Czech current account surplus shrinks 15% m/m to EUR 806mn in Feb 2014

By bne IntelliNews April 11, 2014

The Czech current account surplus shrank to CZK 22.1bn (EUR 806mn) in February 2014 from CZK 25.9bn the month before, data from the central bank showed. The deterioration reflects smaller surpluses on the trade in goods and services and current transfers, while the income balance ended in a deficit.

The trade surplus narrowed by 8.1% on the month to CZK 21bn in February and the surplus on the services balance was by 10.3% smaller than in January at CZK 4bn.

The deficit on the income balance contracted by 3.8% m/m to CZK 5.9bn in February as no dividends were paid out in the month, the same as in January, the central bank said.

The current transfers ran a surplus of CZK 3.1bn, down 37% m/m. The balance of current transfers included a surplus of CZK 4.8bn on transfers from the EU budget to the Czech Republic.

On an annual basis, the Czech current account surplus also deteriorated as it narrowed from CZK 32.8bn in February 2013. The 12-month rolling deficit stood at CZK 51.5bn, equalling to 1.4% of the full-year GDP forecast, according to IntelliNews calculations.

According to the finance ministry’s January macroeconomic forecast, the current account deficit should narrow to 0.2% of GDP in 2014. In full-2013 the deficit shrank to CZK 39.1bn from CZK 94bn in 2012 and equalled to 1.1% of 2013 GDP forecast.

In the April 2014 edition of its World Economic Outlook, the IMF forecast this year’s Czech current account gap at 0.5% of the economic output, while the European Commission sees it at 1.1%.

Balance of Payments (CZK mn)        
  Jan/14 Feb/14 Jan-Feb/14 Feb/13
I Current Account 25 931 22 078 48 009 32 750
A. Trade balance 22 809 20 951 43 760 22 696
B. Balance of services 4 423 3 966 8 388 5 024
C. Income balance -6 140 -5 904 -12 045 -5 211
D. Current transfers 4 840 3 066 7 906 10 241
II Capital Account 38 91 129 103
III Financial Account -13 099 -6 337 -19 437 -9 318
Source: Czech central bank        

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