The Slovenia Times

Slovenia With 2.6% Growth in 2014



The latest official data show that the Slovenian economy continued to grow at a healthy albeit somewhat slower pace in the final quarter, expanding by 2.4% on the same quarter in 2013.

Quarter-on-quarter growth adjusted for season and working days was at 0.3%, which is down on the 1% and 0.6% rates seen in the second and third quarters, respectively.

The first year of growth since 2011 was powered predominantly by a vibrant export sector, which saw Slovenia's foreign trade expand by 6.3%, the figures from the Statistics Office indicate.

Exports additionally strengthened in the final quarter, growing by 8.4% year-on-year, continuing an upward trajectory seen throughout last year.

Domestic consumption also picked up last year, albeit at a more subdued pace of 0.8% and with clear signs of a downturn in the final quarter.

Indeed, consumption contracted at an annual rate of 1.6% in the last three months, as investments, which had driven domestic demand throughout the year, began to shrink.

Gross capital formation was up 3.1% for the year, but saw a drop of 7% in the final quarter.

Likewise, domestic spending, which rose 0.3% for the year, began to taper off in the final quarter, while government spending was negative through 2014 at -0.5%.

The growth in investment was driven by a recovery in the recession-ravaged construction sector, whose output grew by 10.9% last year.

But the rebound came to a standstill in the final quarter, when the sector contracted by 0.7% year-on-year, as the boost from EU-backed projects in the 2007-2013 financial period started to wear off.

On a more positive note, value added in manufacturing remained continued to pick up pace, growing by 4.9% during the year and 6.7% in the final quarter.

The real estate sector remained laggard, as output expanded by a mere 0.3% in 2014.

Helped by increased output in forestry following the February 2014 ice storm, value added in agriculture was up 6.6% in the year and remained strong in the final quarter.

The strongest performing in the final quarter was registered in the financial sector, where output was up 17.8% on the same quarter in 2013, turning what had previously been a negative year into growth of 2.1% for the whole year.


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