On 11 February 2021, the Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) organised the 24th annual conference Expected Development of the Slovak Economy. The SCCI presented its own macroeconomic forecast for 2021 as well as outcomes of an exclusive economic survey among Slovak companies. The conference hosted several prominent speakers, including Eduard Heger, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Veronika Remisova, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Investment and Informatization, Peter Kazimir, Governor of the National Bank of Slovakia, and Jan Toth, the Chairman of the Council for Budget Responsibility (CBR).
Some key highlights and numbers from the conference:
- According to the February prognosis of CBR, the Slovak economy is expected to grow by 4.5% in 2021 and by 3.9% in 2022
- The European Commission (EC) expects similar GDP growth numbers: 4.7% in 2021 and 4.3% in 2020
- The unemployment rate is to reach -1.0% in 2021 and 0.8% in 2022 (EC prognosis)
- Inflation is predicted to reach 0.7% in 2021 and 1.4% in 2022 (EC prognosis)
- Fiscal stimulus related to COVID-19 as a percentage of GDP were in Slovakia lower than in most European Union countries, reaching just above 3% of GDP.
- The Minister of Finance Eduard Heger trusts that even the mostly hit sectors such as the hospitality and travel industry will survive this crisis and will be allowed to safely reopen their businesses soon. Vaccination on the important part of the population is according to the Minister key for the economic recovery.
- According to the Minister for Investments, Veronika Remisova, it is important to focus on reforms of the Slovak economy, prioritization of overall investments, and investments in innovation.
- The monetary conditions of the Slovak Republic will continue to be rather loose in 2021, according to the Governor of the National Bank, Mr. Kazimir. Short-term interest rates are not expected to increase by the market.
The recording of the complete conference in the English language is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enb4FCyaveo