Slovenia's gross domestic product, measured at constant 2000 prices, increased by 4.6 percent in the second quarter of this year, up from 3.8 percent in Q1. This is the fastest pace of growth in the past four years, according to preliminary figures released by the Statistics Office. In the first half of 2004, GDP volume growth amounted to 4.2 percent.
According to the statisticians, strong growth of exports and imports recorded in Q1 continued in the second quarter of 2004. Exports increased by 13.8 percent compared to the second quarter of 2003, with imports up 15 percent. Due to the higher import growth, the external trade balance decreased GDP volume growth by 1.2 percentage points.
The growth of gross fixed capital formation slightly decreased (6.7 percent as compared to 8.1 percent in the first quarter). Due to the substantial increase in inventories, which contributed 1.9 percentage points to the GDP volume growth, gross capital formation increased by 13.6 percent.
Final consumption growth remained the same as in the previous quarter (2.7 percent). Private consumption expenditure increased by 3.2 percent (the figure stood at 3.8 percent in the first quarter) and government final consumption expenditure was up 1.5 percent as opposed to a 0.1 percent increase in the first quarter.
Value added in basic industries increased by 5.9 percent, which is more than in services (4.1 percent) and mainly due to a 7.8 percent increase of value added in manufacturing.
The GDP at current prices increased by 6.5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2003. Due to the negative terms of trade, implicit GDP deflator amounted to 1.8 percent at the annual level.
On an annual comparison, employment was down 0.2 percent in Q2, yet the negative trend recorded in the past year is coming to a halt. In the non-financial and financial sectors, employment was down 0.2 percent, while employment in the general government sector increased by 1.8 percent.
Source: Slovene Press Agency STA