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BUSINESS BRIEFS

Central bank updates monetary document

THE CENTRAL bank has introduced an updated monetary programme for 2002 which predicts a fiscal deficit of Sk46.8 billion (4.5 per cent of GDP), Sk10 billion higher than the original figure.

The new bank document also adjusts its average inflation target to 3.6-4.2 per cent, down from the previous 4.1-4.9 per cent, and bumps up its real wage growth expectations to 3.5 per cent for the year (previously 2.4-3.3 per cent).

The expected trade deficit increases by six billion to Sk98 billion, slightly below last year's record Sk103 billion, while the current account deficit is now to reach 8.3 per cent of GDP, rather than 7.9 per cent.

However, due to higher-than-expected revenues from the sale of the SPP gas utility, the central bank is expecting the financial outflow to be more than compensated by an expected Sk198.4 billion in privatisation revenues for this year.

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