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Fitch Ratings affirms Slovakia's A rating with a negative outlook

Last update: 14.07.2023 23:00

The international rating agency Fitch Ratings (Fitch) has published a statement on Slovakia's credit rating at A with a negative outlook. Slovakia's current assessment is underpinned by our membership of the EU and the euro area, stable and credible macroeconomic policies, as well as export competitiveness and stable foreign direct investment.

In its statement, Fitch highlighted Slovakia's credible macroeconomic framework, which is underpinned by its membership of the European Union and the euro area. It also pointed out the fact that, thanks to the normalisation of domestic consumption, it forecasts GDP growth of 1.9% in 2024 and 2.5% in 2025. Analysts also expect an improvement in the net external debt position to less than 30% of GDP by 2025, as well as a faster reduction in the current account deficit to an average of 2.1% of GDP in 2023-2025, representing pre-pandemic levels. Fitch also views the banking sector as a strength, as it is stable, profitable and has good asset quality.

The negative outlook reflects risks stemming from the unclear policy framework after the upcoming September elections, in particular in the area of fiscal consolidation and uncertainty about the fiscal and macroeconomic impact of the war in Ukraine and the related energy crisis.

According to Fitch, the outlook could change from negative to stable if general government debt is reduced.

On the other hand, Slovakia's rating could be downgraded in the event of insufficiently credible fiscal consolidation, leading to persistent fiscal deficits and a sharp increase in general government debt relative to expectations of 58% of GDP in 2025. However, stabilising debt at this level requires the adoption of consolidation measures to bring the deficit down from an expected level of over 6% of GDP this year to 3.6% of GDP in 2025. That is why the Ministry of Finance is working on a credible list of measures to improve public finances, and it will be important that the new government that emerges from this autumn's elections takes a responsible approach to this issue.

Press Department
Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic