Although the balance of foreign trade came out at expected level, it brought a bad news. Both exports (-24 % y/y) and imports (-21.3 % y/y) showed a fastest fall in history.
Exports are under heavy pressure due to falling demand abroad. The drop in imports is driven by lower exports (lower demand for materials and intermediate products), lower domestic consumer demand (increasing unemployment and low wage growth) and weaker currency.
In 2008, we expect a slightly negative trade balance after a CZK 70bn surplus in 2007.
Actual (Jan): CZK 3.46bn
Consensus: CZK 2.3bn
Previous (Dec): CZK -11.8bn