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Analysts: Record high growth in 2007 won't be matched this year

The Slovak economy grew at a record-high rate last year, but analysts are expecting a moderate slowdown in 2008, it was reported on January 7. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased in the first three quarters of 2007 by 9 percent overall, growing from 8.3 in the first quarter to 9.4 percent in the third, noted ČSOB bank analyst Marek Gábriš.

The Slovak economy grew at a record-high rate last year, but analysts are expecting a moderate slowdown in 2008, it was reported on January 7. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased in the first three quarters of 2007 by 9 percent overall, growing from 8.3 in the first quarter to 9.4 percent in the third, noted ČSOB bank analyst Marek Gábriš.

"The year 2007 represented continuation, and in many areas the climax of positive economic development, which was reflected in both GDP and salary growth, the strengthening of the Slovak crown, and a further drop in the already low unemployment rate," Slovenská Sporiteľňa chief economist Juraj Baáta said. According to UniCredit Bank chief analyst Viliam Patoprstý, in terms of the economy last year was the best in the history of the independent Slovakia. This applies in particular to the sustainability of current economic trends.

Last year's growth in the economy was also the result of both domestic and continuing foreign demand, said Poštová banka analyst Eva Sarazová. Economists expect the developments to continue in 2008, although new record highs are probably unattainable.

"Although the growth in the economy will slow down slightly, this is only a natural follow-up after a year of vast investment in the automotive and electro-technical industries," said Patoprstý. Gábriš predicts a slowdown in growth to around 7.5 percent. "The reason lies in the gradual onset of full-scale production in car plants and a higher comparison basis from 2007, as well as an expected slowdown in the growth of Slovakia's main trading partners." TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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