BUSINESS SHORTS

Economists more confident in Slovak euro plans

SLOVAKIA'S chances of adopting the euro in 2009 as planned have increased from 66 percent in December 2006 to 72 percent in January, according to the forecasts of economic analysts.

The figures come from a regular monthly survey conducted by the Institute for Economic and Social Reforms (INEKO) think-tank in Bratislava.

Improved inflation forecasts due to the significant fall in crude oil prices and the firming of the Slovak crown over the last few months supported the improved euro outlook in January.

The new Robert Fico government has committed to making the January 1, 2009 deadline for euro adoption, and with the central bank has set public finance deficit and inflation targets in line with this goal.

Twenty analysts took part in the January survey. Seventeen of them said they believed that Slovakia would meet the criteria for joining the euro zone in 2009.

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