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Analysts forecast future inflation at current levels

Harmonised inflation in Slovakia at the end of both 2008 and 2009 is expected to be at current levels, according to the National Bank of Slovakia's (NBS)regular survey of analysts at nine Slovak banks. The survey predicts average harmonised inflation will be 3.5 percent at the end of this year, the SITA newswire wrote. Projections for 2009 suggest a rate of 3.6 percent.

Harmonised inflation in Slovakia at the end of both 2008 and 2009 is expected to be at current levels, according to the National Bank of Slovakia's (NBS)regular survey of analysts at nine Slovak banks. The survey predicts average harmonised inflation will be 3.5 percent at the end of this year, the SITA newswire wrote. Projections for 2009 suggest a rate of 3.6 percent.

Consumer prices in Slovakia measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) rose in March by 3.6 percent year-on-year. At the end of last year, harmonised inflation amounted to 2.5 percent. Inflation measured by the national methodology is set to reach 3.9 percent in December 2008 and in late 2009, according to analysts’ projections. Slovakia met the Maastricht inflation criterion in March with a cushion of one percentage point, since the twelve-month average harmonized inflation rate was 2.2 percent as of late March 2008, compared with the required limit of 3.2 percent.

Sustainable fulfillment of this criterion remains open. Representatives of the European Central Bank (ECB) are reported to be concerned about the potential for higher price growth following Slovakia's entry to the eurozone and the loss of the counter-inflationary effect of a strengthening Slovak crown. Along with the NBS and the Finance Ministry, forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) show less reason for concern. The IMF says that the gains of the Slovak crown towards the euro have only a moderate influence on inflation. The European Commission will present its forecasts about inflation development in Slovakia for the coming year on Monday, April 28. On this day, the EC will also release its macroeconomic outlook report. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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