Economy of Slovakia

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Economy of Slovakia
CurrencyEuro (EUR)
Calendar year
Trade organisations
Country group
PopulationIncrease 5,450,421 (1 January 2019)[3]
  • Increase $106.585 (nominal, 2018 est.)[4]
  • Increase $191.216 billion (PPP, 2018 est.)[4]
GDP rank
GDP growth
  • 3.1% (2016) 3.1% (2017)
  • 4.1% (2018e) 3.6% (2019e)[4]
GDP per capita
  • Increase $19,581 (nominal, 2018 est.)[4]
  • Increase $35,129 (PPP, 2018 est.)[4]
GDP per capita rank
GDP by sector
  • 2.397% (2019f est.)[4]
  • 2.525% (2018)[4]
  • 1.392% (2017)[4]
Population below poverty line
Positive decrease 16.3% at risk of poverty or social exclusion (2017)[6]
Positive decrease 23.2 low (2017, Eurostat)[7]
Labour force
  • 2.758 million (2017 est.)[5]
  • Employment: Increase 72.4% (2018)[10]
Labour force by occupation
UnemploymentPositive decrease 6.5% (2018, Eurostat)[11]
Average gross salary
€1,162 / $1,304 monthly (April, 2019)
€894 / $1,004 monthly (April, 2019)
Main industries
automobiles; metal and metal products; electricity, gas, coke, oil, nuclear fuel; chemicals, synthetic fibers, wood and paper products; machinery; earthenware and ceramics; textiles; electrical and optical apparatus; rubber products; food and beverages; pharmaceutical
Decrease 42nd (2019)[12]
ExportsIncrease $80.8 billion (2017 est.)[5]
Export goods
vehicles and related parts 27%, machinery and electrical equipment 20%, nuclear reactors and furnaces 12%, iron and steel 4%, mineral oils and fuels 5% (2015 est.)
Main export partners
ImportsIncrease $80.07 billion (2017 est.)[5]
Import goods
machinery and electrical equipment 20%, vehicles and related parts 14%, nuclear reactors and furnaces 12%, fuel and mineral oils 9% (2015 est.)
Main import partners
FDI stock
  • Increase $69.92 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[5]
  • Increase Abroad: $21.29 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[5]
Decrease −$2.005 billion (2017 est.)[5]
Negative increase $75.04 billion (31 March 2016 est.)[5]
Public finances
Positive decrease 50.9% of GDP (2017 est.)[5][note 1]
−1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)[5]
Revenues37.79 billion (2017 est.)[5]
Expenses38.79 billion (2017 est.)[5]
Economic aid$235 million in available EU structural adjustment and cohesion funds (2004)
Foreign reserves
Increase $3.622 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[5]
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

The economy of Slovakia is based upon Slovakia becoming an EU member state in 2004, and adopting the euro at the beginning of 2009. Its capital, Bratislava, is the largest financial centre in Slovakia. As of 2018 (1.Q.), the unemployment rate was 5.72%.[16]

Due to the Slovak GDP growing very strongly from 2000 until 2008 – e.g. 10.4% GDP growth in 2007 – the Slovak economy was referred to as the Tatra Tiger.


Since the establishment of the Slovak Republic in January 1993, Slovakia has undergone a transition from a centrally planned economy to a free market economy, a process which some observers were to believe was slowed in the 1994–98 period due to the crony capitalism and other fiscal policies of Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar's government. While economic growth and other fundamentals improved steadily during Mečiar's term, public and private debt and trade deficits also rose, and privatization was uneven. Real annual GDP growth peaked at 6.5% in 1995 but declined to 1.3% in 1999.

Two governments of the "liberal-conservative" Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda (1998–2006) pursued policies of macroeconomic stabilization and market-oriented structural reforms. Nearly the entire economy has now been privatized, and foreign investment has picked up. Economic growth exceeded expectations in the early 2000s, despite recession in key export markets. In 2001 policies of macroeconomic stabilization and structural reform led to spiraling unemployment. Unemployment peaked at 19.2% [1] (Eurostat regional indicators) in 2001 and though it has fallen to (depending on the methodology) 9.8%([citation needed] or 13.5%[citation needed] as of September 2006, it remains a problem. Solid domestic demand boosted economic growth to 4.1% in 2002. Strong export growth, in turn, pushed economic growth to a still-strong 4.2% in 2003 and 5.4% in 2004, despite a downturn in household consumption. Multiple reasons entailed a GDP growth of 6% in 2005. Headline consumer price inflation dropped from 26% in 1993 to an average rate of 7.5% in 2004, though this was boosted by hikes in subsidized utilities prices ahead of Slovakia's accession to the European Union. In July 2005, the inflation rate dropped to 2.0% and is projected at less than 3% in 2005 and 2.5% in 2006. In 2006, Slovakia reached the highest economic growth (8.9%) among the members of OECD and the third highest in the EU (just behind Estonia and Latvia). The country has had difficulties addressing regional imbalances in wealth and employment.[17] GDP per capita ranges from 188% of EU average in Bratislava to only 54% in Eastern Slovakia.

