Slovenia’s Economy, GDP & Employment All Grew in Q2

By , 31 Aug 2018, 12:01 PM Business
Slovenia’s Economy, GDP & Employment All Grew in Q2 Montage: JL Flanner

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STA, 31 August 2018 - Driven by external trade, Slovenia's economy expanded by 3.8% in the second quarter over the same period a year ago, while the seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 4.3% year-on-year and by 0.8% from the previous quarter, the Statistics Office (SURS) reported. 

"If we compare second quarter GDP rates to those for the same period last year, we can see that the growth is more subdued. One factor is certainly one work day less than last year," statistician Romana Korenič told reporters on Friday.

The growth in domestic consumption in the second quarter slowed to 2.3% y/y. Final consumption expenditure increased by 2.2% and gross fixed capital formation by 2.9%.

The slowdown in gross fixed capital formation was to a large extent the result of changes in stocks, which had a negative impact on GDP growth.

Households spending growth slowed down to 1.1%, mostly due to slower growth in daily spending. But Korenič noted that expenditure for durable goods kept increasing; car purchases rose by more than 10%.

Gross fixed capital formation increased by 8.2%; construction investment was up by 11.8% and gross fixed capital formation in other machinery and equipment rose by 5.2%.

External demand continued to reflect positively on the economic growth. Exports rose by 9.3% and imports increased by 8.3%. The external trade surplus contributed 1.7 percentage points to the economic growth.

The number of people in employment increased by 3% y/y to 1,013,618. Most were employed in manufacturing, followed by construction, trade, and professional, scientific and technological activities.

The Statistics Office slightly downgraded its estimate for the economic growth in the first quarter to 4.5% from 4.6%, so that seasonally-unadjusted GDP is now estimated to have increased by 4.2% in the first half of the year.

The office upgraded its estimate of last year's growth by 0.1 percentage points from February to 4.9% in real terms. The latest estimate puts GDP at current prices for 2017 at EUR 43bn.

The Institute of Economic Analysis and Development (IMAD) commented on the latest figures by noting that Slovenia's growth rate remained at above EU average levels.

The government's economic forecaster also noted that private consumption contributed to the slow-down, despite the positive labour market trends, where foreign workers contributed 40% to the increase in the number of people in employment.

IMAD attributed exports growth mainly to Slovenian companies' improving their competitive advantage in recent years and to the continued favourable situation in the external environment.

Unemployment also down

Ljubljana, 31 August - Slovenia's survey unemployment rate stood at 5.2% in the second quarter of the year, a 0.7 percentage point drop compared to the quarter before. 54,000 persons were unemployed by ILO standards, a decrease of 11.6% on the first quarter and a drop of 18.1% year-on-year.

While roughly the same number of men and women were unemployed in the second quarter, 52.6% of the unemployed had been jobless less than 12 months and 47% were long-term unemployed.

The long-term unemployment rate has been decreasing since the first quarter of 2017, when it stood at 3.7% - it was at 2.5% in the second quarter of this year.

There were 984,000 employed persons in Slovenia in the second quarter of 2018, which is 20,000 or 2.1% more than in the first quarter and 29,000 or 3% more year-on-year.

There were 693,000 workers with permanent contracts in the second quarter, while 95,000 had temporary contracts.

The active working male population remained larger than the active female population, the respective figures being 532,000 and 452,000.

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