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Poor economic prognoses issued by central bank and Finance Ministry

The Slovak central bank (NBS), in a new prognosis, expects Slovakia's GDP to shrink by 4.2 percent in 2009, the TASR newswire was told by NBS governor Ivan Šramko on June 16. NBS is more pessimistic that it was in April, when it was the first official Slovak institution to predict that the Slovak economy would shrink - by 2.4 percent.

The Slovak central bank (NBS), in a new prognosis, expects Slovakia's GDP to shrink by 4.2 percent in 2009, the TASR newswire was told by NBS governor Ivan Šramko on June 16. NBS is more pessimistic that it was in April, when it was the first official Slovak institution to predict that the Slovak economy would shrink - by 2.4 percent.

The economy is, however, expected to revive as soon as next year, when NBS expects growth of 2.4 percent, with a further boost of 4.1 percent in 2011. The Statistics Office is currently predicting a 3.5 percent fall in GDP in 2009, while the most pessimistic government body at the moment is the Slovak Finance Ministry, which predicts the Slovak economy will shrink by 6.4 percent.

The Finance Ministry has also re-evaluated its previous prediction from February this year, when it predicted 2.4-percent growth for this year. The re-assessment is due to significant worsening of the external environment of the Slovak economy in comparison to the forecast released in February.

According to Finance Minister Ján Počiatek, the ministry tried to make as conservative a prognosis as possible. The real development of the country's economy could still turn out to be better than expected by the ministry at the moment. The ministry said that it expects a revival of the economy next year, when it should grow by 1.1 percent. Subsequently, the growth should accelerate and reach 3.4 percent in 2011 and 4.8 percent in 2012, the finance ministry predicts. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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