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Serb Current-Account Gap Rises 34% as Foreign Trade Gap Widens

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia’s current-account deficit widened in the first eight months of the year as foreign investments and capital inflows were insufficient to cover the widening foreign trade gap.

The shortfall grew 34 percent from a year earlier to 2.2 billion euros ($2.9 billion), the Belgrade-based Narodna Banka Srbije said on its website today. The monthly gap rose 2.9 percent to 136 million euros.

The trade deficit expanded 14 percent from a year ago to 3.67 billion euros as export growth slowed to 0.8 percent because of weak demand for Serbian goods and services in the crisis-hit European Union, the Balkan nation’s main export market.

Remittances dropped 8.5 percent through August to 1.34 billion euros and foreign direct investment remained negative for an eighth month, the bank said. Portfolio investment fell to 74.1 million euros, compared with 904.5 million euros for the January-August 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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