Ljubljana related

11 Jun 2020, 10:21 AM

STA, 10 June 2020 - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says in its latest forecast for Slovenia that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to shrink this year by 7.8% this year, or as much as 9.1% in the event of a second wave of coronavirus infections.

For 2021, the OECD expects that Slovenia's economy will grow by 4.5%, or by 1.5% in the event of another Covid-19 outbreak, the organisation says in the forecast published on Wednesday.

It says that the Covid-19 epidemic in Slovenia has manifested itself in a "historically large drop in consumer confidence and business sentiment, which only recently have begun to recover."

The OECD notes that the tourism sector is the worst affected, and also hard hit is road transport, although activity of the latter has started to recover.

For this and other related reasons, the OECD estimates that the output loss in the first half of 2020 will be at 13% year-on-year.

The unemployment rate is expected to reach 6.4% this year, or 6.9% in the adverse scenario, and next year to stand at 5.4% or 8.1%, respectively.

"To avoid higher long-term unemployment, it is important that active labour market policies focus on the hard-to-employ job-seekers by providing adequate job search support and skills upgrading," the report for Slovenia says.

Measured with the harmonised index of consumer prices, the inflation rate for this year is expected to stand at 1% under both scenarios, and at 2% or 1.7%, respectively, next year.

The OECD says that the Slovenian government has adopted a number of fiscal measures amounting to almost 4.5% of the country's GDP, but notes that additional measures should be taken to secure long-term sustainability of the economy.

In addition to the prevention of long-term unemployment, the measures include avoiding a "further increase in the already relatively high share of state-owned enterprises, which are present across all sectors."

As for a potential second wave, the OECD says that, a more selective approach to economic relief and support should be applied to allow more businesses to remain open and this should be combined with protection of vulnerable groups.

The report also touches on the Slovenian healthcare system, saying that while its efficiency compares favourably with peers, structural problems in the sector raise concerns about inefficiencies in cost, quality and safety.

The OECD notes "the low and uneven density of GPs" and "the relatively low ratio of intensive care beds to population", which may raise capacity concerns if the pandemic comes back in a more virulent form.

You can explore the OECD data here

11 Jun 2020, 10:07 AM

STA, 10 June 2020 - European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni has addressed a letter to Slovenia's Prime Minister Janez Janša, asking him to explain the changes at the helm of Slovenia's Statistics Office, the Commission's press service confirmed for the STA on Wednesday.

The letter was sent to Janša yesterday with the aim to provide complete compliance with the principles of impartiality and professional independence of national statistics offices, the press service said.

The move comes after the government dismissed in late May director general of the Statistics Office Bojan Nastav and appointed Tomaž Smrekar acting director general. The latter will serve until a full-fledged director is appointed but no longer than six months.

Related: Was the Director of Slovenia’s Statistical Office Dismissed for Following the Law?

Earlier this month, the Statistics Council, an expert advisory body, asked the Constitutional Court to review the dismissal of Nastav.

The council is not sure which law applies in this case - the one on public sector employees, which allows the government to dismiss a top public sector employee a year after the employee started their job, or the national statistics act.

Janša said in late May that the dismissal of Nastav was necessary "due to responsiveness". "This is about a body functioning in a professional fashion, being responsive, so that we can rely on getting data tomorrow if we need it."

SURS has a great website, in English, here

10 Jun 2020, 12:09 PM

STA, 10 June 2020 - As many as 27% of Slovenians had four or more adverse childhood experiences. The majority, or 76%, experienced at least one such event, shows the first national survey which tried to pinpoint the extent of distressing experiences in childhood and their impact on health and quality living in adulthood.

The survey defined ten potentially traumatic events or experiences before the age of 18: emotional, physical and sexual violence (and sexual abuse), emotional or material neglect, violence among adults, addictions or mental disorders of a household member, a crime committed by a household member, divorce, abandonment by a parent, including because of death.

It was carried out online in 2019 by Ljubljana's Faculty of Social Science and the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), polling nearly 5,000 people. According to Metka Kuhar of the faculty, the figure is unprecedented for such surveys in Europe.

She explained the adverse experiences in childhood meant intensive stress over a longer period of time which affects one's emotions, health condition and relationships.

A person with such an experience develops fewer healthy strategies, has a poorer self-image, does worse at school, consequently finds a poor job and their life is consequently not of very high quality. "All this is adding up and even multiples," Kuhar pointed out.

The majority of those experiencing potentially traumatic events, or 56%, reported about emotional violence, followed by physical violence by an adult member of their household member (43%). Slightly fewer than a third experienced the death of a parent, their parents' divorce, or being abandoned by a parent.

