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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

NBS sticks to 1998 inflation target

The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) said on June 26 it did not plan to change its 1998 inflation target despite the May inflation acceleration. "Our intention will be to bring inflation to within the targeted range," said Ján Onda, NBS spokesman. Last May, consumer prices rose 7.6% annually from a 7.0% rate in April. The NBS' target range for 1998 annual inflation is 5.6-5.9%. Onda said the May increase was caused mainly by a rise in the minimum allowed price of sugar, still regulated by the Finance Ministry. "The Central Bank was not informed about such plans when it was setting its monetary program for this year," Onda said, adding that sugar is a basic component of food and drinks, which account for around 30% of the consumer goods basket.

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