Ljubljana, 24 March (STA) - After the government's economic think-tank IMAD projected on Tuesday a six to eight percent contraction in the country's GDP for 2020, preliminary data showing spikes in the number of sole proprietorships closed and of newly registered unemployed persons are starting to reveal the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
The Agency for Public Legal Services (AJPES) told the STA that 779 sole proprietors had closed shop between 1 and 20 March, which is 44% more than in the same period last year, 48% more than had been the case for 1-20 February and 29% more than in the 1-20 January period.
The figure for the last registered week alone, meaning 16 to 20 March, is 276, after it was at 98 in the same period in February and at 155 in January.
Moreover, 613 more have filed to be closed by the end of March, AJPES said, while adding it did not have conclusive data on what share of the sole proprietorships closing are doing so due to the crisis.
Measures aiming to help the self-employed are expected to be part of the second emergency package currently being drawn up by the government. The business paper Finance reported they include a basic monthly income amounting to 70% of the net minimum wage, as well as cancellation of social contribution payments and deferral of income tax payments.
Meanwhile, the crisis is also reflecting in the number of people registering as unemployed. According to the Employment Service, 2,370 registered as newly unemployed between 9 and 22 March, an increase of roughly 10% compared to the same period last year. The service added that not all registrations had been processed yet.
Of the 2,370, 1,057 had their fixed term contracts expire, while 664 were made redundant or worked at companies that went into receivership.