Weekly Economic Highlights: Transport infrastructure crucial for the growth of construction

19.11.2021_Weekly Economic Highlights

Release date 19 November 2021

Transport infrastructure crucial for the growth of construction

On Slovenia's Economy

  • 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). Value of construction works was only 0.7% higher year on year, but 3.7% lower in the first nine months of 2021. In this period, only the value of construction works in civil engineering increased by 8% year on year, while the value of specialized construction works decreased by 1% and the value of building construction by 19.8%. Compared to other EU countries, the September monthly growth (+8.5%) stood out (highest rise among countries) compared to the weighted growth in the EU-27 (+1.2%). In the first nine months (compared to the same period in 2020), Slovenia's lag behind the EU-27 was quite high. According to the calendar adjusted data, the value of construction works in this period was 7% higher in the EU-27, while in Slovenia it was 3.9% lower. A comparison with 2019 (nine months) shows that in the EU-27 the value of construction works was already at a similar level (-0.3%), while in Slovenia it was lower for 6.8%. This lag is expected to be related exclusively to a large drop in works in buildings, which in our opinion is related to high past activity in commercial buildings in 2019-2020 and lower in 2021 (based on decisions taken in 2020). Higher residential housing construction could not replace this drop. In civil engineering, the dynamics in Slovenia (+ 8.0% in the first nine months of 2021 compared to 2019) was more intensive than in the EU-27 (+ 0.3% in the first nine months of 2021 compared to 2019).

  • Trends in passenger transport are still weak. Buses in urban public transport carried 5% less passengers in September 2021 than in September 2020. In intercity and international public transport, they carried 9% fewer passengers. In doing so, they performed approximately 32.9 million passenger-kilometres, which was 7% less than in September 2020. Dynamics was different for rail transport. In September 2021, trains carried 11% more passengers year on year. In doing so, they covered 57.4 million passenger kilometres, which was 7% more than in September 2020.

  • More economic topics are below in the attachment.

On Global / On European Economy

  • Eurostat has published the final estimate of October inflation according to the HICP (nation-state principle) methodology for the EU-27. This was 4.1% higher year on year. Differences between countries were extremely high, especially among small members. It was 8.2% in Lithuania, 6.8% in Estonia and 6.6% in Hungary. Countries where price growth was higher were all outside the euro area. On the other hand, price growth was lowest in Malta (1.4%), Portugal (1.8%) and Greece (2.8%). In Slovenia it stood at 3.5%.

  • Data on GDP growth in the Q3 2021 were supplemented by some other EU countries. In the aggregate, growth did not change (2.1% growth compared to the Q2 2021). Higher growth in Spain and France offset slightly lower growth in other member states. Based on the updated data, we estimate the quarterly growth of Slovenia somewhere between the growth of Poland (2.1%) and Austria (3.3%).

  • More economic topics are below in the attachment.


Must Read of the Week

Comment/Abstract: Proceedings of selected IFC-sponsored sessions at the 63rd World Statistics Congress of the International Statistical Institute (ISI) are a must read of every analyst. The experience of central banks has underlined the potential of alternative data sets to deliver statistics that are higher frequency as well as more timely, flexible and granular than traditional ones. These are urgently needed to help policymakers follow macroeconomic developments and support policy decisions. Yet these new data sources can come with huge numbers, multiple formats and high noise-to-signal ratios, making them difficult to use systematically in policymaking and statistical production. Some of these challenges might be addressed with appropriate engagement rules between public agencies and private data providers; others require further adequate improvement in our statistical and analytical methodological work.

Forecast of the Week

  • Economic Sentiment Index, Slovenia, November 2021 (Statistical Office of RS); -30

Comment: We expect another drop in Economic Sentiment Index which will be mainly due to deterioration of consumer sentiment and sentiment in manufacturing. High infections rates and some new restrictive measures will probably add to the fears in all sectors, although we do not see a large drop in services sector but rather a minor adjustment (-2 to -3 basis points).


Quote of the Week

“We have become, to some extent, economic hypochondriacs. You get a wiggle in a statistic, and everyone runs to get the thermometer.”
(Paul McCracken)

Please see the enclosed attachment