Greek current account deficit up in January - November

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Greek current account deficit up in January - November

The Greek current account deficit totaled 1.4 billion euros in November 2018, up 292 million euros from the same month in 2017, with the deficit in the January-November 2018 period widening to 3.8 billion euros, up 2.1 billion year-on-year, the Bank of Greece said on Monday.

The central bank, in a monthly report, attributed the widening of the current account in November to the deterioration of the balance of goods and the primary and secondary income accounts. By contrast, the balance of services improved. The deficit of the balance of goods grew, owing to a worsening of the oil balance, while the non-oil balance of goods improved. It should be noted that, at constant prices, total exports of goods increased by 12.0 pct (non-oil exports of goods rose by 11.3 pct) and total imports of goods rose by 13.2 pct (non-oil imports of goods grew by 3.0 pct). The surplus of the services balance increased, mainly as a result of an improvement in the travel balance, given that non-residents' arrivals and the corresponding receipts rose by 6.2 pct and 42.5 pct, respectively, as well as an improvement in the transport balance, which is due to a rise of 18.2 pct in net sea transport receipts compared with November 2017. The other services balance also improved. The primary income account deteriorated, almost exclusively as a result of higher net interest, dividend and profit payments. The secondary income account also worsened, but to a smaller extent.

In the January-November period, the current account showed a deficit of 3.8 billion euros, up by 2.1 billion year-on-year. The widening of the current account is attributable to the deterioration in the balance of goods and the primary income account, which however was partly offset by an improvement chiefly in the services balance, as well as in the secondary income account.

The deficit of the balance of goods grew by 2.5 billion euros, despite the continuing upward trend of exports, as imports also accelerated year-on-year (at current prices). At constant prices, total exports of goods increased by 8.3 pct (non-oil exports of goods rose by 11.3 pct) and total imports of goods grew by 7.8 pct (non-oil imports of goods increased by 9.8 pct). The surplus of the services balance rose by 1.3 billion euros, on account of improvements chiefly in the travel balance and, secondarily, the transport balance, while the other services balance deteriorated. Specifically, non-residents' arrivals and travel receipts rose by 10.6 pct and 9.7 pct, respectively. Additionally, transport receipts also increased, by 14.7 pct.

In November 2018, the capital account registered a surplus, which was larger by 199 million euros compared with November 2017, while in the January-November period, a surplus was recorded, which however was lower than in the corresponding period of 2017.

In November 2018, under direct investment, residents' net external liabilities rose by 382 million. In the January-November period, under direct investment, residents' net external assets and liabilities – the latter representing foreign direct investment –posted increases of 651 million and 3.4 billion, respectively.

At the end of November 2018, Greece's reserve assets remained almost unchanged year-on-year at 6.5 billion euros.

Source: ANA

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