Slovak industry posts double-digit growth
Slovakia's economy kept picking up in November last year. The country's industry output grew by 17.3%, and exports by 20.6% on an annual basis.
Slovakia's economy kept picking up in November last year. The country's industry output grew by 17.3%, and exports by 20.6% on an annual basis. The economic growth was driven by a 30.3% increase in car production volumes in automotive plants of companies such as Germany's Volkswagen, France's Peugeot-Citroen and South Korea's Kia, which are emerging from the global economic downturn. Machine building reports the strongest growth - as much as 37.9% on an annual basis. The electronics sector also posts growth by some 29%, according to data published recently by the country's National Statistics Office. Slovak banks did not incur considerable losses during the global financial crisis, but the nation's economy, dependent on exports and automotive industry, was hit by the weak demand.
The center-right government of Slovakia's first female Prime Minister, Iveta Radicova, made considerable efforts to stabilize the economy. The nation's 2011 Budget approved by the Parliament provides for reducing the public deficit to 4.9% of GDP from 7.8% in 2010 and growth of 3.3% of GDP. It also foresees spending cuts and tax hikes aiming to boost revenues by extra €1.7bn. Inflation is set at 3.5%, and unemployment at 13.6%.
However, the country's Central Bank warned that the measures will slow down Slovakia's economic growth to 3% in 2011 from 4.2% last year. Besides higher VAT, the government is planning to raise excise duties on alcohol and tobacco and to cut salaries of ministers and MPs by at least 10%.