In the year 2000, aggregate production increased in all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe simultaneously for the first time since the beginning of the transformation process. Here, too, however, expansion weakened markedly during the course of the year. Growth was dampened by a loss of purchasing power caused by the high price of oil, the economic slowdown in Western Europe and the appreciation of local currencies against the euro, which, in real terms, was substantial in some cases. Despite a deteriorating balance of trade situation in most countries the favourable development of services exports led to a widespread decline in current account deficits, although these did remain high in certain individual countries.
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