BUSINESS IN SHORT

Inflation safely below euro reference value

THE INFLATION rate in Slovakia picked up last month, before the end of the reference period for the evaluation of the Maastricht inflation criterion, but fulfillment remains highly likely. Data released by the Statistics Office shows that year-on-year harmonised inflation increased from January's 3.2 percent to 3.4 percent in February. Its twelve-month average, standing at 2.1 percent as of February, remains relatively far below the reference limit of 3.1 percent, the SITA newswire wrote.

THE INFLATION rate in Slovakia picked up last month, before the end of the reference period for the evaluation of the Maastricht inflation criterion, but fulfillment remains highly likely. Data released by the Statistics Office shows that year-on-year harmonised inflation increased from January's 3.2 percent to 3.4 percent in February. Its twelve-month average, standing at 2.1 percent as of February, remains relatively far below the reference limit of 3.1 percent, the SITA newswire wrote.

Citibank analyst Jaromír Šindel predicts that the twelve-month average for harmonised inflation will be 2.2 percent at the end of the reference period, namely in March 2008. He estimates the reference value will be close to 3 percent. If this scenario is realised, Slovakia would meet the nominal inflation criterion with a cushion of 0.8 percentage points. According to analysts, rising inflation highlights the need to safeguard a low and sustainable inflation rate following euro adoption, despite the cushion. Šindel said that he expects stronger efforts on the part of the Slovak government in fiscal consolidation. Stronger inflation raises the pressure on those who will fix the euro conversion rate. Rising inflation could back efforts for a stronger conversion rate, ING Bank analyst Eduard Hagara said.

Analysts expected consumer prices to remain at January's levels in the second month of this year. Hagara assumes that relative item weight in the consumer sphere, measured by a harmonised methodology as opposed to a national methodology, could lie behind this moderate acceleration.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

News digest: Slovakia still dealing with the loss of its talent

Economy minister promises extensive support for hydrogen technologies in Slovakia. Far-right supporters protested in front of PM’s house during the weekend.

The far-right ĽSNS organised a protest in front of PM Igor Matovič's house in Trnava.

Hospital manners expose the toxicity of Kollár

Unjustified privileges overshadow some good news of the coalition's work. Halloween testing will not be repeated during advent time.

PM Igor Matovič (l) and Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár

Sulík’s party benefits from the dispute with PM Matovič

The Hlas party of former PM Pellegrini is rising, too.

Economy Minister Richard Sulík (l) was charged by PM Igor Matovič (r) to purchase millions of antigen tests.

Anyone can publish a book. Authors often avoid publishers

Self-publishing is setting a new trend.

Nikoleta Kováčová has published two cookbooks without the aid of a publishing house.