Bank of Greece shows a current account balance of 1.4-bln-euro surplus in June

Greece’s current account balance showed a surplus of 1.4 billion euros in June, up 53 percent compared to the same period last year, the Bank of Greece said on Wednesday.

In a report, the central bank attributed this development increased surpluses of the services and current transfers balances.

These developments were partly offset by a rise in the trade deficit. The overall balance of goods and services recorded a surplus of 1.2 billion euros, compared with 1.0 billion euros in June 2013.

The trade deficit grew by 208 million euros year-on-year, owing to considerably higher net payments for purchases of ships, which were largely offset by declines in the net oil import bill and the trade deficit excluding oil and ships. More specifically, receipts from exports of goods excluding oil and ships rose by 17.4 percent, while the corresponding import bill also increased, albeit at a slower pace.

The surplus of the services balance increased by 394 million euros year-on-year, mainly as a result of higher surpluses of the travel and transport services balances. In more detail, travel receipts increased by 16.3 percent, reflecting a 13.7 percent rise in non-residents’ arrivals. At the same time, the increased surplus of the transport services balance reflects a rise in the surplus of the air transport services balance. Finally, the “other” services balance recorded a surplus, against a deficit in June 2013.

In the first half of 2014, the current account deficit came to 1.1 billion euros, down by 1.3 billion euros year-on-year. This development is attributable to improvements in the services, income account and current transfers balances, which more than offset the higher trade deficit.

In more detail, as regards the trade deficit, increased net payments for purchases of ships, which almost tripled, offset a contraction in the deficit of the balance of goods excluding oil and ships. This contraction is attributable to higher export receipts, given that the corresponding import bill remained almost unchanged. As a result, the trade deficit rose by 772 million euros.

The 1.2 billion euro rise in the surplus of the services balance mainly reflects increased net transport receipts, as well as higher net receipts from travel and other services. As regards travel spending by non-residents in Greece, a year-on-year increase of 13.4 percent was recorded, reflecting a 15.6 percent rise in non-residents’ arrivals.

The income account deficit fell by 396 million euros, mainly as a result of lower net interest payments.

Finally, the current transfers balance showed a surplus of 2.5 billion euros, up by 456 million euros year-on-year. This development is attributable to a rise in general government transfer receipts (mainly from the EU).