Greek exports remained mired in stagnation in July, leading to a decline in the first seven months of the year, while the country’s trade deficit soared, according to data published on Wednesday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).
The decline in the January-July period may be just 0.9 percent but is particularly significant as it is exports that had contained the slide of the Greek economy during the first few years of the financial crisis and this is the first time that the sector is showing signs of exhaustion.
Exporters attribute this phenomenon to the fact that they have to operate in a cash-strapped environment that is aggravated by the state’s refusal to pay its dues to suppliers and tax rebates adding up to 1 billion euros.
Exports – including fuel products – amounted to 2.25 billion euros in July, down 3.4 percent year-on-year. Imports posted an 18.2 percent annual growth to 3.59 billion euros, from 3.04 billion in July 2015, which is a correction from the major decline seen last year after capital controls were imposed in late June.
This has resulted in a huge increase in the trade deficit, by 88.9 percent from July 2015, to reach to about 1.34 billion euros.