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IN SHORT BUSINESS

Central bank revises Slovakia's financials

THE NATIONAL Bank of Slovakia (NBS) expects Slovakia's public deficit to reach 3 percent of its GDP. This estimate is a revision of an earlier one, which put the deficit at 1.2 percent of GDP, the news agency SITA reported.

The reason for the change, according to NBS Vice Governor Elena Kohútiková, is that more dividends than expected were paid abroad.

"Investment demand is faster than we predicted chiefly due to the import of technologies. This is a desirable situation in terms of restructuring the economy," she said.

The central bank revised its GDP growth estimate as well. From 3.8 to 4.4 percent, NBS has moved its predictions into the 5 to 5.7 percent range with a median at 5.3 percent.

Kohútiková said that GDP growth should continue through the next several quarters.

The NBS also expects Slovakia's trade balance to slightly worsen by the end of the year. Originally, the bank predicted that the trade balance deficit would be at 2.5 percent of GDP by 2005. The revised trade deficit estimate is up to 3 percent.

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