Weekly Market Watch
Exports increased by 31.4% in October 2021
In October 2021, exports hit an all-time high monthly figure of US$ 411.2mn (up 31.4% y/y and up 28.7% vs. Oct-19), mainly driven by ferro-alloys and fertilizers exports growth. Imports increased by 24.0% y/y to US$ 904.0mn (down 2.2% vs Oct-19). As a result, the trade deficit growth slowed to 18.3% y/y to US$ 492.8mn (down 18.5% vs. Oct-19), after a 33.6% y/y growth in previous month.
The top 5 exported commodities were copper (+9.0% y/y), ferro-alloys (+242.4% y/y), cars (+11.7% y/y), wine (+12.4% y/y) and nuts (+6.3% y/y) in Oct-21. A 22.9% of exports were directed to the EU (+55.0% y/y), 46.1% to the CIS (+38.7% y/y) and 31.0% to other countries (+10.4% y/y).
The top 5 imports were petroleum (+65.2% y/y), cars (-23.6% y/y), pharmaceuticals (+83.7% y/y), copper (-2.1% y/y) and gases (+20.8% y/y) in Oct-21.
Overall, in 10M21, trade deficit was up 20.4% y/y (down 2.3% vs 10M19) to US$ 4.6bn, as exports increased by 24.9% y/y, while imports were up 22.3% y/y.
Money transfers remain high in October 2021
Money transfers increased by 13.7% y/y to US$ 206.7mn in October 2021, according to NBG, after growing by 8.8% y/y in previous month. Notably, remittances were also up by 34.9% compared to October 2019 level. From major remitting countries, money transfers increased strongly from Italy (+20.2% y/y, 16.0% of total), Germany (+37.6% y/y, 5.3% of total), USA (+11.6% y/y, 11.5% of total), Israel (+10.9% y/y, 7.4% of total) and Russia (+3.0% y/y, 17.5% of total). Meanwhile, from major remitting countries, money transfers declined from Greece (-2.7% y/y), Turkey (-15.1% y/y) and Ukraine (-33.5% y/y). Overall, in 10M21 remittances stood at US$ 1.9bn, up 26.1% y/y and up 35.7% vs. 10M19.
Producer price index up 17.7% y/y in October 2021
Annual PPI for industrial goods was 17.7% in October 2021 up from 16.8% in previous month, according to Geostat. Price changes in manufacturing (+20.3% y/y) and electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning (+12.6% y/y) contributed the most to the overall index change in October.
Unemployment rate at 19.5% in 3Q21
Unemployment rate stood at 19.5% in 3Q21 (up 2.5ppts y/y and down 2.6ppts m/m). Notably, unemployment rate reduced in 3Q21 for the 1st time after growing during 4Q20-2Q21, however it still exceeds pre-Covid level. Out of employed persons, the share of hired labor increased by 0.7ppts y/y and accounted for 67.3% of total, while share of self-employed persons decreased by 0.7ppts y/y to 32.7% of total. The labor force participation rate (52.8%) exceeds pre-Covid level, meaning that more people are seeking jobs and this also drives unemployment rate higher.