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Serb Current-Account Deficit Widens 27.7% on Bigger Trade Gap

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia’s current-account deficit widened 27.7 percent in the first nine months from a year earlier as the trade gap expanded, remittances fell and foreign direct investments declined.

The January-September shortfall reached 2.46 billion euros ($3.17 billion), the Belgrade-based Narodna Banka Srbije said on its website today. The monthly gap almost doubled to 279.6 million euros compared with August.

The trade deficit expanded 9.5 percent from a year earlier to almost 4.03 billion euros, as imports increased 4.4 percent while exports grew 1.5 percent.

Remittances through September dropped 13.6 percent from a year earlier to 1.4 billion euros, while foreign direct investments were negative, the bank said. Nine-month portfolio investment fell 94 percent to 96.5 million euros from 1.64 billion euros a year earlier.

The central bank forecasts this year’s current-account gap at 3.1 billion euros, or 10.7 percent of gross domestic product.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

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

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