Slovak Industry Expands on Auto Exports

Slovak Industry Expands on Auto Exports

Slovak industrial production -- mainly German, French and Korean-brand auto exports to the eurozone -- picked up in May with 2.6% growth on an annual basis,

BRATISLAVA -- Slovak industrial production -- mainly German, French and Korean-brand auto exports to the eurozone -- picked up in May with 2.6% growth on an annual basis, official data showed on Wednesday.

This followed a rise of 2.4% in April.

On a monthly basis, after adjustment for seasonal factors, industrial output grew by 0.2% in May after contracting by 1.9% in April, the Slovak Statistics Office said.

Slovakia is a member of the eurozone and its economy is driven by exports of cars and spare parts to Germany, which grew by 3.6% in May, the data showed.

May industrial growth was driven by a three-percent expansion in car production at plants operated by the German group Volkswagen, France's PSA Peugeot Citroen and Kia of South Korea.

These plants had pumped out a record 900,000 vehicles last year.

But analysts in Bratislava said they did not expect this year's output to catch up with the figures last year.

A one-off jump was recorded as foreign-owned car plants in Slovakia launched new production lines.

Electronics production, mainly by Samsung and Foxconn, struggled meanwhile with an 8.1% contraction in May.

Slovakia, which registered growth of two percent last year, is one of the eurozone's most fastest-growing economies largely thanks to foreign investment in the auto sector.

But flagging exports to its recession-struck eurozone trade partners and weak domestic demand mean that 2013 growth forecasts have been cut to as low as 0.5%.

Slovakia joined the EU in 2004 and the eurozone in 2009.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

TAGS: The Economy
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