Slovak banks raise 2013 GDP growth forecast to 0.9% in September

By bne IntelliNews September 26, 2013

Slovak banks see the country's economic growth in 2013 at an average of 0.9% in their September forecast, up from 0.8% expected in the previous month, the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) said.

NBS polls each month seven selected banks for their calculation on macroeconomic and monetary indicators. Back in November, banks expected the economy to expand by 2% in 2013, but their estimate worsened in line with a deteriorating outlook for foreign demand, as exports are the main driving force of the country's economy. The banks' 2013 GDP growth forecasts ranged from 0.7% to 1.2% this month, compared to 0.5% to 1.2% in August.

Slovak bank analysts maintained their average estimate for the economic growth for 2014 at 2.2% in September, but the range of forecasts widened to 1.5%-3% from 1.7%-3% in August. Inflation is now expected to pick up to some 2.1% next year from about 1.5% this year.

The Slovak finance ministry revised up last week its 2013 GDP growth forecast to 0.9% from 0.5% on the back of improved prospects for foreign demand and household consumption. The NBS expects a GDP growth of 0.6% for 2013, but it is expected to release an updated forecast on Monday (Sep 30). The European Commission and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have projected a 1% GDP growth for Slovakia in 2013, the World Bank expects a 0.7% growth and the International Monetary Fund has forecast a 0.6% expansion. In the second quarter of 2013, Slovakia's annual economic growth accelerated to 0.9% from 0.6% in the previous three months.

Indicators, banks average forecast Sep-13 Aug-13 Sep-13 Aug-13
  for 2013 for 2013 for 2014 for 2014
GDP, y/y % 0.9% 0.8% 2.2% 2.2%
HICP, y/y % 1.6% 1.7% 2.2% 2.3%
Consumer prices, y/y % 1.5% 1.7% 2.1% 2.3%
Core inflation, y/y % 1.6% 1.8% 2.2% 2.2%
Producer prices, y/y % -0.3% 0.4% 2.2% 2.4%
Current account balance, EUR mn 2,436.7 2,274.7 2,279.8 2,146.6
Trade balance, EUR mn 4,600.1 4,518.4 4,332.4 4,215.7
Source: National Bank of Slovakia        

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