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BUSINESS SHORTS

Slovakia's first trade surplus in three years

SLOVAKIA reported a preliminary trade surplus of Sk3.982 billion (€117 million) in January of this year - its first monthly trade surplus in nearly three years, the Slovak Statistics Bureau reported on March 14.

The last surplus before that came in February 2004, when Slovakia achieved a positive trade balance of Sk915 million (Ř 26.9 million).

January's trade balance was more than Sk12 billion (€353 million) higher than in January 2006. Exports in January 2007 rose 36.5 percent year-on-year to Sk110.959 billion (€3.3 billion) and the volume of imports reached Sk106.9 billion), up 19.6 percent year-on-year.

Last year, Slovakia's exports rose 24.6 percent year-on-year to a record Sk1,239 billion (€36.4 billion). Topping the list in 2006 were exports of machinery and electronic equipment, which grew by 37.7 percent to Sk350.8 billion (€10.3 billion). Vehicle exports grew at a similar pace, up 34.9 percent year-on-year to Sk262.5 billion (€7.7 billion).

Machinery and electronic equipment dominated aggregate imports in 2006, jumping by 24.3 percent year-on-year to Sk1,331 billion (€39.2 billion). Last year's trade balance was negative at Sk91.6 billion (€2.7 billion). It was Sk15.3 billion (€450 million) higher than in 2005.

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