Economic and Political Overview

flag Slovakia Slovakia: Economic and Political Overview

In this page: Economic Indicators | Foreign Trade in Figures | Sources of General Economic Information | Political Outline | COVID-19 Country Response


Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Slovakia has experienced sustained and steady GDP growth since its integration into the European Union in 2004, except for the financial crisis of 2008-2009 and the Eurozone crisis of 2011-2012. In recent years, the Slovak economy had returned to growth, fuelled by the return of internal and European demand. Nevertheless, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global crisis it caused pushed the country into a recession in 2020. The economy returned to growth in 2021 (+3%) and recorded an estimated growth of 1.8% in 2022 as high inflation weighed on private consumption and the weak performance of major export destinations hampered foreign trade, with the overall balance of trade turning negative for the first time in 14 years. For 2023, the IMF forecasts GDP growth at 1.5% driven by public investment (underpinned by plans to absorb EUR4 billion in Multi-Annual Financing Framework funds). Private consumption is expected to regain momentum only in 2024, the same as for exports, resulting in a projected growth rate of 3.4%.

In 2022, the general government budget was affected by a series of one-off measures (with energy support totalling EUR 5.5 billion), as well as by higher permanent spending both in terms of wages and transfers (including a family package costing 1% of GDP), resulting in an overall deficit of 3.3% of GDP (Fitch Ratings). For 2023, the deficit is expected to widen to 5.6% as windfall profits and EU funds will only offset some of the additional expenditure. The debt-to-GDP ratio was estimated at 60.5% in 2022 by the IMF and is expected to follow a downward trend over the forecast horizon (at 57.4% this year and 56.2% in 2024). Debt dynamics should be supported by nominal growth and stable debt-servicing costs. Inflation soared to over 11.9% in 2022 due to high energy prices and the pass-through to core components, especially food. Food prices are expected to keep pushing inflation in 2023, with a projected rate of 10.1%, before inflation gradually eases to 4.4% the following year (IMF).

The unemployment rate decreased to 6.2% in 2022 (from 6.8% one year earlier). The labour market remains tight and is set to contribute to more persistent growth of prices in the service sector in 2023. Overall, around 15.6% of the population is at risk of poverty (especially in the eastern part of the country), below the EU average of 21.7% (Eurostat, latest data available). The country’s GDP per capita (PPP) was estimated at USD 38,620 in 2022 by the IMF, 28.4% below the EU average.

Main Indicators 202020212022 (E)2023 (E)2024 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 106.61116.61113.53127.53135.62
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -
GDP per Capita (USD) 19,53421,35720,89023,45824,943
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -2.2-1.5-1.4-2.9-3.9
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 58.962.258.857.457.4
Inflation Rate (%) 2.02.812.19.54.3
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force)
Current Account (billions USD) 0.59-2.92-4.87-4.42-3.50
Current Account (in % of GDP) 0.6-2.5-4.3-3.5-2.6

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database , Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Main Sectors of Industry

The Slovak Republic has a highly qualified labour force of 2.76 million out of its 5.4 million population. The agriculture sector is little developed and represents only 1.7% of the GDP and 3% of employment (World Bank, latest data available), although almost two-fifths of the land is arable. The main agricultural products in the country are cereals, potatoes, sugar beets, and grapes. The mountainous area of Slovakia has vast forests and pastures, which are used for intensive sheep grazing, and it is rich in mineral resources including iron, copper, lead, and zinc. According to the latest data by Eurostat, 25.4% of the Slovak agricultural output derives from cereals, followed by 15.2% from industrial crops (oil seeds, sugar beet), 12.7% from dairy, 6.7% from pig production and 6% from cattle production. The latest estimates from Statistics Slovakia show that because of several droughts, in 2022 all types of crops recorded a decline: corn for grain in 2022 will be the lowest in the last 15 years, at approximately 740 thousand tons. The harvest was estimated to reach a value almost 54% lower than that of the previous year.

