The deficit level estimate for 2024 decreased below EUR 7.5 billion due to lower expenditures of state budget and some entities in 2023 (Budgetary Traffic Light March 2024)

  • 2. 4. 2024

Secretariat of the Council for Budget Responsibility (SoCBR) estimates the 2024 General Government Budget (GGB) deficit at 5.8 % of GDP

  • SoCBR has decreased the estimated level of GGB deficit in 2024. The positive difference compared to the February forecast amounts to EUR 133 million. Month-to-month decrease of the GG deficit level is due to a lower expenditures of state budget and selected public entities in 2023, where the savings result from additional information on a fiscal outcome in 2023.
  • According to the SoCBR, the deficit can reach the level of 5.8 % of GDP (EUR 7 483 million), based on current information and under the assumption that the government does not take additional measures.
  • Positive deviation from the approved budget amounts to 0.2 % of GDP, which means that the risk of the public deficit level rising above the government objective is low. However, contrary to budgeted year-on-year decrease in the deficit level, SoCBR estimates an increase in the GG deficit level relative to a value expected in 2023.
  • The National Council did not approve the proposal for new spending ceilings, which means that Slovakia still does not have a functional tool for a consolidation of public finances. Approving the spending ceilings, update with new measures and subsequent alignment with budget would make it possible to reduce the deficit deeper below the level of 6 % of GDP.
  • We expect the most significant negative impact on the GG balance in government measures to compensate high energy prices, since a reserve in the budget does not suffice to finance overall expected costs of compensation schemes. The budget relied on financing from EU funds, which should be entered into the deficit in 2023.
  • On the other hand, expected savings in current expenditures of the state budget represent the most significant positive impact on the GG balance. SoCBR in its forecast does not expect to use the total budgeted amount based on developments observed in previous years.