Thanks to large foreign investment in
industry, the Slovak economy has grown steadily since
1993, with the exception of the crisis year 2009. In
1989–2012, gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 168
Economic growth was already picking up at
independence in 1993, but the major turning point came
in 1998 when Mikuláš Dzurinda's right-wing government
came to power. Until then, the country had large
deficits in the state budget and in the trade and
current account balance. Dzurinda raised the VAT and
imposed a temporary import tax. Prices for electricity,
water, telecommunications and transport were increased,
while savings were made in the state budget. The budget
deficit fell and growth was higher than expected.
However, central government debt continued to be a
problem and corresponded to 50 percent of GDP in 2000.
Inflation also rose and unemployment remained at a high
level. Wages were low by European standards and most
Slovaks had seen their standard of living fall during
the second half of the 1990s. Corruption was also a
Major imports by Slovakia, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.
At the beginning of the 2000s there was a marked
improvement in the economy. Foreign investment
accelerated, as did privatization. Several state-owned
large companies were sold to foreign companies,
including the steel mill VSZ, which was purchased by US
US Steel. Foreign capital also contributed to the
building of large car factories. In 2004, the
privatizations of the large companies had largely been
completed. A large part of the business sector,
including most of the banking sector and the largest
industries, now has foreign owners.
After the 2002 election, Dzurinda imposed a 19
percent unit tax on income, goods and services. The aim
was to attract Western European companies and investors
to the country by means of low wages and low taxes.
Stock dividends, inheritances, gifts and capital gains
were completely tax exempt.
Abbreviationfinder.org: Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including SVK which represents the country of Slovakia.
The economic upswing continued when Slovakia joined
the EU in 2004. The country also benefited from being
close to several growing markets and the availability of
well-educated labor. Slovakia had the highest growth in
Europe in 2007, at almost 11 percent. At the same time,
both inflation and government debt fell.
However, good economic growth has not benefited
everyone. The regional differences are large. Growth has
mainly occurred in the regions around the capital
Bratislava, while parts of eastern Slovakia are
significantly poorer and unemployment is high there.
Large industrial companies, mainly the manufacture of
cars, home electronics, steel and aluminum, are of great
importance to the economy. Slovakia is today the world's
largest car manufacturer per inhabitant.
However, from the autumn of 2008, Slovakia was hit by
the global financial crisis and in 2009 GDP fell by
almost 5 percent. But a year later, the economy had
turned upwards and in 2011 growth was just over 3
The budget deficit in 2011 amounted to almost 5 per
cent of GDP, which was in line with the goals of the
then right-wing government, while inflation remained
around 4 percent. However, the crisis year 2009 left
its mark, in the form of a rising government debt. In
2011 it corresponded to just over 43 percent of GDP.
FACTS - FINANCE
GDP per person
US $ 19 547 (2018)
US $ 106,472 million (2018)
4.1 percent (2018)
Agriculture's share of GDP
3.0 percent (2018)
Manufacturing industry's share of GDP
20.0 percent (2018)
The service sector's share of GDP
55.5 percent (2018)
2.6 percent (2019)
Government debt's share of GDP
48.9 percent (2018)