Slovakia: Economy slows in the fourth quarter
March 3, 2011
In the fourth quarter, GDP expanded 3.5% over the same quarter of the previous year, which was slightly below the 3.8% growth registered in the third quarter. In the full year, economic growth swung from negative 4.7% in 2009 to positive 3.6% in 2010. The Q4 print was mainly driven by stronger external demand, as the contribution of domestic demand to GDP growth decelerated. Fixed investment accelerated to 10.6% in the fourth quarter, up from growth of 4.8% recorded in the third quarter. Moreover, private consumption rebounded and added 0.5% in the fourth quarter (Q3: -0.3% year-on-year). Exports of goods and services expanded 14.3% in the fourth quarter (Q3: +17.3% yoy) and imports added 13.5% (Q3: +19.2% yoy). As a result, the net contribution from the external sector increased from plus 1.0 percentage points in the third quarter to plus 2.1 percentage points in the fourth. A quarter-on-quarter analysis corroborates the slight slowdown suggested by the annual figures, as the economy added a seasonally adjusted 0.9% over the previous quarter (Q3: +1.0% qoq). The Central Bank expects GDP to grow 3.3% in 2011 and 4.5% in 2012.