Slovakia's Nov foreign trade surplus reaches EUR 327.5mn, exports growth slows.

By bne IntelliNews January 10, 2012
Slovak foreign trade balance showed a surplus of EUR 327.5mn in November 2011, up from EUR 125.1mn a year earlier, but exports growth slowed down, preliminary data from the statistics office showed. The office revised up the October surplus to EUR 588.8mn from EUR 570.1mn. Exports totalled EUR 5.25bn in November, up 7.5% y/y, while imports rose 3.5% to EUR 4.93bn. For the first 11 months of 2011, the foreign trade showed a surplus of EUR 2.53bn, up from EUR 978.3mn in the same period last year. Exports grew 17.7% to EUR 52.1bn and imports rose 14.5% to EUR 49.5bn. IntelliNews comment: Slovakia turned from negative to positive trade balances in 2009, when the economy contracted and the need for imports declined. The surpluses declined somewhat in 2010 with the revival of the economic activity. Recent developments indicate that exports, which are the main driving force of the countrys economic growth, have already started slowing down, in line with expectations, following the weakening demand in Slovakia's main trading partners Germany and the rest of the eurozone. Annual exports growth dropped to 7.5% in November from 10% in October and 13.5% in September. On the other hand, shrinking domestic consumption led to a stagnation in imports, which jumped by some 20% to 30% annually in the first five months of 2011. In October, revised imports figures showed a complete stagnation, the worst performance since January 2010. Despite a moderate improvement in imports growth in November, we can expect imports to shrink further following reduced consumption amidst the eurozone crisis. We project that Slovakia will end the year with a high foreign trade surplus, while the situation next year will depend on the extent of the economic stagnation in the eurozone, as Slovakias exports are driven mainly by sales of cars and electronics to Germany.
EUR mn Nov-11 Oct-11 Nov-10 2010
Imports 4,926.6 4,705.9 4,760.6 47,493.6
Exports 5,254.1 5,294.7 4,885.7 48,272.1
Balance 327.5 588.8 125.1 778.5
% change
Imports 3.5% 0.0% 25.7% 22.5%
Exports 7.5% 10.0% 25.0% 21.5%

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