Slovakia: GDP slows to three-year low
March 6, 2013
In the fourth quarter, GDP grew 0.7% over the same period the previous year, which was in line with the flash estimate initially reported by the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (SOSR) on 14 February. The print was well below the 2.1% rise tallied in the third quarter and marked, in fact, the slowest growth rate recorded in three years. Overall in 2012, GDP increased 2.0%, down from the 3.2% expansion registered in 2011.
The deceleration in Q4 was broad-based. Private consumption dropped 1.2% in the fourth quarter (Q3 2012: -0.6% year-on-year), while government spending fell 0.3% (Q3: -0.4% yoy). Moreover, fixed investment contracted 5.0% (Q3: -3.7% yoy).
Exports of goods and services moderated to 7.1% in Q4, down from the 11.6% increase registered in Q3, while imports rose 4.2% (Q3: +5.7% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall economic growth fell from 5.3 percentage points in the third quarter to 3.1 percentage points in the fourth.
A quarter-on-quarter comparison corroborates the deceleration suggested by annual data, as GDP rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% over the previous quarter, down from the 0.6% increase tallied in Q3.
The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) projects GDP to grow 1.3% in 2013 and 3.3% in 2014. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect GDP growth to reach 1.3% this year, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month forecast. For 2014, the panel projects economic growth to accelerate to 2.6%.