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Slovakia Cuts GDP Growth Outlook on Euro Crisis, Jobs

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- The Slovak Finance Ministry cut its forecasts for economic growth as the euro-region’s debt crisis hurts exports and unemployment damps consumer demand.

Gross domestic product will probably expand 1.2 percent this year, down from 2.1 percent predicted in September, the Bratislava-based ministry said in an e-mailed statement. The growth outlook for next year was cut to 2.9 percent from 3.5 percent, while for 2015 it was revised down to 3.3 percent from 3.6 percent.

Slovakia, which adopted the euro in 2009, relies on demand from western Europe to maintain growth. Boosted last year by an increase in car-industry capacity, the economy faces a slowdown as the debt crisis weakens demand for exports and unemployment erodes purchasing power.

In 2012, the economy probably expanded 2.3 percent, the ministry said, revising its previous 2.5 percent estimate.

A slowing economy will help contain price growth, the ministry said. The average inflation rate will fall to 2.3 percent this year, compared with a previous forecast of 3.1 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Radoslav Tomek in Bratislava at rtomek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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