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Decline in euro rate has exporters eyeing growth in 2015

By Dimitra Manifava

A decline in the exchange rate of the euro against the US dollar, as well as other major currencies, is key if Greek enterprises, and their eurozone counterparts, are to regain a significant part of their competitiveness, according to a study by credit insurance company Atradius.

The positive impact of the euros decline against the dollar has already been reflected in Greek exports data for October and November, when the countrys exports posted rises of 7.7 percent and 6.6 percent respectively, making the two months the best last year. There are no data available yet for December. The euro slide, which started in May 2014 (at $ 1.38 at the time), has continued unabated, and stood at a rate of $ 1.13 yesterday.

Hellenic Statistical Authority figures have shown that Greek exports amounted to 1.13 billion euros in October and 1.21 billion in November.

The rebound of Greek exports in the last quarter of 2014 is estimated to have contained the losses that had originally been estimated for last year. Now the Panhellenic Exporters Association is arguing that last year ended with a 2 to 2.5 percent decline in exports much smaller than the summer forecasts.

If the current trend continues, exporters estimate that Greek exports can return to positive territory in 2015, while revenues from the export of goods and services are seen growing by 5 to 5.5 percent this year compared to 2014, provided payments remain relatively smooth.

Despite the projected decline in the value of exports for last year, revenues (the money actually paid toward Greek exports) posted an estimated 4 percent increase last year from 2013. Exporters attribute this phenomenon to the recovery of trust in the Greek economy, at least until recently.

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