The dynamics of the foreign trade decreased in March - export and import showed a 17.9 pct and 17.4 y-o-y growth respectively. Slowdown on the import side was more significant and thus the trade surplus could surge to its record from the beginning of the time series. The figure got even over the highest estimate in the poll. The export side is mainly driven by car industry, producing a CZK 43bn surplus. There is also a significant surplus in trade with other industrial goods, CZK 4bn. On the other side, import dominates in trade with crude oil, other fuels and chemicals; these sectors produced, in total, a CZK 24bn deficit. The structure of foreign trade is in line with the current picture of the Czech economy: Industry is recovering driven by the export-oriented car manufacturing, while high oil prices represent a decent supply-side shock. The foreign trade balance is very good so far, showing a significant surplus in the 1Q. The rest of the year will likely not be as good, but still we expect the whole-year trade-balance surplus to reach CZK 100bn.
Actual (Mar): CZK 21.5bn
Previous (Feb): CZK 14.0bn