August 31, 2017 / 10:49 AM / a year ago

Slovenia Q2 GDP growth slows down, annual growth seen above forecast

LJUBLJANA, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Slovenia’s GDP growth slowed down to 4.4 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017, down from 5.1 percent in the previous three months, as investment and export growth was lower, the statistics office said on Thursday.

Analysts said full year growth is still likely to be above the government’s forecast of 3.6 percent made in March as growth of investment and exports remains higher than seen earlier.

“The growth figures are good and I do not expect any major slow down in the coming months as the recovery in Europe continues,” said Primoz Cencelj, fixed income portfolio manager at investment firm KD Skladi.

“I expect full year growth to be around 4 percent,” he added.

Investment increased by 7.4 percent year-on-year in the second quarter compared to 14.1 percent in the previous three months, while exports were up by 8.3 percent compared to 9.5 percent from January to March.

The statistics office also said the number of tourists increased by 15.1 percent in the first seven months of the year, with the number of foreign tourists up by 18.7 percent.

Tourism has been rising steeply in Slovenia as the country is seen as a secure location, while the fact that U.S. First Lady Melania Trump was born in the country also helps to attract visitors.

Slovenia, which narrowly avoided an international bailout for its banks in 2013, returned to growth a year later and its economy expanded by 3.1 percent in 2016.

Exports to other European Union countries are the main drive of the economy and include cars, car parts, pharmaceuticals and household appliances. (Reporting By Marja Novak, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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