Press Releases

  • Share:

Balance of Payments: February 2020

21/04/2020 - Press Releases

Current account 


In February 2020, the current account balance recorded a deficit of €1.1 billion, up by €122 million year-on-year, as a result of the deterioration of the goods and services balance and the primary income account. By contrast, the secondary income account showed a surplus, from a deficit in February 2019.

The deficit of the goods balance increased due to the worsening of the oil balance, while the non-oil balance of goods improved. Total exports of goods fell by 2.4% at current prices as a result of a sharp drop in oil exports (by 25.5%), due to both falling international oil prices and a reduction in the volume of exports (exports of oil decreased by 15% at constant prices). In contrast, non-oil exports of goods increased by 6.9% at current prices (7.1% at constant prices). At the same time, imports of goods increased slightly by 1.3% at current prices (2.7% at constant prices).

The surplus of the services balance declined as a result of the deterioration of the transport balance (mainly due to the reduction by 13.1% of net sea transport receipts) and the other services balance. The travel services balance improved as non-residents’ arrivals and relevant receipts rose by 24.6% and 21.1% respectively.

In the January-February 2020 period, the current account deficit came to €2.4 billion, up by €231 million year-on-year, as the small improvement in the balance of goods only partly offset the deterioration of the other accounts.

The goods balance deficit fell due to the improvement of the non-oil balance of goods, while the oil balance deteriorated. Exports of goods increased by 5.1% at current prices (6.4% at constant prices), while, in particular, non-oil exports of goods increased by 10% at both current and constant prices. Imports of goods rose by 1.9% at current prices and remained almost unchanged at constant prices.

The services balance surplus declined due to the deterioration primarily of the transport balance as well as the other services balance. On the contrary, the travel services balance improved. Non-residents’ arrivals and relevant receipts increased by 21.8% and 22.9% respectively.

Capital account

In February 2020, the capital account turned to a surplus of €107 million from a €6.4 million deficit in February 2019, mainly due to the rise in general government receipts. In the January-February 2020 period, the capital account registered a surplus of €140 million, down by €114 million year-on- year.

Combined current and capital account

In February 2020, the combined current and capital account (corresponding to the economy’s external financing) recorded a deficit of €1.0 billion, almost at the same level year-on-year. In the January-February 2020 period, the deficit stood at €2.3 billion, up by €344 million year-on-year.

Financial account

In February 2020, under direct investment, residents’ external liabilities (corresponding to non-residents’ direct investment in Greece) rose by €378 million without any remarkable transactions.

Under portfolio investment, residents’ external assets rose, mainly due to the increase (by €301 million) in residents' holdings of foreign bonds and Treasury bills. An increase in residents' external liabilities is mainly due to the increase (by €597 million) in the non-residents’ holdings of bonds and Treasury bills.

Under other investment, the increase in both residents' external assets and liabilities is mainly due to the statistical adjustment associated with the issuance of euro banknotes.

In the January-February 2020 period, under direct investment, residents' external liabilities increased by €681 million (foreign direct investment in Greece).

Under portfolio investment, the increase in residents’ external assets was attributed to the rise in residents' holdings of shares of foreign companies and mutual funds (€157 million) and of bonds and Treasury bills abroad (€149 million). A decrease in residents’ external liabilities is mainly due to the reduction (by €208 million) of non-residents’ holdings of Greek government bonds and Treasury bills.

Under other investment, the increase in residents’ external assets is mainly due to the increase (by €745 million) in residents' deposits and repo holdings abroad and the statistical adjustment associated with the issuance of euro banknotes (€1.2 billion). The increase in residents’ external liabilities mainly reflects the increase (by €3.3 billion) in non-residents’ deposits and repo holdings in Greece (including the TARGET account).

At the end of February 2020, the country's foreign reserve assets amounted to €7.8 billion, compared to €6.5 billion at the end of February 2019.

Note: Balance of payments data for March 2020 will be released on 21 May 2020.

 

This website uses cookies for the optimization of you user experience. Learn More
I Accept