BoG: Greece’s current account shows 1.5 bln euro deficit in 2017

The current account showed a deficit of 1.5 billion euros in 2017, down by 418 million euros year-on-year, the Bank of Greece said on Tuesday. This development reflects improvements mainly in the services balance and, to a lesser extent, the primary and the secondary income accounts, which more than offset an increase in the deficit of the balance of goods.

A widening in the deficit of the balance of goods is the result of increases in both the deficit of the oil balance and the deficit of the non-oil balance of goods. It should be noted that in 2017 exports of goods increased by 14.1 pct and 4.6 pct at current and constant prices, respectively, and that the corresponding growth rates for non-oil exports were 9.6 pct and 6.7 pct. At the same time, a rise was also recorded in goods imports, of 12.7 pct and 7.4 pct at current and constant prices, respectively.

The expansion of the surplus of the services balance is due to improvements principally in the travel balance and, secondarily, in the transport balance, while the surplus of the other services balance fell. More specifically, as regards the travel balance, non-residents’ arrivals increased by 9.7 pct and the corresponding receipts by 10.5 pct. Moreover, transport receipts rose by 16.9 pct at current prices. Finally, the primary and secondary income accounts also improved.

In 2017, under direct investment, residents’ external assets rose by 543 million euros and the corresponding liabilities by 3.6 billion euros.