Slovakia: Industrial activity contracts at softer pace in January
Industrial production dropped 8.6% year on year in January (December: -10.7% yoy). January’s figure was likely due to a softer fall in manufacturing production; the all-important transport equipment sector recorded a smaller contraction. Meanwhile energy and mining output were not published for the fourth consecutive month, likely due to confidentiality issues.
On a monthly basis, industrial output decreased 1.4% in seasonally adjusted terms in January, which was below December’s 0.6% fall. Meanwhile, the trend pointed down, with the annual average variation of industrial production coming in at minus 4.5%, down from December’s minus 3.6%.
On the outlook, analysts at the EIU commented:
“A warmer than anticipated 2022/23 winter has stabilised the energy price outlook for Slovakia’s manufacturing-oriented economy, abating fears of gas rationing or mass industrial shutdown. However, Slovakia continues to rely […] on expensive spot natural gas markets […] owing to historic underinvestment in energy independence. Energy prices remain problematic for energy-intensive industries, as evidenced by the shutdown of the Slovalco aluminium firm in September 2022, risking 300 jobs, with the US Steel blast furnaces in Kosice remaining shut down.”