Slovakia: Growth picks up in the third quarter
Detailed national accounts data released on 7 December showed that the economy grew 4.6% year-on-year in the third quarter, sustained by stronger consumer spending, confirming the preliminary estimate. This marked a marginal acceleration from the second quarter’s 4.5% expansion and the fastest pace of growth in almost three years.
Domestic demand increased at 3.7% in the third quarter, accelerating from the 3.5% expansion recorded in the second quarter. Growth in private consumption strengthened from 2.0% in Q2 to 3.2% in Q3, underpinned by more upbeat consumer sentiment, healthy job gains and robust wage growth. Moreover, government consumption rose at a faster pace of 1.6% in Q3 compared to 0.7% in Q2. On the other hand, fixed investment contracted 5.7% in Q3, following Q2’s 18.4% surge, owing to weakening business confidence and rising interest rates. That said, total investment continued to expand solidly, although at a slower pace than in the previous quarter, likely boosted by rising inventories.
Looking at the external sector, year-on-year export growth softened in Q3, coming in at 5.6% following a 7.6% annual expansion in Q2. Imports also moderated in the quarter, expanding 5.4% after a 6.6% rise in Q2. Therefore, the external sector made a positive contribution to growth.
On a quarter-on-quarter, seasonally-adjusted basis, GDP growth in the third quarter came in at 1.1%, marginally down from the 1.2% expansion in the second quarter.