In an unprecedented turn post-Covid-19, July tourism revenues in Greece recorded a welcome increase generated by a rise in tourist flows, which also drove the services surplus up, the Bank of Greece (BoG) said on Monday.
According to the BoG, the services surplus rose primarily as a result of an improvement in the travel balance.
Travel receipts in July achieved 61.4 percent of their July 2019 levels while the surplus of the transport balance dropped by 31.2 percent. The sea transport balance also improved.
A closer look reveals a 240.2 percent increase in the number of non‑resident arrivals which also boosted receipts by 235.6 percent year‑on‑year.
More specifically, an improved travel balance contributed to a rise in services surplus.
According to BoG provisional data, the current account registered a surplus in July 2021 of 538 million euros against a deficit of 797 million euros in the same month in 2020. Central bank analysts attribute the positive turn to an improvement in the services balance and to the primary and secondary income accounts.
In the January‑July 2021 period, the current account deficit fell by 889 million euros year‑on‑year to 7.0 billion euros, which BoG analysts attribute to an improvement in the balance of services and the primary income account, which was partly offset by a deterioration of mainly the balance of goods.
The rise in the services surplus is primarily due to an improvement in the travel services balance and, to a lesser extent, in the other services balance, which was partly offset by a decline in the surplus of the transport balance.
The number of non‑resident arrivals rose by 51.4 percent with relevant receipts up by 139.7 percent year‑on‑year, reaching 37.1 percent of their 2019 level. Net transport receipts dropped by 23.4 percent.
In July 2021, the capital account deficit doubled year‑on‑year to 48 million euros. In the January‑July 2021 period, the capital account surplus rose by 96.1 million euros year‑on‑year to 666 million euros.
Lastly, the BoG said that the country’s foreign reserve assets came to 9.4 billion euros at the end of July, nearly equal to July 2020 levels.