Slovakia’s current account surplus narrowed to a preliminary EUR 339mn in March 2013 from a revised EUR 396mn in February, as an improvement in the trade surplus and in the services balance was offset by worsening in the current transfers and income balances, data from the central bank showed. The February current account figure was revised from an originally reported surplus of EUR 393mn.
A 17% growth in the trade surplus was recorded from February to March despite a 4.3% y/y drop in exports, as imports fell faster – by 9.3% y/y, reflecting a sharp decline in domestic demand. The central bank noted that the drop in exports was affected mainly by a worse performance of the other sectors of the economy, excluding the automotive industry, which is the main driving force of the country’s economy. While total exports grew some 4% m/m in March, excluding the automotive industry, exports fell 1.7% m/m. However, the exports of the automotive industry also declined in March, the central bank said.
In Q1 2013, Slovakia’s exports increased by 2.2% q/q, while the exports of the other sectors of the economy (excluding the automotive industry) grew only 0.9% q/q, the central bank said.
The significant slowdown in Slovak exports is in line with the forecasts for weakening external demand, which is expected to dent the country’s GDP growth to around 1% this year from 2% in 2012.
|----exports, y/y change, %||-4.3%||3.3%||8.5%||10.7%|
|----imports, y/y change, %||-9.3%||0.0%||5.4%||6.2%|
|Balance of services||12||-56||43||306|
|CURRENT ACCOUNT BALANCE||339||396||142||1,614|
|Source: National Bank of Slovakia|
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