The secondary sector represents 28.2% of the GDP and employs 36% of the workforce. Heavy industry sectors - such as metal and steel - are still in a restructuring phase. High-value-added industries, like electronics, engineering, and petrochemicals, are installed in the western part of the country. Sectors like automobile and consumer goods experienced a sizeable contraction during the pandemic, but have started to recover relatively fast and are offering attractive opportunities to foreign investors. Although Slovakia’s competitiveness supports the recovery of the sector, global automotive demand remains sluggish. The World Bank estimates that the manufacturing sector alone accounts for one-fourth of Slovakia’s GDP. Figures from the national statistical office show that industrial production decreased by 4.7% year-on-year in 2022. According to the main industrial groupings, production related to energy decreased by 20.4%, production of durable consumer goods by 4%, production for intermediate goods by 3.2% and production of capital goods by 1.2%. Production of non-durable consumer goods increased by 5.2%.

The services sector contributes 59.1% of the GDP and employs around 61% of the active population. It is dominated by trade and real estate. The development of tourism may also become important for the Slovak economy in the coming years, as it has been one of the country's most dynamic sectors before the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis. The sector showed signs of recovery in 2022, when accommodation establishments achieved a turnover worth almost EUR 434 million (excluding VAT), almost doubling the level of the previous year. The country’s banking sector consists of 26 financial institutions, it is strong and largely owned by foreign groups (mostly from Austria, Italy, and Belgium; whereas only four are owned by Slovakians, of which one is controlled by the government – data EBF).

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 2.8 36.1 61.1
Value Added (in % of GDP) 1.7 28.2 59.1
Value Added (Annual % Change) -5.4 2.5 2.2

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


Find more information about your business sector on our service Market Reports.

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 MUR

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


Find out all the exchange rates daily on our service Currency Converter.

Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation


Business environment ranking


The business rankings model measures the quality or attractiveness of the business environment in the 82 countries covered by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Forecast reports. It examines ten separate criteria or categories, covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure.

World Rank:

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit - Business Environment Rankings 2021-2025


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.


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Foreign Trade in Figures

Slovakia remains strongly dependent on external markets, with foreign trade representing 170.6% of its GDP (World Bank, latest data available). Slovakia's strong industrial tradition, tax incentives, inexpensive and skilled workforce, rapidly developing infrastructure (boosted by an influx of EU funds) and fragile but real growth, make the country a preferred base for trade. The country also benefits from an advantageous geographical location at the crossroads of Central Europe. The country represents a platform of re-exportation for the European automotive industry. In terms of product category, in 2022 the country mainly exported machinery and transport equipment (57.7%), manufactured goods (16.9%), and chemical products (4.9%); while imports were led by machinery and transport equipment (43.8%), manufactured goods (14.2%), mineral fuels (14.1%), and food (5.1% - data Statistics Slovakia).
In 2022, Europe accounted for 88.6% of total exports and 73.9% of imports. On a country basis, Germany (21.7%), the Czech Republic (11.6%), Poland (8.3%), Hungary (7.2%), and France (6.4%) were the main destinations of Slovakia’s exports; whereas the main suppliers were Germany (19.1%), the Czech Republic (9.8%), China (7.3%), Russia (6.3%), and Poland (5.6% - data WTO).

Historically, Slovakia has an overall positive trade balance, though it has been decreasing over the last few years. For the last 14 years, the export of goods exceeded the import, but in 2022 the balance ended with significantly negative values: exports of goods totalled EUR 95.1 billion (+16.1 yeat-on-year) against EUR 98.2 billion in imports, up by 23.6% y-o-y. Higher prices of selected energies and materials had a significant impact on the record-high import.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 83,30492,90290,00184,464103,499
Exports of Goods (million USD) 84,46993,42589,50986,104103,557
Imports of Services (million USD) 9,37410,96410,9238,88910,246
Exports of Services (million USD) 10,34412,03112,28210,08311,187
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 95.195.891.985.193.8
Trade Balance (million USD) 654-252-1,2611,241-574
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 1,6578471032,33272
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 188.1189.8183.5168.5187.8

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank , Latest Available Data


Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
Germany 21.0%
Czech Republic 12.0%
Hungary 8.7%
Poland 7.8%
France 5.9%
See More Countries 44.7%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
Germany 14.0%
Czech Republic 9.0%
China 7.5%
Russia 7.5%
South Korea 5.7%
See More Countries 56.4%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data


