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Central bank increases inflation forecast

THE NATIONAL Bank of Slovakia (NBS) increased its inflation forecast for this year and the next two on October 30.

Harmonised inflation is expected to reach 1.6 percent at the end of this year, which is 0.1 percentage points more than in the previous estimate, the SITA newswire wrote. However, the average year-end inflation rate should remain at 1.7 percent in 2007.

NBS Bank Board member Peter Ševčovič told media after the board meeting on October 30 that rising crude oil and food prices were the main factors behind the increased predictions for this year.

The NBS increased its year-end inflation prediction for 2008 by 0.3 percentage points to 2.3 percent, and average inflation by 0.4 percentage points to 2.3 percent. Harmonised inflation in Slovakia should reach 2.8 percent at the end of 2009, which is 0.3 percentage points more than previously predicted. The average inflation forecast for 2009 went up by 0.5 percentage points to 2.7 percent. But the inflation growth will not threaten the country's chances of meeting the Maastricht inflation criterion, the NBS said.

Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports

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