BUSINESS

Both exports and imports decline steeply in June

DESPINA KONTI

TAGS: Economy

Greek exportsdropped 9 percent year-on-year in June, but the country’s trade deficit narrowed 22.9 percent because imports dropped even more, according to preliminary data compiled by the independent statistics authority ELSTAT.

This seemingly good news masks worries that global trade activity is slowing, at least partly because of the US-China trade war, and a recession is looming. German growth turned negative in the second quarter of 2019.

Total exports in June came to 2.76 billion euros, compared to 3.03 billion in June 2018, while imports stood at 4.28 billion, a drop of 14.5 percent from last June’s 5.05 billion.

For the first half of the year, exports rose 2.2 percent year-on-year, to 16.82 billion, while imports rose 4.8 percent, to 27.7 billion. This brought the first-half trade deficit to nearly 10.9 billion, or 8.8 percent higher than last year’s.

Raw materials and chemicals led the first half’s export growth, rising 16.1 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively. By contrast, exports of fats and oils tumbled 48.4 percent. Exports of industrial products grew by a modest 1.1 percent.

Greece’s 27 European Union partners remain the customers for its exports: Overall, 55.7 percent of Greek exports headed to other parts of the EU. Excluding refined petroleum products, the percentage of Greek exports to the rest of the EU rises to 67.9 percent of the total.

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