BUSINESS BRIEFS

Manufacturing boosts in first four months

SLOVAKIA's firms in the manufacturing industry reported sales of Sk272.4 billion (€6.8 billion) during the first four months of 2004, which represents an 18.5 percent increase compared to the same period of the previous year, the private news agency SITA reported.

The manufacturing industry included 1,602 firms at the end of April, which is the highest number over the last four years and an annual increase of 3.4 percent.

These firms employed 307,960 people during the January-April 2004 period, which is the lowest level since 1999.

The four-month exports amounted to Sk262.7 billion (€6.6 billion), and imports reached Sk225.6 billion (€5.6 billion).

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