BUSINESS BRIEFS

Rise in bankruptcies a puzzle

DESPITE economic reforms more companies than ever filed for bankruptcy in 2004. Compared with 2003, 926 more firms went bust, a 70 percent increase.

Economists cannot really explain the rise. "Bankruptcies should be dropping in numbers," Ján Tóth, chief economist of the ING Bank told the Hospodárske noviny business daily.

Interest rates are low, the demand for products and services is growing and unemployment is decreasing. International economists say that these factors should lead to faster growth and exports and therefore a lower number of bankruptcies.

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