Trade in merchandise and services remained well down in April
The balance of payments figures for the first four months of this year are showing a large fall in merchandise trade and trade in services compared with the same period last year. The lockdown measures introduced at home and abroad in March to curb the coronavirus pandemic were a major factor in this fall. With merchandise imports falling by even more than merchandise exports, the trade surplus strengthened further. The measures hit trade in services particularly hard, most notably imports and exports of travel services.
The current account surplus over the first four months of the year strengthened compared with the same period last year, as the fall in merchandise imports (14.1%) outpaced the fall in merchandise exports (11.0%). The year-on-year decline in merchandise trade in April was even more pronounced: imports were down 41.4%, while exports were down 35.5%.
Meanwhile the surplus of trade in services over the same period was down 19% in year-on-year terms. The hardest hit part of the service sector was travel services: April saw a virtual shutdown, with imports and exports alike amounting to just 4% of the last year’s level.
Transport services over the first four months of the year were also down significantly in year-on-year terms. The sharpest fall came in April, when imports were down just under a fifth and exports down a quarter on the same month last year.
Figure 1: Travel, transport and other services, EUR million
Source: Banka Slovenije
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