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The East: IMF Lowers Growth Projections

Hong Kong, 17 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered its economic growth projections for the countries in transition in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia to near two percent this year and more than four percent in 1998.

The fund says it lowered its earlier projections mainly because of slower prospects in Russia and Ukraine, difficulties in Albania and Moldova, and the impact of floods on the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia.

In its semi-annual World Economic Outlook report released today, however, the IMF says this will still be the first significant positive growth rate in eight years in the region.

It said Bulgaria and Romania have had crises which seriously hurt growth, but are looking up. Russia and most of the other former Soviet countries have made substantial progress in fighting inflation, but not Belarus, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan.