According to the Slovak Statistics Office, the country’s GDP shrank by 5.3 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2009. In the first three months of 2009, GDP fell by 5.6 percent. By contrast, the country’s economy grew in the second quarter of last year at a blistering 7.9 percent. For the first half year Slovakia’s GDP contracted by 5.5 percent year-on-year in constant prices while in current prices it fell by 6.3 percent, the office reported.
The relatively favourable trade balance data can spur the economy: with its positive trade balance for the first five months of this year, Slovakia is among the ten EU countries that are doing well on trade (Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden) with a trade surplus of €0.2 billion. Sixteen EU member states showed a trade deficit, and Slovenia a zero balance.
Analysis and forecast: decreasing risk
The Finance Ministry in June forecast that the country’s economy would contract by 6.2 percent during this year, which data has been corrected several times since the world crisis broke out. The prognosis is the first to be widely regarded as realistic, and also the first to be confirmed by the later released data. However, the export-oriented structure of the Slovak economy makes next year’s Finance Ministry’s 1.1 percent acceleration doubtful, and revision is expected when constructing the 2010 budget at the latest – though analysts agree that it appears that the Slovak economy, following its plunge at the end of last year and the beginning of 2009 is slowly stabilizing.