UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: July 17, 301 AP.

Utania's economy grew 8.9% last year

Utania's economy is estimated to have grown by 8.9% last year, a large percentage due to
retained earnings from former Guwimithian nobility.

While the exact size of the Utanian economy remains a mystery, Reserve Bank analysts were
prepared to estimate that the unknown economy grew by an incredible 9% last year alone,
as the effects of Guwimithian rule slowly ebb away.

It is estimated that income rose by 5.6% last year, though primarily on the east coast,
adding an estimated Û22.4 billion in income to Utanians, which added an average
Û1,108 to the average income of Û19,793 of 300ap. Critics are quick to point
out that while that may be the average income, half of the nation lives on less than
Û12,000 this year.

The economic boost is primarily due to the investment here in Utania of profits in Utanian
companies that would ordinarily have gone to Guwimithian nobility. The government last
year earned profits of Û25 billion and invested a large portion of those monies in
the Utanian economy, largely by buying back debt. The boost has increased domestic
investment in the country to over 20% of GDP, but has also resulted in higher inflation.
Economists at the Reserve Bank predict an annual inflation rate this year to be over 7%,
while last year it was 5.5%. Fortunately for the poor, most inflation appears to be in
non-food products and services, but did warn that home rents have risen by over 7.5% in
the year to date. They say that the tight capital flow controls could result in hyper-
inflation unless monies are permitted to travel overseas.

At the moment, there are significant barriers to Utanians investing overseas and to
foreigners investing in Utania. The Reserve Bank must control all such transactions so as
to maintain the 3-1 exchange rate to the Christianan Crown. Should too much money flow
overseas, that is Utanians invest overseas, the Pund could rise in value against the
Christianan Crown.

Reserve Bank economists are predicting the economy -- estimated to be between Û580
and 700 billion -- will grow by an estimated 7 to 8% again next year.

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)