Greek exports – including fuel products – recorded a double-digit growth rate in May compared to the same month last year, according to data published on Friday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).
The momentum that exports retained in May led to a yearly expansion of 12.4 percent (excluding fuel products whose prices fluctuate due to oil rates) in the first five months of the year, which offset rising imports and narrowed the trade deficit.
In absolute figures, exports amounted to 2.94 billion euros in May, growing 14.4 percent on an annual basis. Excluding fuel products, exports rose by 144.6 million euros, or 8.4 percent year-on-year, ELSTAT figures showed.
In the January-May period, exports including fuel came to 13.41 billion euros, rising 13.7 percent, with all the main categories of products posting an advance, ranging from 3.9 percent for tobacco and alcoholic drinks to 42.8 percent in the category of olive oil and similar products.
There was also considerable growth in the three main categories of Greek exports: Fuel products rose 16.9 percent, industrial products expanded 14.7 percent, while food and livestock strengthened 10.3 percent year-on-year.
Imports in May rose by 94.5 million euros or 2.2 percent compared to the same month in 2017, reaching 4.4 billion euros, but when fuel is excluded there was a decline of 41.4 million, or 1.2 percent, to 3.32 billion euros.
In the first five months of 2018 imports showed a marginal rise of 84.2 million euros, or 0.4 percent, with their total value amounting to 21.96 billion euros. Excluding fuel, there was a 4 percent decrease to 16.14 billion euros.
Consequently, the trade deficit fell 15.2 percent to 8.55 billion euros in January-May, with a 15.8 percent annual contraction in May alone.