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Drop in Greek account deficit

In a report, the country's central bank said that in May 2014 the current account balance showed a deficit of 246 million euros, against a 70 million surplus in May 2013, as a result of a rise in the deficits of mainly the trade balance and also the income account balance, as well as a year-on-year shift of the current transfers balance from surplus to deficit.

The aforementioned developments were partly offset by an increase in the surplus of the services balance. The trade deficit increased by 345 million euros year-on-year, owing to the higher net import bill primarily for oil and secondarily for ships. By contrast, the trade balance excluding oil and ships did not show any remarkable change, although export receipts rose faster than the corresponding import payments.

The surplus of the services balance increased by 190 million euros year-on-year, mainly as a result of the higher surplus of the “other” services balance, which largely reflects construction services. The travel services balance improved slightly, as receipts did not rise notably in May 2014, despite a 12.6% increase in non-residents’ arrivals. The slightly increased surplus in the transport services balance reflects almost entirely a rise in the surplus of the sea transport services balance.

In the January-May 2014 period, the current account deficit came to 2.5 billion euros, down by 832 million euros year-on-year. This development is attributable to improvements in the services, income account and current transfers balances, which more than offset the higher trade deficit.