Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Southern European CA Deficits Continue To Plummet

Here are the results for the current account balances in the period January-August for the main four Southern European countries. The numbers in () represents the deficits during the same period in 2011:

Spain: -€16.1 billion (-€26.6 billion)
Italy: -€14.7 billion (-€39 billion)
Greece: -€4.6 billion (-€13.7 billion)
Portugal: -€1.7 billlion (-€8.4 billion)

As you can see, the biggest improvement has been in Portugal where the current account deficit has dropped nearly 80%, while the deficits in Italy and Greece has dropped by nearly two thirds, with Spain showing the smallest improvement as its deficit dropped by "only" about 40%. Compared to my last update on this issue two months ago every country except Italy has seen their rate of drop accelerate, with Greece in particular showing faster imrpovement as it has in fact run two straight monthly surpluses. These monthly surpluses could to some extent reflect seasonal or temporary factors, but as the 8 month numbers show there is clealy an underlying improvement.