H1 c/a deficit 45.2 pct trimmer

Tourism revenues may have fallen 10 percent in the first half, year-on-year, but changes in other factors of Greece?s balance of payments, such as a continuing drop in imports, the positive impact of the haircut on Greek debt, known as PSI, and EU financial inflows, led to an overall 45.2 percent narrowing in the current account deficit, Bank of Greece figures showed yesterday.

In the January-June period, tourism receipts totaled 2.7 billion euros, compared to 3 billion in the same period last year. At the same time, Greeks were traveling abroad less, spending 889 million euros (16.4 percent less) in the first half.

Income from shipping stayed virtually unchanged, at 6.83 million euros, and the overall surplus from services rose to 4.9 billion euros, from 4.5 billion.

The trade deficit fell to 11 billion euros from 14.2 billion, largely thanks to a drop in imports, especially ships and consumer goods. The overall current account deficit fell to 7.1 billion euros from 12.9 billion in the first half of last year. Due to the PSI, interest payments fell from 5.6 billion to 3.5 billion euros.