Current Economic Trends

Current Economic Trends

Current Economic Trends from 8 to 12 July 2019: exports and imports of goods, manufacturing, road and rail freight transport

The level of activity in the export-oriented part of the economy remains high. Goods exports and manufacturing output remain close to the levels achieved after a significant jump at the beginning of the year. Road freight transport remains high as well, while rail transport increased more notably in the first quarter.

The volume of external trade maintained its high level at the beginning of the second quarter. Following the moderate movements in the last months, real exports of goods increased somewhat more in May, while imports remained high. Increasing in all main product groups, exports were up 9.8% year on year in the first five months. Their growth was largely driven by more technology intensive industries, particularly exports of medicinal and pharmaceutical products, which account for almost 12% of goods exports. Imports recorded 11.2% growth during this period, with significant fluctuations between individual months, which we estimate are attributable primarily to the increased commercial and distribution activity in medicinal and pharmaceutical products.

Manufacturing output is hovering close to the levels achieved after a hike at the beginning of the year. In the first five months it was 4.6% higher than in the same period of last year. The greatest contribution to growth came from high-technology industries, amid further growth in the manufacture of ICT equipment particularly from the pharmaceutical industry (according to our estimate). Production was also up year on year in most other industries, while remaining more or less unchanged in the manufacture of motor vehicles and some medium-low technology industries integrated in global value chains, particularly the car industry.

Road freight transport declined in the first quarter of 2019, while rail transport increased. Road transport taking place solely abroad remains high, more than a tenth higher than in the same period of last year; growth in road transport that is at least partly connected to the territory of Slovenia is half lower. The year-on-year growth of export revenues declined but was nevertheless still at 16%. In rail freight transport, where growth is more volatile due to the small number of operators and the dynamics of one-off orders, the volume of transported goods increased in the last two quarters, the year-on-year growth of export revenues reaching 18%.