Slovakia's foreign trade surplus widens to fresh all-time high of EUR 664.1mn in May 2013

By bne IntelliNews July 9, 2013

Slovakia’s foreign trade balance showed a surplus of EUR 664.1mn in May 2013, by 61% higher y/y and the highest on record, as exports kept growing, while imports shrank, preliminary data from the statistics office showed. The office revised the April surplus up to EUR 576.6mn from EUR 563.9mn.

Exports, which have been the sole driving force of the Slovak economic growth last year, slowed down to a 3.6% annual growth in May from a revised 10.3% y/y growth in April. Imports shrank by 1.1% y/y following a 4.5% y/y rise in April. On a monthly basis, May’s exports increased by 0.3%, while imports were by 1.4% lower.

For the first five months of the year, exports increased by 4.2% y/y to EUR 26.47bn, while imports edged 0.3% higher y/y to EUR 23.93bn, resulting in a foreign trade surplus of EUR 2.54bn, by 65% higher than in the same period last year.

IntelliNews comment: Slovakia’s exports slowed down in May after posting a surprise recovery in April that followed a sharp drop in March, which was their biggest annual drop since October 2009. The slowdown is in line with expectations for subdued external demand, which is projected to dampen Slovakia’s export-driven economic growth to less than 1% this year from 2% in 2012. Slovakia’s Institute of Informatics and Statistics (Infostat) has forecast the contribution of net exports to GDP to be neutral in the first half of 2013, or even negative.

EUR mn May-13 Apr-13 May-12 2012
Imports 4,981.3 5,051.5 5,036.4 59,223.8
Exports 5,645.4 5,628.1 5,448.9 62,833.0
Balance 664.1 576.6 412.4 3,609.2
y/y % change        
Imports -1.1% 4.5% 0.7% 6.2%
Exports 3.6% 10.3% 10.6% 10.7%
Source: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic        

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