ECONOMY

Trade balance deficit continues to shrink

The progress of Greek exports has been rather unstable, since, after posting a rebound in March and April, they declined in May before rebounding again in June and staying put in July, according to data compiled by the Panhellenic Exporters Association. In total, exports over the first seven months of 2010 posted no more than an 1.8 percent increase over the same period in 2009, climbing to 8.648 billion euros from 8.492 billion last year. Crucially, when displayed in US dollars, there is no increase at all. In July, exports came to 1,325.5 billion euros, against 1,325.1 billion in July 2009, a marginal rise of just 0.04 percent. Imports continued to decline, though this is due to the drop in domestic consumption. In July the value of imports came to 3.030 billion euros against 4.385 billion a year earlier. This signifies a decline of 30 percent. As a result, the trade balance deficit came to 14.5 billion euros in the first seven months of the year, from 20.5 billion in the January-July period of 2009.