IFP: Industry Up, Consumption Down in Early 2021

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(Stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 11 (TASR) – While domestic consumption in Slovakia was high and industry down in the first wave of COVID-19 a year ago, the two have swapped their positions in 2021, the Finance Ministry’s Institute for Finance Policy (IFP) observed on Tuesday.

An increase of revenues in retail in March wasn’t able to compensate for a slump in January and February, with private consumption pulling the country’s economy down for the entire first quarter.

“Revenues [in retail] fell by 10.3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, which was in line with the March prognosis … It estimated the slump of real private consumption at 12.4 percent in the first quarter,” stated the IFP.

Meanwhile, the hospitality sector has begun recovering after the Government relaxed some of the lockdown measures, but even though revenues in this sector are higher than around this time last year, they’re still far behind the pre-pandemic levels. After seasonal adjustments, revenues of restaurants were 40 percent lower last week than in August last year, when they saw a peak since COVID-19 appeared in Slovakia.

The accommodation sector is now even worse off, with its revenues being 77 percent lower than last summer.

Conversely, industrial production in March, driven mainly by the automotive sector, was higher not only compared to March 2020, which was the first COVID-month in Slovakia, but it was even up by 5 percent compared to what March would be like before COVID.

Construction output, after seasonal adjustments, was 9 percent higher in March than in February.

At the same time the labour market seems to have found the bottom and bounced back, although the revival appears to be very slow at the moment.