IN SHORT BUSINESS

Budget progresses positively

FINANCE Minister Ivan Mikloš has said that the 2004 state budget outlook is better than last year and better than predicted. He told parliament on Friday that "there has been positive progress".

According to the news agency TASR, tax and non-tax revenues were higher than the Finance Ministry expected. After balancing Sk160.19 billion (€3.87 billion) in revenues with Sk197.13 billion (€4.78 billion) in expenses through September, with deficit sits at Sk37 billion (€925 million).

The minister said that even though the financial outlook may not continue on its upward trend, he is confident that the nation's deficit target - 3.94 percent of gross domestic product - would be met, if not surpassed.

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