ECONOMIC BRIEFS

1998 current account deficit hits 72.6 billion crowns - central bank

The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) said on March 26 that the current account deficit from January to December of 1998 was 72.6 billion Slovak crowns ($1.8 billion) compared with 66.245 billion crowns in the January through November period. The central bank said that the figures are based on preliminary results.

The c/a deficit included a balance of payments deficit of 19.543 billion crowns ($491 million), the first time in its short history that Slovakia has posted a balance of payments deficit. In 1997 the balance of payments ended with a surplus of 1.776 billion crowns.

The capital and financial account remained in surplus, totaling 61.525 billion crowns in 1998, up from 58.832 billion crowns in 1997.

The trade gap totaled 80.793 billion crowns, up 11.615 billion crowns in comparison with 1997.

The inflow of direct foreign investments into Slovakia continued in December 1998, swelling to 4.042 billion crowns. In 1998, foreign corporate entities invested 17.903 billion crowns in Slovakia while Slovak corporate entities invested 4.741 billion crowns abroad. In 1997, investments of foreign corporate entities in Slovakia amounted to 5.946 billion crowns.

The volume of long-term loans taken by Slovak entities including the Slovak government and the central bank totaled 51.694 billion crowns in 1998 against 34.973 billion crowns in 1997. The volume of short-term loans dropped 2.649 billion crowns last year, after having ballooned by 54.435 billion crowns in 1997.

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