BUSINESS IN SHORT

Slovakia may slip into recession in 2009

THE GOVERNOR of the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), Ivan Šramko, and Prime Minister Robert Fico acknowledged after a session of the government’s Council for the Economic Crisis on March 31 that the Slovak economy might fall into recession this year.

THE GOVERNOR of the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), Ivan Šramko, and Prime Minister Robert Fico acknowledged after a session of the government’s Council for the Economic Crisis on March 31 that the Slovak economy might fall into recession this year.

“I cannot rule out the possibility of negative growth,” the SITA newswire quoted Šramko as saying. However, there is no need to draw premature conclusions, he added.

Fico said that compared with other countries, the Slovak economy is still in good shape despite its decelerating pace of growth. He pointed to the expected fall of 3 percent in gross domestic product, on average, in eurozone countries this year and indirectly admitted the possibility of recession in Slovakia.

“If we take the most pessimistic estimates that we are hearing, the Slovak Republic is still two percentage points ahead of the eurozone average, which only confirms that Slovakia is in good economic condition,” Fico said, as quoted by SITA.

Following the economic crisis council meeting, the Bank Council of the NBS held a session to review the development of the Slovak economy so far in 2009. Monthly data from the beginning of this year confirm that the Slovak economy will weaken further, the Bank Council stated.

“In January 2009 the decrease in exports intensified and the trade balance worsened,” the commentary of NBS reads, as quoted by SITA.

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