Foreign trade reached a surplus of CZK 12.2bn in January, which is slightly higher than we had expected. There is no surprise in these figures and the trade balance should be neutral information for financial markets. Exports in January grew by 11% y/y and reached CZK 210bn. Increased growth to double digit numbers is positive news. But on the other hand, imports also increased by 10.3% y/y, which is relatively high considering the impact of the strengthening CZK, which lowers value of imported goods.
January’s balance was lifted into positive territory by transport vehicles, which are a traditional Czech export item. In the opposite direction were the continuing to increase oil prices and the continuing growth in the import of consumer goods.