Trade balance (Jun): CZK 29.4bn
Consensus: CZK 22.5bn
Previous (May): CZK 22.5bn
The trade balance posted bold surplus again as a result of moderate growth of exports and stagnating imports. Exports grew by 5.6% yoy, while imports changed only by 0.9% yoy.
Compared to June 2011, trade surplus almost doubled. Exports to Eurozone increased only by 1.8% yoy, no wonder looking at recently released macro figures in Eurozone countries. But exports to other countries still keep well and help to offset fading demand in Western Europe.
Commodity structure of exports closely follows industrial production. Thus, we can see that exports of cars are the main positive driver. On the other hand, exports of IT equipment and telecommunication devices declined. Feeble imports reflect sluggish domestic demand. Moreover, the one-off drop of imported natural gas (-34.5% yoy) affected total imports in June.
Trade balance kept very high surpluses during Q2 and we can guess that net exports provided positive contribution to the GDP in Q2. However, declining household expenditures, government spending and investment activity are likely to outweigh net exports and GDP change probably remained negative in Q2. Our forecast of the trade balance in 2012 improved to CZK 300bn, the record-high surplus.