Balance of Payments: September 2022


21/11/2022 – Press Releases

– In September 2022, the current account deficit increased year on year, due to a deterioration in the balance of goods, which was partly offset by an improvement in the balance of services, as well as in the primary and the secondary income account.

– In the January-September 2022 period, the current account deficit grew year on year, chiefly owing to a worsening of the balance of goods, as well as of the primary and the secondary income account, which was offset to a degree by an improvement in the balance of services.

Current account

In September 2022, the current account deficit increased by €515.1 million year on year and stood at €811.4 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 25.7% at current prices (-1.8% at constant prices) and imports rose by 39.1% at current prices (15.1% at constant prices). In particular, non-oil exports of goods grew by 20.4% at current prices (3.0% at constant prices) and non-oil imports of goods rose by 18.2% at current prices (9.4% at constant prices). It should be noted that the large increase in oil exports and imports is mainly attributable to a rise in the corresponding prices.

An increase in the surplus of the services balance is due to an improvement in, primarily, the travel balance and, secondarily, the other services balance, while the transport balance deteriorated. Non-residents’ arrivals rose by 52.3% and the relevant receipts by 35.1% year on year. It should be noted that, compared with September 2019, arrivals stood at 89.3% and receipts almost reached the corresponding level (98.9%). The surplus of the transport balance dropped despite an amelioration of the sea transport balance.

The primary income account registered a surplus, against a deficit in the corresponding month a year earlier, mainly on the back of higher interest, dividend and profit receipts. The deficit of the secondary income account decreased year on year.

In the January-September 2022 period, the current account deficit rose by €4.7 billion year on year and stood at €10.8 billion.

A rise in the deficit of the balance of goods is accounted for by a faster increase in imports than in exports. Exports grew by 41.0% at current prices (5.9% at constant prices) and imports increased by 46.9% at current prices (20.8% at constant prices). Specifically, non-oil exports and imports of goods grew by 26.6% and 28.9%, respectively, at current prices (9.5% and 20.0% at constant prices).

A rise in the surplus of the services balance is due to an improvement mainly in the travel balance, as well as in the transport and other services balances. Non-residents’ arrivals rose by 103.9% and the relevant receipts by 78.3% year on year, representing 87.9% and 96.9% of their respective levels in 2019. Net transport receipts increased by 23.0%.

The primary income account surplus decreased year on year, mainly due to lower net receipts of other primary income. The secondary income account surplus fell, as a result of lower receipts in the general government balance.

Capital account

In September 2022, the capital account surplus increased year on year and stood at €297.0 million, as a result of higher net receipts in the other sectors of the economy excluding general government. In the January-September 2022 period, the capital account surplus declined year on year and stood at €2.5 billion, owing to lower net receipts in the general government balance.

Combined current and capital account

In September 2022, the deficit of the combined current and capital account (corresponding to the economy’s external financing requirements) more than doubled and stood at €514.4 million. In the January-September 2022 period, the deficit of the combined current and capital account increased by €5.4 billion year on year and stood at €8.3 billion.

Financial account

In September 2022, under direct investment, residents’ external assets increased by €31.0 million and residents’ external liabilities rose by €621.8 million, without any remarkable transactions.

Under portfolio investment, an increase in residents’ external assets is largelyattributable to a rise of €216.0 million in residents’ holdings of foreign bonds and Treasury bills. A decline in their liabilities is mostly due to a decrease of €287.0 million in non-residents’ holdings of Greek bonds and Treasury bills.

Under other investment, residents’ external assets increased, as a result of a €330.4 million rise in loans extended to non-residents and a €404.0 million statistical adjustment related to the issuance of banknotes, which were partly offset by a €488.0 million decrease in residents’ deposit and repo holdings abroad. An increase in their liabilities reflects chiefly a rise of €1.3 billion in non-residents’ deposit and repo holdings in Greece (the TARGET account included), as well as a €404.0 million statistical adjustment related to the issuance of banknotes, which were partly offset by a drop of €731.8 million in the outstanding debt to non-residents.

In the January-September 2022 period, under direct investment, residents’ external assets increased by €1.0 billion and residents’ external liabilities, which represent non-residents’ direct investment in Greece, rose by €5.3 billion.

Under portfolio investment, an increase in residents’ external assets is almost entirely attributable to a rise of €9.6 billion in residents’ holdings of foreign bonds and Treasury bills. An increase in their liabilities is almost exclusively due to a rise of €564.0 million in non-residents’ holdings of Greek bonds and Treasury bills.

Under other investment, a drop in residents’ external assets is due to a decline of €5.8 billion in residents’ deposit and repo holdings abroad, which was partly offset by a €3.7 billion statistical adjustment associated with the issuance of banknotes. An increase in residents’ external liabilities reflects chiefly a rise of €9.7 billion in non-residents’ deposit and repo holdings in Greece (the TARGET account included) and a €3.7 billion statistical adjustment associated with the issuance of banknotes, which were partly offset by a decline of €4.8 billion in the outstanding debt to non-residents.

At end-September 2022, Greece’s reserve assets stood at €11.3 billion, compared with €12.2 billion at end-September 2021.

Note: Balance of payments data for October 2022 will be released on 21 December 2022.



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