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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Slovak industrial firms saw February output flat

The majority of Slovakia's industrial companies saw production lower or flat in February compared with the previous month, a survey conducted by the Slovak Statistical Bureau (SUSR) showed on March 1.

The poll, conducted among 350 companies accounting for 75% of industrial output, showed 34% reporting a decline in January, while 38% registered output unchanged. The number of firms posting a rise fell to 28%, compared with 38% in a January poll.

Official February industrial output figures are expected from SUSR by April 7. January figures are due on March 8.

In December, industrial production decreased by a real 1.7%, year-on-year, compared with a rise of 0.2% in November.

The companies participating in the survey cited difficulties in obtaining financing, low foreign and domestic demand and competition from imports as the main barriers to further output expansion. Around 45% of the companies polled said they expected an expansion in the period between March and May, while only four percent said their production would fall in the next three months. Significant output increases were expected in the production of transport equipment, the metal industry and chemicals. A decline was expected mainly in the textile industry and car production.

In the next three months, 25% of companies expect domestic demand to rise while around five percent said they expected a decline. A rise in exports was expected by 34% of the companies and three percent expected a decrease.

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