Press Releases

  • Share:

Balance of Payments: September 2021

19/11/2021 - Press Releases

 

  • In September 2021, the current account deficit declined compared with the same month a year earlier, due to an improvement in the services balance, which was partly offset by a deterioration in the balance of goods and the primary and secondary income accounts.
  • In January‑September 2021, the current account deficit dropped year‑on‑year, due to an increase in the services surplus and an improvement of the primary and secondary income accounts, which were partly offset by a deterioration in the balance of goods.

 

Current account

 

In September 2021, the current account deficit decreased by €270 million year‑on‑year and stood at €177 million.

A rise in the deficit of the balance of goods is accounted for by a larger increase in imports than in exports. Exports grew by 52.5% and imports by 53.2% (at constant prices the respective growth rates were 18.3% and 21.5%). Non‑oil exports and imports increased by 36.7% and 30.9%, respectively, at current prices (26.9% and 25.6%, respectively, at constant prices).

The surplus of the services balance more than doubled, reflecting an improvement of mainly the travel balance and, to a lesser extent, the transport balance, while the deficit of the other services balance increased. Non-residents' arrivals and the corresponding receipts rose substantially (by 124.4% and 150.8%, respectively). In particular, receipts and arrivals stood at 75.4% and 58.6%, respectively, of the September 2019 levels. The surplus of the transport balance grew mainly on the back of an improvement of 30.8% in the surplus of the sea transport balance.

The primary income account registered a deficit, against a surplus in the same month a year earlier, mainly due to a drop in net receipts from other primary income. The secondary income account deficit increased year‑on‑year, chiefly as a result of higher general government payments.

In the January‑September 2021 period, the current account deficit recorded a decrease of €2.8 billion year‑on‑year and stood at €5.6 billion.

A rise in the deficit of the balance of goods is due to the fact that imports grew more than exports in absolute terms. Exports and imports increased by 32.8% and 30.1%, respectively, at current prices (14.2% and 10.6%, respectively, at constant prices). Νon‑oil exports and imports grew by 25.7% and 25.2%, respectively, at current prices (20.6% and 23.2%, respectively, at constant prices).

A rise in the services surplus is primarily due to an improvement of the travel services balance; however, this was partly offset by a decline in the surplus of the transport balance. Non‑residents’ arrivals grew by 89.0% and relevant receipts by 139.3% year‑on‑year, accounting for 43% and 54.4% of the 2019 arrivals and receipts respectively. Net transport receipts dropped by 14.8%.

The primary income account turned from deficit to surplus year‑on‑year, mainly owing to lower net interest, dividend and profit payments, while the surplus of the secondary income account rose due to an increase in general government net receipts.

 

Capital account

 

In September 2021, the capital account registered a surplus, compared with a deficit in September 2020, and stood at €174 million. In the January‑September 2021 period, the capital account surplus more than doubled year‑on‑year, to stand at €3.2 billion.

 

Combined current and capital account

 

In September 2021, the deficit of the combined current and capital account (corresponding to the economy's external financing requirements) dropped by €532 million relative to September 2020 and stood at €2.5 million. In the January‑September 2021 period, the deficit of the combined current and capital account decreased year‑on‑year, from €7.0 billion to €2.4 billion.

 

Financial account

 

In September 2021, under direct investment, residents' external assets increased by €91 million and residents' external liabilities rose by €288 million.

Under portfolio investment, an increase in residents’ external assets is almost exclusively attributable to a rise of €1.0 billion in residents’ holdings of foreign bonds and Treasury bills. A rise in residents' external liabilities is due to an increase of €2.0 billion in non‑residents' holdings of bonds and Treasury bills.

Under other investment, residents' external assets recorded a small increase. A decline in residents’ external liabilities reflects a drop of €2.2 billion in non‑residents’ deposit and repo holdings in Greece (the TARGET account included), which was partly offset by a €1.0 billion rise in the outstanding debt to non‑residents.

In the January‑September 2021 period, under direct investment, residents’ external assets increased by €837 million and residents’ external liabilities, which represent non‑residents’ direct investment in Greece, rose by €3.8 billion.

Under portfolio investment, an increase in residents’ external assets is chiefly attributable to a rise of €17.9 billion in residents’ holdings of foreign bonds and Treasury bills. An increase in residents' external liabilities is due to a rise of €2.6 billion in non‑residents' holdings of Greek government bonds and Treasury bills and of €1.4 billion in non‑residents’ holdings of shares of Greek firms.

Under other investment, residents’ increased external assets reflect a rise of €2.6 billion in loans extended to non‑residents and the €2.6 billion statistical adjustment related to the issuance of euro banknotes, which were partly offset by a €1.6 billion decrease in residents’ deposit and repo holdings abroad. An increase in their liabilities represents mainly a rise of €14.2 billion in non‑residents’ deposit and repo holdings in Greece (the TARGET account included).

 

At end‑September 2021, Greece’s reserve assets stood at €12.2 billion.

 

Related information:

Balance of Payments statistics for October 2021 will be released on 21 December 2021.

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