Bratislava, August 9 (TASR) – Slovakia’s foreign trade remained strong in June 2018, UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia analyst Lubomir Korsnak stated when commenting on the figures released by the Statistics Office earlier on Monday.
The trade-balance surplus was comparable to last June. “Not only was the trade-balance surplus pleasing, but also the foreign-trade turnover. Both exports and imports managed to defend their strong May positions, even adding something extra. Adjusted by the traditional season, imports and exports climbed to their new all-time highs in June, thus confirming the continued growth of the Slovak economy,” said Korsnak.
According to the analyst, the growing industry is putting increased pressure on imports of material and goods for production. Imports grew 0.8 percent in June in a monthly comparison. Fuels were responsible for almost one third of year-on-year import growth, while more than a half of growth can be ascribed to the category of machinery and transport means. Consumer imports didn’t show any significant growth in June. However, nominal foreign-trade figures were significantly influenced by growing oil prices on the global market, stated Korsnak.
Strong domestic demand, either the import of technologies for a new automotive plant (Jaguar Land Rover) or the higher industrial supplies before the start of the plant’s production, might again put pressure on imports in the upcoming months, said the analyst.
However, strong imports should be compensated by stronger exports.
“At the end of the year (in the last quarter), and chiefly next year, trade-balance surpluses should start growing significantly again under the influence of the fourth carmaker’s transition from the investment to the production stage,” stated the analyst. He sees risk for foreign trade in the potential launch of a trade war between the EU and the USA, which Slovakia would chiefly feel in its automotive industry.
Slovenska Sporitelna analyst Katarina Muchova said that foreign-trade basics remain favourable and in addition to the still favourable development of our chief trade partners, the start of the new carmaking plant’s production can gradually begin to contribute to the export growth in Slovakia.
The Statistics Office on Thursday reported that Slovakia’s foreign trade produced a surplus of €432.2 million in June 2018, which is an increase of €72.9 million year-on-year. Total exports amounted to €6.940 billion (up by 10.7 percent y-o-y), while total imports increased by 10.1 percent to reach €6.508 billion.