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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Gross foreign debt down to $9.6 billion in April

The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) reported on July 22 that Slovakia's gross foreign debt was $9.6 billion in late April 1999, down from $9.7 billion in March and $9.9 billion in February. Gross foreign debt per capita is now $1,783.

The official debt of the Slovak government and the central bank was $2.382 billion, while that of the commercial sector (business entities and commercial banks) was $7.128 billion. The debt of municipalities totaled $54 million, while government agencies reported a debt of $43 million.

Medium- and long-term foreign liabilities came to $7.087 billion. Total short-term debt hit $2.520 billion in late March, representing 26.2% of total gross foreign debt.

The new methodology of reporting foreign debt, effective from January 1, includes Slovak crown-denominated debts towards non-residents (banks), government bonds, and T-Bills owned by non-residents in Slovakia's foreign debt. As of January 1, 1999, the short-term deposit operations of the NBS also must be declared as a part of short-term foreign debt.

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