Greek trade balance deficit falls

The trade balance deficit posted a major annual decline in May, falling by 53.3 percent, according to data released yesterday by the National Statistical Service. The difference between exports and imports shrank from 3.608 billion euros in May 2008 to 1.667 billion euros in May this year. The total value of imports declined by 42.8 percent in the same month, although, with the exception of oil products, the drop comes to just 29.6 percent. Exports also contracted, but only by 17.5 percent (8.6 percent not counting oil products). In the first five months of the year, the trade balance deficit declined by 44.4 percent from the same period last year and came to 9.792 billion euros, against 17.624 billion euros in January-May 2008. Imports posted a 36.7 percent drop in the year to May, while exports fell by 17.4 percent. Due to the decline in the trade balance deficit, the current account deficit dropped by 1.239 billion euros in May to 2.039 billion euros from last year’s 3.278 billion, the Bank of Greece announced yesterday.