BUSINESS SHORTS

Trade deficit dips to Sk1.2 billion in April

SLOVAKIA'S foreign trade deficit was Sk1.2 billion (€35.8 million) in April, which is Sk2 billion (€59.7 million) lower than economic analysts expected. The Slovak Statistics Office revealed preliminary figures on June 11. In a year-on-year comparison, the trade balance improved by Sk7.8 billion (€232.8 million).

Exports in April grew by 25.2 percent to Sk111.6 billion (€3.3 billion), while imports grew by 14.9 percent to Sk112.7 billion (€3.4 billion).

In the first four months of 2007, the trade balance slipped into a deficit of Sk2.9 billion (€86.6 million). Compared with the same period last year, this represents a decrease of Sk29.5 billion (€880.6 million). Total exports in the first four months grew by 25.9 percent over the same period last year to Sk449.3 billion (€13.4 billion), while total imports grew 16.2 percent to Sk452.2 billion (€13.5 billion).

Analysts expect similarly positive results for May. "Considering that industrial production growth and total industrial output will probably remain high thanks to the quick growth of car production, we expect the trade balance to remain close to zero in the fifth month of this year as well," Martin Lenko, an analysts with VÚB bank told the SITA news wire.

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