Zdenko Štefanides is chief economist at VÚB Banka
As of autumn 2021, the Slovak economy has nearly recovered the output lost during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the upcoming year of 2022, boosted by the inflow of EU funds, real GDP is likely to grow by about 4 percent and possibly even faster in the year after, when the investment cycle will culminate.
The risks to the outlook are sizeable, though, especially due to uncertainties related to the pandemic itself and even more so due to traps in the global economy, including the persistent bottlenecks in supply troubling the manufacturing industry. Especially worrying are the surging energy costs, which may bring a halt to important segments of the Slovak economy and also slow the incipient recovery of household consumption.
As Covid restrictions were eased and economies gradually reopened, the Slovak economy swiftly sprang into recovery in the spring and by the close of the summer season is estimated to have nearly returned to pre-pandemic business levels. The effect of the reopening has thus been similar to the neighbouring countries as well as the eurozone as a whole.