Study: 'Modest' Economic Growth In Eastern Europe

By Agence France-Presse Economic growth in the former communist countries, which was stronger than the world average in 2002, will increase modestly this year, according to a recent study released by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Eastern European countries saw growth of 3% on average in 2002, when global economic growth was only 1.7%, the EBRD said in the study of eastern European and former Soviet economies in transition to market-based economies. "A strengthening in domestic demand in most countries of the region, supported in some countries by significant fiscal expansion and large budget deficits, offset much of the decline in external demand arising from the global slowdown," the EBRD's Chief Economist, Willem Buiter, said in the report. "With an expected pick-up in industrialized country activity, 2003 should see a modest increase in growth in the region." Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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