Bratislava: The European Commission in its spring prognosis predicts that Slovakia's economic growth will accelerate both this year and the next after the slowdown seen last year, the media reported Monday.
According to the commission, Slovakia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should grow by 2.2 percent this year and by 3.1 percent in 2015. Last year saw growth of 0.9 percent, which was a drop from the 1.8 percent recorded in 2012 and the 3 percent reached in 2011, Xinhua reported citing news agency TASR.
"The composition of growth is to become more balanced as the main driving force shifts from net exports to domestic demand," said the European Commission.
Hailing the predicts, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico told a press conference that Slovakia's economic growth could be the fourth-highest across the European Union (EU) in 2015.
"The forecast confirms that the Slovak government has, as early as in the first half of its term, made good on two chief tasks as stipulated in the government manifesto for 2012-16 - to cut the deficit below 3 percent of GDP and promote growth and price stability," added Fico.
According to the European Commission, the Slovak budget deficit will remain just below 3 percent of GDP in 2014 - at 2.9 percent, following 2.8 percent in 2013. It should drop back to 2.8 percent in 2015.
This means that Slovakia has complied with all respective conditions and should leave the excessive deficit procedure in June of this year, said Finance Minister Peter Kazimir in a statement Monday.
In 2009, Slovakia, along with eight other EU-member countries, was put under the excessive deficit procedure (EDP), which is triggered when the budget deficit of a member state tops 3 percent of GDP.
Despite accelerating economic growth, the Slovak government is criticised by the entrepreneurs.
According to Slovak Entrepreneurial Association President Jan Oravec, the latest forecast by the European Commission holds a unforgiving mirror to the face of the Fico government.
He pointed out that, according to forecasts, unemployment in Slovakia will remain above 13 percent until the end of 2015, that the investments were higher only thanks to one-off effect of enlargement of production capacities in the automotive industry.
"It shows how the government worsens the business environment for the vast majority - especially small and medium enterprises. Only a few large companies close to the government get large state contracts. They then delay payments to their suppliers from among the self-employed, small and medium-sized companies, " said Oravec.
One more problem could be Slovakia's debt prediction.
The European Commission is predicted to continue to grow of it - from 55.4 percent last year to 56.3 percent in 2014 and 57.8 percent the next year.
According to debt-brake alert in this level of debt the government should prepare balanced state budget. But analyst of Slovenska Sporitelna Martin Balaz doesn't expect his scenario.
"The development of debt mainly depends on the possible privatization of the 49 percent share in Slovak Telekom owned by state. If the state manage to sell it, the income could be used to reduce debt. Or the government could for this purpose reduce the liquidity reserve of state," said Balaz.