Slovak Industry Output Up 4.4% in January

Growth fueled by chemical production which was up 69%

As a recovery took hold in the Slovak economy, industrial output grew 4.4% in January.

Output grew an impressive 19.3% year-on-year in January, clocking the fastest growth in three years and confirming a recovery with the third straight month of growth, the Slovak Statistics Office said.

Growth was fueled by chemical production, which was up 68.9%, while car output -- the main engine of the economy -- rose 40.6%.

December industrial production was revised up to 12% from the originally reported 11.9%.

At the end of 2008, Slovakia's industry was hit hard by the global downturn which curbed demand for cars produced at plants run by Volkswagen, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Kia Motors.

Their combined output declined 27.1% last year while overall Slovak industry posted a 14.5% fall.

In 2009, the Slovak economy shrank 4.7%, the EU state's first-ever contraction since independence when Czechoslovakia split in two in 1993.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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