Thursday, February 20, 2014

Greece Posts First Current-Account Surplus

by Stelios Bouras

Wall Street Journal

February 19, 2014

Greece's current account swung into a surplus for the first time on record in 2013, data showed Wednesday, though the economy has yet to turn the corner and join the ranks of its more competitive euro-zone peers.

The current-account surplus for the year came in at €1.2 billion ($1.65 billion), versus a deficit of €4.6 billion in 2012 and a €20.6 billion shortfall in 2011, according to figures from the country's central bank.

Plunging consumption and investment brought on by the country's six-year contraction resulted in a 4.5% drop in imports in 2013, the Bank of Greece said. Tourism proved to be a big winner in 2013, helping boost export revenues 2.3% in a trend likely to continue in the sector this year.

It is the country's first current account surplus since 1948, when the Bank of Greece started keeping records of the trade figures.


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