The annual growth of exports decelerated to 7.3% in November from 12.1% in the previous month, while the annual growth of imports slowed down to 3.9% from 10.7%. On a monthly basis, November exports fell 4.7% and imports were 1.2% lower.
In the first 11 months of 2012, Slovakia's exports increased 10.8% y/y to EUR 58.17bn and imports rose 6.4% to EUR 54.76bn, leading to a foreign trade surplus of EUR 3.41bn, by EUR 2.4bn higher than in the same period last year.
IntelliNews comment: Slovakias foreign trade recorded a surplus of EUR 2.4bn in 2011, up from EUR 778.5mn in 2010, on the back of reviving economic activity mostly in the first half of the year. Exports, fuelled by the auto manufacturing industry, still remain the main driving force of the countrys economy.
Domestic demand and household consumption, however, still remain a major concern, as the central European country is plagued by huge unemployment of nearly 14% and falling real wages. Slovak exports, however, have already started slowing down and are expected to decelerate further this year due to a decline in demand from the eurozone, which is Slovakias main trading partner.
Car makers, however, are trying to diversify their exports to Asia (mainly China) and even Africa, in order to cut their dependence on the subdued European market.
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