All macroeconomic forecasts remain unchanged, however, D&B established that import growth outpaced that of exports due to rising domestic demand and high oil prices in the international markets
According to the monthly report of the international rating firm Dun&Bradstreet (D&B), Slovenia has firmly retained the first place in the region, and its ratings are increasing, the firm said in a press release on Tuesday, 7 June.
All macroeconomic forecasts remain unchanged, however, D&B established that import growth outpaced that of exports due to rising domestic demand and high oil prices in the international markets.
Nevertheless, D&B has noticed a 24% increase in exports of services to US$ 3.5bn. Slovenia witnessed a development especially in transport and tourism, which is probably the result of Slovenia entering the EU. The number of tourists from France, Iceland and Great Britain increased by 50% last year.
However, Slovenia cannot absorb all EU-sponsored funds yet, D&B observes. Current account deficit increased from US$ 99m in 2003 to US$ 122m in 2004. However, it remained at 0.4% of GDP, and D&B predicts it will stay the same or even decrease in the near future.
D&B expects Slovenia's foreign debt, which stood at 59% of GDP at the end of 2004, to rise to 63.6% of GDP by the end of 2006. Slovenia's ERM II membership and growing integration with the EU stand to reduce the cost of foreign borrowing further, making foreign bank loans an increasingly attractive option, according to the firm.
Source: Slovene Press Agency STA