Finance Ministry looks to widen deposit protection
Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová said January 2 that the Finance Ministry is looking to widen the protection of deposits in banks to include accounts of corporate entities, a move likely to be resisted by finance houses fearing an even greater burden after having to compensate private clients for a series of collapsed banks last year.
The Finance Minister said that the rise in the level of deposit protection would be a step forward in the approximation of Slovakia's legislation to European Union law.
Construction industry set to continue stagnation
The situation in the construction sector in Slovakia is not expected to change for the better, Anton Novotný, general director of construction section at the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development, said January 2.
He said that this year's public expenses on housing and highway construction, which make up the bulk of investments in the sector, will not exceed last year's level. "Similarly, the volume of foreign investments will be lower than expected. We hoped foreign investments would increase construction output by 6.5 billion crowns," he explained.
Construction output in 1999 totalled 64 billion crowns, down over 25% year-on-year. Output in 2000 is expected to remain at the same level.
Central bank revises inflation estimate for 2001
The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) revised its estimate for inflation in 2001 December 27. The contribution of market (non-administrative) influences on price growth should be about 3.57 percentage points, corresponding with end-year core inflation of between 3.6-5.3%. Taking into consideration administrative adjustments the central bank estimates general inflation on a year-on-year basis at 6.7 - 8.2% in 2001.
Unemployment rate at 17.73% in November
The number of registered unemployed in Slovakia at the end of November reached 477,770, dropping 16,244 on the October figure, pulling the unemployment rate down to 17.73%, the National Labour Office (NUP) said.
Compiled by Ed Holt from SITA