Tourism, exports help shrink current account deficit

Tourism is once again propping up the Greek economy, as Bank of Greece data indicate that the rebound in arrivals from abroad has translated into an increase in revenues.

In June there was a 21.7 percent rise in revenues from tourism compared with the same month in 2010, as receipts amounted to 1.49 billion euros, versus 1.23 billion last year. In the first half of the year tourism spending in Greece amounted to 3.21 billion euros, posting growth of 12.6 percent over the same period in 2010.

Receipts from exports showed an 11.1 percent rise and this has also helped in the reduction of the country?s deficit in the balance of payments by 14 percent in June: It came to 1.58 billion euros, down 258 million from June 2010. In the first half of the year the deficit in the account balance shrank by 6 percent year-on-year to end at 13.3 billion euros.

A worrying figure in June was the 11 percent decline in transport receipts, traditionally dominated by shipping revenues.