Around a quarter said they had experienced emotional and material neglect, over a fifth had at least one addicted adult in their household, and over 12% experienced violence among adults.

Almost a fifth reported about a member of their households having a mental disorder, while the lowest shares of the respondents reported to have experienced sexual abuse and a crime committed by a member of the household.

Compared to those with no adverse experiences in childhood, the respondents who have experienced four or more such events are more likely to develop various diseases, including mental disorders, psychosomatic symptoms and a risk-prone behaviour.

Among the diseases they are more likely to develop, the NIJZ listed coronary and respiratory diseases, thyroid problems, migraine, depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

People with so many traumatic experiences are also more likely to engage in drinking, become addicted and develop psychosomatic problems, such as headache, stomachache, insomnia, etc.

The NIZJ said this poorly researched field in Slovenia should be given more attention in the future to improve the heath condition and well-being of individuals, families and the community.

"A step forward would be drafting a strategy to comprehensively address this issue, from prevention, early detection and monitoring to transforming certain organisations to base them on understanding trauma, as well as providing support to those with aggravating experiences in childhood and their families."

Participants of the online debate agreed protocols for early detection should be put in place and new programmes developed to strengthen traumatised people's emotional and social skills. A system of accessible and free-of-charge treatment and assistance should also be ensured.

The survey covered 4,939 adults whose average age was 47. Almost 44% of them had vocational education, 31% secondary school and 25% higher education completed. It was financed by the national Research Agency and the Ministry of Health.

25 May 2020, 14:45 PM

STA, 25 May 2020 - The Covid-19 lockdown meant Slovenia recorded no tourist arrivals in April, while the number of recorded overnight stays was 11,000. This is 99% less that in April 2019 and was mostly accounted for by ongoing student exchange programmes. The lockdown for tourist facilities was in place from mid-March to 18 May.

According to preliminary figures, released on Monday by the Statistics Office, the January-April period saw slightly over 660,000 tourist arrivals, a 52% decrease year-on-year. Overnight stays totalled at 1.8 million, a fall of 46%.

Arrivals by domestic tourists stood at 259,000, a 44% drop, and overnight stays at 777,216, a 39% decrease. For foreign tourists the drops were 56% and 51%, respectively, to 402,000 and 1.1 million.

More details on this data can be found here

24 May 2020, 09:07 AM

STA, 23 May 2020 - The coronavirus epidemic in Slovenia will have officially lasted 80 days, from 12 March to 31 May. It has had an unprecedented impact on society and economy, as evident from key indicators measuring the pulse of society.

The ranks of the jobless swelled from EUR 77,484 at the end of February to 88,648 by the end of April, according to Employment Service figures.

Growth slowed in May, but the jobless total has already exceeded 90,000 and many more are expected to be laid off in the coming months.

One of the measures put in place to help companies was subsidies for those temporarily laid off. The Employment Service has so far received requests for 268,348 employees, more than a quarter of the country's workforce.

Economic stimulus measures estimated at EUR 6 billion have been adopted so far, which is expected to help the economy weather the crisis but will upend public finances.

General government debt, at 66.1% of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of 2019 after almost a decade of austerity, is projected to balloon to 82.4% of GDP by the end of this year, partially due to fresh borrowing and partially due to a sharp decline in GDP.

Instead of a general government surplus of 0.8% initially projected for the year, public finances are expected to record a 8.1% deficit, according to government projections.

Note: The data below is dynamic, and updated for the day you're reading this.

And while the Slovenian economy had projected to grow at a modest 2-2.5%, it is now expected to contract by anywhere between 5% and more than 8%.

One indication of the sharp slowdown is the amount of value added tax (VAT) the Tax Administration has collected. While the receipts dropped by 4% year-on-year in March, the decline in April was 25% as virtually the entire retail and hospitality sectors shut down.

Slovenia registered 1,478 coronavirus infections by 21 May and 106 deaths attributed to Covid-19. A total of 316 persons were hospitalised, of which 21 remained in hospital on 21 May.

Cases were confirmed in 154 of Slovenia's 212 municipalities, with major hotspots in nursing homes in Metlika, Šmarje pri Jelšah and Ljutomer. Four in five fatalities were among nursing home residents and more than a quarter of all confirmed cases were among residents or staff.

The epidemic peaked around the end of March. The highest number of new infections in a single-day came on 26 March (61), while hospitalisations peaked at 107 on 30 March.

All our stories on coronavirus and Slovenia are here

27 Apr 2020, 12:20 PM

STA, 26 April 2020 - Slovenia had a population of 2,095,861 on 1 January 2020, up 14,953, or 0.7%, from a year earlier. The number of Slovenian citizens dropped in 2019 as the multi-year downward trend continued, with the number of immigrants increasing again.

