Economy of Slovenia

Slovenia has a developed economy and is per capita the richest of Slavic states. The country was in the beginning of 2007 the first new member to introduce the euro as its currency, replacing the tolar. Since 2010, it has been member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Growth and financial debt

In 2004-2006, the economy grew on average by nearly 5% a year in Slovenia; in 2007, it expanded by almost 7%. The growth surge was fuelled by debt, particularly among firms, and especially in construction. After the financial crisis of 2007-2010 and European sovereign-debt crisis, the price for a boom that veered out of control is now being paid. The construction industry was severely hit in 2010 and 2011. Already in 2009 the Slovenian GDP per capita shrunk by 7.9%, which was the biggest fall in the European Union after the Baltic countries and Finland. After a slow recovery thanks to the export, since the last quarter of 2011, it has again recorded recession. This has been attributed to the fall in domestic consumption, and the slowdown in export growth. The reasons for the decrease in domestic consumption have been multiple: the fiscal austerity, the freeze on budget expenditure in the final months of last year, the failure of the efforts to implement economic reforms, inappropriate financing, and the decrease in exports.

Slovenia's total national debt at the end of September 2011 amounted to 15,884 million euros or 44.4% of GDP. In August 2012, the three main ratings agencies have all downgraded Slovenian sovereign debt as investors voice concerns that Slovenia will require a bailout; it would be the sixth Eurozone country—and the first former communist country—to require a bailout.

Services and industry

Almost two-thirds of people are employed in services, and over one-third in industry and construction. Slovenia benefits from a well-educated workforce, well-developed infrastructure, and its