Slovakia Raises 2013 Growth Forecast on Exports And Households

Slovakia’s economy will advance faster than projected this year, the Finance Ministry said, citing improvement in the euro region and a pick-up in household spending.

The ministry raised its 2013 growth forecast to 0.8 percent, from 0.5 percent projected in June, it said in an e-mailed statement from Bratislava. It kept the projection for 2014 unchanged at 2.2 percent and saw growth quickening to 2.9 percent in 2015.

The country is benefiting from the euro-area’s return to growth after six quarters of declines. The rebound has fueled demand for exports such as cars assembled by Volkswagen AG’s Slovak unit. A revival in household spending, driven by slowing inflation and rising consumer confidence, will also fuel the faster expansion, the ministry said.

More rapid growth will make it easier for the country to meet its target of reducing the fiscal shortfall below the EU’s limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product as early as this year. Prime Minister Robert Fico has said meeting the bloc’s fiscal rules is a priority of his administration because he wants to distance Slovakia from ailing euro-sharing nations.

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