Slovakia’s foreign trade surplus expanded to EUR 464.7mn in May 2014 from a revised EUR 305.9mn the month before, preliminary data from the statistics office showed. The April’s surplus figure was revised down from EUR 345.8mn.
In annual terms, the country's foreign trade surplus shrank by 24.1% in May. Exports dropped by 2.7% y/y in the fifth month of 2014, following a revised annual decrease of 3.2% in April. Imports inched down by 0.1% y/y after increasing by a revised 1.2% y/y in the previous month. On a monthly basis, May’s exports rose 1.3%, while imports decreased by 1.7%.
In the first five months of 2014 the country's foreign trade surplus totalled EUR 1.99bn, being EUR 384.7mn lower than in the same period last year.
In 2013, Slovakia's exports increased by 3.6% y/y to EUR 64.36bn, while imports rose 2.5% y/y to EUR 60.08bn, resulting in a foreign trade surplus of EUR 4.28bn.
IntelliNews comment: Slovakia’s exports shrank for the second straight month in May after rising in the previous seven months. This development suggests that exports, which have been the driving force behind the country’s economic growth, are likely to have a lower contribution in the GDP growth this year. On the other hand, consumption has shown signs of recovery and might have a bigger contribution in the country's economic growth. Slovak retail sales have been increasing in the past seven months backed by rising household consumption, increasing employment and higher salaries and are expected to continue this upward trend in 2014. The Slovak finance ministry expects household consumption to grow 2.4% this year. It also expects exports to post an annual growth of 6.7% in 2014.
|EUR mn||May-14||Apr-14||May-13||2013||y/y change||m/m change|
|y/y % change|
|Source: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic|
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