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News roundup - Tuesday, 31 August, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 31 August - Below is a roundup of major events on Tuesday, 31 August, until 3pm local time:

Slovenia's GDP up 16.3% y/y in second quarter

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's GDP increased by 16.3% on a year-on-year basis in the second quarter of the year, the Statistics Office reported, with the growth powered by household spending and gross investment. Foreign trade was up significantly as well. Gross investment in most fixed assets was up and it was up on average by 19.2% compared to the second quarter of 2020. An increase in inventories also added 3.4 percentage points to the GDP growth. Household spending was up by 18.8%, and was thus higher than in the second quarter of the pre-coronavirus crisis year 2019. Household expenditure for goods and services was up significantly. Slovenia's GDP is now just below its 2019 peak.

STA staff urges top EU officials to protect STA, media freedom in Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - Representatives of STA staff have send a letter to top EU officials noting that despite calls to restore the financing of the STA, the issue has still not been resolved. Moral support by senior representatives of the EU unfortunately no longer suffices, reads the letter addressed to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Council President Charles Michel, and Parliament President David Sassoli. "It is necessary to take more decisive, perhaps even unprecedented steps, to protect freedom of the press. Absent that, this will mark a new defeat of democratic values that the funding fathers of the European Union were fighting for," reads the letter.

538 new coronavirus infections recorded, positivity rate at 18%

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia recorded 538 new coronavirus cases on Monday for a positivity rate of 18.4%. The number of patients with Covid-19 in hospital this morning rose by five to 146, and the number of patients in intensive care rose by three to 30, show data by the tracker Covid-19 Sledilnik. The rolling 14-day average of cases per 100,000 population rose from 241 to 252 and the number of active cases by 218 to 5,374, according to the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ). The seven-day average of new daily cases was up by nine to 431. One death was reported.

Advisors propose keeping schools open, expansion of Covid certificate use

LJUBLJANA - The Health Ministry's Covid-19 advisory group prepared a proposal of restrictive measures to be introduced in various stages of the epidemic. According to unofficial information obtained by the STA, it proposes expanding the tested-vaccinated-recovered (PCT) rule if the situation deteriorates, while school closure is not envisaged. In line with the proposal, the tiers of restrictions will be based on the number of cases in hospitals and the phases of Slovenia's hospital activation plan. The six-stage strategy for patients determines when Covid units will open in Slovenian hospitals.

Annual inflation in August at 2.1% due to more expensive fuel

LJUBLJANA - The annual inflation rate in Slovenia in August stood at 2.1%, mostly due to significantly more expensive petroleum products, which contributed 1.2 percentage points to the headline rate, as he price of diesel up by 29.6% on average and of petrol by 26%. The monthly inflation rate was at 0.1%, the Statistics Office reported. Measured with the harmonised index of consumer prices, an EU gauge, consumer prices rose by 2.1% year-on-year, and by 0.1% at the monthly level.

Survey unemployment rate down slightly in July

LJUBLJANA - The ILO-compatible survey unemployment rate in Slovenia in July reached 4% and was thus 0.2 percentage points lower than in June and 1.3 percentage points lower than in July 2020. The Statistics Office estimates there were about 41,000 persons jobless in July. Among the unemployed persons aged between 15 and 74, 45% were men and 55% women. The survey unemployment rate among men was at 3.3.% and among women at 4.8%, the Statistics Office said.

Celje trade fair MOS returning after one-year break

CELJE - The International Trade Fair (MOS) returns to Celje this year with a renewed image, taking place between 15 to 19 September and hosting around 1,000 exhibitors from seven countries. The partner country is Hungary. Robert Otorepec, the CEO of the organising company, said that the concept of the fair opened up new opportunities for companies that aim towards a green, digital and resilient economy.

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