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BUSINESS BRIEFS

March trade figures show improvement

ALTHOUGH Slovakia's trade deficit for the first three months of 2002 was Sk800 million higher than in the same period last year, at Sk19.6 billion, the March figure showed a Sk1 billion improvement over March 2001, leading analysts to speak of slight signs the trade deficit problem was emerging from the worst. A stronger crown and lower energy prices were behind the improvement, both leading to imports being less expensive. The deficit in the current account of the balance of payments for the first two months of 2002 was Sk8.1 billion, up from Sk6 billion in January-February 2001.

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