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Greek August current account surplus shrinks despite jump in tourism revenue

Greece’s current account surplus shrank in August compared to the same month last year as imports rose to almost match exports while revenue from tourism surged, the Bank of Greece said on Friday.

Central bank data showed the current account surplus fell to 449 million euros ($439.35 million) from 1.402 billion euros in August 2021.

The smaller surplus was mainly the result of a deterioration in the trade gap and increased debt servicing and dividend payments which hit income and were only partly offset by an improved services balance as tourism revenue grew, the central bank said.

Excluding fuels, exports rose 15.6% at constant prices but imports increased 15.2%, it said.

Tourism revenue jumped 28.1% in August to 4.043 billion euros from 3.156 billion euros in the same month a year earlier, after a strong rebound in tourist arrivals.

Non-resident arrivals grew 44% in August on the year, corresponding to 86.8% of their level in 2019, a record year for tourism. Revenue nearly matched the respective amount in 2019 at 98.5%.

In the first eight months of 2022, the country’s current account deficit increased by 4.2 billion euros year-on-year and stood at 10 billion euros.

In 2021, Greece’s current account gap shrank by 356 million euros year-on-year to 10.6 billion euros.

Greece’s reserve assets dropped to 11.1 billion euros by end-August from 12.1 billion in the corresponding month a year earlier.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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