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Foreign trade deficit at €2bn in Q1


2011-05-11



In January-March Poland’s exports of goods were worth €31bn while imports totalled €33bn, according to preliminary data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS). This translates into nominal increases of 15.5% y-o-y and 10.9% y-o-y, respectively. As a result, the country’s foreign trade deficit narrowed by 32% compared with a year earlier, and amounted to -€2bn.

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 €5.1bn and €4.7bn, respectively. Meanwhile, the deficit in trade with developing countries rose slightly, to just over -€4.5bn, and the deficit with the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe increased quite substantially to exceed -€2.1bn.

Of Poland’s main trading partners, the highest increase occurred in exports to Russia (up by 32.8% y-o-y), followed by Sweden (up by 21.9% y-o-y) and the Netherlands (up by 19.3% y-o-y). Exports to Germany, the biggest recipient of Polish exports, went up by 16.2% y-o-y. By contrast, exports to Italy were up by 3.7% y-o-y.

Russia was also the country whose imports to Poland grew at the highest rate in Q1 (up by 31.1% y-o-y), followed by Great Britain with 25.3% y-o-y. Germany was the only other top ten importer to enjoy a double-digit increase in sales to Poland in January-March (up by 10.7% y-o-y). One country, Italy, saw its imports to Poland decline in Q1 (by 2%) compared with a year earlier.

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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