Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Czech Exports Slide

Czech external trade was down again in February, with exports and imports falling by 22.2% and 21.5% year-on-year respectively. The trade balance was in surplus (by CZK 8.7 bn), down by CZK 4.3 bn (or around a third) year-on-year. The trade balance was negatively affected by a fall of CZK 5.8 bn in the machinery and transport equipment surplus.

Seasonally adjusted exports were down by 0.9% and imports by 2.9%, month-on-month. Due to the depreciation of the koruna against the two major currencies, external trade decreased at a more rapid pace when measured in euros (exports -30.6%, imports -30.0%) and in US dollars (exports -39.8%, imports -39.3%), although it should be remembered that February 2008 had one working day more than February 2009.

The trade surplus with the other EU member states fell by CZK 4.3 bn while the trade deficit with non-EU countries decreased by CZK 1.9 bn. The trade balance deteriorated with Poland (by CZK 2.4 bn) and the United States (by CZK 1.0 bn) as surplus turned into a deficit. Surplus fell in trade with the United Kingdom (by CZK 1.4 bn), Italy and Romania (both by CZK 1.3 bn), Spain and Sweden (both by CZK 1.1 bn) and Slovakia (by CZK 1.0 bn), and trade deficit with China deepened (by CZK 0.9 bn). Trade balance improved with Germany (surplus up by CZK 6.0 bn as imports dropped more than exports). The trade deficit decreased with Japan (by CZK 1.8 bn), Korea (by CZK 1.7 bn) and the Russian Federation (by CZK 1.4 bn). The trade balance improved with Turkey (by CZK 1.4 bn) as deficit turned into a surplus.