SLOVENIA: Slovenia’s economy will grow more than 3pc in 2019 despite a second quarter slowdown, Economy Minister Zdravko Pocivalsek said on Monday on the sidelines of a regional political and business conference.
“I am an optimist … In any case, I expect economic growth of over 3pc (in 2019),” Pocivalsek told reporters in the Alpine resort of Bled, without explaining his forecast further.
In the second quarter, Slovenia’s economy expanded by only 0.2pc compared to the previous quarter.
It expanded by 2.5pc year-on-year, down from 3.3pc in the first quarter.
Analysts attributed that to the slowdown in Slovenia’s main trading partners, which include Germany, Italy, Croatia, France and Austria, and said a further deceleration is likely if global trade conflicts escalate.
Slovenia exports about 80pc of its production, mainly cars, car parts, pharmaceutical products and household appliances.
Pocivalsek said the government plans to boost Slovenia’s workforce by enabling faster employment of the young and easier employment of the retired, and by cutting red tape when employing workers from abroad.
The jobless rate in Slovenia fell to 4.2pc in the second quarter of 2019, which is the lowest level in almost 11 years.
In 2018, Slovenia’s economy expanded by 4.1pc.