Slovakia's foreign trade develops positively

SLOVAKIA’S foreign trade continues to post positive results. According to preliminary figures released by the Slovak Statistics Office on August 11, foreign trade in June posted a surplus of €208.2 million, up €199.9 million from the same month a year ago. Compared with the revised May data, the surplus in June was €96 million higher. The aggregate trade surplus for the period from January to June was €838.4 million, the SITA newswire wrote.

SLOVAKIA’S foreign trade continues to post positive results. According to preliminary figures released by the Slovak Statistics Office on August 11, foreign trade in June posted a surplus of €208.2 million, up €199.9 million from the same month a year ago. Compared with the revised May data, the surplus in June was €96 million higher. The aggregate trade surplus for the period from January to June was €838.4 million, the SITA newswire wrote.

The June figures exceeded the expectations of analysts as well as of the market. Ľubomír Koršňák, an analyst with UniCredit Bank Slovakia, ascribed the better June figures to weaker-than-expected imports. These decreased by 1.7 percent compared to May when seasonal influences were taken into consideration, according to Koršňák. This may indicate still-low local consumer and investment demand. Exports in June remained broadly unchanged compared to May, and are now lagging behind pre-crisis levels by only 2-3 percent.

During the last 12 months Slovakia’s foreign trade recorded a surplus equal to 2.8 percent of GDP.

Exports amounted to €4.096 billion in June, up 25.9 percent from the same period a year ago. The volume of imports reached €3.888 billion in the same month, up 19.8 percent y/y, according to the Statistics Office.

In the first six months of the year, goods worth a total of €22.569 billion were exported from Slovakia, up 21.7 percent y/y. Total January-June imports swelled 18.6 percent y/y to €21.731 billion. Thus, the six-month surplus was €838.4 million, an increase of €611.2 million from the same period a year ago.

Koršňák said he expects Slovakia’s foreign trade to close 2010 with a surplus equivalent to 2.1 percent of GDP, compared to 1.9 percent in 2009. According to data from Germany, Slovakia’s most important trading partner, it seems that exports will remain strong in the months to come. He said a potential slowdown could arrive at the end of this year or during next year. But around then the Slovak arm of Volkswagen should start production of a new family car and AU Optronics, a new investor in Slovakia’s electro-technical industry, should also begin production. These may boost Slovakia’s exports and compensate for the expected slowdown, according to Koršňák.

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