The Slovenia Times

First estimate puts Slovenia's GDP growth in 2019 at 2.4%


The Statistics Office said external demand had had a positive impact on economic growth even though the growth of exports was more moderate than in 2017 and 2018. Exports increased by 4.4% in 2019, which compares to 6.1% the year before.

The growth in domestic demand also slowed down, amounting to 2.1% after it stood at 4.3% in 2018 in what was the highest increase since 2007.

Gross fixed capital formation increased by 3.2%, which compares to 9.1% in 2018, while household final consumption expenditure increased by 2.4% after it was up 2.9% in 2018.

Total employment in 2019 amounted to 1,045,000 persons, a 2.4% increase on 2018 and the highest number on record since the data is being collected in this form since 1995.

GDP at current prices amounted to EUR 48 billion, which is nominally 4.9% more than in 2018.

In the final quarter of 2019 seasonally adjusted GDP grew by 0.4% on the third quarter and 1.7% year-on-year.

Exports and domestic consumption were both modest in the fourth quarter, rising by 0.9% and 0.4% year-on-year, respectively.

The growth rate of exports was one of the lowest since the beginning of 2010, being poorer only in the second quarter of 2012.

Imports fell by 0.8 year-on-year after they had also been increasing ever since the second quarter of 2013.

The foreign trade surplus contributed 1.3 percentage points to GDP growth in the fourth quarter.

The slowdown in the growth of domestic consumption was due to relatively low growth of final consumption expenditure (1.2%) and a decrease of gross capital formation (4.5%).

GDP growth kept cooling down through 2019, starting at 3.3% in the first quarter, to fall to 2.5%, 2.4% and 1.7% in the following three.

Forecasts for 2019 issued by domestic and foreign institutions have ranged between 2.5% and 3.1%.

While today's estimate by the Statistics Office was made on the basis of the quarterly method, the annual estimate will be released by the office at the end of August.

Last year the first estimate put Slovenia's GDP growth for 2018 at 4.5% and the annual estimate at 4.1%. The latter figure was confirmed by the office today.

Banka Slovenije commented on today's estimate by saying domestic consumption, spurred by relatively favourable conditions, remained the key engine of growth in Slovenia.

The central bank, which in December forecast 2.6% growth for 2019 and 2.5% for this year, however warned that "new risks are emerging in the international environment along with the known ones, with uncertainty also increasing in connection to COVID-19".

IMAD, the government's macroeconomic think tank which had projected 2.8% GDP growth in its autumn forecast, also stressed the coronavirus situation made forecasts for this year very uncertain.

As for the slowdown in investment in exports in Slovenia, it said it was the result of slower growth in foreign demand and the high uncertainty in the international environment.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) said its analysts had been surprised by the GDP growth estimate for last year. They expect the figure to be revised upwards later.

The GZS linked the slowdown in exports to slower growth of the tourism sector, which was affected by the collapse of air carrier Adria Airways. The chamber announced it would downgrade its economic forecast for 2020 at 2.5% at the most.


More from Nekategorizirano