Greece's current account deficit shrank by 50% in the first quarter of 2014 to 1.05 billion euros, compared with the same period last year, announced the Bank of Greece.
In a report, the central bank attributed this positive development to higher surpluses in the balance of services and current transfers and a reduction in the income account deficit while the trade deficit remained almost unchanged.
Higher net payments for purchases of ships offset the lower net oil import bill and the slightly contracted trade deficit excluding oil and ships. This is largely due to a decrease in the corresponding import bill. Receipts from exports of goods excluding oil and ships did not change considerably.
The rise in the services surplus by 464 million euros in the first quarter of 2014 is due to increased net receipts, primarily, from transport services and, secondarily, from travel and other services. The income account deficit fell by 245 million euros year-on-year, owing to a decline in net interest payments.
The current transfers balance showed a surplus of 2.2 billion euros, up by 518 million year-on-year. This development is mainly due to higher general government net transfer receipts, mainly from the EU.
At end-March 2014, Greece’s reserve assets remained unchanged year-on-year, at 5.5 billion euros.