Ljubljana – The newspaper Delo warns in Saturday’s commentary against misinterpretation of macroeconomic indicators before election, noting that rather than boasting with figures politicians should offer solutions for the future.
While in the past, Slovenia’s exports were higher than imports, the country generated a trade deficit of EUR 2 billion in the last three months that data are available for. Luckily, the reason is not lower exports, which would indicate the backbone of the Slovenian economy is in trouble, but extraordinary growth in imports.
There are several reasons for this, including high domestic consumption, massive investments and costlier raw materials and energy. Electricity imports were up by more than 500%, mostly due to higher prices. The situation is similar with oil imports.
It can thus be expected that imports will increase as well in the coming months, partly also because Slovenian companies will also raise prices.
All this shows that macroeconomic indicators should be interpreted carefully, especially before the election. Politicians from the ruling coalition like to boast Slovenia has high economic growth and exports, but this is also partly due to higher prices and trade with medicines through Novartis’s logistic centre.
So more than last year’s high economic growth (+8.1%), which is also the consequence of lower basis because of the epidemic, the forecast for this year will be important. The growth will still be relatively high, but much lower than last year, which the government “irresponsibly” does not want to show.
The war in Ukraine and a potential embargo on Russian gas may further hinder economic growth and the high inflation will deepen the problems, so rather than boasting with past achievements politicians should say what they will do to make Slovenian businesses competitive, reads the commentary entitled The Power of Weak Numbers.