The Slovak Central Bank (NBS) has confirmed its March mid-term forecast and said GDP will grow this year by 2.4 percent.

“Compared to the previous prediction, there is a re-evaluation of domestic economic prospects leaning towards more favourable developments,” NBS Governor Jozef Makúch said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “The impact of fiscal measures incorporated into the prognosis is only mild.”

In 2015, GDP is estimated to rise by 3.2 percent, down 0.1 percentage point against the previous NBS prognosis. Estimates remain unchanged for 2016, with GDP to rise by 3.5 percent.

The inflation is predicted to be at 0.1 percent by the end of this year, a drop from previous prognosis by 0.1 percentage points. In 2015, inflation is expected to reach 1.6 percent (a drop by 0.3 percentage points) and in 2016 by 2 percent (drop by 0.1 percentage points).

Estimates concerning employment have seen no change. A total of 16,000 jobs are expected to be created in the private sector, mostly in the segment of services, with the employment growth still remaining at 0.7 percent and likely to rise by 0.6 percent in 2015-16. “At the end of 2016, unemployment is likely to stand at 12 percent and thus not drop to the pre-crisis level,” said NBS Vice Governor Ján Tóth.

Foreign demand should continue to be the main driving force of the Slovak economy. “Currently, in particular German economy records relatively robust growth with positive impact on export performance of our economy that was, and will remain throughout the whole medium-term outlook, the main source of GDP growth,” Makúch told the SITA newswire.

The new prognosis takes into consideration also impacts of fiscal consolidation. These, however, should not be of great significance in the following years. For next year, the central bank expects their influence on economic growth at 0.21 percentage points and a year later at negligible 0.04 points.

(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.