Saturday November 29, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
16o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Tourism boom drives Greece to first current account surplus on record

Record spending by foreigners as Greece's tourism industry slashed prices helped the country's current account post its first surplus last year since official data began in 1948, central bank figures showed on Wednesday.

Current account deficits have been a drag on the Greek economy for decades, offset with borrowing and capital investment from abroad.

The payments gap swelled to 15 percent of national output in 2008 after the country entered the euro zone, fed by a debt-fuelled economic boom that led to a consumption frenzy on foreign imports.

But the ensuing debt crisis in 2009 plunged the country into an economic depression that shrank its economy by almost a quarter, helping Athens correct the imbalance and leading to a current account surplus of 1.24 billion euros last year, or about 0.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Tourism receipts, the country's biggest foreign-currency earner, rose 15 percent to a record 12 billion euros, while imports shrank.

Economists expect Greece to repeat a surplus this year but say this does not mean that it has turned the corner yet towards becoming an export-driven, competitive economy.

"For 2014 we expect the current account to stay in surplus as imports will remain weak alongside improving tourism and exports, said Eurobank economist Platon Monokroussos.

About half of the adjustment was due to cyclical factors such as shrinking imports of goods, which dropped 54 percent since 2008.

Just eight German Porsche luxury cars were sold in Greece in 2013, down from 424 in 2009.

Helped by falling wages which have restored some of Greek firms' lost competitiveness, exports of non-fuel goods rose 2.1 percent to 14.2 billion euros in 2013, putting them at about the same level as in 2008.

The current account was also helped by debt relief provided by Greece's lenders, which slashed interest payments by half to about 6 billion euros in 2013.

"Sustaining the surplus in the longer term will depend on whether the economy maintains its competitiveness and on its capacity to increase import substitution with domestic production, Monokroussos said.

"Wage growth must stay in line with productivity gains."

[Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday February 19, 2014 (12:49)  
Q3 growth was bigger than thought
Who will pay for the states ADMIE stake?
Christmas budgets slashed due to higher taxes, healthcare costs
Finance Ministry inundated with applications for debt settlement
Venizelos extends invite to Turkey at start of visit
Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos arrived in Ankara Friday night for two days of talks. Ahead of his visit he sought to make it clear that Greece is prepared to discuss maritime issues wi...
Vatopedi trial for 14 suspects
The Supreme Court decided Friday that 14 people should stand trial for the notorious property swap between the Vatopedi Monastery and the state six years ago. Those who will face charges of ...
Inside News
BASKETBALL
One more emphatic win sees Panathinaikos make top 16
Panathinaikos has mathematically qualified to the top 16 of the Euroleague after another emphatic home win, this time against Bayern Munich, with an 87-72 score on Friday. Given the changes ...
SOCCER
PAOK is one win from Europa Leagues last 32
A late brace by Stefanos Athanasiadis gifted PAOK a precious win at Dynamo Minsk on Thursday, meaning that the Thessaloniki team is one win away from graduating from the group stage of the E...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Change of US president wont mean change of foreign policy
Americans have again voted for change in Washington as opposition Republicans take control of both houses of the US Congress. As attention now turns to the 2016 presidential race, it's time ...
COMMENTARY
The presidential election paradox
A few days ago, speaking with a visiting colleague who neither works in Europe nor covers events here, I suddenly felt how much we Greeks take for granted some things that should have worrie...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. One more emphatic win sees Panathinaikos make top 16
2. Venizelos extends invite to Turkey at start of visit
3. Vatopedi trial for 14 suspects
4. New proposals on way to troika
5. Cabbie who carried shooter claims he was threatened
6. Govt urged to allow Syrian refugees to move on
more news
Today
This Week
1. Change of US president won't mean change of foreign policy
2. Child molester suspect photo released by police
3. Greek economy expands 0.7 pct q/q in Q3
4. Lebanese FM: Cyprus may be jihadi transit point
5. Athens water supply 9-month profit falls 45 pct on lower charges
6. Armed man arrested on Thessaloniki campus
Today
This Week
1. Give Greece a chance
2. Extremism from a bygone era
3. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
4. Greece paralyzed by major strike, flights cancelled
5. Piraeus nightclub shooting leaves 3 seriously injured
6. Coscos Greek unit adds multinational rail-freight client
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.