Ljubljana, 29 November (STA) - Slovenia's economy expanded by 2.3% at the annual level in the third quarter of the year or a seasonally adjusted 2%, the slowest rate in three years, as growth continued to decelerate in line with predictions. Exports were sluggish, but their lacklustre contribution to growth was offset by robust domestic spending and investments.
The growth rate is the slowest since the third quarter of 2016 and compares to 2.5% in the second quarter and 3.3% in the first quarter of the year; in the first nine months the economy expanded by 2.7% year-on-year.
Domestic spending rose by 3.8% in the third quarter, almost double the rate of the previous quarter, while investments surged by 4.4%, having been in negative territory in the previous quarter.
However, the increase in investments is mostly the result of inventory changes, as gross fixed capital formation, a key benchmark, rose by just 1.2% compared to 6.9% in the previous quarter.
Export growth slowed to 4.5% from 5%, but with imports growing at a far faster pace, at 6.7%, the external trade balance contributed a negative 1.2 percentage points to growth.