Friday, March 07, 2008

Czech January Trade Surplus

The Czech Republic posted a substantial January trade surplus following on the back of very healthy export growth, suggesting that manufacturers are still managing to weather the effect of the koruna's eight-month rally.

The 12.2 billion koruna ($748 million) surplus followed a revised 3.3 billion-koruna gap in December and a 9.8 billion- koruna positive balance in January 2007.

The koruna has advanced 15 percent against the euro since July, making it the world's best performer over the last half year. The strong currency puts pressure on exporters' revenue or makes their goods less competitive. The German economy, which is the destination for one-third of Czech exports, is expected to slow in 2008, with economic growth being forecast by the German government to reduce to 1.6 percent from 2.5 percent in 2007.

Exports in January rose 11 percent year on year and advanced to 210.1 billion koruna while imports amounted to 197.9 billion koruna, up 10.3 percent from a year ago.

The Czech Republic's 2007 trade surplus totaled a revised record 85 billion koruna, a third straight full-year surplus.

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