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Slovakia Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      In 1994 macroeconomic performance improved steadily but privatization progressed only in fits and starts. Most of Slovakia's IMF-approved targets were met by an interim government that lasted 9 months. Annual inflation fell from 23% in 1993 to 12%; unemployment at 14.6% was still well below forecasts of 17%; and the budget deficit was around half that in 1993. Slovakia's nearly $200 million trade surplus also compares favorably with a more than $800 million deficit in 1993. Furthermore, after contracting almost 25% in the three years following 1990, GDP grew 4.3% in 1994, according to official statistics. Bratislava in June qualified for a $254 million IMF stand-by loan and the second $90 million tranche of its Systemic Transformation Facility and, in December, received approval for a European Union loan worth about $160 million. By the end of September 1994, the Central Bank's foreign currency reserves had tripled since the end of 1993. Slovakia continued to have difficulty attracting foreign investment, however, because of perceived political instability and halting progress in privatization. The interim government prepared property worth nearly $2 billion for the second wave of coupon privatization and sold participation in the program to over 80% of Slovakia's eligible citizens. Parties controlling the new Parliament in November 1994, however, put the second wave of coupon privatization on hold and suspended sales of 38 firms until the new government could evaluate the interim government's decisions in early 1995. The new government's targets for 1995 include GDP growth of 3%, inflation of 8%-10%, unemployment of 15%, and a budget deficit under 3% of GDP. Continuing economic recovery in western Europe should boost Slovak exports and production, but Slovakia's image with foreign creditors and investors could suffer setbacks in 1995 if progress on privatization stalls or budget deficits mount beyond IMF-recommended levels.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $32.8 billion (1994 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      4.3% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $6,070 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      12% (1994 est.)

    • Unemployment rate:
      14.6% (1994 est.)

    • Budget:

        $4.4 billion

        $4.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $350 million (1994 est.)

    • Exports:
      $6.3 billion (f.o.b., January-November 1994)

        machinery and transport equipment; chemicals; fuels, minerals, and metals; agricultural products

        Czech Republic 37.7%, Germany 17.1%, Hungary 5.3%, Austria 5.3%, Italy 4.6%, Russia 4.0%, Poland 2.6%, Ukraine 1.8%, US 1.6% (January-September 1994)

    • Imports:
      $6.1 billion (f.o.b., January-November 1994)

        machinery and transport equipment; fuels and lubricants; manufactured goods; raw materials; chemicals; agricultural products

        Czech Republic 29.9%, Russia 19.0%, Germany 13.2%, Austria 5.8%, Italy 4.3%, US 2.6%, Poland 2.4%, Ukraine 1.9%, Hungary 1.6% (January-September 1994)

    • External debt:
      $4.2 billion hard currency indebtedness (1994 est.)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate NA%

    • Electricity:

        6,300,000 kW

        20.9 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        3,609 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      metal and metal products; food and beverages; electricity, gas, and water; coking, oil production, and nuclear fuel production; chemicals and manmade fibers; machinery; paper and printing; earthenware and ceramics; transport vehicles; textiles; electrical and optical apparatus; rubber products

    • Agriculture:
      largely self-sufficient in food production; diversified crop and livestock production, including grains, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit, hogs, cattle, and poultry; exporter of forest products

    • Illicit drugs:
      transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe

    • Economic aid:

        the former Czechoslovakia was a donor - $4.2 billion in bilateral aid to non-Communist less developed countries (1954-89)

    • Currency:
      1 koruna (Sk) = 100 halierov

    • Exchange rates:
      koruny (Sk) per US$1 - 31.14 (September 1994), 32.9 (December 1993), 28.59 (December 1992), 28.26 (1992), 29.53 (1991), 17.95 (1990), 15.05 (1989); note - values before 1993 reflect Czechoslovak exchange rate

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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