Slovenia: Country fact sheet

Content Type
Country Data and Maps
Economist Intelligence Unit
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Summary, Economy, Background, Fact sheet
Political Geography

Fact sheet

Annual data 2020a Historical averages (%) 2016-20
Population (m) 2.1 Population growth 0.1
GDP (US$ bn; market exchange rate) 52.6 Real GDP growth 1.9
GDP (US$ bn; purchasing power parity) 83.5 Real domestic demand growth 1.7
GDP per head (US$; market exchange rate) 25,290 Inflation 0.9
GDP per head (US$; purchasing power parity) 40,144 Current-account balance (% of GDP) 5.9
Exchange rate (av) US$:€ 1.14 FDI inflows (% of GDP) 2.6
a Actual.

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Background: Slovenia gained independence from Yugoslavia after a brief war in 1991. Politics was dominated by the centre-left Liberal Democracy of Slovenia (LDS) from independence until 2004, when a centre-right coalition, led by the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), took power. Since 2011, when the centre-left Social Democrat (SD) government that had served since 2008 disintegrated, politics has been unstable, with short-lived governing coalitions and a succession of early elections. Slovenia was already economically advanced by regional standards when it gained independence, and it has adopted a relatively complacent attitude towards privatisation and economic reform.

Political structure: Slovenia is one of the strongest democracies among new EU members. It has a bicameral parliament, but only the National Assembly (the lower house) has legislative authority. Its 90 members are chosen in direct elections by proportional representation, with two seats reserved for the ethnic Hungarian and Italian minorities. Most government powers reside with parliament. The president is elected directly by universal suffrage and is restricted to a maximum of two consecutive five-year terms.

Policy issues: The current economic policy priorities are to manage the public health crisis and the subsequent economic fallout, including supporting the hard-hit tourism sector and minimising the rise in unemployment. Once the recovery is under way, the focus will shift towards the need for fiscal consolidation and returning the public debt ratio to a downward trend. More structural reforms, including further privatisation and improvement of the business environment, are also required, but are likely to be delayed. Progress is made difficult by the variety of policy perspectives represented in the governing coalition, vested interests and economic nationalism.

Taxation: Corporate income is taxed at a flat rate, currently 19%. Personal income is taxed progressively, with tax brackets ranging from 16% to 50%. The social security contribution rate is 22.1% for employees and 16.1% for employers. Standard value-added tax (VAT) is levied at 22%; a reduced rate of 9.5% is applied to certain goods and services.

Foreign trade: Slovenia has a small, open economy, with trade in goods and services equal to about 150% of GDP. The current account, which registered wide deficits prior to the economic crisis, has posted large surpluses in recent years, as improved competiveness has boosted exports and domestic demand has remained subdued. The current account recorded a surplus of 7.1% of GDP in 2020.

Major exports 2019 % of total Major imports 2019 % of total
Machinery & transport equipment 39.1 Machinery & transport equipment 34.3
Manufactures, classified 28.3 Manufactures, classified 25.6
Chemicals 18.7 Chemicals 19.1
Miscellaneous articles 13.8 Mineral fuels & lubricants 9.6
Leading markets 2019 % of total Leading suppliers 2019 % of total
Germany 17.5 Germany 14.0
Italy 11.2 Italy 12.1
Croatia 7.6 Austria 8.7
Austria 6.6 Switzerland 7.6

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