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Serb Current-Account Gap Widens as Remittances, Investments Drop

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Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia’s current-account deficit widened in the first six months of the year as investors withdrew funds.

The shortfall in the current account grew 45 percent to 1.89 billion euros ($2.33 billion), or 14 percent of gross domestic product, the Belgrade-based Narodna Banka Srbije said on its website today. The gap in the first quarter was 16.8 percent of GDP.

The balance of payments showed negative direct investment for a sixth consecutive month, with a cumulative outflow of 138 million euros, the bank said.

The central bank is forecasting a full-year current account deficit of 3.1 billion euros, or 10.7 percent of GDP, compared with a previous estimate of 8.6 percent of GDP, Branko Hinic, the bank’s head of monetary analysis, said on Aug. 15.

The current account deficit was expanding because of capital outflows, low levels of investment from outside Serbia and weaker exports, Hinic said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at gfilipovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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