STA, 19 November 2020 - The services sector has been heavily affected by the Covid-19 epidemic. In Slovenia, the biggest monthly drop in services income was recorded in April, a 18.4% decrease. Pub, restaurant or cafe owners and travel agencies were hit worst in the months following the first epidemic declaration, a Statistics Office study shows.
Following the April drop, income figures were rising for three consecutive months and in July they were higher by 6.6% on June. However, services income dropped again in August, this time by 2% on the month before.
The August figure also indicated a 10.7% decrease year-on-year, a smaller drop compared to downward trends at the annual level in the first months after the epidemic was declared in March - for example, in April, the year-on-year drop was 28.9%.
Restaurants, bars and cafes closed in mid-March and some of them were open again for business in early May. Food deliveries and take-aways were their only options in the lockdown period.
Their income in March was already lower by 57.7% compared to February and they recorded a 62.4% monthly drop in April, the study, released on Thursday, shows.
In May, when restrictions were mainly lifted, the figure increased by 214.9% on April, however it was still 45.1% below the figure recorded in May 2019.
The summer months brought some relief, but income was still reduced by 10%-20% compared to the same period in 2019.
Travel agencies or other travel-related services have had it even worse though, having suffered the biggest decrease in income in the services sector. They recorded a 71.7% monthly drop in March and a 83% decrease month-on-month in April.
Following May the situation improved, however a year-on-year analysis again shows that 2020 has been a difficult year for them. The biggest annual drop was recorded in April - by 95.5% and during the May-August period year-on-year decreases were always above 70%.
The study provides further data indicating that Slovenian tourism was completely crippled in March and April. Between mid-March and mid-May there were none tourist arrivals and virtually zero overnight stays.
In June, the numbers of arrivals and overnight stays were at some 35% of the figures in June 2019.
Accommodation services recorded a 78.1% monthly drop in April. In June, the figure rose by 185.8% on May, likely due to the government measure introducing holiday vouchers, however it was still reduced by 60.8% on June 2019.
When it comes to annual comparisons, a Covid-related drop in income was less significant in summer. In July, the year-on-year decrease was 21.8% and in August 15.8%.
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