Main Products

108.0 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 24.4%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 5.0%
Monitors and projectors, not incorporating...Monitors and projectors, not incorporating television reception apparatus; reception apparatus for television, whether or not incorporating radio-broadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus 4.4%
Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular...Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, incl. apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network]; parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528) 3.5%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 2.5%
See More Products 60.1%
115.2 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 10.9%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 5.6%
Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular...Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, incl. apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network]; parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528) 5.3%
Electrical energyElectrical energy 3.0%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 2.6%
See More Products 72.5%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data


To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.


Main Services

9.6 bn USD of services exported in 2020
8.6 bn USD of services imported in 2020

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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Sources of General Economic Information

Ministry of the Economy
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Interior
Statistical Office
Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic
Central Bank
National Bank of Slovakia
Stock Exchange
Bratislava Stock Exchange
Search Engines
Ezilon Slovakia
Economic Portals
Slovakia information portal

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Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Zuzana Čaputová (since 15 June 2019)
Prime Minister: Eduard HEGER (since 1 April 2021)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: March 2024
National Council: February 2024
Main Political Parties
Slovakia has a multi-party system, and parties need to work with each other to form coalition governments. The main political parties in the country are:

- Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OL-NO): catch-all, populist, anti-corruption
- Direction-Social Democracy (Smer-SD): left-wing
- We Are Family (Sme rodina): centre-right
- Freedom & Solidarity (SaS): centre-right, described as eurosceptic
- For the People (Za ľudí): centrist, liberalism
- Slovak National Party (SNS): right-wing, nationalist
- Voice – Social Democracy (HLAS-SD): social-democratic, pro-European
- Most-Híd: centre, liberal, looks to expand understanding between ethnic Slovaks and Hungarians
- Christian Democratic Movement (KDH): centre-right
- New Majority (NOVA): centre-right, liberal

Other parties include:

- Progressive Slovakia (PS): social-liberalism, pro-environment
- Slovak Conservative Party (SKS): centre-right, social conservatism
- Party of the Hungarian Community (SMK-MKP): centre-right , Hungarian minority
- Together (SPOLU): liberal-conservative

Type of State
Slovakia is a Republic based on parliamentary democracy.
Executive Power
The President is the head of state and is elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year term renewable once. Following the parliamentary elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually designated Prime Minister by the President and approved by the National Council with a vote of confidence, to serve a four-year term. The Prime Minister is the head of the Government and enjoys the executive powers, which include implementation of the law in the country and running the day-to-day affairs. The cabinet is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
Legislative Power
The legislature is unicameral in Slovakia. The parliament, called National Council, consists of 150 seats; its members are elected on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms. The executive branch of government is directly or indirectly dependent on the support of the National Council, often expressed through a vote of confidence. Legislative power is vested in the National Council. The Prime Minister cannot dissolve the parliament, but the President has the authority to do it if circumstances require so. The people of Slovakia enjoy considerable political rights.

Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Political Freedom:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


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COVID-19 Country Response

Travel restrictions
Regularly updated travel information for all countries with regards to Covid-19 related entry regulations, flight bans, test and vaccines requirements is available on TravelDoc Infopage.
To find information about the current travel regulations, including health requirements, it is also advised to consult Travel Regulations Map provided and updated on a daily basis by IATA.
Import & export restrictions
A general overview of trade restrictions which were adopted by different countries during the COVID-19 pandemic is available on the International Trade Centre's COVID-19 Temporary Trade Measures webpage.
Economic recovery plan
The summary of the EU’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic is available on the website of the European Council.
For the general overview of the key economic policy responses to the COVID-19 outbreak (fiscal, monetary and macroeconomic) in Slovakia, please consult the country's dedicated section in the IMF’s Policy Tracker platform.
Support plan for businesses
For an evaluation of impact of the Covid pandemic on SMEs and an inventory of country responses to foster SME resilience, refer to the OECD's SME Covid-19 Policy Responses document.
You can also consult the World Bank's Map of SME-Support Measures in Response to COVID-19.


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Latest Update: September 2023