The April foreign trade deficit jumped surprisingly
sharply to CZK 8.8bn. This can be largely
accounted for by aircraft imports involving the
purchase of two large passenger aircraft for CZK 3.4
bn. We had only counted on the purchase of a single
aircraft in our estimate. The Czech Statistical Office
also stressed the higher imports of road vehicles,
which we however have been drawing attention to
since the start of this year. There were no significant
changes in other items. Without these aircraft, the
deficit would not have diverged from its course this
year, taking into account seasonal variations.
The most important information in yesterday’s report is
about the massive revision of the first quarter ’s
figures. The total deficit fell to half its original value,
CZK 7.1bn, which is even lower than in the first
quarter of last year. In particular, the Czech
Statistical Office made a huge adjustment to the
March deficit, reducing it from CZK 9.2bn to CZK
4.0bn. The documentation system for foreign trade
is clearly still not working at its best, and so we can ’t
rule out larger revisions over the coming months.
What is positive, however, is that so far the original
figures have all been revised to give lower deficits.
The low deficit for the first quarter is again a
convincing argument that industry is continuing
successfully in spite of the stagnation in EU
economies. Foreign trade is now keeping the current
account payments balance within an acceptable
range,as the current account is currently under
considerable pressure from the drop in income from
the export of services.
(CSOB, Central European Weekly)