GDP growth[edit]

The development of Slovakia's GDP according to the World Bank:[18]

Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
% GDP 3.3 4.5 5.4 5.2 6.7 8.4 10.8 5.6 −5.4 5.0 2.8 1.6 1.5 2.7 4.2 3.1 3.2 4.1

In 2007, Slovakia obtained the highest GDP growth among the members of OECD and the EU, with the record level of 14.3% in the fourth quarter.[19] In 2014, GDP growth was 2.4% and in 2015 and 2016 Slovakia's economy grew 3.6% and 3.3% respectively. For year 2018, National Bank of Slovakia predicts raise of GDP by 4%.

Foreign investments[edit]

Central business district in Bratislava, Mlynské Nivy

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovakia has increased dramatically. Cheap and skilled labor, a 19% flat tax rate for both businesses and individuals, no dividend taxes, a weak labor code, and a favorable geographical location are Slovakia's main advantages for foreign investors. FDI inflow grew more than 600% from 2000 and cumulatively reached an all-time high of, $17.3 billion USD in 2006, or around $18,000 per capita by the end of 2006. The total inflow of FDI in 2006 was $2.54 billion. In October 2005 new investment stimuli introduced – more favorable conditions to IT and research centers, especially to be located in the east part of the country (where there is more unemployment), to bring more added value and not to be logistically demanding.

Origin of foreign investment 1996–2005 – the Netherlands 24.3%; Germany 19.4%, Austria 14.1%; Italy 7.5%, United States (8th largest investor) 4.0%. Top investors by companies: Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Neusiedler (Austria), Gaz de France (France), Gazprom (Russia), U.S.Steel (U.S.), MOL (Hungary), ENEL (Italy), E.ON (Germany)...

Foreign investment sectors – industry 38.4%; banking and insurance 22.2%; wholesale and retail trade 13.1%; production of electricity, gas and water 10.5%; transport and telecommunications 9.2%.

Foreign direct investment " on green field"

  • inflows -2003: 756 million USD,2004: 1261 million USD,2005: 1908 million USD
  • outflows-2003: 22 million USD,2004: -144 million USD,2005: 146 million USD


Slovak service sector grew rapidly during the last 10 years and now employs about 69% of the population and contributes with over 61% to GDP. Slovakia's tourism has been rising in recent years, income has doubled from 640 million USD in 2001 to 1.2 billion USD in 2005. However, this sector still remains underdeveloped in comparison with neighbouring countries.


Slovakia became industrialized mostly in the second half of the 20th century. Heavy industry (including coal mining and the production of machinery and steel) was built for strategic reasons because Slovakia was less exposed to the military threat than the western parts of Czechoslovakia. After the end of the Cold War, the importance of industry, and especially of heavy industry, declined. In 2010, industry (including construction) accounted for 35.6% of GDP, compared with 49% in 1990. Nowadays, building on a long-standing tradition and a highly skilled labor force, main industries with potential of growth are following sectors: Automotive, Electronics, Mechanical engineering, Chemical engineering, Information technology. The automotive sector is among the fastest growing sectors in Slovakia due to the recent large investments of Volkswagen (Bratislava), Peugeot (Trnava), Kia Motors (Žilina) and since 2018 also Jaguar Land Rover in Nitra. Passenger car production was 1,040,000 units in 2016, what makes Slovakia the largest automobile producer in produced cars per capita.[20] Other big industrial companies include U.S. Steel (metallurgy), Slovnaft (oil industry), Samsung Electronics (electronics), Foxconn (electronics), Mondi SCP (paper), Slovalco (aluminum production), Hyundai Mobis (automotive), Continental Matador (automotive) and Whirlpool Corporation. In 2006, machinery accounted for more than a half of Slovakia's export.

Largest companies by revenue[edit]

Company Revenue
(EUR millions)[21]
Volkswagen Slovakia 7,549
Kia Motors Slovakia 5,184
Slovnaft 3,421
Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa 2,981
PCA Slovakia 2,694
U. S. Steel Košice 2,619
Samsung Slovakia 2,377
Slovenské elektrárne 2,183
Slovenský plynárenský priemysel 1,493
Tesco stores 1,451

Largest companies by profit[edit]

Company Profit
(EUR millions)[22]
SPP Infrastructure 645
U. S. Steel Košice 499
Slovnaft Eustream 352
Slovenský plynárenský priemysel 318
Kia Motors Slovakia 209
Continental Matador 175
Volkswagen Slovakia 173
Slovenská sporiteľňa 162
Všeobecná úverová banka 160
SPP distribúcia 153


In 2016, agriculture accounted for 3.6% of GDP (compared to 6.9% in 1993) and occupied about 3.9% of the labor force (down from 10.2% in 1994). Over 40% of the land in Slovakia is cultivated. The southern part of Slovakia (bordering with Hungary) is known for its rich farmland. Growing wheat, rye, corn, potatoes, sugar beets, grains, fruits and sunflowers. Vineyards are concentrated in Little Carpathians, Tokaj, and other southern regions. The breeding of livestock, including pigs, cattle, sheep, and poultry is also important.


