EBRD Raises This Year's Growth Call

KIEV — The EBRD on Sunday raised its 2008 growth call for former Soviet republics and Eastern Europe to about 6 percent, citing their surprising resilience to global economic problems, but it warned inflation risks loomed.

"Inflation, now in double digits in many countries, is the region's most pressing current problem," the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said in its economic outlook report, issued at its annual meeting in Kiev.

"If left unaddressed, inflation could risk price-wage spirals, exchange rate re-alignments, or could force a belated and sharp response by monetary policy," the report said, highlighting a robust economic performance despite disruptions to the global economy from turmoil in international credit markets.

The bank, opened in 1991 to help the states of the former Soviet Union become fully functioning market economies, said in January that it had cut its full-year growth forecast for the region to 5 percent to 5.5 percent from 6.1 percent previously.