BUSINESS BRIEFS

Trade surplus at Sk11.7 billion

AUGUST was the third month of 2003 in which Slovakia exported more goods than it imported. Last month, Slovakia posted a trade surplus of Sk1.4 billion (€34.03 million), news wire SITA reported.

In the first eight months of 2003, the trade deficit was Sk11.7 billion (€284.4 million), down Sk40.6 billion (€986.9 million), or 72.1 percent, from the same period of last year.

The surplus has surprised trade analysts, who had expected a negative trade balance with a deficit ranging between Sk2 and 4.5 billion (€48.62 to 109.39 million).

The monthly growth rate of exports reached 25 percent, and the volume of exports reached Sk65.898 billion (€1.6 billion) in August. Imports grew by 13.8 percent in a month to Sk64.507 billion (€1.57 billion), the Slovak Statistics Office reported.

Over the period of January-August 2003, the volume of exports grew by 22 percent to Sk512 billion (€12.45 billion). Slovakia increased its exports to Germany by 47.7 percent, to the Czech Republic by 4.1 percent, to Austria by 12 percent, and to the Netherlands by 17.2 percent.

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