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Stats Office revises GDP results to 9.4 percent

SLOVAKIA'S economy is healthy and grew 9.4 percent in real figures during the second quarter of 2007, said the Slovak Statistics Office in revising its flash estimate upwards by 0.2 percentage points.
GDP growth has been strong for the fourth consecutive quarter, leaving market watchers hopeful about Slovakia's economic performance for the rest of the year.

SLOVAKIA'S economy is healthy and grew 9.4 percent in real figures during the second quarter of 2007, said the Slovak Statistics Office in revising its flash estimate upwards by 0.2 percentage points.

GDP growth has been strong for the fourth consecutive quarter, leaving market watchers hopeful about Slovakia's economic performance for the rest of the year.

The Slovak economy grew 2.7 percentage points faster in the second quarter of this year than in the same period of 2006, creating a GDP of Sk450.1 billion (€13.3 billion), according to Statistics Office data.

The economy generated a GDP of Sk864.7 billion from January to June 2007, a year-on-year real growth of 9.2 percent. The GDP grew 2.5 percentage points more in the first half of 2007 than it did in the first half of 2006, the Statistics Office reported.

The second-quarter growth was driven by swelling foreign demand (18 percent) and domestic demand (six percent). Household and state consumption rose by 7.3 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, while fixed capital formation was up six percent, according to the Statistics Office.

The GDP accelerated on the back of rising added value in the sectors of manufacturing (15.9 percent); transport, post and telecommunications and the production and distribution of electricity, gas and water (12.6 percent); construction (9.6 percent); and commerce (7.3 percent), the Statistics Office reported. The rate of added-value growth decreased in the financial sector (5.1 percent) and hotels and restaurants (3.5 percent).

The Slovak economy's growth is healthy, said the head of the Statistics Office, Ľudmila Benkovičová.

It's growing at the second-fastest pace within the European Union. Only Latvia is growing faster, with an economic growth of more than 11 percent during the second quarter of 2007, according to Eurostat data.

"We expect the full-year GDP growth to be 8.7 percent year-on-year," Lucia Štekláčová, an analyst with the ING Bank, told The Slovak Spectator in August. "We have adjusted this a little bit downwards, but this will be still the highest pace in Slovak history."

What is important for the country is that the GDP structure has not undergone any substantial changes, said the governor of the National Bank of Slovakia, Ivan Šramko. He added that export and domestic demand have grown at about the same rate.

"We can thus say that the growth is bringing with it neither economic imbalance nor marked overheating of the economy," Šramko told the TASR newswire.


-Beata Balogová

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