Slovakias economic freedom improves.

By bne IntelliNews January 11, 2013
Slovakia ranked 42nd on the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom list of US Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, with a score of 68.7, up by 1.7 points from last year. The improved result came mainly on the back of improved management of public spending and labor freedom. Slovakia ranked 20th out of 43 countries in Europe, and its overall score is higher than the world average. The central European country reversed a declining trend since 2010 and recorded one of the 20 largest score improvements in the 2013 index after posting one of the 10 largest reductions in score in the 2012 index. Nevertheless, it continues to face the economic and political challenges of significant economic adjustments, the report says, adding that consolidation efforts have had only a modest impact in the past two years, while the governments new austerity drive caused by the need to cut the budget deficit to below 3% of GDP this year, faces fierce popular resistance to the necessary changes. The report notes that institutional weaknesses continue to constrain Slovakias overall economic freedom, while the judicial system is slow and vulnerable to political influence, and the perceived level of corruption continues to rise. Compared to its peers in the Central European region, Slovakia ranked ahead of Hungary (48th) and Poland (57th), but after the Czech Republic (29th).

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