Greek current account deficit up in the first quarter of 2017

Greece’s current account deficit widened by 160 million euros in the first quarter of 2017 to 2.5 billion euros, the Bank of Greece said on Monday.

The central bank, in a monthly report, attributed this development to an increase in the deficit of the balance of goods, which totaled 594 million euros in the January-March period, surpassing the deficit recorded in the same period last year. Exports of goods (excluding fuel) grew 5.9 pct in fixed prices while imports grew by 6.5 pct in the three-month period.

The surplus of the balance of services grew by 345 million euros in the first quarter, compared with the same period in 2016, as travel receipts fell 4.8 pct and travel arrivals fell 1.8 pct, but Greek citizens’ travel expenses abroad also fell in that period. Receipts from transport services grew 17.9 pct compared with the same period in 2016.

The balances of primary and secondary incomes improved in the first three months of 2017. Portfolio investments recorded a net increase in Greek citizens’ claims abroad, while liabilities fell in the same period.