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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Inflation rate lowest since Sept. '97

Slovakia's year-on-year inflation rate reached 5.7% in August, the lowest rate recorded since last September. The monthly rate dropped in August, compared to July, by 0.2%. The inter-year increase in the inflation rate was, according to the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (ŠÚSR), caused mainly by a rise in the prices of alcoholic drinks and tobacco, which was as high as 11.6%. On the other hand, the decrease in the inter-month rate was caused by a fall in the prices of foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco by 0.9%. When making the state budget for 1998, the government counted on an inflation rate of 6%. The National Bank of Slovakia set in its monetary program the aim of maintaining inflation at a 5.6 to 5.9% level.

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