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CPI figures reassuring

A 0.5% month-on-month increase in Slovak October consumer prices was in line with
expectations, analysts said, meaning that consumer prices will remain within central bank targets for the rest of the year.
The rise, announced on November 9, followed a 0.6% rise in September, and put year-on-year inflation at 14.0% compared with 14.7% in the previous month. "Perhaps it was a bit above my estimate, but still within a reasonable range around general expectations," said Miloš Bozek, an analyst at J &T Securities.

A 0.5% month-on-month increase in Slovak October consumer prices was in line with

expectations, analysts said, meaning that consumer prices will remain within central bank targets for the rest of the year.

The rise, announced on November 9, followed a 0.6% rise in September, and put year-on-year inflation at 14.0% compared with 14.7% in the previous month. "Perhaps it was a bit above my estimate, but still within a reasonable range around general expectations," said Miloš Bozek, an analyst at J &T Securities.

Analysts said the central bank's 1999 CPI target was achievable in the light of the data. The central bank (NBS) targets 1999 headline inflation at 13.5-15.5%. "We are quite confident that December headline CPI...will end up within the lower half of the NBS target," said Ján Tóth, chief economist at ING Barings.

Bozek agreed, saying that "food prices still remain the main factor in (CPI) growth... and they only rose slightly slower than the overall figure in October."

Bozek said inflationary pressures were weak thanks to declining domestic demand. "This can be seen on retail sales, which fell for the first time this year in September," he said.

But Tóth also pointed to the effects of the postponement of planned deregulations by the government. "[These developments] are also due to the lack of rent deregulation in October, which was sadly postponed to January," said Tóth. "We estimate that headline CPI would have reached 15.2% had rent deregulation occured."

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