BUSINESS BRIEFS

Trade deficit worsens in September

SLOVAKIA'S trade deficit in September was twice that of the month before, at Sk8.25 billion ($187.5 million), although analysts said it was not yet cause for renewed alarm as most of the rise in imports was related to increased investment.

After setting a record trade deficit of SK103 billion ($2.3 billion) in 2001, Slovakia has been watched closely by foreign markets looking to the government to rein in state spending and curb domestic demand.

This year's trade deficit is expected to be lower than last year's, although a strong Slovak crown and weak demand for Slovak exports remain threats.

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