Ministry says GDP will grow by 2.3%

THE FINANCE Ministry’s Financial Policy Institute painted a rather rosier picture of Slovakia’s economic prospects on March 15, revising upwards its estimate for GDP growth in 2012 to 2.3 percent. The institute said that the change had been inspired by better-than-expected GDP numbers from the fourth quarter of 2011, as well as positive signals from the economies of Slovakia’s main trading partners, the SITA newswire reported. Earlier this year, responding to worsening economic news in the eurozone, the Finance Ministry cut its forecast for Slovakia’s GDP growth in 2012 from 1.7 percent to 1.1 percent.

THE FINANCE Ministry’s Financial Policy Institute painted a rather rosier picture of Slovakia’s economic prospects on March 15, revising upwards its estimate for GDP growth in 2012 to 2.3 percent. The institute said that the change had been inspired by better-than-expected GDP numbers from the fourth quarter of 2011, as well as positive signals from the economies of Slovakia’s main trading partners, the SITA newswire reported. Earlier this year, responding to worsening economic news in the eurozone, the Finance Ministry cut its forecast for Slovakia’s GDP growth in 2012 from 1.7 percent to 1.1 percent.

Though the most recent change in the prediction is significant the ministry said that its impact on the public finances would be small, amounting to only €54 million. Based on the updated data, the public finance deficit should be 4.4 percent of GDP in 2012.

Market watchers have noted that the growth estimates made by other institutions remain lower, although these might also improve in upcoming weeks. Marek Gábriš, an analyst with the ČSOB bank, said that despite the emerging positive signals his institution remained cautious, and was waiting for more signals confirming the positive news.

Gábriš said high oil prices and further turbulence on financial markets remain risks for economic growth in 2012.

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