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Slovenia's economy moderately hit by Omicron spread, risks remain - c-bank

Author Radomir Ralev
Slovenia's economy moderately hit by Omicron spread, risks remain - c-bank Slovenian central bank headquarters; Author: Alois Staudacher, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), January 26 (SeeNews) - Slovenia's economy was moderately affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus' Omicron variant but still faces macroeconomic risks related to the high level of absenteeism, the country's central bank said.

"We estimate that some macroeconomic risks remain high, mainly due to increased absenteeism with a record number of infected people, high energy costs and higher inflation, which is already reducing the real growth of household income," the central bank said in a statement on Tuesday.

Employers are facing a deepening shortage of workers, while the number of persons in employment was again at a record high in November, the central bank said.

"Due to the rapid decline in domestic unemployment, companies are hiring foreign nationals. Last autumn, they contributed about half to the year-on-year growth of persons in employment."

The deteriorating epidemiological situation had a relatively small impact on Slovenia's economic activity in the fourth quarter of 2021, the central bank added.

In December, the central bank increased its forecast for the economic growth of the country in 2021 to 6.7% from 5.2% predicted in June. It expects Slovenia's gross domestic product to grow by 4.0% in 2022, down from 4.8% envisaged in June.

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