The merchandise trade surplus widened by 8.3% y/y to EUR174.8m in June, according to data published by the stat office on Tuesday. Exports went up by 2.7% y/y in June compared to 7.0% y/y in May. The deceleration came entirely on the back of slower growth of exports to the EU, as it was negatively affected by higher uncertainty due to the Brexit vote. Considering that a significant share of industrial output is destined for exports, we believe that industrial growth moderated in June. Exports to non-EU countries rose at an accelerating pace, likely supported by a weaker euro. The growth of imports also eased tangibly to 2.2% y/y. We believe that some companies decided to postpone their investments due to the higher level of uncertainty.
Looking at cumulative figures, the trade surplus widened to EUR656.2m in H1 from EUR335.3m in the corresponding period a year ago. The improvement came on the back of exports, whose 4.5% y/y growth was underpinned by retained cost competitiveness of Slovenian manufacturers. The trade surplus came in at EUR331.4m in Q2, compared to EUR324.8m in the quarter before. Thus, we believe that the net exports’ positive contribution to GDP growth increased in Q2.