August trading figures released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) showed on Friday that exports posted a small improvement while the trade deficit expanded further due to imports of oil at higher prices. Still, imports in the first eight months of the year remained stagnant, unlike in previous years.
The total value of Greek exports – including fuel products – amounted to 16.18 billion euros in the year to end-August, compared with 17.27 billion euros last year – i.e. a decline of 6.3 percent year-on-year. When fuel products are not included the decline comes to 0.5 percent.
Imports in the same period amounted to 28.34 billion euros, just up on last year’s 28.33 billion, but when fuel products are taken out, the rise comes to 10.6 percent.
In August exports reached 1.912 billion, against 1.914 billion last year, but when fuel products are exempted, there is a rise of 1.7 percent. Imports came to 3.11 billion, up 4.1 percent from 2015, but without fuel products the rise stands at 27.1 percent. The trade deficit soared 11.6 percent to 1.198 billion euros.
A gloomy feature included in the data concerns the 7.4 percent drop in exports to non-European Union countries in January-August, as exporters are losing the markets they fought hard to penetrate for want of cash.