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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Inflation 6.2% Y-o-Y in October

On November 30, the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) revealed that the current account of the balance of payments for the January-August period ended with a deficit of 49.1 billion Sk ($1.36 billion), mostly caused by a trade balance deficit of 51.3 billion Sk. The surplus on the capital and financial account was 64.9 billion Sk.

The cumulative volume of loans in the Slovak Republic at the end of October was 394.3 billion Sk, an increase of 0.7 billion Sk from September. The year-on-year growth of the volume of loans was 3.4%. The average interest rate on loans drawn in September jumped 7.04 points to 24.36% p.a., while the average interest rate on the cumulative volume of loans was 17.07%.

In October, the M2 monetary aggregate in the Slovak economy grew 2.5 billion Sk from September to hit 449.2 billion Sk, a 5.8% rise year-on-year. The annual M2 growth target of the National Bank of Slovakia for 1998 is 9.4%. Crown deposits as part of the M2 aggregate went up 1.1 billion Sk in October.

The foreign exchange reserves of the NBS dropped in October by $123.6 million compared with September, to $2.98 billion, which covered only 2.4 months of imports. This was one of the reasons the NBS decided to abandon the fixed exchange rate regime of the Slovak currency and switch to a floating exchange rate on October 1.

Consumer prices in October went up 1.1% from September. The year-on-year inflation rate was at 6.2% in October.

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