SLOVAKIA’S GDP in the first quarter of 2014 increased by 2.4 percent year-on-year, meaning that economic growth accelerated by 1.9 percentage points in annual terms, according to data released by the Slovak Statistics Office (ŠÚ) on June 4. In comparison to the previous quarter and after seasonal effects are taken into account, GDP in the first quarter increased by 0.6 percent, the TASR newswire reported, quoting the šÚ.

In quarterly terms, GDP without seasonal influences rose by 0.6 percent. In current prices, the volume of generated GDP in the first three months achieved €17.022 billion, up by 1.9 percent y/y.

As for external demand, the growth pace of exports of goods and services accelerated by 4.7 points to 9.6 percent and of imports of goods and services by 8.3 points to 10.8 percent. “The increase in local demand by 3.9 percent was mainly influenced by investment demand and final consumption of the public administration,” ŠÚ commented, as quoted by the SITA newswire. The formation of gross capital went up 5.3 percent, with the formation of gross fixed capital going up 3.6 percent.

With regard to production, the development of GDP in Q1 was influenced by higher added value in financial and insurance services by 6.3 percent, in trade, transport and storage, as well as accommodation and restaurant services by 3.8 percent, and in industry by 2.4 percent.

The published data are a positive signal according to Finance Minister Peter Kažimír. The actual economic growth in the first quarter of 2.4 percent is in fact higher than the Finance Ministry had anticipated when preparing the state budget for this year. “The growth structure is much healthier and much more stable,” Kažimír commented for SITA. He went on to say that the latest statistical data confirm that the second peak of the crisis from 2013 is over and offer very good conditions for the creation of new jobs, which is Slovakia's key problem.

Bank analysts also evaluate positively the recovery of domestic demand. “The structure of growth speaks of a promising recovery in household consumption, which has been subdued in the past two years, as well as of a careful growth of investments. The economy is thus changing the growth structure and is no longer driven just by foreign demand,” said analyst of Slovenská Sporiteľňa bank, Mária Valachyová, for SITA.

(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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