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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Total trade gap down to 30.3 billion Sk in August

Slovakia's trade deficit totaled 30.3 billion Slovak crowns from January to August 1999, fully 22.2 billion (42%) less than this time one year ago.

The positive results are due principally to a rise in Slovakia's exports, which were up 9.7% (to 266.1 billion crowns) compared to the same period in 1998. Imports, meanwhile, increased only 0.5% to 296.4 billion crowns.

Slovakia continued to show the highest trade deficit with the Russian Federation (29.1 billion crowns), followed by the United States (5 billion), Japan (4.5 billion), China (3.5 billion), the Czech Republic (3.2 billion), and Germany (2.7 billion). Slovakia posted the biggest surplus in trade with Austria (7.2 billion crowns), Poland (5.4 billion), Hungary (4.8 billion), and the Netherlands (3.4 billion).

In terms of the main economic integration groups, Slovakia increased its exports to European Union countries by 22.9% against the same period last year. EU countries now buy 60.5% of Slovakia's total exports. Exports to OECD countries rose 13.3% and comprise 91.7% of total exports.

Exports to neighbouring CEFTA countries, however, dropped 2.9% and now make up 29.4% of total exports.

Slovakia showed the largest growth in exports to France (64.4%), Italy (33.4%), Austria (21.6%), and Germany (14.1%).

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