IN SHORT BUSINESS

Trade deficit reaches Sk6.5 billion in June

SLOVAKIA's foreign trade balance ended June with a deficit of Sk6.5 billion (€162.6 million), increasing the deficit to Sk8.7 billion (€217.8 million) in the first half of 2004, the Statistics Office announced August 11.

The Statistics Office also published revised figures for the May foreign trade balance, reducing the originally reported Sk2.1 billion (€52.5 million) deficit to a mere Sk5 million (€125,000), the state-run news agency TASR wrote.

The total deficit for the five-month period thus fell to Sk2.1 billion (€52.1 million) from the originally reported Sk4.2 billion (€105 million).

June exports rose by 8.9 percent year-on-year and imports were up by 18.1 percent. In the first six months, exports and imports increased by 16.6 and 14.9 percent respectively year-on-year.

In the January-May period, Slovakia exported goods worth Sk361.8 billion (€9 billion), up by 18.3 percent year-on-year, while imports were worth Sk363.9 billion (€9.1 billion), up by 14.3 percent.

"In the second half of 2004 further worsening of the trade balance will probably take place under the influence of investment imports.

For the whole year we expect that the foreign trade deficit will reach Sk30 billion (€750 million)," ČSOB bank analyst Silvia Čechovičová told the SME daily.

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