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BUSINESS BRIEFS

S&P predicts 2004 GDP growth

THE RATING agency Standard & Poor's estimated that Slovakia's real GDP would grow by 4.3 percent in 2004. Meanwhile, next year's real GDP is expected to grow by 4.5 percent.

According to the agency, which published its estimates in a report on the Slovak Republic, the GDP per capita should reach $7,500 (€6,250) in 2004 and $8,090 (€6,740) in 2005, the private news agency SITA wrote.

Slovakia's public finance deficit should fall to 3.9 percent of the GDP in 2004, from 7.4 percent in 2002. The Slovak debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to gradually decline to a projected 43.3 percent of GDP in 2004, from 47 percent in 2002.

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