Balance of payments: October 2021
12/21/2021 – Press releases
In October 2021, the current account deficit widened over one year, due to a deterioration in the goods balance and the primary and secondary income accounts, which was partly offset by an improvement in the services balance.
In January-October 2021, the current account deficit narrowed year on year, due to an increase in the services surplus and an improvement in the primary and secondary income accounts, which were partly offset by a deterioration in the balance of goods.
In October 2021, the current account deficit widened by 45 million euros over one year and stands at 781 million euros.
An increase in the goods balance deficit can be explained by a larger increase in imports than in exports. Exports increased by 44.6% and 6.9% at current and constant prices, respectively, while imports increased by 50.2% and 12.2% at current and constant prices, respectively. In particular, exports of non-oil goods increased by 25.4% and 15.3% at current and constant prices, respectively, and imports of non-oil goods increased by 28.5% and 21.7% at current prices. currents and constants, respectively.
The surplus in the services balance more than doubled, reflecting an improvement mainly in the travel balance and, to a lesser extent, in the transport and other services balance. The arrivals of non-residents and the corresponding receipts increased strongly (respectively by 124.5% and 159.8%). In particular, receipts and arrivals were 98.4% and 77.3%, respectively, from October 2019 levels. The transport surplus increased mainly due to an improvement in the surplus in the balance of maritime transport.
The income account deficit grew year over year, due to higher net interest, dividend and profit payments. The secondary income account deficit widened year over year, due to the increase in government payments.
In the January-October 2021 period, the current account deficit decreased by 2.7 billion euros over one year to 6.4 billion euros.
An increase in the deficit of the goods balance is due to the fact that imports have increased more than exports in absolute terms. Specifically, exports increased by 34.0% and 13.5% at current and constant prices, respectively, while imports increased by 32.1% at current prices and 10.9% at constant prices, respectively. . Specifically, non-oil exports and imports of goods increased at about the same rate (25.7% and 25.6%, respectively) at current prices, while at constant prices they increased by 20, respectively. 0% and 23.0%.
An increase in the services surplus is mainly due to an improvement in the travel services balance; however, this was partly offset by a decline in the transport balance surplus. Non-resident arrivals increased by 93.8% and corresponding revenues by 142.0% year on year, representing 46% and 58% of respective levels in 2019. Net transport revenues decreased by 9.7% .
The primary income account went from being in deficit to in surplus on a year-over-year basis, mainly due to lower net payments of interest, dividends and profits, while the surplus of the secondary income account increased due to an increase in the net revenue of general government.
In October 2021, the capital account recorded a deficit, compared to a surplus in October 2020, and stood at 104 million euros. In January-October 2021, the capital account surplus increased by 1.3 billion euros over one year and stood at 3.1 billion euros.
Current account and combined capital
In October 2021, the deficit of the combined current account and capital (corresponding to the external financing needs of the economy) increased compared to October 2020 and stood at 884 million euros. In the January-October 2021 period, the combined current and capital account deficit decreased year over year from € 7.3 billion to € 3.3 billion.
In October 2021, under direct investment, the external assets of residents increased by 24 million euros and the external liabilities of residents by 224 million euros, including the completion of the acquisition of an additional 16% stake in Piraeus Port Authority SA by COSCO SHIPPING (Hong Kong) Co., Limited.
Regarding portfolio investments, the decrease in foreign assets of residents is explained by a decrease of 268 million euros in the holdings of residents in foreign bonds and Treasury bills, partially offset by an increase of 207 million euros in their holdings of foreign stocks. A decrease in the external liabilities of residents is due to a decrease of 221 million euros in the holdings of non-residents of Greek government bonds and treasury bills.
Under other investments, the increase in foreign assets of residents mainly reflects a statistical adjustment of 446 million euros related to the issue of banknotes and an increase of 307 million euros in deposits and reverse repurchase agreements by residents at the ‘foreigner. An increase in their commitments represents an increase of 1.6 billion euros in deposits and pensions of non-residents in Greece (TARGET account included).
In the January-October 2021 period, under direct investment, the external assets of residents increased by 860 million euros and the external liabilities of residents, which represent the direct investments of non-residents in Greece, increased by 4.0 billion euros .
In terms of portfolio investments, the increase in foreign assets of residents is mainly explained by an increase of 16.2 billion euros in the holdings of residents of foreign bonds and Treasury bills and an increase of 1.7 billion euros. euros of their holdings of foreign equities. The increase in residents’ external liabilities is due to an increase of 2.7 billion euros in the holdings of non-residents of Greek government bonds and treasury bills and of 1.3 billion euros in the holdings of non-residents. -residents in shares of Greek companies.
Under other investments, the increase in foreign assets of residents reflects an increase of 2.5 billion euros in loans granted to non-residents and a statistical adjustment of 3 billion euros linked to the issuance of banknotes in euros, which were partly offset by a decrease of 1.3 billion euros in residents’ deposits and pensions abroad. An increase in their commitments mainly represents an increase of 12.2 billion euros in deposits and pensions of non-residents in Greece (TARGET account included).
AT end of October 2021, Greece’s reserve assets amounted to € 12.3 billion.
Related information: Balance of payments statistics for November 2021 will be released on January 20, 2022.