After a deeper pandemic-induced recession than the rest of the euro area in 2020, the Portuguese economy gained ground in 2021, and growth strengthened further in 2022:Q1. Employment reached pre-pandemic levels in 2021:H2 and GDP in 2022:Q1. Nonetheless output is expected to remain below pre-pandemic trend over the medium term. While growth in 2022:Q1 was supported by a strong bounce back in tourism and domestic demand, the recovery for the rest of the year is expected to be hampered by the war in Ukraine despite limited direct linkages with Russia and Ukraine, due to higher commodity prices, supply-side disruptions, and weaker confidence and external demand. The outlook is clouded by uncertainty relating to the war, new virus waves, and the ultimate effect of the pandemic on corporate, bank, and public sector balance sheets. While declining and with improved composition, public debt would remain high.
Slovakia is highly vulnerable to the war in Ukraine, given its geographical proximity, heavy reliance on energy imports from Russia, and high integration into global value chains. The shock occurs against the backdrop of an incomplete recovery from the pandemic, with activity hampered by breakdowns in global supply chains and resurgent infection waves. Growth is projected to slow to 2.2 percent and inflation to surge to over 10 percent in 2022, with sizable downside risks amidst exceptionally large uncertainty.
Iceland's economy has weathered multiple shocks since 2019 relatively well. The economic outlook is positive but suggests long-term scarring. The risks are tilted to the downside and are associated with the global impact of a potential escalation in the war in Ukraine, the pandemic, economic disruptions, and tighter global financial conditions. On the upside, tourism and new innovative industries could help the economy recover faster.
The economy showed resilience through the pandemic, but the war in Ukraine has clouded the outlook, heightened uncertainty, and increased downside risks. With policy support, growth rebounded in 2021 despite the lingering COVID-19 crisis and protracted political uncertainty that hampered investment. Inflation accelerated significantly, pushed by global factors and strong domestic consumption. GDP growth is projected to slow below 3 percent and average inflation to exceed 12 percent in 2022. In this context, policies must navigate difficult trade-offs as they need to support activity, meet needs from the war, and contain inflation, while raising living standards, reducing inequalities, and supporting the green transition.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
After two consecutive years of GDP decline driven by external shocks, Paraguay’s economy rebounded in 2021. In 2019, drought and flooding reduced economic growth to -0.4 percent. In 2020, the impact of the pandemic on the secondary and tertiary sectors was partly compensated by a rebound of agriculture and an extensive emergency package, and GDP fell by only 0.8 percent. Growth rebounded to 4.2 percent in 2021, but heatwaves and a severe drought decelerated the recovery and have limited 2022 growth prospects, though a recovery is projected for 2023 and the medium-term. While the loss of agricultural export revenue is affecting Paraguay’s balance of payments in 2022, the external position in 2021 was stronger than the level implied by fundamentals and desirable policies.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
The authorities’ policy response aided a robust recovery from the COVID-19 shock in 2021 with output growth above expectations reflecting pent-up demand and strong export performance. However, spillovers from the war in Ukraine are expected to dampen growth, raise inflation, and widen the current account deficit this year. The recovery in 2021 and scaling back of pandemic measures led to a decline in the fiscal deficit and government debt. Inflation is expected to remain higher for longer, reflecting elevated global food and commodity prices. The NBG has increased its policy rate by 3 percentage points since March 2021.