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IN SHORT

Budget deficit higher, but according to plan

SLOVAKIA'S STATE budget deficit for the first nine months of 2002 was Sk32.2 billion, 40 per cent higher than the same period last year but only 47 per cent of the planned full-year deficit figure for 2002.

Almost Sk14.4 billion of the deficit figure stemmed from bank restructuring costs, which are not included in the Sk38 billion state budget deficit target for 2002.

The Finance Ministry has said the year-end deficit in public finances will be Sk34.9 billion, or 3.3 per cent of GDP, lower than in the original budget law and far below fears of a shortfall of 4.5 per cent of GDP.

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