April 10, 2018 / 12:51 PM / a year ago

Slovenia starts 2018 with construction, export hike-govt institute

LJUBLJANA, April 10 (Reuters) - Economic trends at the start of 2018 remain favourable in Slovenia, with high growth of construction, exports and manufacturing and a fall in unemployment, the government economic institute UMAR said on Tuesday.

It said construction activity in January was 76 percent higer than a year ago, partly on account of poor activity at the start of 2017.

"Construction activity was strongly higher in all segments...due to increased optimism in the private sector and more state investment," it said.

"We expect that the number of jobs in construction will rise furter amid expected increase of investments," it added.

Companies, which are constructing new factories in Slovenia, include Canadian car-parts maker Magna and Japanese electrical eqipment producer Yaskawa.

Slovenia, which narrowly avoided an international bailout for its banks in 2013, returned to growth a year later and the government expects the economy to expand by 5.1 percent this year versus 5 percent in 2017, boosted by exports and investments.

On Monday the statistics office said exports in the first two months of 2018 jumped by 11.7 percent year-on-year. Slovenia exports over 65 percent of its production. Its main exports include cars, car parts, pharmaceuticals and household appliances.

Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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