The latest European Social Survey data shows how Slovaks got over the first years of the crisis. Europe lives in difficult times and the news about crisis fulfil the newspaper every day for several years. According to some of them we are just at the end of its beginning. On the other hand, the International Monetary Fund predicts the highest growth in Slovakia. Nobody knows how following years will look like in Slovakia but we know how Slovaks spent the first years of crisis.
Extensive data have been recently published (the second update, which included Slovakia, but also as Ireland or Greece. These countries were not in the first edition of October 2011). These data are collected in many countries of Europe in one of the biggest European projects – European Social Survey. The fifth round contains an extra module about the consequences of the recession thanks to which it can be compared how the crisis felt in Slovakia and it may be compared with other European countries. It is important to note that it is a subjective evaluation of people from different cultural and economic environment, e.g. Slovak pensioner can bear heavier drop in income of 20 euros than a senior in the Baltic region whose pension was reduced by 50 euros.
The first three charts show the proportion of households which in the years 2007 to 2010 significantly reduced the income.
As it is shown most households which had to cope with significant loss of income during the first years of the crisis were in Bulgaria. In the first top five countries are also Ukraine, Ireland, Greece and Russia. In Slovakia were serious problems with income acknowledged by less than a quarter of households what is not a small number at all. However, from post-communist countries Slovakia had the best position. It is interesting that Czech households are slightly worse than the Hungarian.
The second graph shows the proportion of households during the crisis which had to dip into their savings or going into debts if they wanted to cover living costs. The most new loans were taken by Irish and Greeks. Slovakia is somewhere in the middle, approximately every fifth household cannot cover living costs from current revenues.
However, Estonia has very interesting position in the second chart. The macroeconomic indicators showed that Estonia was hit the most by the crisis among the new EU members. But the smallest proportion of people had to dip into their savings in Estonia. The situation was the best in the Nordic countries and the Netherlands.