Trade balance improved – The deficit fell by 6.5% over the previous year
Albania’s trade deficit narrowed in 2018. According to the Institute of Statistics, the deficit in commodity trade decreased to ALL 331 billion last year, down 6.5% compared to 2017. Last year also marked the best result in a significant foreign trade indicator, covering imports from exports. This indicator increased to 48.4%, the highest ever recorded in the Albanian economy, at least after 1990.
The decline in trade deficit came mainly thanks to another positive year for exports, which increased by about 14%. The Albanian economy exported goods at the value of ALL 310 billion or about 2.5 billion euros. The increase came especially from the significant revival of exports to “minerals, fuels and energy” by 31% and “building materials and metals” by 21%.
However, the fason sector continues to dominate the structure of exports, with 40% of the total. Last year, Albania exported textiles and footwear worth about one billion euros, 5% more compared to last year. Despite the alarming of exporters for the severe consequences of the ALL strengthening, figures actually show that overall Albanian exports have grown at satisfactory rates.
Meanwhile, imports for 2018 increased in modest proportions. Albania imported 641 billion ALL goods, up 2.4% compared to the previous year. Imports were also dominated by the group “machinery, equipment and spare parts” for the last year, by about 142 billion or 1.13 billion euros. This was also the group with the highest annual growth of about 6%. The dominance of capital goods in imports shows that the performance of investments in the Albanian economy has been high for the previous year as well.