This 2003 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic growth in the Republic of Slovenia slowed during 2001–02 to about 3 percent, owing to a weak external environment and subdued domestic demand. Export growth slowed as demand from the European Union weakened, but the impact was cushioned by a rapid expansion of exports to southeastern Europe and Russia. With imports growing more slowly than exports and the terms of trade improving, the external current account swung into surplus in 2001 and strengthened further in 2002, reflecting a satisfactory competitive position.
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that Slovenia is recovering from a deep crisis. Growth is estimated to have reached about 2.6 percent in 2014, supported by strong exports and EU-funded public investment. The financial sector has stabilized following recapitalization of the major banks by the state. Government bonds yields have declined markedly. Growth is projected at about 1.9 and 1.7 percent in 2015 and 2016, respectively, with potential growth well below precrisis levels. Executive Directors welcomed the fact that Slovenia’s economy is recovering and commended the authorities for their efforts to mend the banking system, facilitate corporate debt restructuring, and consolidate the public finances.
This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that domestic demand in Slovenia rebounded strongly in 2003 after three anemic years. All components of domestic demand strengthened appreciably, fueled by declines in interest rates and the associated pickup in bank credit to the private sector. Progress with disinflation was better than expected. Year-over-year inflation declined from 7.2 percent at end-2002 to 3.5 percent in March 2004. IMF staff analysis suggests that the widening of the output gap associated with the economic slowdown was the dominant driving force behind disinflation in 2003.
This paper provides a background on the key policy challenges for Slovenia in the euro zone. Then, it assesses the discretionary scope to adjust spending and proposes initial steps to enhance budget flexibility so that fiscal adjustment can be targeted on relatively inefficient spending. This study also discusses the long-term fiscal sustainability position of Slovenia using a generational accounting framework. A simulation of retirement incentives suggests that the pension system will encourage individuals to retire earlier than the statutory full pensionable age. These incentives are stronger for low-income earners.
This Selected Issues paper provides a quantitative assessment of the determinants of inflation in Slovenia, and evaluates the likelihood of the Maastricht inflation criterion being met. It concludes that on the basis of currently identified policies, Slovene inflation will likely remain above the Maastricht criterion over the assessment period. The IMF staff analysis suggests that the economic slowdown related to the unfavorable external environment contributed about two-thirds to disinflation in 2003. This paper also analyzes the direct fiscal implications of European Union accession on Slovenia.
Slovenia is set to become the first among the new European Union member states to adopt the euro. Executive Directors emphasized the need to implement policies that increase productivity, create an efficient business environment and a flexible labor market, and improve sustainability of public finances in the face of population aging. Labor participation is also relatively low among the older and younger working-age population. To deal with these challenges, the authorities should speed up efforts to raise labor utilization by lowering marginal tax rates, improving the target of social benefits and reducing incentives for early retirement.
This 2005 Article IV Consultation highlights that Slovenia’s real GDP growth accelerated to 4½ percent in 2004 driven by a large positive swing in the contribution of net foreign demand, while domestic demand growth maintained momentum. Private consumption strengthened, though to a lesser extent than expected owing to an apparent increase in the propensity to save. Economic growth is expected to moderate to 4 percent in 2005, but would still be above estimates of potential. Domestic demand is expected to ease, owing to a further slowdown of inventory accumulation.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes current developments and outlook for inflation in the Czech Republic. Inflation in the Czech Republic has fallen substantially since peaking in the double digits in 1998. The crisis-led depreciation of the koruna in mid-1997 pushed year-over-year inflation to more than 13 percent. The paper presents the IMF staff analysis that shows that without interest rate increases, inflation is likely to begin to rise above the midpoint of the Czech National Bank’s target in mid-2005. The paper also analyzes the Czech labor market in a cross-country perspective.
This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic performance of Slovenia strengthened in 2006, supported by a recovery in investment and continued growth spillovers from the European Union. Declining real interest rates in the run-up to euro adoption on January 1, 2007 helped sustain credit growth and domestic demand. The strong economy boosted job creation, while unemployment declined and capacity utilization reached record high levels. Growth is projected to slow down slightly in 2007–08, as the investment boom decelerates.
The global crisis exacerbated the Slovenian economy’s previous imbalances in the fiscal, financial, and real sectors. The authorities agreed that fiscal consolidation including pension, health care, and financial management is essential for sustainable recovery. The Bank of Slovenia emphasizes that banks’ governance and capitalization should be enhanced, regardless of ownership. The authorities suggested that structural reforms in labor and product markets are critical to boost potential growth. The authorities agreed that maintaining competitiveness is crucial for Slovenia as it has a small and export-dependent economy.