The number of Slovenian citizens in 2019 dropped by 3,205, or 0.2%, to 1,939,510, which is a slightly bigger drop than in 2018, Statistics Office figures show.

The number of foreign citizens residing in Slovenia meanwhile increased by 18,158, or 13.1%, a rise roughly on a par with 2018.

On the first day of this year, a total of 156,351 foreigners made up 7.5% of Slovenia's population, a rise from 6.6% a year earlier.

foreigners in slovenia 2019 01.JPG

The number of men (1,051,066) exceeded the number of women (1,044,795) on that day.

The share of women among Slovenian citizens, which keeps decreasing, stood at 51%.

Only a third of all foreign citizens were meanwhile women.

The low share of women immigrants is attributed to the fact that the majority of foreigners coming to Slovenia in recent years are workers working in industries such as construction.

08 Mar 2020, 11:41 AM

STA, 6 March 2020 - Slovenia ranks relatively high on the OECD gender equality scale, but the situation is far from rosy for many Slovenian women. Average monthly pay is nearly EUR 130 lower for women than men, while two thirds of pensioners below the poverty line are women.

Slovenia place eighth on the gender equality scale of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which features 120 countries. The share of discrimination in Slovenia was 12.9%, with discrimination within the family the biggest problem.

The share of women with jobs is higher than elsewhere in the EU, and the pay gap is still one of the narrowest in the bloc. What is more, Slovenia has a high share of female managers, show Statistics Office figures released ahead of International Women's Day.

Women in Slovenia made an average of EUR 1,710 gross per month in 2018, some EUR 130 less than men. Lower pay also affects women's pensions, with data from the Statistics Office showing that women account for two thirds of impoverished pensioners.

Data from the Statistics Office show that an average Slovenian woman is almost 45 years old and is better educated than the average male, but still paid less.

On average, Slovenian women live to the age of 81.6 years, 7.5 years longer than men. The most frequent cause of death is cardiovascular disease. Girls born in 2018 have a life expectancy of 84 years, 5.7 years longer than boys born the same year.

Some 75% of women over the age of 14 in Slovenia are mothers, most have two children. Some 28% of women have a university degree, while the share among men is only 20%. Most women, 50%, have secondary education.

Their education has been improving through generations. Among women who were aged between 60 and 69 on 1 January 2019, most only had primary school or lower, while in the generation of women between 30 and 39 most had higher education.

Physical characteristics data show that an average Slovenian woman is 165 centimetres tall and weighs 68 kilos. 52% are at a normal weight, 30% are overweight and 13% are obese.

Most women exercise about two hours a week and eat fruits and vegetables nearly every day, while more than 80% do not smoke, statistics show.

Moreover, women in Slovenia are generally happy with their lives. In 2018, the Statistics Office self-reported happiness index for women reached 7.3 points out of a possible 10, the highest level ever recorded.

Learn more about women in Slovenia with the follow graphics produced by the Statics Office (SURS), which runs an excellent English website with lots of data to explore.

06 Mar 2020, 18:15 PM

There was considerable interest in yesterday's story on GDP per capita (expressed in PPP terms) in the EU for 2018, which noted the difference between east and west Slovenia, as well as the latter's integration into the area of richer regions stretching north, likely fuelled by the manufacturing might of Germany.

gdp per capita slovenia eurostat.JPG

The map from yesterday's story. Source: Eurostat

So today we dig a little deeper into the GDP per capita data for Slovenia’s 12 statistical regions in 2018, as released by SURS. The map at the top of the page tells the story, as does the following chart, revealing that  Osrednjeslovenska – the centre of the country, with Ljubljana – has 141.1% the average GDP per capita for Slovenia as a whole. The coastal area, Obalno-kraška, is the only other region to be above average, at 102.5%. The poorest region in this regard is Zasavska, with just 52.4% of the average GDP per capita.

GDP per capita by region slovenia 2018 chart.png

If you’d like to dig deeper into the differences between the 12 statistical regions and 212 municipalities, then you can learn how to do so here. If you want to see how Slovenia’s GDP ranked against other formerly communist countries in Europe in the period 1992 to 2017, then you can do that here.

09 Feb 2020, 15:57 PM

STA, 7 February 2020 - The Slovenian police recorded a total of 16,099 illegal crossings of the border last year, almost 74% more than in 2018, with the highest number of migrants coming from Pakistan, Algeria and Afghanistan.

