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IN SHORT

EC says Slovakia's economy will grow fast

THE EUROPEAN Commission expects economic growth of about 5 percent in Slovakia in 2005 and 2006, the Pravda daily wrote.

Prospects are not as favourable for the 12 countries using the common currency - the euro.

The Commission has decreased the Eurozone's economic growth expectations for this year from the original 2 percent to 1.6 percent.

Slovakia's economic growth should continue to be driven by household consumption, which is positively influenced by real income growth and a decrease in inflation.

In 2004, household expenditures rose by 7.5 percent. This year's growth in household consumption is expected to slow down to 4 percent, and in 2006, it is expected to be 3 percent.

The European Commission expects Slovakia's foreign trade balance to remain negative.

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