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BUSINESS SHORTS

Slovakia's foreign trade in line with expectations

SLOVAKIA reported a foreign trade deficit of Sk1.8 billion (€53.46 million) in July, meeting analysts' expectations.

The monthly deficit was Sk1 billion lower than in July 2006, according to preliminary data released by the Slovak Statistics Office on September 11. Total monthly exports amounted to Sk114.8 billion, growing by 13.5 percent year-on-year. Imports rose 12.2 percent year-on-year to Sk116.5 billion.

The office also revised June foreign trade figures upward by Sk1.1 billion, to Sk5.6 billion.

The January to June deficit was Sk14.1 billion, Sk3.3 billion larger than the preliminary figure.

"The July foreign trade figures are overshadowed by the revision of figures from the first half of the year," ING Bank analyst Lucia Štekláčová told the TASR newswire.

The 12-month deficit dropped from Sk62.2 billion in June to Sk61.2 billion in July, ČSOB analyst Marek Gábriš told TASR.

"The accumulated year-on-year deficit thus slightly dropped to 3.5 percent of GDP from the revised 3.6 percent of GDP in June," said Mária Valachyová of Slovenská Sporiteľňa bank.

Analysts expect that Slovakia's foreign trade will continue to improve during the second half of 2007.

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