BUSINESS SHORTS

Slovak economy keeps growing

THE SLOVAK economy kept up its high growth rate, growing by 9.4 percent year-on-year in real terms during the third quarter of 2007.

The flash estimate of the Slovak Statistics Office shows that the economy reached a gross domestic product of Sk482.5 billion (€14.6 billion) in the period from July to September. In the first nine months of this year, the Slovak economy grew by nine percent, the SITA newswire wrote.

Cleared of seasonal influences, Slovakia reported a GDP of Sk358.6 billion in the third quarter, which is an increase of 9.7 percent compared with the third quarter of 2006.

"The acceleration of the economy was linked to the growth in industrial production," the Statistics Office commented on its flash estimate on November 13.

On the consumption side, GDP growth was influenced by continuing foreign demand and domestic demand growth.

Even the summer season, when a number of large industrial companies closed for holidays, did not slow down the growth, the Hospodárske Noviny economic daily wrote. On the contrary, after vacancies, September's industrial production made Slovakia's growth the fastest in the European Union.

The daily attributes the good results to carmakers, and said the electrical engineering industry is becoming a new pillar of Slovakia's economy.

Analysts estimate that the economic growth should peak this year, the Pravda daily wrote. After that, the growth should moderately slow down to five percent.

For the time being, Slovakia's rapid growth is letting it catch up with wealthier Western Europe. It is growing three times faster than Western Europe.

The Statistics Office will update its flash GDP estimates with further available statistics and publish them on November 30.

The office also revised its calculation of the GDP for 2006, decreasing the economic growth from 8.8 percent to 8.5 percent. That means the economic growth in 2006 was up by 2.3 percentage points.

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