BUSINESS

Oil price drop, capital controls resulted in decline in Greek exports last year

DIMITRA MANIFAVA

TAGS: Economy

Exports contracted 5.1 percent last year to a total value of 25.8 billion euros, against 27.19 billion euros in 2014, according to Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) figures.

The main reason for this decline – besides the capital controls introduced in June – is the drop in global oil rates which has resulted in a decrease in the prices of oil products that Greece exports. When fuel is excluded, the value of Greek exports amounted to 18.28 billion euros, up 8.2 percent year-on-year.

The president of the Panhellenic Exporters Association, Christina Sakellaridi, remarked that if the export growth rate recorded up to June 2015 had continued for the entire year, the country would have enjoyed additional inflows of 2.3 billion euros.

The trade deficit amounted to 17.77 billion euros, against 20.93 billion in 2014, posting a 15.1 percent annual decline. Excluding fuel products, the deficit contracted 7.3 percent from 2014. The share of exported goods in the gross domestic product shrank to 14.5 percent last year from 15.33 percent in 2014, while the export-oriented sectors of the economy (goods exports, tourism, transport, shipping and services) contributed 32.7 percent of GDP.

The signs for the course of exports this year are positive, at least according to the European Commission’s forecasts for the Greek economy issued on Thursday. Brussels has revised upward its estimates regarding growth in exports of products and services from 1.2 percent to 1.9 percent year-on-year, which translates into additional takings of 1.1 billion euros for the economy this year.

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