Despite positive news from the second quarter of this year, banks in Slovakia have not significantly changed their view of how the economy will develop over the next two years. In August, bank analysts kept their forecasts for economic growth for this year at 0.8 percent. They even slightly decreased the forecast for next year, from July's 2.3 percent to the current 2.2 percent, the SITA newswire wrote on August 23. This is the outcome of the August round of the regular survey of the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) among bank analysts.
There were no significant changes in the expected development of consumer prices, either. For now, banks expect this year’s year-end harmonised inflation and as well as inflation measured by the national index at the same level of 1.7 percent. In the case of harmonised inflation, the forecast rate is slightly lower, by 0.1 percentage point, while the forecast for inflation according to the national index is unchanged. For next year, bankers lowered their inflation outlook in both methodologies by 0.1 percentage points to 2.3 percent.
Predictions of bank analysts regarding the developments in economic growth are still slightly more optimistic than the official projections of the central bank (NBS) itself or the Finance Ministry. In previous months, both institutions revised their estimates downward. The NBS lowered the growth forecast for this year from 0.7 percent to 0.6 percent and the Finance Ministry revised its original forecast down by 0.7 percentage points to 0.5 percent.
Government officials, including Finance Minister Peter Kažimír, however, have recently said that the second-quarter GDP growth of 0.9 percent was a positive surprise and thus the figures for the whole year may be better in the end. The second quarter was originally expected to be the weakest period of the year, which eventually proved incorrect. The central bank will revise its forecasts in September, SITA wrote.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.