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Slovak central bank slashes 2013, 2014 growth outlook

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Slovakia's central bank on Tuesday slashed its 2013 growth forecast to 0.7 percent from a previous 1.3 percent and said the eurozone member would also do worse than expected next year, amid the debt crisis in the 17-member currency bloc.

"We now expect the economy to grow by 0.7 percent this year and by 2.8 percent next year against the previously expected 3.3 percent," central bank chief and ECB governing council member Jozef Makuch told reporters in Bratislava.

"The recession in the eurozone also has an impact on Slovakia," he said, noting that "domestic demand has continued to fall while net exports were the only driving force of the economy."

Domestic demand has been weak as the government cuts spending and raises taxes to squeeze the public deficit from an estimated 4.6 percent of GDP last year to under the EU's 3.0 percent ceiling this year.

Slovakia's exports are dominated by cars and electronics for the European market.

The finance ministry expects output to grow by 1.2 percent this year, after expanding 2.0 percent in 2012.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130326/slovak-central-bank-slashes-2013-2014-growth-outlook