Slovakia: Economic growth moderates at the outset of the year
June 6, 2012
In the first quarter, GDP expanded 3.0% over the same period last year, which was below the 3.4% rise tallied in the fourth quarter. In addition, the print undershot the 3.1% rise reported in the flash estimate released by the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (SOSR) on 15 May. In seasonally adjusted terms, GDP rose by 0.7% over the previous quarter, down from the 0.9% increase recorded in Q4 2011. Fixed investment fell 3.9% year-on-year in the first quarter, contrasting the 8.4% rise recorded in the fourth quarter of 2011. Although private consumption contracted 0.1% in the first quarter, it slightly improved on the 0.4% decrease tallied in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, government spending rose 0.4% (Q4 2011: -3.7% yoy). Exports of goods and services expanded 2.6% in the first quarter (Q4 2011: +7.5% yoy), while imports declined 1.3%, further down from the 1.0% drop registered in the fourth quarter. As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall economic growth deteriorated from 7.7 percentage points in the fourth quarter to 3.6 percentage points in the first. The Central Bank expects GDP to grow 2.1% this year. In 2013, monetary authorities see GDP rising 3.1%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist