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Foreign trade deficit at €0.9bn in January-February


The total value of exports of goods in the first two months of 2011 amounted to €19.5bn, while imports totalled €20.4bn, according to preliminary data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS). This translates into nominal increases of 15.2% y-o-y and 10% y-o-y, respectively. As a result, the country’s foreign trade deficit narrowed by nearly 45% compared with a year earlier, and amounted to just -€0.9bn.

Poland’s trade balance with the European Union, as well as with the wider category of developed countries, improved significantly over this period, showing surpluses of €3.8bn and €3.6bn, respectively. Meanwhile, the deficit in trade with developing countries rose slightly to -€2.9bn, and the deficit with the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe increased to nearly -€1.6bn.

Of Poland’s main trading partners, the highest increases occurred in exports to Sweden (up by 25.6% y-o-y), Russia (up by 24.9% y-o-y), and the Netherlands (up by 21.9% y-o-y). Exports to Germany, the biggest recipient of Polish exports, went up by 16% y-o-y. By contrast, exports to Spain were up by 3.6% y-o-y and to Italy by 3% y-o-y.

Imports from Russia again rose at by far the highest rate (up by 32.7% y-o-y), followed by the United States (up by 22.2% y-o-y). But these were the only instances of double-digit growth within the top 10 importer list; and imports from three countries were down compared with the same period a year ago: from Italy by 7.1% y-o-y, from South Korea by 4.1% y-o-y and from the Netherlands by 0.9% y-o-y.

We forecast that in 2011 as a whole Polish exports of goods will grow by 12.3% and imports by 13.8%. As a result, the foreign trade deficit will amount to €17.1bn, i.e. about 4.5% of GDP.

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