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BUSINESS SHORTS

FinMin outlines 2008-2010 general budget

THE FINANCE Ministry has released a draft of the 2008-2010 general government budget for interdepartmental review.

Compared with the last approved budget, the ministry reduced the proposed deficit in 2008 and 2009 by 0.1 percentage points for both years. For next year, it proposes a deficit of 2.34 percent of GDP and in 2009 it should come down to 1.84 percent. In 2010 the budgetary deficit should drop to 0.84 percent of GDP.

The ministry said that the reduction of the general government deficit is in response to the evaluation of the updated Convergence Program by the European Council that considers the consolidation pace in the 2007-2009 budget insufficient, taking into consideration the current economic development.

According to the revised prognosis, the ministry expects an average annual real economic growth of 6.3 percent for the next three years. Inflation should range between 1.9 and 2.4 percent and unemployment should drop below 10 percent.

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