ECONOMY

Current account deficit up

The rise in oil prices has expanded the deficit in the current account balance, which in the year’s first four months came to 12.85 billion euros, up by 5.7 percent from 2007, the Bank of Greece (BoG) said yesterday. The deficit in the fuel balance soared to 4 billion euros at end-April against 2.8 billion euros in April 2007, a rise of 42.6 percent. Other BoG data illustrate that Greece is less than attractive for investment, as foreign direct investment tumbled from 457 million euros in January-April of 2007 to just 62.8 million euros over the same period this year, while Greece invested about 876 million euros abroad in the year to April. The above data have been partly offset by European Union funds and foreign currency inflows from shipping. The former grew to 3.4 billion euros (from 2.06 billion euros in 2007) and the latter to 6 billion euros (from 4.9 billion euros in 2007).