Slovenia Economy Facts

Economical overview

Slovenia was long regarded as “best in class” by the former communist countries that joined the EU in 2004 and was the first of them to qualify to exchange currency for the euro. However, the global financial crisis in 2008 hit hard on the country, which was also dragged into the eurozone debt crisis in 2012. Despite the problems of recent years, Slovenia is still one of the richest countries in Eastern and Central Europe.

Slovenia has a well-trained workforce, good infrastructure and a strategic location between Western Europe and the Balkans. Political stability has also been a competitive advantage.

  • Major imports by Slovenia, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.

Imports were longer than exports for a long time, but in 2013 it reversed and the trade balance has subsequently been positive. Machines, electronics and vehicle parts are the most important commodities. During the Yugoslav era, Slovenia depended on exports to the other sub-republics; the transition to trade with the EU countries took time. Now half of the trade is only done with Germany, Italy, Austria and Croatia (EU member since 2013).

Since the turn of the millennium, the Slovenes have benefited from their geographical location and their knowledge of the former compatriots in the Balkans, which has led to large Slovenian investments in, for example, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In the past, Slovenia was the center of the Yugoslav industry, which gave some precedence over the rest of the region at independence in 1991. The privatization of business began at an early stage but has progressed slowly; there is resistance to the state disposing of assets. Another quarter of a century after the fall of communism, the state has a strong grip on about half the economy.

  • Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including SLO which represents the country of Slovenia. Check findjobdescriptions to learn more about Slovenia.

The economy grew relatively steadily from 1993 and in January 2007 Slovenia became the first country in the former Eastern bloc to switch to the euro, which then replaced the former national currency, tariffs.

But growth was abruptly halted by the global financial crisis, which led to the economy shrinking by around 8 percent in 2009, with a sharply increased budget deficit as a result. The economy then grew marginally for a few years before the eurozone crisis became a fact. Growth was again negative in 2012 when it became clear that mainly three large state banks were pulled down with bad loans and threatened to collapse. A state banking crisis company, BAMC, was formed to facilitate the restructuring of banks with a lack of both capital and cash. A comprehensive program of cuts was adopted and the government decided to privatize 15 major state companies, to raise capital. Slovenia managed, with difficulty and scarcity, to manage without emergency loans from abroad by pumping in more than 3 billion euros into the banks.

From 2014, the economy grew again and the outlook brightened. However, credit institutions such as the IMF continued to urge Slovenia to accelerate the pace of privatization and reforms in education, healthcare and pension systems, to accelerate growth. Government debt had more than doubled in five years and was above 80 per cent of GDP in 2015. GDP per inhabitant was still lower than before the international financial crisis. The costs of decontaminating the economy also ended up largely with the country’s residents in the form of reduced wages and reduced social benefits.

Nine of the 15 state-owned companies earmarked for this purpose had been privatized in early 2017. Despite two attempts, the largest of them, the telecom company Telekom Slovenije, had not been sold when potential buyers withdrew with reference to unfavorable terms. Among the companies that the state managed to sell were the airline Adria Airways, the airport in Ljubljana, the ski manufacturer Elan and the country’s second largest bank, NKBM, all of which were bought by foreign investors.

By regional standards, corruption is low in Slovenia. According to Transparency International’s list of corruption in 180 of the world’s countries, Slovenia ended up in 36th place in 2018. It was far better than its neighbors in the Balkans and Italy.


GDP per person

US $ 26,234 (2018)

Total GDP

US $ 54,235 million (2018)

GDP growth

4.5 percent (2018)

Agriculture’s share of GDP

1.9 percent (2018)

Manufacturing industry’s share of GDP

20.7 percent (2018)

The service sector’s share of GDP

56.3 percent (2018)


1.8 percent (2019)

Government debt’s share of GDP

70.4 percent (2018)



Merchandise exports

US $ 36,759 million (2018)


US $ 35,412 million (2018)

Current account

US $ 3,073 million (2018)

Commodity trade’s share of GDP

159 percent (2018)

Main export goods

machinery and transport equipment, industrial inputs, chemicals, clothing, food

Largest trading partner

Germany, Italy, Croatia, Austria, France

Slovenia Economy Facts

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