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Serbian Current-Account Gap Widens on Cash, Deposit Outflows

Serbia’s current-account deficit widened 47.3 percent in the first four months of the year as banks transferred cash and deposits abroad in the biggest monthly outflow in six months.

The current account, a measure of money flowing into and out of a country, had a shortfall of 1.37 billion euros ($1.73 billion), the Narodna Banka Srbije said on its website today. Cash and deposit outflows in April totaled 610 million euros, the highest since last October.

A net 250 million euros in foreign investment left the country, while portfolio investments fell to 132.6 million euros, about five times lower than in the same four months of last year.

Serbia’s current-account gap was 17.2 percent of gross domestic product in the first quarter, according to central bank figures. Serbia has pledged to keep its current-account deficit at about 8 percent of GDP in 2012.

The central bank said in an update of its macroeconomic indicators that the fiscal gap was 7.3 percent of GDP in the first three months of 2012. Public debt amounted to 51.1 percent of GDP. The government targets a fiscal deficit of 4.25 percent this year and public debt of less than 45 percent.

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