Slovakia Revises Economic Growth Higher on Exports

The Slovak economy advanced at a faster pace in the third quarter than previously estimated as export demand from Germany outweighed a slump in domestic consumption, hurt by job losses.

Gross domestic product grew an annual 3.8 percent, rather than the 3.7 percent estimated on Nov. 12, the Slovak Statistical Office in Bratislava said today. Annual economic growth slowed from a revised 4.2 percent in the second quarter. GDP rose 1 percent from the April-June period, the office said.

Slovakia, which adopted the euro in 2009, is relying on a revival in foreign demand for its products, including cars assembled by Volkswagen AG, to fuel growth. Household spending is sapped by persistent unemployment as the number of people with jobs declined an annual 1.3 percent in the third quarter.

“The result is still very solid,” Eduard Hagara, an economist at ING Groep NV in Bratislava, said in an e-mailed note. “Growth is still driven mainly by foreign demand, namely from Germany. Consumer demand remains weak because of high unemployment, which will decline very gradually as Slovaks will probably be very cautious with opening up their purses.”

Exports rose an annual 14.8 percent, compared with 16.1 percent in the previous quarter. Household consumption fell an annual 0.3 percent, while investment and inventories were up 17.9 percent from the third quarter of 2009.

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