Figures published last week by the Czech statistical office (CSU) showed that the balance of trade ended in a surplus in April though it was still below market expectations. The CSU data showed Czech trade balance for April came at 22.0 billion crowns, up 8.8 billion crowns in annual terms.
In the preliminary data of “‘border statistics” the office said that seasonally adjusted exports fell by 0.7% month-on-month in April while imports rose by 1.4% in monthly terms. The development trend showed decreasing exports (-0.3%) and increasing imports (+0.2%), CSU said. Compared to the corresponding month of 2011, exports and imports at current prices rose by 9.2 billion (8.4%) and 10.4 billion (4.8%), respectively.
Exports of entities seated in the Czech Republic increased by 8.6% (15.5 billion crowns) and entities seated outside the Czech Republic grew by 7.4% (3.7 billion crowns), respectively. Imports of entities seated in the Czech Republic went up by 3.2% (5.8 billion crowns) and imports of entities seated outside the Czech Republic increased by 13.7% (4.6 billion crowns). Observers noted that the April result was confirmation of weakening foreign demand.
Industrial production in the ex-communist nation increased at a faster than expected rate in April. Compared to the corresponding month of 2011, Czech industrial production increased 2.2% in April, sharply faster than the 0.1% rise seen in March.
Production in the manufacturing industry rose 1.5% annually, while mining and quarrying output dropped 3.5%. There was a 12.3% annual fall in the production and supply of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply during the month.
On a monthly basis, industrial output edged-up a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in April. In the January-April period, industrial output increased 2.7% from the corresponding period a year earlier, the statistics agency said.
The latest retail sales statistics confirmed that the Czech shoppers are still reluctant to loosen their purse strings.
The Czech statistical agency CSU last week said retail sales in the country decreased at a faster pace in April. The breakdowns showed that retail sales, including sales of automobiles, decreased a working-day adjusted 4.1% year-on-year in April, sharply faster than the 0.4% decline seen in March.
In February, sales increased 1.9% annually. Retail trade of food, beverages and tobacco fell by 5.8% annually, while sales of automotive fuel plunged 7.1%. There was a 6% year-on-year decrease in sales of motor vehicles and parts during the month, the data showed.
On a monthly basis, retail sales declined a seasonally adjusted 2.1% in April, In the January-April period, sales dropped 0.3% from the same period a year earlier, the agency said.
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