June 24, 2020 / 12:15 PM / 20 days ago

Slovenia's services industry hit in April by virus lockdown

LJUBLJANA, June 24 (Reuters) - Slovenia’s service industry revenues dropped in April by 30.3% year-on-year due to the coronavirus lockdown, the largest fall since 2000 when monitoring of this indicator started, the country’s statistics office said on Wednesday.

Slovenia introduced a general coronavirus lockdown in the middle of March and started to lift it from April 20. In May, it became the first European state to declare an end to its coronavirus epidemic although some restrictions remain in place.

“Regarding the sale of services ... the epidemic affected accommodation and food service sectors the most ... while information and communication activities were the least affected,” the office said.

Tourist arrivals into Slovenia in May dropped by 99% compared to the same month last year, the statistics office said. In the first five months of the year the number of foreign tourists fell by 68.7% year-on-year.

It also said June business sentiment improved for the second consecutive month after reaching an all-time-low in April but this was still well below its year-ago level. Business sentiment reached minus 24 points versus minus 32.6 points in May and plus 5.4 points a year ago.

“In manufacturing the expected production indicator and the expected export indicator improved the most (in June) ... while the selling price expectations remained unchanged,” the office said.

The country has so far reported 1,541 coronavirus cases and 111 deaths.

Reporting By Marja Novak. Editing by Jane Merriman

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