Citizens of Pakistan were involved in a total of 4,101 illegal crossings, followed by citizens of Algeria (1,892) and Afghanistan (1,733), show data from the police, the Ministry of the Interior and the Government Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants.

August was the busiest month for police officers in this respect, as 2,392 illegal crossings of the border were recorded that month, followed by October (2,268) and September (1,987).

The number of applications for international protection was also up last year to 3,821, which is 33% more than in 2018.

Only 85 persons were granted international protection, down from 102 in 2018, while procedures were suspended in 3,273 cases. The vast majority of suspensions are the result of applicants leaving Slovenia of their own accord.

The largest number of foreigners returned to Slovenia by foreign authorities came from Italy (255), while Slovenia returned the biggest number of foreigners to Croatia (11,026 or almost three times more than in 2018).

As of 6 February, a total of 298 applicants for international protection reside in Slovenia, almost half of them in the asylum centre in south-western Ljubljana.

The number of persons who have been granted international protection stands at 725, with three-quarters of these persons accommodated in private homes.

02 Feb 2020, 13:22 PM

SURS just released the full tourist figures for 2019, and although we already published a summary we thought we’d dig a little deeper into the data, to find some other trends and points of interest, with the top 10 nations for the year shown below (and the full list at the end of the story).

tourism 2019 - to 10.JPG

*Other Asian countries includes all Asian nations other than China, Japan and South Korea

When looking at the monthly data for all foreign tourists, the first thing to note is the extreme seasonality of such visits. The lowest figure, 167,689, was for February, while the highest, 879,291, was in August, with June to September all months with more than a half a million arrivals.

tourism 2019 - all foreign tourists.JPG

Of course, given the habit of summer vacations, and the fact that most visitors are from Europe, this isn’t surprising. But what about places with other traditions? The data for North East Asia – China, S Korea and Japan – shows a different picture, as does that for Other Asian countries (such as India, which isn’t yet pulled out of the data on its own) .

tourism 2019 - china.JPG

Related: Chinese Tourism Booming in Slovenia, Ex-Yugo Nations

Looking at China alone and there are two peaks, either side of the August one for tourism in general, with a very off-trend spike in October. It’s much the same story elsewhere in Asia, as seen below in a chart for China, South Korea, Japan and “Other Asia”. All have peaks outside the high summer, in late spring and – with the exception of Japan – in autumn, too.

tourism 2019 - component asian tourists.JPG

Combining all the numbers in the chart above gives the following for the whole of Asia.

tourism 2019 - all asian tourists.JPG

This line can then be overlaid on the one for the whole world, producing the following image.

tourism 2019 - all asian vs all world tourists.jpg

Finally, I took a look at the percentage of tourist arrivals from all of Asia by month, with it being 9.5% for the whole. There are two months where such tourists account for more than 15% of the total, in May (15.9%) and October (17.4%).

tourism 2019 - all asian tourists as percent of whole.JPG

The data thus suggest that one way to reduce the seasonal nature of tourism in Slovenia, and the trade in related goods and services, would be to continue and extend efforts promote the country as a destination in Asia, as tourists from this region tend to avoid the peak summer months and arrive out of season. You can learn more and play around with the SURS data here.

The full list of nations and regions for which data on tourist arrivals in 2019 is available is shown below.

 Italy          597,553
 Germany          584,837
 Austria          396,527
 Croatia          235,020
 Hungary          190,980
 Czechia          189,829
 Netherlands          186,721
 Other Asian countries          176,454
 France          166,870
 United Kingdom          159,720
 United States          148,751
 Serbia          144,850
 Korea (Republic of)          139,451
 Poland          132,601
 Belgium          113,871
 China            98,975
 Spain            88,138
 Switzerland            78,696
 Bosnia and Herzegovina            72,112
 Russian Federation            69,868
 Slovakia            64,758
 Israel            59,615
 Romania            57,095
 Australia            53,732
 Ukraine            44,114
 Bulgaria            38,015
 Sweden            36,864
 Canada            35,069
 Japan            33,918
 Turkey            28,048
 Other countries of South and Middle America            26,248
 Denmark            25,881
 Other European countries            25,732
 Finland            25,538
 North Macedonia            22,543
 Ireland            21,358
 Brazil            16,755
 Portugal            16,283
 Norway            14,438
 Montenegro            13,307
 Greece            12,374
 New Zealand            10,009
 Other African  countries              8,927
 Lithuania              8,178
 Malta              6,899
 Latvia              6,890
 Estonia              5,406
 South Africa              4,490
 Luxembourg              3,941
 Iceland              2,953
 Cyprus              1,227
 Other countries of Oceania                  396

 

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