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The lek continues to strengthen against the main currencies, the euro towards the limit of 104 lek
Written by SOT.COM.AL 13 Nëntor 2023
The lek has started this week gaining points in the exchange rate with other currencies. According to the official exchange rate of the Bank of Albania, the Euro was exchanged on Monday at 104.25 ALL, down further by 0.17 points since the end of last week.
The Euro has already touched a new low for the past three months. For the last time, the Euro was close to the level of 104 lek in the middle of August, when the exchange rate was still under the effect of the tourist season.
Other foreign currencies are showing a similar trend. The American dollar was exchanged at 97.5 ALL, down by 0.34 points compared to the end of last week. The British pound dropped to 119.37 ALL, 0.1 point less compared to Friday. The Swiss franc dropped to 108.07 ALL, 0.42 ALL less compared to last week's close.
The strengthening of the European currency is also decisive in relation to other currencies. Like the Euro, other foreign currencies are at their lowest values ??in the last three months.
The strong positions of the Lek in the exchange rate are related to the increase in inflows and the improvement of the external position of the economy, but also to the tight fiscal policy of the Albanian government. High inflows from tourism and foreign direct investments have significantly improved the Balance of Payments this year.
Based on the data of the Bank of Albania, for the 6th month of 2023 the deficit had the value of 323 million euros, down by 27.4% compared to the same period last year. It is estimated that the improvement continued even in the third quarter, pushed especially by the record numbers of incoming tourism.
Just as it happened last year, the Euro-Lek exchange rate continues to fall even after the summer season. If last year the strengthening of the Lek was somewhat restrained by high electricity imports, the impact of this factor during the year is much lower.
In fact, the data so far show that domestic energy production has exceeded consumption and our country has been a net exporter. The rains of the last weeks have increased river flows, electricity production and boosted its exports. The Albanian Power Corporation (KESH) has moved into the position of selling energy and during the month of November it has carried out three such procedures.
On the other hand, the supply of Lek continues to be tight, due to slower lending and especially due to the washed-out budget surplus. At the end of the 9th month, the surplus reached a record value of 51 billion lek, while at the beginning of November, the government decided to redistribute budget funds, also due to the very low level of spending.
Recently, the Bank of Albania also undertook a tightening move, increasing the base interest rate for the first time since March. The base rate has already reached 3.25%, the highest level of the last decade, while the Supervisory Council has warned of further increases in the coming months./Monitor