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IN SHORT OF BUSINESS

FinMin: Country doing well

THE FINANCE Ministry has revised its original prediction regarding the development of real wages for 2004 in light of the unexpectedly strong performance of the Slovak economy.

Real wages should rise by 0.7 percent this year, the ministry now says, rather than falling 0.3 percent as originally expected.Inflation is now pegged at 7.8 percent, rather than the 8.1 percent originally forecast, while GDP growth should be 4.7 percent instead of 4.1 percent.

Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš is convinced that this year's planned public finance deficit of 3.9 percent of GDP will be met, and that it "may even be slightly better", at 3.85 percent of GDP, the SME daily wrote.

Because the country is doing well economically and both its tax and non-tax budget revenue is higher than expected, the ministry will release extra money to some priority areas such as highway construction and schools.

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