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IN SHORT BUSINESS

Key rates cut to boost consumption

THE CENTRAL bank of Slovakia (NBS) decided on March 26 to cut key interest rates by 0.5 percent to encourage domestic demand - a move that NBS governor Marián Jusko expects to be "the basis of this year's economic growth", Slovak economic daily Hospodárske noviny wrote.

The key interest rate is now at 5.5 percent. The NBS decision came after weeks of the continual appreciation of the local currency, which the NBS considered too fast.

Mário Blaščák, an analyst with Ľudová banka, said that over the last three months the Slovak crown strengthened against its referential currency, the euro, by 2.2 percent, which is comparable to the appreciation of the crown against the euro during all of last year.

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