After the November’s (USD 80.8) and December’s (USD 74.3) fall in oil prices, it became clear that this was a temporary situation. The price of a barrel of Brent oil has risen above USD 88 per barrel, to the highest value in seven years, which is close to our estimate for the average of the year (USD 85), while the majority of institutions estimated a few months ago that the price will fall to around 70 to 75 USD. The acceleration in price was due to an attack on storage facilities in the United Arab Emirates. Geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe and concerns about sufficient spare capacity in OPEC countries have also contributed to the high rise. Rising oil prices will once again contribute to rising year-on-year inflation in all countries.
The total value of industrial production in Slovenia in November 2021 was 2.8% higher than in October 2021, which was significantly higher than we expected (no change compared to October). It was higher in manufacturing and mining (by 3.2% and 2.6%, respectively), and lower in energy (by 2.9%), mainly due to poorer rainfalls. Compared to November 2020, it was higher by 10.1% and compared to November 2019 by 8.7%.
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).
December estimates of economic growth (GDP) for Slovenia (compiled by Consensus Economics) for 2021 strengthened despite the weak growth in the Q3 2021 (they rose for FY from 6.0% in November to 6.3% in December, which is also our central estimate). In the latest issue of the Slovenian Economic Mirror, IMAD estimated that economic growth in 2021 is likely to be 0.5 to 1 percentage point higher than its own autumn estimate (therefore between 6.6% and 7.1%). On the other hand, the average estimate of independent contributors for GDP growth for 2022 decreased slightly (from 3.9% to 3.8%, our estimate: +4.4%, December OECD estimate: +5.4%). Adjustments for inflation were not minor. The average inflation estimate (CPI) rose from 1.6% to 1.8% (for 2021) and from 2.1% to 2.4% (for 2022). In 2023, average inflation is expected to be 2.1% (previous month's estimate: 2.0%). Expectations in industrial production remained unchanged (growth at + 4.8%; our estimate: +3.8%).
Global sector PMI in November remained relatively high. 19 out of 21 sectors recorded business growth. Activity in finance (insurance companies, other financial institutions, excluding banks), transportation, industrial services and software development, banks and the production of technological equipment strengthened the most. The decline was present in the metals and minerals sector and in the automotive and auto parts industries, but the decline in the latter was relatively small. Price pressures continued to be high globally. They were particularly high for input prices in technological equipment, building materials, the chemical industry and the paper industry.
Confidence indicators in manufacturing (+2 percentage points compared to October) and retail trade (+7 percentage points) in Slovenia increased in November, while in construction (-1 percentage points) and services (-1 percentage points) they decreased. The economic sentiment index (ESI) was thus 0.8 percentage points higher in November than in October, which is higher than our expectations (we expected a drop of 1.7 percentage points). It was also higher than the long-term average (by 4.4 percentage points).
Compared to August, the value of construction works (in real terms) rose more than expected in September (+0.9% - expected vs. + 8.5% - preliminary reading). The uncertainty in the forecast of this aggregate is high (the monthly change is difficult to estimate reliably, subsequent revisions of the data are high).
The October value of the Global Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), calculated by J.P. Morgan, increased slightly (from 53.3 to 54.5) as optimism in the service sectors of the global economy rose sharply (from 53.8 to 55.6), while the manufacturing PMI remained almost unchanged (it grew from 54.1 to 54.3). In the case of manufacturing PMI, the estimate of current production, as well as new orders, decreased slightly (meaning slightly lower growth than in previous months).
GDP in the EU-27 strengthened by 2.1% in the Q3 2021 and by 2.2% in the EA-19 compared to the previous quarter, which was above our expectations (2% for EA-19). According to provisional data for 11 economies, representing 91% of EU-27 GDP, growth accelerated in Spain (from 1% in the 2nd quarter to 2%) and France (from 1.3% to 3.0%), while it slowed in Germany (from 1.9% to 1.8%).
October’s reading of economic sentiment index (2.2 points) decreased by 2.5 percentage points compared to September what is more than we expected (a rather modest decrease from 4.7 to 4.0). The monthly change in the index was negatively affected mainly by the confidence indicator in manufacturing (by 2.0 percentage points), the consumer confidence indicator (by 0.7 percentage points) and the confidence indicator in retail trade (by 0.4 percentage points).
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