BUSINESS BRIEFS

Trade deficit slowing

APRIL'S trade deficit came to Sk5.8 billion ($122 million), 14 per cent less than the figure recorded in April 2001, as exports rose by 6.5 per cent y-o-y and imports grew only 4.1 per cent.

The figures came as a pleasant surprise to financial analysts, who had been expecting worse. The export increase, they said, was due to a weaker crown, reviving demand on export markets, and possibly to a greater number of working days in the month. Imports, on the other hand, were slowed by falling global oil prices, which were down 13 per cent y-o-y.

Nevertheless, analysts noted that the trade deficit for the first four months of the year, at Sk25.2 billion, was only 1.3 per cent below that of the same period in 2001, when Slovakia recorded its highest-ever deficit of over Sk100 billion.

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