ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Slovakia's 1998 foreign trade deficit estimated at 65-69 billion Sk

Preliminary prognoses set Slovakia's 1998 foreign trade at between 65 and 69 billion Sk ($1:8-1.9 billion) said Pavol Karasz, the head of economic analyses and prognoses at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, on November 19. This means that for the third consecutive year, the current account deficit will hit over 10% of GDP.

Karasz reported that while 1998 exports will show year-end growth of about 60 billion Sk over 1997, imports will swell between 420 and 433 billion Sk against 345 billion in 1997, a 75 to 90 billion Sk jump. The biggest import increase was found in machinery and industrial equipment (4% over 1997), while the biggest drop in exports was shown by mineral raw materials, which fell from 17.6% of total exports in 1H97 to 3.7% in 1H98

Karasz also said Slovakia's economy would expand by 6% in 1998.

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