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Balance of Payments: January 2021

23/03/2021 - Press Releases

Current account 

In January 2021, the current account showed a deficit of €436 million, down by €854 million year‑on‑year, due to an improvement in all balance of payments components, excluding the services balance.

The deficit of the balance of goods decreased, as exports fell less (-13.4% at current prices and -3.8% at constant prices) than imports (-16.7% at current prices and -12.6% 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%, reflecting a decline of arrivals by 87.9%. 

Lastly, in January 2021, 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.

Capital account

In January 2021, the capital account surplus increased by €450 million y-o-y and reached €483 million, due to an increase in general government net receipts.

Combined current and capital accoun

In January 2021, the combined current and capital account (corresponding to the economy's external financing requirements) showed a surplus of €47 million, against a deficit of €1.3 billion year-on-year.

Financial account

In January 2021, under direct investment, residents' external liabilities (non-residents' direct investment in Greece) increased by €326 million.

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, while a decrease in residents' external liabilities is mostly due to a decline of €916 million in non-residents' holdings of Greek government 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 in residents’ deposit and repo holdings abroad. An increase in residents’ external liabilities mainly reflects a rise of €4.1 billion in non-residents’ deposit and repo holdings in Greece (the TARGET account included), while foreign loans extended to residents registered a €419 million decline.

At end-January 2021, Greece’s reserve assets stood at €9.7 billion, compared with €7.6 billion at end-January 2020.

Note: Balance of payments data for February 2021 will be released on 20 April 2021.

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