Balance of Payments: JUNE 2002
17/09/2002 - Press Releases
Current account balance
In June 2002, the current account balance recorded a 544 million euro
deficit, i.e. 195 million euro smaller than in June 2001. This decrease resulted mainly
from the substantial increase in the services surplus.
Over the same period, the trade deficit increased slightly by 52
million euro, due to the widening of the non-oil trade deficit, while the net fuel import
bill decreased in comparison with June 2001. As far as the services balance is concerned,
the increase in net travel and transport receipts caused the surplus to rise by 469
million euro. By contrast, the transfers surplus narrowed in June, mainly because of the
reduction in net EU transfers. Finally, the income account deficit increased by 78 million
euro, owing to the rise in net payments for interest, dividends and profits.
During the first half of 2002, the current account deficit increased by
391 million euro, compared with that in the corresponding 2001 period, and stood at 4,388
million euro. This development is due on the one hand to the widening of the trade deficit
and the income account deficit and on the other hand to the narrowing of the transfers
surplus. These negative developments were partly offset by the substantial rise in the
The non-oil trade deficit increased by 180 million euro during the
first half of 2002, because export receipts fell by 254 million euro, whereas the import
bill decreased by 74 million euro. Net oil imports rose by 77 million euro over the period
under review. At the same time, the increase (of 589 million euro) in net receipts from
travel and "other" services offset the fall in net transport receipts, resulting
in an increase of 354 million euro in the services surplus. It should be noted at this
point that, as from May 2002, statistical data on travel receipts and payments are derived
according to a new methodology. This methodology is based on a sample survey ("border
survey"), hence data may not be fully comparable with those of previous periods. The
income account deficit increased mainly because of the rise in net payments for interest,
dividends and profits. Finally, the transfers surplus decreased by 372 million euro,
although net EU transfers, which constitute the main item of the category, decreased by
only 20 million euro compared with the first half of 2001.
Financial account balance
In June 2002, direct and portfolio investment recorded net inflows of
98 million and 959 million euro respectively. Direct investment inflows in particular
include an amount of about 55 million euro for the acquisition of a further participation
in the Commercial Bank's share capital by Credit Agricole. "Other investment"
showed an outflow, attributable to the decrease in non-residents' deposits in Greece.
During the first half of 2002, direct and "other" investment
recorded net outflows of 174 million and 193 million euro respectively. Non-residents'
investment showed a small positive movement, given that the significant inflow in June
2002 more than offset the outflow during the previous months of the year. During the
period under review, portfolio investment recorded a substantial net inflow (of 6,516
million euro), connected with the large inflow of funds (7,402 million euro) for the
purchase of Greek government bonds by foreign investors. The outflow (1,355 million euro)
for the purchase of foreign bonds by Greek investors was also notable. The fact that both
foreign and Greek investors have turned to the bonds market reflects the uncertainty
prevailing in international capital markets.
As a result of the developments in the current account and the
financial account balances, Greece's reserve assets came to 8.2 billion euro at end-June