The central bank’s monetary programme for 2003 projects economic growth of 3.7 to 4.1 per cent, and says the health of the economy will largely depend on increased investment at home and a revival in international economic growth, especially in the EU.
The bank pegged inflation for 2003 at 7.7 to 9.7 per cent and unemployment at 17.5 to 18 per cent, adding that it expected real wages to grow marginally after 6 per cent growth this year.
While incoming foreign investors will bring Sk42 billion into the country, of which Sk12 billion would be through the privatisation of the SE energy utility, the bank estimated the jobs this inflow created would be offset by continued layoffs at privatised companies.
The value of imports is expected to rise by 7.2 per cent, against 10.3 per cent growth in exports, slightly improving the trade balance deficit to Sk85 billion in 2003.
Compiled by Tom Nicholson from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.