October 10, 2019 / 1:51 PM / 5 days ago

Slovenian export growth boosted by pharmaceuticals -government institute

LJUBLJANA, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Slovenia's export growth remains strong, mainly due to exports of pharmaceutical products, despite global economic risks and expected lower growth in the country's main trading partners, the government's macroeconomic institute said.

"Exports rose by 9.4% year-on-year in the first seven months (of 2019), mainly due to exports of medical and pharmaceutical products," UMAR said in a report on Thursday.

"Export growth of other important products was significantly lower, which is due to slowdown of growth in our main trading partners, particularly Germany," the institute said, adding slower economic growth continues.

The institute last month reduced its 2019 GDP growth outlook to 2.8% from the 3.4% it forecast in March, mainly due to a slowdown in its main trading partners. Slovenia's economy expanded by 4.1% in 2018.

Slovenia exports about 80% of its production, mostly to other EU states, with Germany accounting for about 20% of all exports. Its main exports include pharmaceuticals, cars and car parts and household appliances.

Slovenia has two large pharmaceutical companies which are among the three largest exporters in the country: Lek, a subsidiary of Swiss Novartis and Krka, which is the country's largest listed company.

The institute said household spending is on the rise due to higher income and steep rise of consumer loans. The government this year raised most public sector salaries and cut taxes on annual one-off holiday payment which employees usually receive before the summer holidays.

It said wages increased by 4.4% year-on-year in the first seven months of 2019 versus 3.6% in the same period of 2018. (Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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