Slovak natural-gas prices for households may fall 4 to 5% starting in July, the country's regulator said.
The drop depends on oil prices and the Slovak koruna's exchange rate against the dollar, Miroslav Luptak, the spokesman for the Office of Network Industries, said today in a phone interview from Bratislava, Slovakia. The office, which oversees Slovakia's utilities, last year asked Slovensky Plynarensky Priemysel AS, the country's dominant gas distributor, to lower prices for households for the first time ever. The 4% drop became effective in January.
Lower gas prices improve the central bank's chances of squeezing inflation enough to enable the eastern European country to adopt the euro in 2009, earlier than its ex-communist neighbors such as Hungary and the Czech Republic. Gas has a 3.9% weighting in the consumer basket used to calculate inflation. Slovensky is 49% owned by Germany's E.ON Ruhrgas AG and Gaz de France. (Bloomberg)