Slovakia: External sector drives growth in Q2
September 4, 2013
In the second quarter, GDP grew 0.9% over the same period last year, which was in line with the flash estimate that the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (SOSR) had reported on 14 August. The print was above the 0.6% rise tallied in the first quarter.
The acceleration in Q2 was driven by stronger external demand, which compensated for the depressed domestic sector. Fixed investment contracted 6.4% in the second quarter (Q1 2013: -8.4% year-on-year) and government spending fell 0.1% (Q1: -0.6% yoy). On a positive note, private consumption rose 1.5% in the second quarter (Q1: -0.9% yoy), marking the strongest expansion since Q2 2009.
Exports of goods and services accelerated to a 4.7% rise in Q2, up from the 4.2% increase registered in Q1. Meanwhile, imports slowed to a 1.3% expansion (Q1: +1.6% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall economic growth rose from 2.7 percentage points in the first quarter to 3.6 percentage points in the second.
A quarter-on-quarter comparison corroborates the acceleration suggested by annual data. GDP rose a seasonally-adjusted 0.3% over the previous quarter, up from the 0.2% increase in the first quarter.
The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) projects GDP to grow 0.6% in 2013 and 2.3% in 2014. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists 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%.