Economic Monitor Issue 13 | updated March 2021

Overview

  • Real GDP fell by only 0.9% in 2020; decline very low in international comparison. In 2021, however, GDP will contract more sharply by -2.7%
  • Relatively soft COVID-19 measures explain the small decline in 2020; however, the ongoing political crisis clouds the outlook for 2021 in this context
  • Inflation (2020: 7.4%) rises above the target, but the National Bank has yet to react
  • Significant depreciation of exchange rate (-21%) despite sale of currency reserves (Feb-21: USD 7.1 bn); import cover drops to 2.6 months
  • Budget balance deteriorated significantly to -4.7% of GDP in 2020. As a result, sharp rise in debt ratio last year (50.9% of GDP)
  • Current account deficit increased in 2020 (-3.3% of GDP); only slight improvement in 2021 (-2.2%)
  • Foreign trade declined in 2020 due to COVID-19, the energy dispute with Russia and the low energy prices; both exports (2020: -11.9%) and imports (-17.4%) very weak

Special topics

  • Companies. Massive increase in debt and pessimistic expectations for the future
  • ICT sector. Sector gains importance during the crisis, but outlook cloudy
  • Banking sector. Signs of stress; duration of political crisis crucial
  • COVID-19. Development of cases, domestic measures, policy response
Download Economic Monitor 13/2021