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Economy in Brief

  Trade Balances for Czech Republic, Malaysia and Australia
by Louise Curley     May 6, 2008

The Czech Republic, Australia and Malaysia reported their March trade balances today. The monthly data are shown in the first chart. Australia showed improvement as its deficit declined by A$536 million from February to A$2,544 million in March. Exports of wheat, coal and iron ore were particularly strong.

Both Malaysia and the Czech Republic reported lower trade surpluses in March than in February due to a greater decline in exports than in imports. For Malaysia, the March trade surplus was US$2,302 million compared with US$ 3,269 million in February. For the Czech Republic, the March trade surplus was US$182 million, compared with US$505 million in February. Czech data on the composition and direction of exports and imports are not available. Malaysian data on the composition of exports and imports are available but on a delayed schedule. Some such data are available for February but most are only available for January or the 4th quarter of 2007.

It is to be expected that the slowdown in the US economy and the appreciation of their currencies are affecting the trade balances of most countries. The appreciation in Australia's exchange rate is shown in the second chart and those of the Czech Republic and Malaysia in the third chart.

BALANCES ON TRADE IN MERCHANDISE GOODS Mar 08 Feb  08  Mar  07  M/M Chg  Y/Y Chg  2007 2006 2005
Australia -2844 -3380 -1766 536 -1078 -20873 -13268 -18007
Malaysia 2302 3269 1719 -967 583 29219 29528 36346
Czech Republic 182 505 462 -324 -280 4244 1777 1607
Q1 08 Q4 07  Q1 07  Q/Q Chg  Y/Y Chg  2007 2006 2005
Australia -8703 -7073 -3794 -1630 -4909 -- -- --
Malaysia 8504 7182 6135 1323 2405 -- -- --
Czech Republic 1059 1478 1025 -419 30 -- -- --
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