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Foreign trade deficit at €5bn in January-May


Polish exports of goods were worth €57bn in the first five months of 2012, while imports totaled €62bn, according to preliminary data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS). This translates into nominal increases of 2.2% y-o-y and 0.1% y-o-y, respectively. As a result, the country’s foreign trade deficit amounted to €5bn, compared with €6.2bn in the corresponding period of 2011.

Poland’s trade balance with the countries of the European Union as well as with the wider category of developed countries improved markedly over this period, showing surpluses of €8.5bn and €7.6bn, respectively. So did the balance with developing countries, with the deficit narrowing by over 6% to €7.5bn. By contrast, the deficit with the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe increased by a third to €5.1bn.

Of Poland’s main trading partners, by far the highest increase in exports was to Russia (up by 27.4% y-o-y) and Ukraine (up by 24% y-o-y). Exports to the Netherlands went up by 7.4% y-o-y, to Great Britain by 5.8% y-o-y, to Slovakia by 4.9% y-o-y and to the Czech Republic by 2.9% y-o-y. Exports to Germany, Poland’s main trading partner, were flat in January-May as compared with a year ago. Exports to France were down by 2.1% y-o-y, to Sweden by 4.4% y-o-y and to Italy by 8.6% y-o-y.

The biggest increase in imports was also with Russia (up by 28.7% y-o-y), followed at a wide distance by the United States (up by 9.6% y-o-y). Imports from China went up by 3.4% y-o-y, from the Netherlands by 2.9% y-o-y, and from the Czech Republic by 1.7% y-o-y. Imports from the five remaining top-ten countries were lower than in January-May 2011. Thus imports from South Korea dipped by 1.2% y-o-y, imports from Germany went down by 3.5% y-o-y, from Italy by 9% y-o-y, from France by 11% y-o-y and from Great Britain by 11.1% y-o-y.

By way of comparison, in 2011 as a whole the trade deficit amounted to €14.7bn, i.e. approximately 3.9% of GDP.

We forecast that in 2012 Polish exports of goods will rise by 2.9%, and imports by 0.5%.

Foreign trade in Poland (%, y-o-y), 2004-2011 and January-May 2012

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PMR is a British-American company providing market information, advice and services to international businesses interested in Central and Eastern Europe as well as other emerging markets. PMR key areas of operation include business publications (through PMR Publications), consultancy (through PMR Consulting) and market research (through PMR Research). With over fourteen years of experience, high international standards in projects and publications, highly skilled multilingual staff and a wide network of co-operating research companies and market experts, PMR is one of the largest companies of its type in the region.