Czech foreign trade surplus widens 21.2% y/y in July 2013, touch below forecast.

By bne IntelliNews September 5, 2013

Czech foreign trade surplus widened by 21.2% on the year to CZK 28.2bn (EUR 1.1bn) in July 2013 with both exports and imports rising for the first time in three months, data from the statistics office showed. The reading was slightly below market expectations for a surplus of 29.25bn in a Reuters poll. The statistics office revised down the foreign trade surplus for June 2013 to CZK 32.4bn from CZK 32.98bn announced earlier.

Exports grew by 3.2% y/y to CZK 252.3bn in July, following a 2.5% y/y drop in June. Imports also move up but at the weaker annual pace of 1.3% to CZK 224bn, after a 4.6% decrease in the previous month. On a seasonally adjusted basis, exports rose by 0.5% m/m, while imports edged down by 2% m/m in July.

The Czech Republic’s trade with EU members showed a surplus of CZK 53.4bn in July, which was by CZK 2.1bn higher on the year. The trade gap with non-EU countries shrank by CZK 2.4bn on the year to CZK 24.8bn in the seventh month of 2013.

In the first seven months of 2013, the Czech foreign trade surplus widened by 16.4% on the year to CZK 218.2bn with exports and imports falling by 1.1% y/y and 3.1%, respectively.

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 has just emerged from its longest recession on record posting a 0.6% quarterly rise in Q2, the first growth in seven quarters. According to Q2 GDP data released by the statistics office earlier this week, foreign trade which used to be the main economic growth driver in 2012, had no positive effect on GDP in Q1 but in Q2 it again supported the economic growth, mainly as a result of recovered boom, especially in Germany.

in CZKmn Exports July 2013 Imports July 2013 Balance Exports y/y change % Imports y/y change %
Total 252 273 224 033 28 240 3,2 1,3
Food and live animals 9 026 11 884 -2 858 10,2 9,3
Beverages and tobacco 2 079 1 570 509 15,2 7,2
Crude materials, inedible 6 421 6 904 -482 -11,2 0,6
Mineral fuels, lubricants 7 775 22 833 -15 058 -20,1 -7,4
Animal and vegetable oils 594 508 86 4,3 3,5
Chemicals and related products 16 281 26 744 -10 463 3,9 5,0
Manufactured goods by material 47 153 42 024 5 129 7,4 3,4
Machinery, transport equipment 133 203 88 369 44 834 1,7 0,0
Manufactured articles 29 113 22 544 6 569 12,0 2,7
Commodities not classified 627 652 -25 44,5 21,7
Source: Stats office          

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