Weekly Economic Highlights: Trade with the world higher at the end of the year 2021

10_1_2022_Weekly Economic Highlights

Release date 9 January 2022

Trade with the world higher at the end of the year 2021

On Slovenia's Economy

  • According to first estimate, Slovenia exported goods worth EUR 3.7 billion in November 2021, which was almost a quarter more than in the same month last year. In the first 11 months of the past year, growth was 19% (relative growth was the same in EU countries as in other countries), but of course the nominal increase in exports on the EU market was correspondingly much higher. In the autumn forecast, we estimated that the growth of exports in 2021 will be 12%. In same month, EUR 4.17 billion worth of goods were imported (26% more). Growth in imports of goods was 30% in the first 11 months (our autumn estimate: +17%). We imported 24% more from EU countries and 42% from non-member countries, which was also due to high growth in raw material and energy prices. Thus, in the figures of imports and exports, we must draw attention to the real growth of trade in goods not produced in Slovenia (road vehicles, part of electricity etc.) and the impact of higher prices of raw materials and energy on nominal growth. Based on data on trade in November, we can conclude that the last quarter of 2021 was quite likely to be good for exporters as well as for domestic consumption and investment consumption. The first estimate of real GDP growth between 6 and 7% for 2021 is thus quite in place.

  • According to data from non-financial sector accounts (corporates), gross investment of enterprises in the Q3 2021 amounted to EUR 1.8 billion, which was 60% more than in the Q3 2020 and 4% more than in the Q3 2019 (data are nominal and are also affected by price changes). Compared to the same periods in 2020 and 2019, compensation of employees was higher by 9% and by 8.1%. Value added increased slightly less, by 8.6% or by 6% correspondingly. The growth of the gross operating surplus of companies (approximate EBITDA) was thus lower than the growth of value added and amounted to 8.3% or 4.4%.

  • More economic topics are below in the attachment.

On World Economy

  • JP Morgan's global composite PMI (purchasing managers' index) fell slightly (54.3) in December (54.8 November) and levelled off at a similar level as in the previous three months. Services slowed down (optimism was still higher than in manufacturing), while growth increased in manufacturing. Growth accelerated only in the production of capital goods. It was still high in business services, but slowed down in consumer goods, intermediate production and financial services. Optimism was greatest in the USA, Ireland and India, with only Germany expected to face a drop this month. The growth rate of new orders remained at a similar level as in November. For the sixteenth consecutive month, employment strengthened. More jobs have been created in the USA, the euro area, Japan, the UK, Brazil and Australia. There have been no changes in China. In India and Russia, their numbers have shrunk. Inward and outgoing inflation have declined slightly but remain high.

  • More economic topics are below in the attachment.


Must Read of the Week

  • Bottlenecks, labour markets and inflation in the wake of the pandemic; Speech by Hyun Song Shin, Economic Adviser and Head of Research of the BIS, G20 International Seminar "Recover together, recover stronger", 9 December 2021; free download at: https://www.bis.org/speeches/sp211209.htm

Comment/Abstract: Bottlenecks in areas such as commodity markets, shipping and semiconductors have raised global inflation to levels not seen in years. They reflect a complex mix of supply constraints, strong demand and "bullwhip"-type behavioural responses. Bottlenecks have had a significant effect on inflation, particularly for durable goods. Their broader inflationary consequences will depend crucially on labour market developments. The latter display some strong similarities across advanced economies, but also some stark differences. In particular, in the United States – which experienced a sharp rise in unemployment in mid-2020 – it has become noticeably more difficult to match workers with job vacancies than before the pandemic. Such a change has not been observed in the euro area or Japan, where policies kept employee-firm matches intact. The causes of these developments, and their likely persistence, could have a significant bearing on assessments of labour market tightness, as well as on the likelihood that temporary bottlenecks could morph into a more disruptive wage-price spiral.

Forecast of the Week

  • Industrial production, Slovenia, Nov. 21/Oct. 21 (Statistical Office of RS); +0.0%

Comment: Industrial production was up by 11.4% in first 10 months, significantly exceeding our estimates. Nevertheless, we believe that in last quarter of 2021, some weaknesses emerged due to lower production in industries, connected to automotive supply chain.   


Quote of the Week

“The goal of forecasting is not to predict the future but to tell you what you need to know to take meaningful action in the present.” (Paul Saffo)

Please see the enclosed attachment