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Country Forecast Slovakia July 2018 Updater

Country Forecast Slovakia July 2018 Updater

  • July 2018
  • ID: 2556782

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  • Following the March 2016 election Slovakia's one-party government was replaced by a three-party coalition government consisting of the centre-left Direction-Social Democracy (Smer-SD), the conservative Slovak National Party (SNS) and the centre-right Bridge-Party of Co-operation (Most-Hid). Following the murder of an investigative journalist, Jan Kuciak, and his fiancée, Martina Kusnirova, in February 2018 the prime minister, Robert Fico, resigned amid wide-spread street protests. Despite having put in place a successor, Peter Pellegrini, who leads the coalition with a reshuffled cabinet, instability within the current government continues. The Economist Intelligence Unit does not expect the government to serve a full four-year term. The opposition remains fragmented, and there are no obvious successors to Smer-SD, which has been the dominant force on the political landscape for over a decade.
  • 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 we do not expect it to meet. Despite continued spending growth, we expect that strong economic growth and better revenue collection will reduce the deficit gradually, to about 0.7% of GDP on average in 2020-22. The public debt/GDP ratio will continue to fall, from 50.9% in 2017 to about 45% in 2022.
  • Real GDP growth came to 3.4% in 2017. Growth was driven by private consumption, supported by exports and a return to investment growth. We expect average annual real GDP growth of about 3.3% in the 2018-22 forecast period-well below pre-crisis rates-as supply-side limits to continued robust growth, such as disadvantageous demographics, become increasingly evident.
  • Price growth picked up in 2017, to a full-year average of 1.4%. From 2018 strong wage growth will start to feed through into higher consumer prices. We forecast average annual inflation in 2018-22 of 2.1%.
  • We estimate that the current account registered a deficit in 2017, and expect it to remain in deficit in 2018. Increased export capacity in the dominant automotive sector will push up export earnings from 2018, leading to small current-account surpluses in 2019-22.


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