According to a recent report by the European Commission, Slovakia (along with some other Central and Eastern European economies) is low on the list of EU states in terms of innovation (Slovakia ranks 22nd). Within the EU, it ranks next to last on knowledge creation and last for innovation and entrepreneurship. In the process of transition to a knowledge economy, it particularly lacks investment into education and a broader application of IT. The World Bank urges Slovakia to upgrade information infrastructure and reform the education system. The OECD states that a stronger product market competition would help.

In March 2006, the Slovak government introduced new measures to implement the Action Plan for R&D and Innovation. The program covers the period from 2006 to 2010. The RDA is expected to launch at least one call for the expression of interests related to this program each year. The annual budget for the program will be set by the RDA. The overall amount available for the program depends on annual national budget resources and is likely to vary from year to year. Following an increase of around 50% in budget resources, the RDA disposes of a total budget of €19.31 million in 2006.


The minimum wage in Slovakia is set at 520 € per month,[23] the average salary for 2017 was 1052 € per month,[24] in the Bratislava region in 2017 the average salary was €1527 per month.[25] As of February 2018 the unemployment rate stood at 5.88%.[26]


Graphical depiction of Slovakia's product exports in 28 color-coded categories.

Currency switch to the euro

Slovakia switched its currency from the Slovak crown (SK-slovenská koruna) to the Euro on 1 January 2009, at a rate of 30.1260 korunas to the euro.

Foreign trade[27]

Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Exports € bn 49.5 39.7 35.0 56.8 62.8 64.4 64.8 73.12 74.35
Imports € bn 50.3 38.8 34.6 55.8 59.2 60.1 60.2 71.09 71.47

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "World Economic Outlook Database, April 2019". IMF.org. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  2. ^ "World Bank Country and Lending Groups". datahelpdesk.worldbank.org. World Bank. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Population on 1 January". ec.europa.eu/eurostat. Eurostat. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "World Economic Outlook Database, April 2019". IMF.org. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "CIA World Factbook". CIA.gov. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  6. ^ "People at risk of poverty or social exclusion". ec.europa.eu. Eurostat. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income - EU-SILC survey". ec.europa.eu. Eurostat. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Human Development Index 2018 Statistical Update". hdr.undp.org. United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index". hdr.undp.org. United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Employment rate by sex, age group 20-64". ec.europa.eu/eurostat. Eurostat. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Total unemployment rate". ec.europa.eu. Eurostat. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Ease of Doing Business in Slovak Republic". Doingbusiness.org. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Sovereigns rating list". Standard & Poor's. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  14. ^ a b c Rogers, Simon; Sedghi, Ami (15 April 2011). "How Fitch, Moody's and S&P rate each country's credit rating". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  15. ^ "Scope affirms Slovakia's credit rating of A+, Outlook remains Stable". Scope Ratings. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic". Archived from the original on 24 September 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  17. ^ Votruba, Martin. "Regional Wealth". Slovak Studies Program. University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  18. ^ "GDP growth (annual %)". data.worldbank.org. World Bank. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  19. ^ "Gross domestic product in the 4th quarter of 2007". Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic. 4 March 2008. Retrieved 14 February 2008.
  20. ^ "Slovensko kraľuje výrobe áut vo svete, dosiahli sme nový rekord" (in Slovak). HNonline. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  21. ^ https://finstat.sk/databaza-financnych-udajov?sort=sales-desc
  22. ^ https://finstat.sk/databaza-financnych-udajov?EmployeeExact=False&RpvsInsert=False&Sort=profit-desc&PerPage=20
  23. ^ "Minimálna mzda 2018". Minimalnamzda.sk. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Priemerná mzda". www.minimalnamzda.sk. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Rozloženie platov v Bratislavskom kraji – Platy.sk". platy.sk.
  26. ^ "Nezamestnanosť ďalej klesá, bez práce je 5,88 percenta ľudí". ekonomika.sme.sk. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  27. ^ "CEE Basic Data - Key economic indicators and forecasts". Ceemarket.com. Retrieved 3 March 2015.


  1. ^ data cover general Government Gross Debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by Government entities, including sub-sectors of central, state, local government, and social security funds

External links[edit]