Slovenia Active In Catching Up With EU Average

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The Slovenian government has been extremely active in catching up with the European Union’s average gross domestic product, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa said on Monday.

Jansa told the press that Slovenia’s goal is to catch up with the EU’s average GDP by 2015 and the way to achieve that is to grow 3 percentage points faster than the EU on average, the Slovenian news agency reported from the capital Ljubljana.

The Slovenian economy managed to grow some 4 percentage points faster than the average of EU and the eurozone countries in the H1 of the year, Jansa said, adding that the unemployment rate dropped by 20% during the past year. Unemployment in the former Yugoslav country of two million has been falling steadily over the last 12 months, reaching 7.7% in May compared with 9.8% a year earlier.

Slovenia’s per capita GDP measured by purchasing power parity stood at 87% of the EU average in 2006, according to figures released in July by Eurostat, EU’s statistics organ. Slovenia is in 16th place in the 27-member EU in terms of its per capita GDP, behind Greece (89%) and Cyprus (94%). In 2006, Slovenia registered 5.2% growth compared with 3% within the 27-member European Union.

The government wants to maintain the positive economic trends but is also aware of the danger that the economy would overheat due to the high growth rate and rising energy and food prices, said Jansa. The cabinet will be vigilant, he said, adding that recent inflation had been caused by an increase in the price of oil, higher EU food prices and the adoption of the euro in January. Slovenian consumer prices rose sharply in June, increasing by 3.8% from the same month one year earlier.

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