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Serb Current Account Gap Rises 38% as Investors Pull Out

Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia’s current-account deficit expanded in the first seven months of the year as bond investors pulled out funds and remittances extended declines.

The shortfall in the current account grew 38.3 percent to 2.066 billion euros ($2.69 billion) in the seven months through July, the Belgrade-based Narodna Banka Srbije said on its website today.

Demand for Serbian goods and services is waning in the crisis-hit European Union, the Balkan nation’s main export market, while remittances dropped 23 percent through July to 1.1 billion euros. Foreign direct investment remained negative for a seventh month, and portfolio investment fell to a seven-month total of 44 million euros, compared with 870 million euros for the same period last year.

The central bank sees the full-year current-account gap at 3.1 billion euros, or 10.7 percent of gross domestic product.

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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