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European Commission sees better times ahead for Slovakia

Slovakia should see sharp economic growth, a rapid decrease in inflation,
and a steady reduction in the state budget deficit, in the years ahead. There will also be a gradual, but permanent, drop in the unemployment rate.

These are the key predictions of the regular autumn economic forecast released by the European Commission, wrote the TASR news wire.

Slovakia's economy should grow by 4.9 percent of GDP in 2004, 4.5 percent in
2005, and 5.2 percent in 2006. Inflation will decrease from 7.7 percent this year, to 3.9 percent next year and to as little as 3 percent in 2006.

As regards the unemployment rate, the Commission expects a decrease from 18.4 percent
this year to 17.9 percent next year and 17.2 percent in 2006.

The budget deficit will be 3.9 percent of GDP in 2004. It will then rise slightly to 4 percent or 4.1 percent in the next two years, mainly due to the costs of pension reform, according to the Commission. However, its development will be in accordance with the government plan to lower the deficit to 3 percent of GDP in 2007, which is the mark set as a precondition for joining the euro.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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