Current account surplus of 712 million euros in January-October

In October 2017, the current account showed a deficit of 624 million euros, up by 356 million euros year-on-year, as a result of increases, primarily, in the deficit of the balance of goods and, secondarily, in the deficits of the primary and secondary income accounts, which more than offset a rise in the surplus of the services balance.

The widening in the deficit of the balance of goods is mainly attributable to a rise in imports of oil and other goods, which more than offset an increase in exports. It should be noted, however, that exports of goods rose by 9.0 pct at current prices and by 3.6 pct at constant prices. The rise in the surplus of the services balance is due mostly to an improvement in the travel balance, since non-residents’ arrivals and the corresponding receipts increased by 8.4 pct and 14.2 pct, respectively. The surplus of the transport balance grew solely on account of a 35 pct increase in net sea transport receipts.

In the January-October 2017 period, the current account showed a surplus of 712 million euros, up by 326 million euros year-on-year. 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 mostly a result of a rise in the oil deficit. It should be noted that exports of goods increased by 13.6 pct and 3.5 pct at current and constant prices, respectively, and that the corresponding growth rates for non-oil exports were 9.3 pct and 6.4 pct. A rise in the surplus of the services balance is attributable to an improvement in all of its main components. More specifically, as regards the travel balance, non-residents’ arrivals increased by 10.1 pct and the corresponding receipts by 10.6 pct. Moreover, transport receipts rose by 18.1 pct at current prices. Finally, the primary and secondary income accounts also improved.

In October 2017, no significant changes were registered in the capital account, while in the January-October 2017 period a surplus of 362 million euros was recorded, compared with a surplus of 639 million euros in the same period of 2016.

In October 2017, the combined current and capital account (corresponding to the economy’s external financing requirements) registered a deficit of 616 million euros, up by 375 million euros year-on-year, while in the January-October 2017 period it showed a surplus of 1.1 billion euros, up by 49 million euros year-on-year.

In the January-October 2017 period, under direct investment, residents’ external assets rose by 456 million euros and the corresponding liabilities by 3.1 billion euros.

Under portfolio investment, a net decrease in residents’ external assets reflects mainly a drop of 10.4 billion euros in residents’ holdings of foreign bonds and Treasury bills, while a net decline in liabilities reflects chiefly a decrease of 1.5 billion euros in non-residents’ holdings of Greek government bonds and Treasury bills.