Czech foreign trade surplus widens 15% y/y to record-high EUR 1.4bn in Nov 2013, above expectations.

By bne IntelliNews January 6, 2014

Czech foreign trade surplus widened by 15% on the year to a record-high of CZK 38.7bn (EUR 1.4bn) in November 2013, data from the statistics office showed. The reading exceeded market expectations for a surplus of CZK 35bn. The statistics office revised up the foreign trade surplus for October 2013 to CZK 34.1bn from CZK 33.6bn announced earlier.

Exports grew by 7.4% y/y to CZK 297.7bn in November, following a 4% y/y hike in October. Imports moved up by 6.3% y/y to CZK 259bn, after a 4% increase in the previous month. Both exports and imports increased at their second fastest annual rate since the start of 2013. On a seasonally adjusted basis, exports increased by 2.8% m/m, while imports edged up by 0.3% m/m in November.

The Czech Republic’s trade with EU members showed a surplus of CZK 73.5bn in the 11th month of 2013, which was by CZK 5.8bn higher on the year. The trade gap with non-EU countries widened by CZK 0.6bn on the year at CZK 33.7bn.

In the first 11 months of 2013, the Czech foreign trade surplus widened by an annual 14.8% to CZK 344.7bn with exports rising 1.6% y/y, whereas imports staying flat at CZK 2.6tn.

IntelliNews comment: The data is generally positive, as the rising imports suggest recovering consumption and investments, while the growth in exports implies strengthening demand from abroad in line with the ongoing upturn in the eurozone, the country’s main export market. The Czech Republic emerged from its longest recession on record posting a 0.6% quarterly rise in Q2, the first growth in seven quarters, but again contracted by 0.1% q/q in Q3. Foreign demand was the main economic growth driver in 2012 and it will continue to have a positive contribution to the GDP in 2013 and 2014, according to the finance ministry’s latest macroeconomic forecast.

in CZKmn Exports Nov 2013 Imports Nov 2013 Balance Exports y/y change % Imports y/y change %
Total 297,715 258,985 38,730 7.4 6.3
Food and live animals 11,061 12,835 -1,773 6.3 -0.8
Beverages and tobacco 2,077 2,500 -423 15.2 18.9
Crude materials, inedible 7,394 6,630 765 -1.6 -1.6
Mineral fuels, lubricants 9,245 24,868 -15,623 -3.7 -0.9
Animal and vegetable oils 822 602 220 -11.5 23.2
Chemicals and related products 20,462 27,039 -6,577 22.2 0.8
Manufactured goods by material 49,171 44,404 4,767 6.3 5.4
Machinery, transport equipment 162,492 113,782 48,710 7.6 11.2
Manufactured articles 34,371 25,715 8,656 6.1 6.5
Commodities not classified 619 610 9 13.8 -22.6
Source: Stats office          

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