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Slovenia Business Week no. 11: D&B Keeps Slovenia in the Top Spot in the Region

D&B pointed out that Slovenia fulfils all the criteria for eurozone entry planned for 1 January 2007, pending the convergence report which is to be issued by the European Commission and the European Central Bank in October

Slovenia remains firmly in the top spot in Eastern Europe alongside Slovakia, according to the March report of the international rating firm Dun&Bradstreet (D&B). Both have a DB2c rating, whereby Slovenia's trend is still pointing upwards.

D&B pointed out that Slovenia fulfils all the criteria for eurozone entry planned for 1 January 2007, pending the convergence report which is to be issued by the European Commission and the European Central Bank in October.

This means that Slovenia will be the first among the ten EU newcomers to join the eurozone. The remaining two euro candidates, Lithuania and Estonia, have not yet fulfilled all the criteria, D&B analysts say.

Data from the National Statistical Office showed that Slovenia's merchandise export earnings rose 12% to SIT 3.4trn (EUR 14.19bn), while imports were 11.0% higher over the same period at SIT 3.7trn (EUR 15.44bn). The merchandise trade deficit therefore stood at SIT 0.3trn (EUR 1.25bn).

Slovenia's Central Bank has taken advantage of favourable inflation data in January to cuts rates on key instruments by 25 basis points on 10 February, D&B writes in its report. Despite the cut, the tolar has maintained a rate of SIT 239.64 per euro.

The majority of Slovenians also remain in favour of the switch to the euro, with 58% looking forward to the changeover. The average support in the 10 new EU states meanwhile stood at a much lower 38%.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA