ECONOMY

Worries about economy lead to 6.6 pct slide in exports

The prolonged uncertainty over the Greek economy in recent months due to the delay in the payment of the next bailout tranche has inflicted a blow to domestic companies? exporting efforts.

Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data for September 2012 showed a 6.6 percent year-on-year decline in exports, which amounted to 1.32 billion euros against 1.42 billion in September 2011 (not including oil products). Exports to European Union countries dropped 5.5 percent and to third countries, 8.9 percent.

A statement issued by the Panhellenic Exporters? Association attributes the decline to the fact that the figure came in comparison September 2011, a month when there was a particularly large rise in exports, as well as to the ?uncertainty virus? concerning Greece. Still, on an annual basis exports are showing a rise that is expected to end the year at 4 to 6 percent.

Imports are in free fall due to the crisis. They dropped 14 percent in September compared with a year earlier.