Economy of Slovenia

By | April 29, 2022

Immediately after the declaration of independence, Slovenia spoke in favor of a transition to a modern social market economy and integration into Western European structures. As in other post-socialist countries, the economy in Slovenia at the beginning. 1990s experienced an economic downturn. The economy was negatively affected by the loss of former markets in the republics of the former Yugoslavia. As a result of all this, Slovenia experienced a drop in production and the living standards of the population, a decrease in investment and employment, and increased economic instability. In 1991–92, the GDP contracted by 14.4%. But already in the following year, signs of economic recovery appeared due to the beginning of the policy of economic stabilization. In 1993, GDP growth resumed, amounting to 2.8% per year. After GDP grew by 5.3% in 1994 and 4.1% in 1955, its volume approached the level of 1990. At the same time, positive structural changes took place in the economy, which led to an improvement in the qualitative parameters of development (increase in labor productivity, increase in return on investment, technical re-equipment of production). After the adoption in December 1992 of the law on the transformation of public property, the process of privatization of enterprises, and then banks, began. The organizational and managerial foundations of enterprises were gradually restructured and their finances strengthened.

According to cheeroutdoor, economic growth was facilitated by an increase in domestic consumption due to an increase in real incomes of the population. Since 1994, this has been supplemented by an increase in investment and export expansion, which was facilitated by a favorable foreign trade situation in the main European markets. As a result, employment and capacity utilization of enterprises increased, which in turn contributed to further growth in production and exports.

The accelerated growth in production and consumption was accompanied by certain problems. Outstripping the growth of wages, pensions and other social payments to the population of the growth rate of labor productivity with a certain temporary slowdown in structural reforms proved beyond the strength of the still weak economy, especially when from mid- 1995 sharply worsened foreign economic situation in Europe. At the same time, economic reforms slowed down and the inconsistency of its individual aspects intensified. In particular, there was a backlog in the reform of the tax system, the tax services were not modernized in time and the sources of tax revenues to the budget were expanded. The shadow economy grew, the process of privatization slowed down, investment motivation decreased, and the inflow of capital into the real sector of the economy decreased. Hence the slowdown in economic growth and the restriction of the inflow of budget revenues, with the continued rapid growth of government spending, difficulties in the field of external finance due to the weakening of control over borrowing by enterprises and banks abroad and the untimely response of the exchange rate policy to changes in international currency markets. As a result, in 1997, for the first time in independent Slovenia, a budget deficit of 1.5% of GDP appeared. The government was forced to switch to a policy of austerity in budget funds and limiting the growth of social spending. As a result, the growth rate of the state budget deficit began to decrease to 0.8 and 0.6% of GDP in 1998 and 1999. However, in 2000 and 2001, the annual budget deficit again increased to 1.4% of GDP, and in 2002 it doubled, amounting to 3% of GDP. Thus,

The main indicators of the economic development of Slovenia in 2002: growth in % of GDP 3.2, agriculture 1.1, industry 4.7, construction 3.3, services 3.0; GDP per capita (US dollars at the exchange rate) 10,577, unemployment (% of the working-age population) 6.4; labor productivity (growth in %) 3.2; inflation (%) 7.5; foreign trade (million euros) – export and import of goods (11,083, 11,344), export and import of services (2416, 1824).

The Slovenian economy is oriented to the foreign market. The country has a liberal foreign trade regime, exports and imports are essentially free. 2/3 of foreign trade falls on the EU countries, of which Germany occupies the 1st place. The next important foreign trade partners of Slovenia are Italy, Austria, Croatia, France. The Russian Federation is in 7-8th place.

In 2002, the trend of a sharp reduction in the deficit of foreign trade in goods, which began in the previous year, continued. Every year it decreased on average by more than half and in 2002 was 4.7 times less than in 2000. The positive balance of foreign trade in services averaged more than 500 million euros annually in 2000-02. In 2002, exports of goods almost equaled imports, exceeding 11 billion euros, while exports of services reached 2.5 billion euros, i.e. 1/3 was more than the volume of imports.

The positive current account balance in 2002 was $375 million.

Slovenia is subdivided into 12 economic and geographical regions: Primorye, Notranjsky, Gorishsky, Gorensky, Central Slovenia, Dolensky, Zasavje, Lower Posavje, Savinjskoe, Southeast Corinthia, Podravlje and Pomurie. These regions are divided into 57 micro-regions and 106 districts. At the macro level, Slovenia is often divided into two parts, each of which gravitates towards the Slovenian Ljubljana and Maribor, which are major industrial and cultural centers of the country.

Conditions for agriculture in Slovenia are not very favorable due to the mostly mountainous terrain and limited fertile soils. Most of the country’s territory is unsuitable for agriculture. Only 38.9% of the country’s territory falls on agricultural land, 54.2% – on forests, and 6.9% – on completely unsuitable lands. 62.8% of all land is meadows (mainly alpine), arable land occupies only 29.9% of agricultural land. Approximately 90% of cultivated and other agricultural land is privately owned.

The share in the GDP of agriculture and forestry, together with fishing, is 4.7%, and in the country’s exports – 0.8%. The most important branches of agriculture are animal husbandry (mainly cattle breeding), horticulture, viticulture, and horticulture. In field cultivation, the main place is occupied by the production of grain and industrial crops (mainly hops and sugar beets).

The most important place in the structure of the economy is occupied by energy. Industry consumes the most energy – more than 1/3, then the population – 1/3 and transport – 1/4 of the total. In Slovenia, there are 73 hydroelectric power stations with a total capacity of 728 MW (on the Drava, Sava and Sochi rivers), 4 large thermal power plants with a capacity of 1020 MW and a nuclear power plant in Krsko, joint with Croatia, with a capacity of 664 MW. Hydroelectric power plants account for 28%, thermal power plants – 35%, nuclear power plants – 37% of all electricity produced.

An important source of fuel for thermal power plants is natural gas, obtained through international gas pipelines from the Russian Federation through Austria and from Algeria through Italy. One of the most important internal energy sources is coal. However, the available reserves of lignite and brown coal are largely exhausted.

Economy of Slovenia