BUSINESS

Trade deficit soars in January-September

DIMITRA MANIFAVA

TAGS: Economy

The Greek trade deficit rose 18.4 percent in the first nine months of the year compared to 2016, to 16.13 billion euros, Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) figures revealed on Tuesday, even though the monthly reduction of imports in September resulted in a slowdown in the growth of the deficit.

Given the positive course of exports, the country’s exporters are talking about the sector’s great opportunity for a leap forward, provided the capital controls are lifted, liquidity is bolstered and the tax burden on enterprises is reduced.

ELSTAT data show that the total value of imports (including fuel products) amounted to 3.74 billion euros in September, against 3.76 billion a year earlier (i.e. a decline of 0.2 percent). Excluding fuel, imports posted a 2.6 percent increase.

The total value of exports amounted to 2.42 billion euros in September, from 2.37 billion in September 2016 (i.e. an increase of 1.9 percent). Without fuel products, the increase amounted to 1.7 percent.

However, in the January-September period the picture is quite concerning as imports amounted to 37.24 billion euros, up from 32.22 billion a year earlier, which represents a 15.6 annual increase, while exports rose 13.5 percent.

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