising trade surpluses to lead to small current-account surpluses of just below 1% of GDP in 2018-21.


Review



  • On September 11th the coalition parties announced that they had signed an amendment to the coalition agreement, mainly aimed at improving communication between them. This brought an end to the coalition crisis that started in early August, when the SNS announced its intention to leave.
  • Seasonally adjusted real GDP grew by 0.8% quarter on quarter in April-June, the same growth rate as in the previous two quarters. On an annual basis GDP expanded by 3.1%, driven mainly by strong private consumption growth owing to the booming labour market.
  • Real wage growth picked up to 3.8% year on year in the second quarter, from 2.6% in the first quarter. Nominal wages increased by 4.8% year on year, driven by the rapid improvement in the labour market. The entry of low-skilled workers into the labour force weighed on average wage growth.


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