In February 2017, the current account showed a deficit of €937 million, up by €109 million year-on-year. This development is attributable to an increase in the deficit of the balance of goods, which more than offset a rise in the surplus of the services balance, and to a decrease in the surplus of the primary income account. By contrast, the secondary income account improved. The total value of exports of goods and services grew by 11.6%, but the corresponding imports increased more in absolute terms, resulting in a slight deterioration in the overall balance of goods and services.
The deficit of the balance of goods increased year-on-year, mainly as a result of a rise in the deficit of the oil balance, owing to higher international oil prices. By contrast, the non-oil balance of goods improved. However, it should be noted that non-oil exports of goods declined by 1.8% at constant prices and the corresponding imports by 1.2%.
The surplus of the services balance expanded by €158 million year-on-year, as a result of the improved travel and other services balance, while net transport receipts decreased slightly. More specifically, travel receipts fell by 3.1%, in spite of a 2.6% rise in arrivals. The improvement in the travel balance is due to the fact that the decline in spending by residents travelling abroad was larger than the decline in spending by non-residents travelling in Greece.
In February 2017, the primary income account showed a surplus of €261 million, down by €146 million year-on-year, mainly as a result of a decline in net receipts under other primary income, which includes taxes and subsidies on products and production. The secondary income account showed a surplus of €115 million, up by €69 million year-on-year, mainly due to the improved balance of the general government sector.
In the January-February 2017 period, the current account improved by €392 million year-on-year and stood at €1.2 billion. This improvement is attributable to increased surpluses in the services balance, the primary income and the secondary income accounts. By contrast, the deficit of the balance of goods rose. The overall balance of goods and services recorded a deficit of €2.4 billion, up by €259 million year-on-year, as a rise in the services surplus was more than offset by an increase in the goods deficit.
The deficit of the balance of goods increased in the above mentioned period compared with the January-February 2016 period, mainly as a result of a rise in the deficit of the oil balance. Increases were also recorded in the deficit of the balance of goods excluding oil. Specifically, exports of goods excluding oil grew by 2.5% at constant prices and the corresponding imports by 5.4%.
The surplus of the services balance expanded by €253 million compared with the January-February 2016 period, reflecting improvements in all of its main components. Travel receipts fell by 2.7%, in spite of a 7.9% rise in non-residents’ arrivals.
In the January-February 2017 period, the primary and secondary income accounts improved year-on-year.