Slovakia’s economy continues to perform extremely well both in terms of macroeconomic outcomes and public finances. Employment is rising, prices have been stable, and the external account is near balance. Poverty and income inequality are low, and the country’s environmental footprint has improved markedly. However, population ageing, projected to be one of the steepest in the OECD on the basis of the expected change in the old-age dependency ratio, will pose policy and social challenges in the decades ahead. They will be compounded by the persistent emigration of young, particularly educated people, as well as the weak integration of the numerous Roma. Other concerns are the work disincentives faced by women and high long-term unemployment. Widely different labour market outcomes between Bratislava and the eastern part of the country also contribute to large regional per capita GDP gaps and a dual functioning of the economy. The authorities have continued their reform process over the last few years to address these issues, which require improving public-sector efficiency. Making growth more inclusive for the Roma, women and the chronically unemployed will require further reforms in education, health care and the labour market, along with better infrastructure.
SPECIAL FEATURES: ENHANCING SKILLS; IMPROVING THE HEALTH-CARE SYSTEM