BANKING NOTES

NBS manages economy well

The Slovak economy has been managed successfully by the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), creating growth while containing inflation, according to the German Commerzbank, which has been active in Slovakia through its representative office in Bratislava. A report by the bank used statistics to show this dynamic trend.

In 1995, Slovakia achieved real economic growth of 7.4%; this was fuelled above all by exports. A year earlier, its gross domestic product (GDP) had advanced by 4.8%, following the 4.1% decline registered by the Slovak Statistical Office for 1993.

The relatively strong economic performance went hand in hand with a successful struggle against inflation. The NBS pursued a restrictive monetary policy in 1995. Inflation was reduced to 7.2%, down from 25% in 1993 and 11.7% in 1994. It can probably be pushed below the 7% mark this year.

In order to achieve this goal, the national bank introduced a package of measures in mid-July. It widened the band of fluctuation for the Slovak crown (Sk) that is tied to a currency basket in which the US dollar accounts for 40% and the D-mark 60% from plus or minus 3% to plus or minus 5%. The 0.1% limit for the maximum daily deviation from the basket of currencies was abolished.

At the same time, the NBS decided to raise the Lombard rate from 13% to 15% and the statutory minimum reserves from 3% to 9%. For sight deposits, the 9% requirement was maintained.

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