ATHENS — Greece's current account balance showed a deficit of 436 million euros in January, down by 854 million year‐on‐year, due to an improvement in all balance of payments components, excluding the services' balance, the Bank of Greece said on Tuesday.
The central bank, in a monthly report, said that the deficit of the balance of goods decreased, as exports fell less (-13.4 pct at current prices and -3.8 pct at constant prices) than imports (-16.7 pct at current prices and -12.6 pct at constant prices). These changes mainly reflect developments in oil exports and imports. The surplus of the services balance decreased, due to a deterioration in the transport (mainly sea transport) and the travel services balances, while the other services balance improved. The travel balance fell to almost zero, as receipts declined by 90.9 pct, reflecting a decline of arrivals by 87.9 pct. Lastly, in January, an improvement in the primary income account was mainly attributable to a rise in net interest, dividend and profit receipts, as well as in other primary income receipts. The secondary income account shifted from deficit to surplus as a result of an improvement in all of its main components.
The capital account surplus increased by 450 million euros y-o-y and reached 483 million, due to an increase in general government net receipts. The combined current and capital account (corresponding to the economy's external financing requirements) showed a surplus of 47 million euros, against a deficit of 1.3 billion year-on-year. Under direct investment, residents' external liabilities increased by 326 million euros, under portfolio investment, an increase in residents' external assets is due to a rise of 2.5 billion in residents' holdings of foreign bonds and Treasury bills. Under other investment, an increase in residents’ external assets reflects a rise of 137 million in loans extended to non-residents and an increase of 120 million euros in residents’ deposit and repo holdings abroad.
At the end of January, Greece’s reserve assets stood at 9.7 billion euros, compared with 7.6 billion at end-January 2020.