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Monday, October 27, 2008

Estonia's Trade Deficit Drops In August

I suppose in the midst of all this mess we should be thankful for small mercies. Estonia posted its smallest trade deficit in two and a half years in August, helped by in part by rising exports, and in part by the declining cost of crude oil (which reduced the value of imports).

Estonia's deficit narrowed to 2.7 billion krooni ($220 million), down from a revised 4.3 billion krooni in July, according to data out today from the statistics office.

Exports rose an annual 8 percent and imports fell 6 percent. Thus we could say that August was a comparatively good month, but we should not draw any very extensive conclusions from this about what we may now get to see next in September and October. Really we will need to wait and see the data for next January and February (by which time we could hope things will have settled down a bit) before we can begin any real damage assessment.

Latvian Central Bank Buys More Lati

The Latvian central bank bought about 86 million lati ($150.8 million) in the market last week to support the currency after it weakened to the limit of its trading band, according to data released by the central bank today The lats fell to 0.7098 against the euro for the fourth consecutive week, prompting the bank to buy it. The currency is allowed to rise or fall 1 percent from a midpoint to the euro.

The central bank has bought about 237.5 million lati over the last four weeks. It had foreign currency reserves of about $6 billion at the end of September, which would cover the last five months of imports. This month's bank intervention has reduced reserves by about 7 percent.


Jekabs said...

Where do you get the Latvijas Banka numbers - reserves and buybacks. Do they publish these numbers at their website?

Edward Hugh said...

Hi Jekabs,

You actually ask two questions which are not necessarily logically connected :)

"Do they publish these numbers at their website?"

Yep. Look in the news thread in the box at the top of the main page.


"Where do *you* get the Latvijas Banka numbers - reserves and buybacks."

Aha! This is not the same thing at all. I often take these from Bloomberg direct, just to save time. Try searching "Latvia" in a Bloomberg page, you will probably get lots of interesting stuff.


Jekabs said...

That's pretty funny! Thanks for the pointers, and excuse my logic (or lack thereof)!