At 2.5 percent, Slovakia may record the sixth highest GDP growth in the eurozone and the ninth highest in the European Union as a whole in 2015, according to the autumn 2014 forecast released by the European Commission on November 4.
The prospects for 2016 are even more favourable. According to the forecast, Slovakia is expected to record 3.3-percent growth in GDP, placing it fourth, alongside Poland, both within the eurozone and the EU. With the expected GDP growth of 2.4-percent in 2014, Slovakia should end up fifth best in the eurozone and eighth in the EU, the TASR newswire quoted the EC forecast.
GDP growth in the eurozone as a whole is projected to reach 1.1 percent this year and 1.7 percent in 2015.
The Commission expects Slovakia to record a slight increase in inflation to 0.7 percent in 2015 and to 1.4 percent in 2016. Inflation is expected to stand at -0.1 percent in 2014.
When it comes to the labour market, Slovakia should see falls from the current unemployment rate of 13.4 percent to 12.8 percent in 2015 and to 12.1 percent in 2016. Despite this development, Slovakia will be the sixth worst country in the eurozone with respect to the number of jobless and the seventh worst in the EU.
The EC warned that Slovakia's exports went down sharply in the Q2 of 2014, mainly due to slower growth in GDP recorded by the country’s main business partners. Nevertheless, it seems that the end of 2014 could be more positive with respect to exports, even though the pace of growth is expected to be slower compared with previous years.
The European Commission believes that the budget deficit in 2014 will stand at 3 percent of GDP despite expectations of a lower figure. This is due to higher government expenditures on health care, university education and local governments and to lower revenues from dividends.
After deteriorating in 2014, the state debt should see more positive developments in 2015 and 2016. The debt is projected to stand at 54.1 percent of GDP in 2014 and to remain below 55 percent of GDP in the next two years of the forecast.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
5. Nov 2014 at 10:00