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Inflation stagnates in Slovakia

INFLATION in Slovakia held steady at July's level of 2.3 percent in August, as measured by the Slovak Statistic's Office methodology, lagging moderately behind the analysts' estimates.

In spite of this, they expect that Slovakia is already meeting the Maastricht inflation criteria for euro adoption, the TASR newswire wrote.

The Slovak Statistics Office planned to reveal data on August's harmonised inflation, the EU's methodology, on September 14.

August's inflation was 0.1 percentage point higher than the market expected, said Slovenská Sporiteľňa bank analyst Mária Valachyová. That was the result of a smaller decrease in food prices, and higher prices for rent and solid fuels.

"The biggest part of the month-on-month growth of prices came in the housing category, and within it - as has happened several times this year - rent," Silvia Čechovičová of ČSOB bank said.

Rent prices grew by 0.8 percent on the month.

According to analysts, demand pressures in the economy remain muted.

"The consumer prices index - for example, the volatile foodstuff, fuel and rent categories - remained at 1.3 percent," Valachyová said.

In August, consumer prices in Slovakia rose by 2.3 percent year-on-year and by 0.1 percent month-on-month, the Statistics Office reported on September 11.

Between January and August 2007, prices rose by 2.6 percent year-on-year on average.

Core inflation - which measures the growth of consumer prices, excluding regulated prices and administrative tax interventions - stood at 2.4 percent year-on-year in August. That was the same level it was in July.

Net inflation, which the excludes the effects of food price development, was 2.3 percent year-on-year, and 0.1 percent on a monthly basis.

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