Press release after the Bank of Slovenia Governing Board meeting on 31 July 2012
1. The Governing Board of the Bank of Slovenia discussed the May 2012 Report on Slovenia’s External Relations. Slovenia’s current account position was positive during the first five months of the year, when it recorded a surplus of EUR 186.0 million, EUR 175 million more than in the same period last year. Coverage of imports by exports totalled 97.9%. There were deficits of EUR 196.2 million in merchandise trade, EUR 285.6 million in factor income and EUR 60.6 million in current transfers, while there was a surplus of trade in services in the amount of EUR 728.4 million.
The current account developments reveal a sharp adjustment in the corporate and household sectors in recent years, the deficit having diminished sharply in 2009 from more than 6% of GDP in 2008, while the first five months of this year saw a current account surplus of around 0.5% of GDP. Domestic demand (both personal consumption and, in particular, investment) has slowed the pace of imports and reduced the private sector’s dependence on net financing from the rest of the world. The deterioration in the economic situation in the euro area has also slowed exports in recent months, although export growth continues to outpace import growth, both in merchandise trade and in trade in services, thereby remaining the main engine of economic recovery.
The maintenance of a current account surplus could gradually improve the stock of international investments. Slovenia had a net negative position in international investments in the amount of 41.8% of GDP at the end of 2011, larger than the threshold of 35% taken to be an European indicator of external imbalance. Economic policy needs to focus on further improvements in competitiveness and the conditions for export-oriented activities with good prospects (costs of capital, labour, energy, materials and services).
2. The Governing Board of the Bank of Slovenia issued the Regulation on reporting by institutions pursuing leasing activities (leasing companies). The harmonisation of all financial intermediaries is gradually taking place within the framework of a matrix reporting system based on single data capture for multiple purposes. Banks, savings banks and investment funds already report using such a system. Joint solutions (between the Bank of Slovenia and the Insurance Supervision Agency) are also being prepared for the insurance corporations and pension funds sector.
3. The Governing Board of the Bank of Slovenia discussed a briefing on the development of securities statistics in the ESCB, namely the Centralised Securities Database (CSDB) and the Securities Holdings Statistics Database (SHSDB). The system developed will allow for better identification of the holders of securities, and not merely the issuers, throughout the euro area.