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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Slovakia sees first quarter trade gap at 12.65 billion crowns

Slovakia's cumulative trade gap for the first quarter of 1999 was 12.65 billion crowns. Compared with the same period in 1998, that represents a drop of 4.9 billion crowns.

From January to March, Slovakia imported goods equalling 103.73 billion crowns (down 0.3 % year-on-year), while exports totalled 91.08 billion crowns (up 5.3% y/y), the Slovak Statistics Bureau said April 26.

Slovakia reported the highest first quarter trade deficit with the Russian Federation (10.16 billion crowns) followed by the United States (2.12 billion crowns), the Czech Republic (1.99 billion crowns), Japan (1.5 billion crowns), China (1.23 billion crowns) and Germany (928 million crowns). Slovakia posted the biggest surplus in trade with Austria (2.58 billion crowns), Poland (1.61 billion crowns), Hungary (1.55 billion crowns), and Italy (1.18 billion crowns).

Slovakia increased its exports to European Union countries by 21.3%, which represents 61.3% of Slovakia's total exports. Slovakia's imports from the EU went up 10.1% y/y to its current level of 51.7% of its total imports.

Slovakia's exports to OECD countries rose 8.7% to comprise a 91.8% share of total exports. Imports from OECD countries jumped 4.5% to constitute 81.3% of total Slovakia's imports. Exports to CEFTA countries dropped 10.3% and registered 28.5% of total exports. Slovakia's imports from the CEFTA countries declined by 5.4% and accounted for 23.8 % of total imports.

In terms of specific European countries, Slovakia boosted its exports to France (by 104.9%), Italy (by 42.1%), the Netherlands (by 32.1%), as well as to Austria (by 17.7%), Germany (by 9.8%) and Hungary (6.4%). On the other hand, Slovakia's exports to the Czech Republic posted a drop of 15.5%, and exports to Poland declined by 8.9%. Slovakia managed to reduce its imports from Russia (by 13.5%), while its imports from the Czech Republic went down 10% .

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