Actual (Jan): CZK 15.7bn
Consensus: CZK 13.3bn
Previous (Dec): CZK 1.0bn
The January trade surplus is slightly above estimates. Both sides of foreign trade accelerate; exports increased by 28.4 pct y-o-y, while imports by 30.9 pct. The growth of turnover is the highest since 2004. The imports have been increasing faster than exports since March 2010. The pace may remain high also in February but then the increasing base will likely bring a slowdown.
The foreign trade does not change much in structure. The highest surplus comes from trade with vehicles and machinery, on the other side there is an increasing deficit in trade with mineral fuels a chemicals. This is not surprising as the surging energy prices are a global issue.
The surplus is still driven by the trade with other EU members. Year-on-year there is an improvement in trade with Germany, Austria and France. On the other side the deficit in trade with China and Russia has increased due to imports of consumer goods, crude and commodities.
In 2011 the foreign trade surplus is expected to be somewhat lower than in 2010. We see it around CZK 100bn.