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GreeceBusinessGreek current account deficit fell by 3.0 billion euros in Jan-April

Greek current account deficit fell by 3.0 billion euros in Jan-April

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Greece’s current account deficit recorded an increase of 120.7 million euros year‑on‑year and stood at 1.8 billion in April, but fell 3.0 billion euros to stand at 5.6 billion in the January-April period, the Bank of Greece said on Tuesday.

More specifically, a decrease in the deficit of the balance of goods is accounted for by a larger drop in imports than in exports. Exports decreased by 3.9% at current prices (1.7% at constant prices) and imports fell by 11.9% at current prices (‑4.1% at constant prices).

Specifically, non‑oil exports of goods decreased by 4.1% at current prices (‑7.2% at constant prices) and non‑oil imports of goods dropped by 4.0% at current prices (‑6.1% at constant prices). A rise in the surplus of the services balance is due to an improvement in the other services balance, as well as in the travel balance, while the transport balance deteriorated. Non‑residents’ arrivals rose by 30.0% and the relevant receipts by 19.9% compared with April 2022. The primary income account deficit grew year‑on‑year, owing to higher net interest, dividend and profit payments. The secondary income account recorded a deficit, against a surplus in April 2022, mainly because the general government registered net payments instead of net receipts.

A drop in the deficit of the balance of goods in the January-April period is a combined result of an increase in exports and a decrease in imports. Exports grew by 12.0% at current prices (8.3% at constant prices) and imports fell by 2.1% at current prices (‑0.3% at constant prices). Specifically, at current prices non‑oil exports of goods increased by 8.4%, while the corresponding imports decreased slightly by 0.3% (0.3% and ‑3.8% at constant prices respectively). A small increase in the services surplus is due to an improvement in the travel balance and in the other services balance, which was mostly offset by a deterioration in the transport balance. Non‑residents’ arrivals grew by 52.5% and the relevant receipts by 38.0% year‑on‑year. The surplus of the primary income account decreased year‑on‑year, as a result of higher net interest, dividend and profit payments, which were partly offset by an increase in net receipts of other primary income. The surplus of the secondary income account widened year‑on‑year, chiefly due to higher general government net receipts.

In April, the capital account surplus declined year‑on‑year and stood at 28.1 million, owing to lower general government net receipts. In the January-April period, the capital account surplus increased year‑on‑year and stood at 2.0 billion, mainly as a result of net receipts, instead of net payments, recorded in the other sectors of the economy excluding general government and, to a lesser extent, due to higher general government net receipts. In April, the deficit of the combined current and capital account (corresponding to the economy’s external financing requirements) increased to reach 1.7 billion. In the January-April period, the deficit of the combined current and capital account was almost halved year‑on‑year, to stand at 3.7 billion

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Under direct investment, residents’ external assets grew by 193.2 million euros in April and residents’ external liabilities rose by 277.5 million, without any remarkable transactions. Under portfolio investment, a decrease in residents’ external assets is chiefly attributable to a decline of 83.0 million in residents’ holdings of foreign bonds and Treasury bills. An increase in their liabilities is due to a rise of 2.2 billion in non‑residents’ holdings of Greek bonds and Treasury bills. Under other investment, a drop in residents’ external assets mainly reflects a decline of 220.0 million in residents’ deposit and repo holdings abroad.
In the January-April period, under direct investment, residents’ external assets increased by 364.9 million and residents’ external liabilities, which represent non‑residents’ direct investment in Greece, grew by 1.1 billion. Under portfolio investment, a rise in residents’ external assets is almost exclusively due to an increase of 2.3 billion in residents’ holdings of foreign bonds and Treasury bills. Under other investment, a drop in residents’ external assets, which is due to a decline of 1.2 billion in residents’ deposit and repo holdings abroad and a decrease of 326.6 million in loans extended to non‑residents by domestic financial institutions, was partly offset by a € 997.0 million statistical adjustment associated with the issuance of banknotes.

At the end of April 2023, Greece’s reserve assets stood at 12.0 billion euros, compared with 11.5 billion at end‑April 2022.

SOURCE; ANA-MPA

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