LJUBLJANA May 10 Slovenian exports jumped 17.8
percent year-on-year in March, their best growth since February
2011, while March's imports rose 18.3 percent, the country's
statistics office reported on Wednesday.
It also said March industrial output grew by 9.8 percent
year-on-year and by 1.4 percent from February. Analysts said the
trends are continuing in the second quarter of the year.
"These figures are good and show that demand on our export
markets continues to increase, which I expect will persist in
the second quarter as well," Igor Masten, a professor at
Ljubljana's University of Economy, told Reuters.
He said, however, that demand began growing in the second
half of 2016, after several years of slowing growth. That has
led to a surge of investment in projects that were delayed
during the slowdown.
"I expect demand to slow down in the second half of this
year, so we will still have export growth but at a more moderate
level," Masten said.
Analysts believe gross domestic product will grow around 3
percent, possibly as much as 3.6 percent as the government
forecast in March .
The economy of Slovenia, which narrowly avoided an
international bailout for its banks in 2013, grew 2.5 percent in
2016, and the government expects growth of 3.2 percent next
The country exports about 60 percent of its output, mainly
to other European Union states, with Germany and Italy being its
largest trading partners. Exports include cars, car parts,
pharmaceutical products and household appliances.
(Reporting By Marja Novak, editing by Larry King)