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Foreign trade deficit at €3.3bn in January-April


In January-April Poland’s exports of goods were worth €42bn while imports totalled €45.3bn, according to preliminary data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS). This translates into nominal increases of 14.8% y-o-y and 12.4% y-o-y, respectively. As a result, the country’s foreign trade deficit narrowed by 11.5% compared with a year earlier, and amounted to -€3.3bn.

Poland’s trade balance with the European Union, as well as with the wider category of developed countries, improved over this period, showing surpluses of €6.6bn and €5.9bn, respectively. Meanwhile, the deficit in trade with developing countries rose slightly, to a little over -€6.1bn, and the deficit with the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe increased by almost half to nearly -€3.1bn.

Of Poland’s main trading partners, the highest increase (by 36.2% y-o-y) occurred in exports to Russia, followed by Sweden (up by 23.1% y-o-y), Czech Republic (up by 17.5% y-o-y) and the Netherlands (up by 17.3% y-o-y). Exports to Germany, the biggest recipient of Polish exports, went up by 15.6% y-o-y. By contrast, exports to Italy were up by a modest 5.2% y-o-y.

Russia was also the country whose imports to Poland grew at (by far) the highest rate in January-April (up by 34.8% y-o-y), with Great Britain in distant second at 17% y-o-y, followed by Germany with 12.4% y-o-y. On the other hand, imports from the United States were down by 2% y-o-y, the only top-ten importer to show a year-on-year decline in sales to Poland in the four months to April (imports from Italy edged up by a mere 0.2% 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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