Exports grew by 6 percent last year
The total value of exports excluding oil products, for the 12-month period from January 2012 to December 2012 increased by 6 percent compared to the previous year, according to data published yesterday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). The total value of imports, excluding oil products, for the whole of 2012 decreased by 5.8 percent compared to 2011. In December 2012, exports, excluding oil products, amounted to 1.31 billion euros against 1.52 billion in December 2011, which represents a drop of 13.4 percent. The total value of imports, excluding oil products, in December 2012 came to 2.41 billion euros, against 2.35 billion a year earlier, an increase of 2.3 percent.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday backed an attack against the central bank by his economy minister, who said Governor Erdem Basci risks being dismissed because his monetary policies are hampering growth. Basci’s efforts to stabilize the lira and cut the current account gap reduced Turkey’s pace of economic expansion to about 3 percent in 2012 from an average 8.9 percent a year in 2010 and 2011. While that helped spur the best bond rally in emerging markets, it fueled concern in the government as Erdogan seeks to make Turkey one of the world’s 10 biggest economies by 2023. Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan threatened Basci with removal after the governor said he’d engineered a “soft landing” and the economy was “proceeding down the highway,” according to Hurriyet on February 3. The central bank governor can be removed from office by a government decree, he said, according to the newspaper. “Turkey won’t get to its 2023 goals on the highway, friends, we need to fly,” Erdogan said, according to Sabah newspaper last Friday. “These are very damaging comments by Caglayan,” Timothy Ash, chief emergingmarket economist at Standard Bank Plc, said in an e-mail from London on Friday. “Pressure to remove the central bank governor because he is not pushing the government’s growth agenda enough sends a very bad message to the market.”
Serbia’s public debt narrowed 0.7 percent in January as the government repaid credits mainly to holders of its bonds on the domestic market. Total public debt declined by 125 million euros to 17.5 billion euros, with the public debt-togross domestic product ratio reported at 59.9 percent of Serbia’s economic output, the Belgrade-based Finance Ministry said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Serbia repaid creditors 413 million euros in principal and 55 million euros in interest last month, the ministry said.