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OECD Economic Surveys: Slovak Republic 2009

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Slovak Republic 2009

This 2009 edition of OECD's periodic review of the Slovak Republic's economy finds it facing a significant slowdown. Income levels are continuing to converge with those in the rest of the EU, but additional structural reform is required to make the economy more flexible. Special chapters on fiscal policy and housing policy are included along with suggestions for improving the pension system.

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Raising flexibility during the catch-up phase

As in other catch-up countries inflation is likely to stay high going forward due to nominal convergence. To better cope with the risk of a too rapid pick up of wages during the convergence process on the one hand and to raise the adjustment potential of the economy to macroeconomic shocks on the other, labour and product market flexibility is essential. Three main areas for improvement are discussed in this chapter. First, wage flexibility should be safeguarded by avoiding significant increases in minimum wages and by abolishing legal extension of collective wage settlements. Second, competition needs to be strengthened, especially in the liberal professions where entry and conduct regulation should be eased. In addition, the points of single contact that already exist for small enterprises should be extended to entrepreneurs of the liberal professions. Third, a wider use of information and communication technology (ICT) could lead to important productivity gains. Removing obstacles to the spread of e-business and a swift implementation of e-government are imperative.

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