Albanias current account deficit widens 23.4% in Jan-Sep 2011.

By bne IntelliNews December 13, 2011
Albanias current account deficit widened by 23.4% y/y to EUR 827mn in the first nine months of 2011, central bank data showed. In our calculations, the gap accounted for 8.7% of the full-year GDP projection, up from 7.6% a year earlier. In absolute figures, the deterioration was due to a worsening of the net goods and service accounts as well as due to lower current transfers. The deficit on the trade account increased by 5.6% y/y to EUR 1.58bn in the nine-month period, as imports rose by 11.2% y/y to EUR 2.6bn. Although exports grew at the faster pace of 20.9%, in nominal terms this was insufficient to offset the higher imports. In Q3 alone, exports reversed to a strong 27.4% y/y growth after it declined 2.6% y/y in previous quarter. The surplus on the services account shrank by 57.1% y/y to EUR 76mn in Jan-Sep 2011, due to deteriorating tourism account. The latter posted a EUR 20mn surplus, down by 88.8% y/y. Albanias tourism revenue fell by 7.9% y/y in to EUR 884mn, although the number of tourists visiting the country increased in the period. At the same time, tourism outflows grew by 10.5% y/y to EUR 864mn, which could be partly attributed to the liberalisation of the visa regime with the EU in December 2010. In Q3 2011 alone, the tourism account posted a EUR 83mn surplus, down 51.5% y/y, which resulted from a 12.2% y/y drop in inflows and a 6.6% y/y rise in tourism outflows. Current transfers dropped by 8.6 y/y and net remittances decreased by 9.4% y/y to EUR 475mn. On a positive site, the balance on the income account swung into a surplus of EUR 54mn in Jan-Sep from a EUR 33mn deficit a year earlier.
Balance of Payments, Jan-Sep, EUR mn
2010 2011 % y/y
Current Account -670 -827 23.4
Goods -1498 -1582 5.6
Export 865 1046 20.9
Import -2363 -2628 11.2
Services 177 76 -57.1
Export 1290 1288 -0.2
Import -1113 -1212 8.9
Tourism 178 20 -88.8
Income -33 54 -263.6
Current transfers 684 625 -8.6
Remittances 524 475 -9.4
Capital transfers 56 57 1.8
Source: Central bank

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