Capital controls continue to weigh on exports

Capital controls continue to weigh on exports

The impact of the capital controls on Greek exports expanded in October to engulf all major categories of products, according to data released on Tuesday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

The total value of exports in October came to 2.22 billion euros, down 12.5 percent from the same month last year. Excluding fuel products, the annual decline amounted to 2.3 percent or 37.8 million euros.

Besides the capital controls, exporters are worried by talk regarding a possible Greek exit from the Schengen Area, which would create problems with road freight, to say nothing of the obstacles generated by the closure of the railway line toward Central Europe at Greece’s northern border. All this is hampering the restoration of confidence in Greece’s economy and enterprises.

All main categories of exports except for olive oil and machinery posted a drop in October, led by fuel products, food and drink, industrial and tobacco products.

In the first 10 months of the year the decline in exports amounted to 5.2 percent year-on-year (against 4.4 percent in the year to end-September), falling from 22.6 billion in 2014 to 21.5 billion euros in 2015, although when fuel is excluded there was 9.7 percent growth.

Commenting on the figures, the head of the Panhellenic Exporters Association, Christina Sakellaridi, said: “The data confirm the association’s estimates about the medium- to long-term consequences of the imposition of capital controls on the outward-looking character of the Greek economy.”

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