The economy of Slovakia should grow at a solid pace this year in comparison with other eurozone countries, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Daria Zakhar, the head of an OECD mission which has spent two weeks in Slovakia, said that economic growth might reach 2.6 percent of GDP and might even rise to 3 percent next year, the SITA newswire reported.
During a press conference held at the Finance Ministry, Zakhar said that the IMF is satisfied with the performance of Slovakia’s economy and praised the country’s stable banking sector and relatively low debt.
The IMF mission also supported the efforts of the government to squeeze the budget deficit below 3 percent of GDP in 2013. It agreed with the opinion that available measures on the spending side of the budget have been already partially exhausted, SITA wrote.
On the other hand, the IMF did not welcome all measures currently being prepared by Robert Fico’s cabinet, for example the special bank levy.
Though the consolidation of the public finances should be a priority for Slovakia, Zakhar warned that this should not hamper economic growth. According to her, if the measure to increase income tax for corporate entities passes, its effect will have to be offset by consequent improvements in the business environment.
Zakhar also said it was necessary to fight the high jobless rate and to bridge regional differences, SITA wrote.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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