Slovakia’s foreign trade swung into a deficit of EUR 61.3mn in December 2013 from a surplus of EUR 285.6mn the month before, preliminary data from the statistics office showed. The gap was the country's first one since December 2011.
Exports, which have been the sole driving force of the Slovak economic growth in 2012, rose by 9% y/y in December 2013, following a revised 5.3% annual increase in November. Imports in December went up by 12.5% y/y after rising by a revised 6.1% y/y in November. On a monthly basis, December’s exports fell 23% and imports decreased by 18.2%.
For the full 2013, exports increased by 3.7% y/y to EUR 64.47bn, while imports rose 2.5% y/y to EUR 60.04bn, resulting in a foreign trade surplus of EUR 4.43bn, higher by 24.6% compared to the same period last year.
IntelliNews comment: Although in December Slovakia’s exports grew less than imports, they were higher throughout the rest of the year. However, their annual growth rates were much weaker than those in 2012. Low foreign demand has affected the country’s economic growth, which is estimated at 0.9% in 2013 compared to 2% a year earlier. Forecasts for 2014 are more positive as demand from abroad is expected to become stronger pushing the GDP growth up to 2.3%.
|y/y % change|
|Source: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic|
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